This week’s Carrick Gazette Letters

holocaust

Theme is ‘don’t stand by’ this year

The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday 27th January is ‘Don’t stand by’. At over 3,500 events across the country, hundreds of thousands of people will hear about bystanders, those whose silence and indifference allowed dreadful persecution, and ultimately genocides to take place. And we will honour the rescuers and resisters, people who not only saved individuals, but who took action against bigotry and hatred.

We know that silence and indifference in the face of discrimination and hatred allows persecution to take root, so we want to encourage people to stand up and speak out, in the way many brave souls have in the past.

As well as taking a stand in our own communities here in the UK today, we also need to be mindful of the fact that genocide is continuing in Darfur, where thousands of people have been murdered and millions have been forced to flee to makeshift refugee camps. We all need to reflect on the fact that the path to genocide begins with exclusion and discrimination, and that standing by allows hatred to take hold.

In our film for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016, Susan Pollack, a survivor of the Holocaust, tells for the first time a surprising and unique story of surviving genocide. Please visit dontstandby.hmd.org.uk , share the film using social media, and sign up to our Thunderclap, so that Susan’s story is shared as widely as possible at 1pm on 27 January.

Olivia Marks-Woldman

Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

youth trust

Thrift shop

Our Thrift shop in Chalmers Arcade is continuing to do well in regards to donated items, customers and generated profit in support of our local youth work.

The donated items are coming in all shapes and sizes and include: 240 golf balls, a complete home cinema surround sound system and a fitted kitchen including a double oven!

We are however still urgently seeking further donations of nearly new/good condition household items such china, ornaments bric a brac, small household furnishings, electrical goods and clothes. Any donated items can be handed into the shop or the Z1 Youth Bar, or contact GYT on 714729 / facebook to arrange collection of items.

We are also appealing for a loan of an old Dansetta / or other make record player, in working order, for use in one of our future shop displays.

Girvan Youth Trust

politics

The SNP’s legion of gods

With the Scottish parliamentary election on the horizon will the SNP be campaigning on the usual platform of hypocritical difference that they campaigned on throughout the general election in 2015?

In 2015, I felt that the SNP were not just asking me to vote mere mortals into Westminster but a legion of gods free from the foibles of corruption and avarice. Sent down from Mount Olympus they would cast their righteous gaze upon the unworthy and sweep away the decadence of the antiquated system before them, all while holding themselves to a higher standard of behaviour.

With a number of their MPs and councillors having been suspended, financial irregularities in a number of associated charities and what looks like nepotism within their ranks, it would appear that SNP politicians are mere mortals after all.

This normally wouldn’t bother me. Politicians are only human and like the rest of us aim for high moral standards, but sometimes fall short. The difference for politicians is that the scrutiny and negative consequences are much greater.

What rankles more is the hypocrisy of the SNP. It would appear that their “progressive politics” and the ability to lead “real change” are non-existent unless it fuels their bankrupt rhetoric of Scottish independence at any cost.

We’ve been told repeatedly by the SNP that Scotland is a much more socially democratic nation than the rest of the UK.

Almost all opinion polls disagree with this assessment and John Swinney’s reluctance to raise income tax in Scotland proves it.

It’s almost like we’re part of some kind of large unified state with similar cultural, economic and political values, throughout the constituent nations, that are now deeply embedded by centuries of political union. Someone should inform the SNP about this.

David Bone

Girvan

pets

Fighting for scanning

After six months, the Vets Get Scanning e-petition to Introduce Compulsory Scanning for microchips by vets, rescues and authorities ended on 21st January with a total of 70,726 signatures.

As the time for the introduction of compulsory microchipping approaches it is clear that dog owners are getting concerned that if their dog goes missing or gets stolen it will not be compulsory to scan.

A similar e-petition which ended after nine months in March 2015 recorded only 26,202 signatures.

The organisers of the e-petition are angry that it took the government up to nine days prior to the closure of the petition to give the 10,000 signature response that they are obliged to give. They feel that this impacted on their results as during these final days the petition increased by a daily average of 1,376.

We are disappointed at the length of time it took to get a response from the Government and are concerned at its response because although it will be mandatory to scan dogs killed on the motorway, they state that it will not even be at minimum “best practice” for vets, local authorities, and rescues to scan and this simply can’t be right.

I have written to the petitions Commission asking them to clarify their statement that they will ‘look at the petition and government’s response’ and I am hopeful under their new role that they will consider giving us a hearing.

Debbie Matthews

Vets Get Scanning

small grants

New small fund for Girvan and villages

A new Small Grants fund for Girvan and South Carrick Villages has been developed thanks to South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

Small Grants of up to £500 will be distributed through the Locality Planning Group for Girvan and the South Carrick Villages.

It is hoped that the grants which link to the Scottish Governments Integrated Care Fund will help towards building up local community resources which meet the needs of adults and older people, and promote a range of new health and wellbeing projects and activities within local communities designed to support people to have greater control over their own lives and manage a range of health conditions.

The total fund of £ 5,000 is modest and it is hoped that future funding will include additional funds and the opportunity to support community members to vote on which proposals they want to see funded in their area.

The possibilities for funding are far ranging, for example you might want to set up a walking group, or set up a group activity that brings together adults who are isolated. We are really keen to support new ideas so you do not have to be a constituted group to apply, all you have to do is work in partnership with a local constituted group which supports the project that you are applying for funding for.

So if you live and or work with adults who live in Girvan, Ballantrae, Barr, Barrhill, Colmonell Lendalfoot, Pinmore, Pinwherry and Dailly and have a good idea which benefits the health and wellbeing of adults within your community then you may be eligible to access the small grants fund.

Application forms will be available from 27th January and the closing date for applications is 4th March

For further information on all aspects of the application process please contact:

Dawn Parker Community Engagement Officer Health and Social Care, Dawn.Parker@south-ayrshire.gov.uk, 01655 884882

Or Ailsa Horizons, enquiries@ailsahorizons.co.uk, 01465 710628

charity appeal

Bagpipe amnesty

A charity appeal is being made in South Ayrshire for old bagpipes to be donated to give new young players a better chance in life.

A piping trust is giving free tuition to more than 1000 pupils in schools across Scotland – including those in the South Ayrshire Council region – and need instruments for the youngsters to play.

After spending up to two years learning on practice chanters the young players progress to the full instrument that can cost hundreds of pounds.

The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust has launched the Bagpipe Amnesty appeal called Old Pipes for New Players - believing piping can change lives for the better.

The trust has been set up because the vast majority of pupils in Scottish schools do not have the chance to learn the pipes and drums in the classroom on the same basis as other instruments.

Unwanted pipes can be given a new lease of life by being handed into Ayr Fire Station which is supporting the Bagpipe Amnesty.

We are really grateful to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for backing our campaign which will hopefully help change lots of young people’s lives for the better.

Piping and being part of a band develop a wide range of life and employability skills including teamwork, individual and shared achievement, discipline, commitment and self confidence as well as musicality.

It is a shame that the vast majority of our young people are not offered the chance to learn our national instruments in schools.

The SSPDT is helping more than 1000 children across the country to learn the pipes and drums in state schools. This includes youngsters from some of Scotland’s most deprived areas who would never have the chance to learn piping.

But with such a big programme – and with more young people interested in piping – we need pipes to take these young musicians to the next level. Donated instruments that need some work to bring them back to life will be refurbished free of charge by Wallace Bagpipes. We are also very grateful to Genius PPT for providing a Freephone telephone line during the appeal.

Donations of pipes can be made from February 1-14. Call 0808 281 9405 to find your nearest station or find out more information on all aspects of the Bagpipe Amnesty from www.sspdt.org.uk.

The appeal is also being supported by a comprehensive social media campaign.

Alexandra Duncan

Trust Chief Executive