Letters, April 23 2021

Letters.

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Thank you for heeding dog poo appeal

I recently wrote to the Campbeltown Courier on behalf of Campbeltown Community Council regarding the amount of dog poo not being uplifted by a minority of dog owners.

It seems our appeal has been heeded as there appears to be less dog poo left lying so thank you to this minority.

Remember to scoop it, bag it and bin it.

Alan Baker, chairman of Campbeltown Community Council.

Take part in your own ‘Rescue Run’ for pets

This is National Pet Month and I’m urging animal lovers to take part in the Blue Cross ‘Rescue Run’ to help the charity care for pets in need.

Complete 26.2 miles between May 1 and 31 however you like – hop, skip, jump, walk or run; you can even take part with your dog.

Every penny raised will go towards helping the thousands of homeless, abandoned, sick and injured pets the charity takes in each year and each participant receives a special medal when they have completed their virtual marathon.

To find out more and book your place, visit www.bluecross.org.uk/rescuerun

Michaela Strachan, television presenter, c/o Blue Cross.

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Shops reopening – a joint letter from the Scottish Retail Consortium and trade union Usdaw

With the Scottish Government expected at the time of writing to confirm that shops in Scotland will be able to reopen on April 26, the Scottish Retail Consortium and  trade union Usdaw have come together to ask Scots to play their part in creating a safe and enjoyable retail environment for other customers and shop staff.

Retailers and shop workers have worked incredibly hard and responsibly to keep customers and staff safe throughout the pandemic. Retailers in Scotland have invested tens of millions of pounds on safety measures including plexiglass screens, queue management systems, social distancing signage and floor markings, better ventilation, cleaning and hygiene. Shop workers have ensured the nation was supplied and fed throughout the past thirteen difficult months.

The reopening of non-essential shops and ability of food-to-go retailers to resume welcoming customers in-store will mark a crucial milestone for Scottish retail and the wider supply chain. Retail is Scotland’s largest private sector employer. So-called non-essential stores have been compelled to close in Scotland for 115 consecutive days.

The SRC and Usdaw encourage shoppers to:

  • queue considerately,
  • maintain physical distancing,
  • wear face coverings,
  • try to avoid peak shopping times, and
  • follow instructions and be respectful to shop staff.

Across Scotland, thousands of shops which have been shuttered for four long months are looking forward to getting back to doing what they do best — serving their customers.

Reopening is good news for our economy, for jobs and for our local communities. It has never been more important to play our part in keeping our towns, cities and retail destinations vibrant.

Every purchase from a shop helps support jobs in local retail and throughout the supply chain. Retailers and their colleagues continue to work around the clock to maintain a safe shopping experience, so customers can have the confidence to return to their favourite stores.

If we all follow the necessary physical distancing and hygiene measures and show consideration to those around us, including shop staff who are doing a difficult job, then everyone will be better off.

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium.

The reopening of stores on Monday offers a lifeline for many retailers. That is good news in terms of helping to safeguard jobs, but the virus is still out there.

We expect employers to conduct full risk assessments, follow the agreed guidance and ensure that customers are fully informed of the necessary safety measures.

Shoppers need to play their part in helping to limit the spread of the virus and avoid further lockdowns by following the rules and respecting staff.

Regrettably, throughout this appalling pandemic, incidents of abuse towards shop workers doubled and Covid safety measures have now become significant flashpoints. Abuse should never be part of the job and shop workers – who played a vital role in getting food and medicine into our homes during the pandemic – deserve our thanks and respect.

In January, the Scottish Parliament unanimously voted for a ground-breaking new law to protect shop workers. Usdaw campaigned for many years to secure these legal protections and we will continue to work hard to ensure that shop workers are protected and treated with the respect they deserve.

Tracey Gilbert, Usdaw deputy divisional officer for Scotland.

Spring into action for Age Scotland

The national charity for older people is encouraging people to get moving every day next month as part of a new fundraising activity challenge.

Throughout May, Age Scotland is asking people across the country to Spring into Action to help support older people in Scotland.

Fundraisers can take part however they choose, but the most important thing is to make sure they are active every day.

All funds raised by Spring into Action participants will go towards Age Scotland’s vital services, including the national friendship line, which offers a place older people can turn to if they are in need of support, comfort and reassurance or even just missing a friendly voice.

Running and walking events have always been a great way to help raise vital funds and, even with many regular events unfortunately cancelled over the past year, we’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown by fundraisers still going above and beyond.

We hope to see as many people as possible taking up our challenge to Spring into Action this May. With nights getting lighter and better weather on the horizon, this is a great excuse to get out and about and support a worthy cause at the same time.

‘Whether you run one mile, walk five, or design your own challenge, your fundraising efforts will be making a real difference for older people in Scotland.

‘The money you raise will fund vital services like our friendship line. Every week we receive hundreds of calls from older people looking for support. Many are lonely and isolated and just want to hear a friendly voice. We listen, provide comfort and friendship and let them know someone cares.

‘No one should feel like they have no one to turn to. To help us be there for every older person who needs us, sign up to the challenge today.

Sign up to Age Scotland’s Spring into Action challenge or find further information at www.age.scot/SpringIntoAction

Michelle Supple, director of charity services, Age Scotland.