Category Archives: Fife

WORLD POLIO DAY 2020

On 24th OCTOBER 2020 the Rotary Worldwide is celebrating World Polio Day.

Why are we celebrating?

Ryan Hyland writes:

African region declared free of wild poliovirus

“The World Health Organization (WHO) on 25 August announced that transmission of the wild poliovirus has officially been stopped in all 47 countries of its African region. This is a historic and vital step toward global eradication of polio, which is Rotary’s top priority.”

“Rotary and its GPEI partners celebrate a monumental achievement, say global eradication of wild polio is possible with the continued dedication and persistence of Rotarians.”

Click here to read his full article

Bill Gates and The Rotary

On endpolio.org the Rotary describe how Bill Gates has worked with them to raise funds by matching contributions by 2-1.

Here’s what they say:

“Rotary, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988. In 2007, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joined Rotary in its commitment to ending polio.

Since 2013, the Gates Foundation has matched every $1 Rotary commits to polio eradication 2-to-1, up to $35 million per year. Rotary, with matching funds from the Gates Foundation, has contributed more than $1.6 billion to end polio.

Since we started the fight against polio, we’ve reduced the number of polio cases by 99.9 percent and reached more than 2.5 billion children with the vaccine. There are fewer polio cases today than ever before, but we will not stop until we reach zero. If polio is not eradicated, hundreds of thousands of children could be paralyzed. Global health care costs would rise dramatically, and many children’s quality of life would be drastically diminished.”

Why is this so pertinent in today’s world?

The work the Rotary has done working with The World Health Organisation to eradicate Polio in the most vulnerable and inaccessible places in the world since 1988 gives us hope in todays world that, once we have a vaccine for Covid 19 that we can use lessons learnt, infrastructure in place and networks in order to administer the vaccine worldwide too.

Why PURPLE for Polio?

“The reason Rotary choose purple is because when a child receives their life saving polio drops on mass polio immunisation days in many countries their little finger is painted with a purple dye so it is clear they have received their life-saving vaccine.”

Look out for events near you.

In the area in Fife, Scotland around Burntisland, Kinghorn, Aberdour and Achtertool the Burntisland and Kinghorn Rotary Club have organised  a ‘raising awareness’ campaign by a photo competition on Facebook and another exciting event which I’ll post here after the weekend.

PURPLE 4 POLIO PHOTO CONTEST

Why don’t you get snapping and enter before 5th November!

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Filed under Events, Fife

“Where there’s life there’s hope, and need of vittles.” ~ JR Tolkein

Download from quotefancy.com for wallpaper

I love this quote. It is almost a Pooh~ism!

As a writer I am always stirred by the generosity of spirit of people I meet in terms of giving time, effort and finances to support those in need. I also find stories of resilience and fortitude of folks heartwarming ~ how people are brought to rock bottom by their circumstances, often through no fault or action of their own, find the courage to rise up once more.

I particularly love the work of Emmaus, with so many wonderful stories of how the organisation has changed people’s lives by providing a purpose, work and community life and the chance to give something back.

This is what Micheal wrote:

“”Without Emmaus, I don’t think I would be around right now and it has given me a lifeline to a better future. I was first homeless at the age of seven with my mother and continued to be homeless on-and-off for nearly 20 years before finding Emmaus.”

To read Micheal’s full story please click on this link. Micheal’s Story

Unfortunately the virus has stalled a great deal of the usual work of Emmaus ~ their workshops, shops and delivery to name three areas, but the organisation has continued to support those in great need throughout. Emmaus is a UK wide organisation. There is almost certainly one near where you live. https://emmaus.org.uk/

It is people like Michael’s who inspired me to write Dot’s story in MISSING Past and Present. 

~ not only to write about the tragedy of circumstances that led to Dot’s homelessness, but also the network of support for her, once she was mentally at a point when she could accept help, because to do this and to ask takes a great deal of courage.

That is so apparent in the current crisis. People like to be independent and do not wish to be reliant on others, but once the step is taken it is such a relief to know that support is close by; overwhelming even.

Even closer to home I am sure you have noticed that there’s so much community spirit. It is certainly the case around here but I’m sure there are similar stories in the rest of the UK and even around the world, inspired by the needs provoked by Covid 19.

Locally there’s KSS, Kinghorn Support Squad, which if you read quickly looks like KISS ~ a lovely name. This support group was set up by our Provost about three years ago for those casual volunteers who did not want to join a group on a regular basis, but were happy to help out whenever they could. Examples of this was setting up and dismantling the furniture for the village show and also as Marshalls for the Black Rock Race.

Through this crisis this group have been stalwarts, available for food and medication drops and delivering letters and postcards explaining where folks can ask for help or arrange deliveries if they need it. In fact many, many more have volunteered to be part of KSS to become paet of the steering group, street coordinators and on hand to sort out local Foodbank drops if necessary. It is often the street coordinators who keep in touch with people locally and sort out any needs as they arise; a network ensuring that no person is missed or forgotten.

The church and the Lunch Club for the elderly have also been involved, as they always have, in ensuring everyone is safe and has someone to talk to and to help them.

In our neighbouring town of Burntisland BEAT has been established and their remit is quite wide, including  dog walking, providing toys for children in need and also food drops, organised through a central hub rather than the satellite approach of Kinghorn.

Each  way has been developed with the needs of the local communities in mind and show a resilience and caring attitude which prevails, whatever the circumstances.

The Kirkcaldy Foodbank continues with its support and although in the first few weeks the need grew exponentially and the provisions sourced from local supermarkets on a regular basis was scarce, they have continued to be the back bone in ensuring that no person locally goes hungry or lacks essential toiletries. In fact there has been a huge drive to give the Foodbank extra support through this time, both in terms of food and donations of money.

It is easy to become overwhelmed by the need, like a vast almost impenetrable chasm, but Michael and Dot’s stories are uplifting and ensure that we are left with an overriding sense of HOPE.

 

 

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Filed under Events, Fife, MISSING Past and Present, Planning a novel, Research, Writing a novel

Two extremely positive ways to launch a novel

Hi folks

Since launching my new mystery novel ‘MISSING Past and Present’ on line on 28th February I have enjoyed two events:

  1. Celebration of the Book Launch in Kinghorn Station Gallery on Sunday 15th March and
  2. A Coffee Pot Book Shop Blog Tour organised by the capable Mary Ann Yarde.

DSCN6388[1]Little did I know that, as my friend and distinguished author Hamish Brown said on the phone after the event,

“We will fondly remember your book launch, Diana, as the last social gathering in Kinghorn and Burntisland before the lock down.”

Once my novel had been released on line I worked towards the book launch, ever watchful of events on the other side of the world in China; creeping relentlessly across Europe towards the UK. Should I shouldn’t I go ahead as planned? I asked for advice and most folks said, ‘yes, go for it,’ only a couple rang and explained why they sadly decided they should not attend.

All who attended were greeted with a glass of Prosecco and nibbles, in separate little glass dishes if they wished, but I also made everyone,  about thirty in all sign in with contact details, telephone or email.

Invitation to launchcopy-page-001It was a wonderful social gathering. A blether was enjoyed and time sped by. I said a few words half way through and sold a good few books, but that wasn’t the main aim of the event. I spoke of the collective creativity of the folks in the area from writers, to Douglas and Lynette Gray who had kindly loaned my their lovely art gallery for the afternoon, to a friend Ulrika who had knitted the beautiful Shetland cardigan I was wearing to mark the occasion. We also had musician’s among us and gardeners too, with many from Kinghorn in Bloom represented, but also my friend Ann who works so hard organising areas of the Foodbank where I volunteer.

It was certainly a celebration of my achievement too, with friends and neighbours. There was a fantastic buzz and it was difficult to send the last few home at 5 pm!

It was the next day, in fact, that we knew a shut down was imminent. I have kept in touch with everyone to check all are OK, and thankfully they are. I have no regrets. Happy memories!

Three weeks followed to acclimatize to the new norm in our everyday lives and then was time for the blog tour. At first I found it hard to build enthusiasm, with so much gloom and doom in the world, but the event had been carefully planned and organised by since the end of 2019 and as Mary Ann pointed out,’

‘Diana, we have a livelihood to think about too!’

I’m so glad it went ahead. It was such a positive event, or series of events over the course of five days, which was a distracting time from our everyday lives but above all it was fun. I met several bloggers, hundreds of authors and readers who were prepared to reblog or retweet and the five days built another, very different, feel good factor around my launch. An on line way of achieving what my celebration at Kinghorn Gallery had done a few weeks before.

coffee pot book blog

The tour was varied, so much that only later, on reflection, I realised the full scope of the posts:

The whole week certainly caused a buzz on Twitter and Facebook. Great fun and I can’t thank Mary Ann Yarde enough!

Thinking back over these two events fills me with Joy and I would like to thank everyone involved, took part or attended in person.

Keep safe and well everyone!

 

 

 

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Filed under Author Diana Jackson, Blogs, Book reading, Book reviews, Events, Fife, MISSING Past and Present, Mystery inspired by history series, Research