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Thanks

Youth Trust toy raffle

Girvan Youth Trust and OASIS Youth Project would like to thank all local businesses, shopkeepers and individuals who have supported this year’s TOY Raffle. Over a £1000 worth of quality toys have now been put into Santa’s sack.

The draw will take place at midday this Friday ( 19th December ) with all winners being contacted immediately.

A limited number of raffle tickets, priced £1 are still available from: Pauls Barbers, Dunlop’s Newsagent, Shimmer, Carol’s Papershop and Margaret’s Fruit and Veg.

Bill Logan,

Girvan Youth Trust

independence

Just a period of limbo

The Scottish National Party and its membership sign up to delivering independence for Scotland with fairness in governance and the ability to ensure a more equal society for those that live here.

The outcome of the close referendum result may ensure some of those wishes that the SNP stand for might be delivered, but at this time the situation remains fluid due to the obstinacy of Westminster politicians to agree to terms (that can only be for their own parties benefit in the end).

Let us be abundantly clear that the Scottish National Party has no intention of giving up on independence for the sake of one independence result, and that this is just a period of “limbo” in ensuring the Scots get what they were promised by Brown & company. Voracious No voters who wish to see the extinction of the SNP will be sorely disappointed as the campaign for Independence will continue with other likewise thinking Yes voters. Yours for a Free Scotland,

Gibby Wilson,

Girvan Branch SNP.

charities

Landmark year for Action for Children

sdf This has been a landmark year for me and for Action for Children. I became the chief executive of this wonderful charity in March, and in July we celebrated our 145th anniversary. That’s 145 years of supporting the most vulnerable children and young people in society. I have spent my first year really getting to know Action for Children, and I have been humbled and inspired by the impact of our work through services such as our Lisalanna service in Ayrshire, which offers short break care for disabled children. We also held a whole host of entertaining, unusual and sometimes challenging events this year. Beloved children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar celebrated its own anniversary – its 45th – and together we held the Giant Wiggle, a fundraiser that saw children in Ayrshire join thousands across the UK for a sponsored wiggle that was enjoyed by all. Arguably less enjoyable was Byte Night. I was one of more than 1,500 people who slept rough to highlight the issue of youth homelessness. It was cold and uncomfortable, but we raised more than £1 million for our homelessness services so it was definitely worth it!

I would like to thank your readers for everything they have done for Action for Children this year – from making donations, to backing our campaigns, to taking part in fundraising challenges. Together we have achieved a lot, but sadly there is still more to be done. Our frontline services are increasingly supporting children and families on issues such as depression and self-harm. We’re committed to doing everything we can to stop situations getting worse and to transform lives - but we need your support.

To find out more about how you can help Action for Children make 2015 a happy New Year for children in Ayrshire and across Scotland, please visit actionforchildren.org.uk.

Merry Christmas,

Sir Tony Hawkhead

Chief executive of Action for Children

armed forces

Remember them when they come home

For many Forces families, this Christmas will be extra special. Last month saw the end of British combat operations in Afghanistan. 140,000 UK troops have served there, and the final few are currently on their way home to be reunited with friends and family for the festive season.

It’s a time for celebration, but also a time to remember those who lost their lives, and those who will continue to need support, in many forms, for many years, as a result of their service in that conflict.

At SSAFA we’re already responding to those needs, through a vast range of services designed to support the injured and their families, those who are suffering with loneliness or isolation, and those who have been bereaved.

But we know from past experience that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Issues relating to active service can often lie dormant for many years, sometimes because of people’s resilience, pride, or simply not knowing where to turn for help.

Over 7,000 of those we are helping today last saw active service during conflicts in Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Bosnia and Iraq.

Many last served over a decade ago, yet they still need and deserve our help. So while we welcome home the final few troops, I would urge everyone to remember the work that still remains to be done supporting serving personnel, veterans and their families here in the UK.

You can show your support this Christmas by posting a personal salute to them at www.ssafa.org.uk/mysalute, or text ‘HERO29 £3’ to 70070 to help continue SSAFA’s vital work with the entire military community.

Air Vice-Marshal David Murray CVO OBE

Chief Executive of SSAFA (formerly The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association)

carers

Becoming a reality

New Carers UK research has found that over two million of us will start providing care for older, sick or disabled loved ones every year and many will go without the vital advice and information they need.

With an ageing population and people living longer with disabilities, caring for a loved one is increasingly a reality for families.

In fact, as our research found, 10.6 million people across

the UK will take on a caring role over the next five years and £1.1 billion of Carer’s

Allowance goes unclaimed each year.

It’s vital that anyone caring for a loved one seeks advice to ensure they are getting the services and support they are entitled to.

Without help and assistance carers can find themselves facing financial hardship, health problems, emotional stress and relationship breakdown.

They can be pushed to breaking point. This has serious consequences for

individuals, families, employers and the UK economy as a whole.

With new rights in the Care Act coming into effect next year, carers locally need to be informed about how it will impact them.

Carers UK has launched a new Carers Rights Guide available at www.carersuk.org, which contains important information on how to get support, including details on upcoming changes

to carers’ rights. We’re also ready to answer questions via our advice line. Readers can call 0808 808 7777 between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday or email advice@carersuk.org

with any specific queries.

Yours sincerely,

Heléna Herklots,

Carers UK