This is a great result from a very …

Comment posted Martha Payne and NeverSeconds hit fund raising target: new kitchen for Mary’s Meals by Anne Baird.

This is a great result from a very worrying time. I hope Martha continues with her blog and the council learns to work with her and make something from it that shows what a great place Argyll & Bute is. It IS a great place with great people in it. We just need to get those officials out of the bunker and back into the daylight where nine year old girls aren’t a threat. Well done Roddy McCuish for making a start on that!

Of course the Daily Record was way out of order and I sympathise hugely with the dinner ladies, but I’m sure they understand that it’s the fault of some journalistic lout and not Martha herself. From what I’ve seen on Martha’s blog, her dad has already said the dinner ladies are great and the council’s response could have been to gather all the players together and shout it from the rooftops. Hopefully now they can present a united front that makes us all proud.

Anne Baird also commented

  • £71,864.77 – over 1000% of her target! That’s a lot of lunches for kids who currently don’t get one at all and is a very happy ending to a bad start.

Recent comments by Anne Baird

  • United Kingdom government invests £500M in £1.13BN scheme for Glasgow and hinterland
    Robert, I do take that point but the losses were savage and nothing much was done to help the redundant workers. It didn’t help that some of them, like British Steel, were relocated. In the fifties they built Possilpark to house the railway workers from Cowlairs and the Caledonian works at a time when 85% of the world’s total rolling stock was produced there. It closed completely in the seventies and the results are infamous. So you could see it all coming when the casualties started to pile up in the eighties. To add insult to injury the unemployed were treated like scroungers – men and women who had taken a pride in working and paying their NI and tax. Then the poll tax. By that time they were damned if their kids were going to pay for bad housing and a future of unemployment or the army and the inch thick electoral registers were replaced with thin ones. These disenfranchised people are now signing up in their thousands to vote and I doubt very much that will go Cameron’s way whatever bribes he brings.
  • United Kingdom government invests £500M in £1.13BN scheme for Glasgow and hinterland
    Good news for Glasgow. I suspect however that this particular bunch of flowers is thirty years too late for a city that was left in ruins by Cameron’s forebears. Glasgow left the relationship some time ago.
  • Audit Scotland’s latest report on Argyll and Bute Council ‘disappointing and worrying for local people’
    Like She-bat I’m sceptical. Audit Scotland focus on political governance, but we have a management structure here that’s autocratic. Councillors asking serious questions are liable to be closed down and may find themselves dealing with staff who won’t or can’t work with them. When a councillor, your elected representative, has to resort to Freedom of Information legislation to obtain basic information there is little hope of reform until management is properly educated on the limits of its power.
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    We were given our diary of events and resources before the 26th. Throwning more money at it would be pointless. That’s not how it works.
  • Crisis at Rothesay Joint Campus: will Audit Scotland engage?
    You have to wonder why, after several years of bad judgements that dragged Argyll & Bute through national and international media, the head of department is still in post. For him now to preside over the torture of special needs children is culpable. The education department needs reform from the top down if this is to be truly stamped out.

    As the mother of an Asperger son my heart bleeds for the lad in question. Imagine your own distress at that treatment, then multiply by 50, and you will understand why I used the word torture. This is not a minor problem. It’s a very profound failure that demands a definitive response.

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24 Responses to This is a great result from a very …

  1. Donated to the cause about ten minutes ago and in the two minutes after I donated I counted over £200 being donated and now since i donated its jumped by about £1000! Amazing!

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  2. Lots of silver linings in this story. Martha herself is a great advert for Argyll and this is a fantastic result for Mary’s Meals. Not just the money (which is itself marvellous) but all of the publicity the charity has received, including a link on the BBC web site. Cllr McCuish has also justified his elevation to Council Leader and maybe, just maybe we can look forward to having a council we can take pride in rather than one labelled: “the stupidest council in Britain”.

    What a day! Wonder what Martha will make of it all when she gets home?

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  3. First class leadership by Roddy McCuish now what we need is to see some positive press with a photo of the council leader, Martha and the folks from Mary’s meals together with the dinner ladies on the front page of the Record.

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    • I think that No political capital should be made out of Martha’s humanitarianism. So only Martha and the folks from Mary’s meals should be in the photo.

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  4. I just watched the story on BBC News24 and there are lots of positives!!
    Children and parents are discussing school meals and nutrition in general.
    The school in question is sending out positive messages.
    The new Council has been seen to getting to grips with the subject and a meeting has been arranged between the parents, the pupil and Roddy MacCuish,the Council Leader. (Anyone else think that that was unlikely under Dick Walsh!!)
    Mary’s Meals is undoubtedly the supreme winner and deservedly so!
    My only concern is for the moral of the canteen staff
    and my only condemnation is for the scum-bag rag known as the Daily Record for its headline of ‘Sack The Dinner Ladies’which was neither helpful or fair.
    They should publish an apology!!!

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    • The poor dinner ladies are frontline workers. Someone much higher up the ‘food chain’(sorry)in the Council will sit in an office and be paid a promoted salary to ‘manage’ what the dinner ladies are able to provide. It is that person (possibly even persons) who is responsible for goes on prison trays in schools. It is their responsibility to ensure that dinner ladies have good quality ingredients, cooking equipment,facilities and training to produce good food.

      If there is a problem in doing this then it is THEIR responsibility to convey that to elected members so that THEY can address issues.

      Is the whole photograph debacle really down to the actions of a paid council official?

      Time for some clarity (not just in A&B but across Scotland)about who does what within a local authority. Councillors have been elected to make policies. Officials are paid to implement them.

      Lines have become blurred and no one is ever held accountable for their area of responsibility. Especially when it all hits the fan.

      The current system failures are mocking democracy.

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  5. Daily Record, bastion and loyal supporter of the Labour Party, attacked ordinary working people, the dinner ladies, not the Education supremo or the even the elected officials, but the working folks. Says it all. We should boycott the paper until they follow the sanctions as stipulated by Dot Macdonald

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    • The Daily Record have rewritten the story now and do not mention their shameful attack on the dinner ladies. An apology and large donation to Mary’s Meals (perhaps a promise to match donations through Martha’s appeal?) might help excuse their stupidity.

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  6. This is a great result from a very worrying time. I hope Martha continues with her blog and the council learns to work with her and make something from it that shows what a great place Argyll & Bute is. It IS a great place with great people in it. We just need to get those officials out of the bunker and back into the daylight where nine year old girls aren’t a threat. Well done Roddy McCuish for making a start on that!

    Of course the Daily Record was way out of order and I sympathise hugely with the dinner ladies, but I’m sure they understand that it’s the fault of some journalistic lout and not Martha herself. From what I’ve seen on Martha’s blog, her dad has already said the dinner ladies are great and the council’s response could have been to gather all the players together and shout it from the rooftops. Hopefully now they can present a united front that makes us all proud.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. The total donated to Mary’s meals through Martha’s blog now stands at an astonishing £36,274 with the money still pouring in.

    Such is the power of the internet.

    Haven’t noticed a donation from Mr Sneddon but perhaps he gave anonymously.

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    • Don’t forget to add Gift Aid.

      At the moment it is

      Total raised £39,257.24
      Gift Aid £7,091.17

      So the total is £46,348.41

      Beginning to wonder whether it is going to end in six figures.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. £71,864.77 – over 1000% of her target! That’s a lot of lunches for kids who currently don’t get one at all and is a very happy ending to a bad start.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Mary’s Meals reckon it takes around £10 to provide each child one meal a day for a year so currently, if all the money was used directly on meals, this would mean a meal for a year for 7,300 children. A fantastic result.

        Given that Mary’s Meals feeds over 650,000 children each year, that’s, however, a sobering statistic that shows how much money needs to be raised each and every year so that Mary’s Meals can continue its great work.

        Mary’s Meals and Martha Payne: two great reasons to be proud to live in Argyll.

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  9. It has been worth all the embarrassment and ramifications to get the result for Mary’s Meals that Martha has achieved. If it helps to get a coherent and functional communication department at Kilmory and further steps in the direction of an open and honest council then it is a double positive.

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  10. Argyll is not large in population, and is unable to help the world. Possibly though, we could “adopt” through Mary’s meals this little part of Malawi and have some sort of relation between them and our schools here, not just from a fundraising point of view, but also across the broad spectrum of child care and education. It would teach us all if we could “adopt” somewhere where we can really make a difference.

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    • There is actually quite a lot of this sort of activity going on already. Malawi and Scotland have historical and cultural ties (mostly through the Church of Scotland)and Malawi is the main focus of the Scottish Government’s aid efforts. I cannot speak for all schools in Argyll but at Barcaldine they have had talks on Malawi and what it is like to be a child there. This makes a big impression on the children and Mary’s Meals is one of their favourite charities.

      You are right in saying that we are very limited in what we can do for the poorer parts of the world. We can take huge pride in the fact that Mary’s Meals was founded and continues to operate out of Argyll.

      And let’s back our pride with our money whenever we can.

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