Your letters to The Buteman: April 22, 2016

What do you think? Contact us with your views on this article by emailing
What do you think? Contact us with your views on this article by emailing

The latest crop of letters to The Buteman features an update on the work of the Isle of Bute Trust, a thank you message from Scotland’s only dedicated cot death charity, and praise for the island’s kidney dialysis campaign.

To have your say on any issue of importance to Bute, email by 5pm on Monday for inclusion in our next print edition.

Please include your name and address for publication, and also a daytime phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice (though this will not be printed).

* * * * * * * *

Thanks to Bute for backing Ellen’s walk

On behalf of the Scottish Cot Death Trust, I would like to pass on our thanks and appreciation for a recent donation we received from local lady Ellen Cromack - who raised £1,245.62 by taking part in a 17-mile sponsored walk in February in memory of her granddaughter Emma.

Ellen has told us how much support her local community gave her, and we at the Trust would very much like to acknowledge and thank everyone who supported her fundraising efforts - The Buteman, particularly Craig and Karen, for publicising the event so well, local businesses and shops, friends, neighbours and her family.

We very much appreciate all Ellen’s hard work, and thank everyone who supported her, and in turn the work of the Scottish Cot Death Trust.

This money will really help us make a difference throughout Scotland.

There is one cot death every nine days in Scotland, and we are the only Scottish charity dedicated to raising awareness of cot death, funding research in a bid to discover why cot deaths occur, educating professionals, and supporting families who have been devastated by the loss of a baby to cot death.

With less than three per cent of our annual income coming from the Government, you can understand why your continued support is so vital to us.

Ellen’s kind donation will really go a huge way towards our vital work, and we cannot thank enough those who supported her.

Lynne Mackenzie (community fundraiser, Scottish Cot Deat Trust), Yorkhill Hospital, Dalnair Street, Glasgow

Story of last 12 months for Isle of Bute Trust

It may be interesting to your readers to have an update on what we, the Isle of Bute Trust (IOBT), has been up to in the last 12 months.

Some will know that we were formed in the aftermath of the BCC-sponsored depopulation meeting in February 2015. This meeting was pivotal, and has led to much other progress in the course of the last 15 months.

For those who don’t know much about the Trust, full details are available on our website (

So what have we done in the last 12 months?

In the aftermath of a number of public discussions about empty shops on the island, we have identified and mapped most (not all – it being a fluid situation) of them. We have written to absentee owners in an attempt to persuade them to take more care of their unused properties – sadly, with only minor success.

However, the very act of mapping and recording the shop position has given clarity, and in fact, the number of empty shops has declined between July 2015 and March 2016. Again, these maps showing the changing situation are available on our site.

We have established a Bute Calendar, available online and on paper, which tells all of the community what is going on, on Bute.

This has been acknowledged as useful to locals and tourist alike. Is it perfect? No! Could it be better? Of course.

The key here is sharing information, and while we have many contributors, there are many more organising events on Bute who could benefit from much better (free) publicity for their activity.

We have identified, in cooperation with Bute Community Council, the need for an ambulance shelter to allow patients being transferred to the mainland to be swapped between ambulances to do so in shelter, privacy, and with dignity.

We have costed, funded (in cooperation with For Bute), and prepared the solution to this community issue. We await clearance from Argyll and Bute Council to deploy the solution.

In discussion with Visit Bute (and as confirmed at the ‘Remaking Rothesay’ Charrette in February), it became apparent that Rothesay marina needed better, more available, toilet and shower facilities (open 24 hours a day, seven days a week).

The solution is cheap and simple, and we will let a contract in the next week. [More details on page 3 of this week’s edition.]

But all of the above is nibbling at the edges of the overall problem – we, as the Isle of Bute Trust, are part of the Alliance for Action, and as such are committed to Building a Better Bute.

For more information, or to donate (because all this activity costs money!), please email us on info@isleofbute

Alisdair Johnston (chair, Isle of Bute Trust), Ian Villa, Academy Road, Rothesay

Praise for all in Bute dialysis campaign

I take my hat off to the Bute Kidney Patients Support Group. Their campaigning for a kidney dialysis unit in Rothesay is beyond belief, and I hope it won’t be long before they reach their goal. With donations from supporters now at more than £36,000 (Letters to the Editor, April 8), it really shows how much people care when others need help, and how much communities - not just on Bute - rally round.

To see how people put their hands in their pockets is so special - not being selfish and for once not adopting the ‘who cares’ attitude we see so often today.

To the campaigners I say: keep up the campaigning and all will be rewarded in the end, and the long and arduous journey to Inverclyde for dialysis treatment will become a thing of the past, with the NHS making up the shortfall. The kindness and generosity shown by the public is overwehelming - especially when you think of the financial climate we are in, yet people still find the money to donate to such a deserving cause. Everyone involved deserves special praise.

Stephen Johnstone, Flat 3/1, Paisley Road West, Ibrox, Glasgow