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CARDWELL GARDEN CENTRE IS CLOSED Due to the COVID 19 Virus Cardwell Garden Centre is closed and will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The safety of our employees, our customers and their respective families is paramount and closing Cardwell is the only responsible course of action. Cardwell Garden Centre will re-open when it is safe to do so.WE’RE Updates willBACK be posted IN on our website and social BUSINESS media channels.

Our online store has 450 bedding plants, vegetable plants, trees & shrubs, compost, fertilisers and much more. Please follow the advice given added by thedaily. authorities and NEW products

ensure the safety of yourself, your loved ones and our Cardwell Garden Centre is open 10am-4pm, 7 days a week. Opening community. hours may vary, please check our website before visiting. WithOnline love, store still open for large selection of products for home

delivery. Please note deliveries are currently only to Inverclyde and North Ayrshire.

Stef, Drew, Kieran and everyone at Cardwell.

New Click & Collect service coming soon!

Lunderston Bay, Gourock, Inverclyde, PA19 1BB 01475 521 536 www.cardwellgardencentre.co.uk


07 16 10 17 12 30




Published by: Wyvex Media


s we go to print the easing of Coronavirus restrictions has begun. This has to be a slow and studied process for it we get it wrong we go back to the beginning: think snakes and ladders. The secret to success is social distancing and staying local. That means shopping locally; Inverclyde businesses need our support. Many of them were here for us during this tough time with acts of kindness from restaurants donating food stock to home delivery services. Now as they work to recover and stay afloat traders need our spending power. Without them and the neighbourhood branches of supermarkets our local economy will suffer, the entire look and feel of Greenock, Gourock and all the surrounding villages will change if many shops cafes and restaurants never re open. We long to see our hairdressers and gentlemen celebrate the end of your lockdown beards by going to the barber for a professional shave.

On the cover: The Clyde Life cover stars, Gracie Jackson (left), Cadhlea Hair (centre) and Amelia Shand (Right)

Sales Director: Nicky Murphy nmurphy@wyvexmedia.co.uk 07786 861266 Features Editor: Joanne Simms jsimms@wyvexmedia.co.uk

/ClydeLifeMagazine @clydelifemag Website Design: plbwebdesign.co.uk Graphic Design: Grant Dickie – Scottish Field gdickie@scottishfield.co.uk

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors, or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Wyvex Media does not officially endorse any advertising material included in this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher.



Show your kitchen some love Customers are hunting high and low for that perfect kitchen. Show your kitchen some love and we will show it our passion & creativity. Everything you could want in your kitchen we have. Top brands, craftsmanship, beauty, elegance & technology, we’ve got the lot and we promise it will certainly be worth your while especially when we get to the bottom line. So look no further, give us a visit. We can’t wait to meet you.

CoronaVirus / COVID-19 We are open - but by appointment only. Strict social distancing in place in the showroom. You’ll have us all to yourself PPE equipment provided. 4


Right now, we are ALL ABOUT DESIGN at Affordable Luxuries. Believe it or not, we are busier than ever! Why? Because at the moment, design is what we are focusing on, and that’s great as we know we do it really well. How does it work? 1. Download our brochure now for a little inspiration 2. Give us a call on 01475 727774 to arrange a private appointment at the showroom or a meeting over the phone/video. You can also email us: hello@affordableluxuries.co.uk 3. We’ll explain the first few easy bits we need from you 4. We’ll get started on your design and produce digital 3D images of how your new kitchen could look 5. We’ll get in touch for the next step

A family business since 1999 www.affordableluxuries.co.uk 52-54 Regent Street, Greenock, Renfrewshire, PA15 4NP | 01475 727774 www.clydelife.co.uk


INVERCLYDE FOODBANK IN ACTION Hope –not hunger - with a massive helping of love and dedication How you Can Help… Huge thanks go out to those in Inverclyde that have got involved with their neighbours to donate food to the i58 Project. Since the start of lock down on March 23, they have been able to supply 759 referrals with a parcel containing a three-day emergency food supply, each containing 10 meals, supporting some 1401 adults and children (figures up to 1st June 2020). Lesley Jackson, Inverclyde Foodbank Manager, 158 Project Lead, tells us ‘The neighbourhood collections have shown that our community are always seeking new ways to help each other. We have some way to go until this crisis lifts and service can return to normal and we will continue to work hard to bring hope and support to those in Inverclyde who are most in need.


nverclyde Foodbank was pioneered in September 2012 in partnership with The Trussell Trust as part of The i58 Project, the social action ministry of Hope Community Church. Based in Inverclyde, The i58 Project is a practical response from Hope Community Church to help people within the community who are experiencing crisis. Since then, Inverclyde Foodbank has provided over 38,000 men, women and children with a nutritionally balanced three-day emergency food supply. This is done on a referral basis by the development and growth of relationships with over 130 statutory and voluntary organisations and figures up to the 1st June show that Inverclyde Foodbank has provided vulnerable people in Inverclyde with over 220,670 meals and distributed over 297,059kg of emergency food aid. Help during tHe Coronavirus Crisis The Foodbank receives donations of non-perishable food items from a diverse range of highly supportive local people and local businesses which i58 then records, weighs, sorts, packages up and distributes to those individuals and families that are most in need, in line with the referral system. During the Coronavirus outbreak, Inverclyde foodbank will operate with reduced volunteers and the recruitment of additional driver support to make deliveries (they are currently operating on a delivery only basis). With the generous support of the community in Inverclyde, The i58 project can operate this service three days per week and support so many of those that are so in need. Support from neighbourhood collections has been incredible. 6

Could you organise a neigHbourHood Food ColleCtion on your street? It’s really easy! Here’s how it works: •Download and print the flyer below. •Pick a collection date and time and write it along with your name on the flyer • Pop one through each of your neighbour’s doors. • Neighbours leave their donations hanging on their gate or at their door on the date advertised on your leaflet. • Pop round and gather all the donations in. (Why not take some pics while you’re at it and post them to our Facebook page!) • Bring the donations to Inverclyde Foodbank any Mon, Wed or Fri between 2-4pm. If you need any further info please don’t hesitate to message us or email us on inverclydefoodbank@thei58project.com or call 01475 787177. The Clyde Life cover stars, Gracie Jackson (left), Cadhlea Hair (centre) and Amelia Shand (Right) have been doing great work with their neighbours. Let’s come together and love our community!


right: Members of the community connector team at Your Voice: Sean Macfarlane, Julie Gillen, Amanda McEwan, Pamela Millard, Kimberley Hutchison.

ALL TOgEThER NOw! the one good thing about Covid-19 is that all kinds of people and organisations are now partnering to help the community


our Voice has provided a lifeline service to more than 4,480 local people in Inverclyde during the pandemic. This involves working in partnership with others to enable people access to essential food boxes, cooked meals, cooking utensils, clothing, appliances, and bikes plus counselling support for frontline workers. It has been working closely with Inverclyde Health & Social Care Partnership to ensure people receive the right support and information through the provision of welfare calls. Since the lockdown staff and volunteers have made more than 6,020 calls to people who are isolating due to the current pandemic. Your Voice is supporting people in recovery to access services and support and MacMillan staff assisting people affected by cancer. It has also been working in partnership with, and helped secure funding for, Compassionate Inverclyde. Compassionate as ever Alison Bunce at Compassionate Inverclyde reports that, with no access to hospital wards and many volunteers having to shield, the way it has been delivering its services has changed. The no-one dies alone service cannot be provided at present but 43 of the service’s companions have been doing support phone calls. By the end of May they had helped 125 people with 2,248 phone calls. Fifteen new volunteers, mostly teachers, are delivering isolation boxes and picking up prescriptions. Back Home boxes are still being disturbed but now via ward nurses. www.clydelife.co.uk

Compassionate Inverclyde was also approached and asked if it could help provide nightwear and toiletries for patients without family or visitors. More than 464 much-appreciated nightwear items have been donated along with than 203 toiletry bags for in-patients and 52 toiletry bags given to people in the community who are shielding. growing tHe Care Belville Community Garden in Greenock is growing in all kinds of directions as peoples’ needs change in the face of Covid-19. As well as freshly-grown food the organisation is providing refurbished bicycles for key workers along with helmets, and offering bike repairs, to help people commute when faced with reduced public transport. ‘Well before Covid-19 we sent members of the team on cycle repair courses and that has paid off,’ said Laura Reilly manager at the garden. For children who do not have computers or wi-fi at home refurbished laptops, complete with three-months’ wi-fi via a dongle, are being given out through Belville for their schooling. They have also been helping distribute cooking equipment and even appliances which were generously donated by Beko, the multi-national appliance manufacturer. New style recipe boxes are also proving to be a great success alongside the more regular veg and food boxes.

see pages 30 & 31 for contact details if you need help.





KEEpINg KINDNESS ON ThE ROAD arc vehicle rental is providing vital transport support for those caring for the community during the Coronavirus crisis


rc Vehicle Rental is helping the community by supporting organisations deliver essential food parcels and meals to vulnerable families and individuals across Inverclyde. Ian Moffat, managing director of Arc Fleet Services said: ‘The Coronavirus pandemic has caused so much misery and suffering for those most vulnerable in our community. ‘As a local company we are pleased to support Branchton Community Centre and Belville Community Garden Trust deliver essential food and meals to families and individuals throughout Inverclyde.’ ‘These two great, local organisations staffed by volunteers have really stepped up to the mark during the Coronavirus crisis. We are only too pleased to assist them by supplying vans free of charge to support the great work they are doing within the community to ease suffering and isolation for those most in need.’ Arc Fleet Services has remained open throughout the Coronavirus crisis, supporting local and national customers to deliver essential services. Ian said, ‘Although most national dealerships closed at the end of March, Arc has continued to source and supply vehicles, turned around accidentdamaged vehicles and carried out routine servicing and emergency non-scheduled repairs, to ensure essential services and goods can continue to be delivered.’ Willie Wilson, manager at Branchton Community Centre, told us: ‘I’m really grateful for ARC’s kind gesture. ‘Branchton Community Centre is currently delivering over 350 meals a day to vulnerable people


all over Inverclyde and the van will be really helpful to us to aid with grocery and supplies uplifts at this time. Without ARC’s van this would have been much more difficult for us.’ Laura Reilly, manager at Belville Community Garden Trust, added: ‘Belville Community Garden has delivered over 2000 self-isolation food boxes since the start of the lockdown, a task involving 120 volunteers and the moving of huge volumes of foods and toiletries. ‘Having the transit van from Arc on daily loan means that we can easily meet any logistical challenges we face. We would also like to thank driver Alec Waters and his wife Joanne who have volunteered to drive the van week in week out.’

arc continues to offer the following services for business and domestic customers: •Vehicle hire - cars, vans, people carriers •Vehicle servicing, repairs and MOT - cars and vans •Accident repairs •Skip hire

To support their customers through this unprecedented time, Arc is offering a range of discounts for all the above services. Contact Arc directly on 01475 742255 or info@ arcfleetservices.co.uk for further information.


• INGREDIENTS • 400g macaroni 70g butter 50g plain flour 900ml milk 100g of Mull of Kintyre Cheddar – grated 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese – grated 1 tablespoon of Isle of Arran mustard, or English Mustard Salt and pepper to taste An oven proof dish


• METHOD • • Preheat your oven to 180°C • Cook the macaroni as per the packaging instructions. • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour and cook for two to three minutes on a medium heat, stirring continuously. • Gradually add in the milk and keep stirring to ensure a smooth consistency. • Next, stir in the Mull of Kintyre Cheddar and Parmesan and allow to melt. Keep a little back for the topping. • Add the Isle of Arran mustard and then remove from the heat. • Drain the macaroni once cooked, then add it to the sauce. • Place in an ovenproof dish and add some of the left-over grated cheese as a topping. • Cook for around 20-25 minutes. • Serve with a side salad of your choice. For additional variety, you could add 150g of Stornoway Black Pudding – cooked and crumbled, which can be added to the sauce, prior to placing in the oven. This will create a delicious Mac’n’Black.

Last year the Highlands and Islands ferry operator served up an incredible 50,408 portions of their CalMac and Cheese dish aboard our their vessels and now they have shared the recipe - their take on a classic dish which is an all-time onboard favourite. Like the rest of us CalMac crew and staff have found that staying at home seems to increase our appetites and simultaneously reduce the contents of the fridge. A CalMac spokesperson said: ‘We are proud to have used and introduced our previous passengers to some of the best produce of the west – and during these unprecedented times we will be publishing updates from our island producer and maker colleagues via our newsletter, website and social media channels. ‘This recipe is one of our most popular menu items. Last year we served up an incredible 50,408 portions of this aboard our vessels. ‘Here’s how you can recreate it at home, using one of chief cook’s easy-to-follow recipes.’



450g butter 200g caster sugar 500g plain flour Jam Cherries (or jellies)

• METHOD • Preheat over to 180° Cream together butter and sugar Gradually stir in flour until blended smoothly On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to around 5mm thickness Cut out circles using pastry/cookie cutter Bake for around 10 minutes on a wire rack Allow to cool then sandwich jam between two biscuits Mix icing sugar with a little milk (which makes it more spreadable) and spread on top of biscuit sandwich Top with half a cherry (or jellies).



by Marilyn Thompson

fast fashion demands that the highly integrated global supply chain never stops.


t must constantly hurtle onwards at top speed, until the unthinkable happens.... It has taken a pandemic to truly make us realise that our insatiable desire for new clothes and with that, the negative affect fast fashion brings to our planet, is now something we can no longer avoid confronting. The worldwide lockdown has forced us all to focus on the things that really matter. Clothes and the fashion industry are hugely, massively important and completely necessary. The global fashion workforce consists of more than 300 million people but the industry has known for a long time that change had to happen, and now that Coronavirus has put the wheels of change in motion, it must now act quickly and effectively to alter its destructive practises. Fashion is a polluting, dirty industry and behind the glamorous end-products, the models, magazines, fashion shows, frivolity and the fleeting thrill of purchase, lies a trail of environmental destruction. The Aral Sea was the fourth largest lake in the world, until unsustainable cotton farming resulted in it drying up. The cotton plant is incredibly thirsty, and to give you an example of just how thirsty it really is - consider this: to produce just one cotton tee-shirt, 2,700 litres of water is required. That equates to three year’s drinking water for one person. To produce one pair of jeans requires the equivalent


of five-and-a-half years worth of water! A sobering thought I’m sure you will agree. Also take into account the estimated 8,000 different chemicals used in fabric production and the polluting dyes that colour them, all of which are then pumped from the factories straight into waterways and fashion really starts to show its true colours. Sadly, the textile industry emits more greenhouse gasses than both the shipping and aviation industries combined! Another problematic fabric worth quickly noting is polyester, as it is one of the world’s most common fabrics and will feature highly in almost everyone’s wardrobe. Each time polyester clothes are washed, thousands of micro plastic fibres are released into our water sources, destroying crucial eco-systems and ultimately ending up in our food chain. We are only just scraping the surface of such an important, complex and incredibly farreaching topic and unfortunately space does not permit more in depth information. Hopefully, it may encourage you to learn more, allowing you to make informed, ethical choices. Even little, mindful, changes such as buying less impulsively, only buying certiffed organic cotton, (not great, but better than nonorganic) reducing your polyester usage and seeking out alternative, more sustainable fabrics (check the labels) will all make a difference. www.clydelife.co.uk


TEEN STYLE FILES by Holly Thompson


Have a clearer conscience by only shopping with brands who at the very least, have Eco-Friendly collections -like this casual combo from Dorothy Perkins. Keep yourself informed on who’s doing what.


Stop using one use cotton wool pads to remove your make up. Change to environmentally friendly reusable cotton pads instead. You know you want to. National Trust - £10


This fab shampoo bar is made with all natural vegan ingredients and no nasties, no plastic bottles and it’s cruelty free! It also gently and effectively does its job. Foamie - £7


Tips and advice on how to live happily and sustainably by blogger and You Tuber Madeleine Olivia Amazon - £9.83


Make sure to recycle your old clothes by dropping them off at Zara or H&M, when reopened. These clothes are made into recycled fabrics and don’t go to landfill.

Get in touch: To learn more about The Fashion Class for teens and children, its courses, camps and parties as they are reintroduced, or to chat to Holly and ask questions, contact: holly@thefashionclass.co.uk or thefashionclass.co.uk www.clydelife.co.uk


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A VIRTuAL wELCOmE TO NEw SChOOLS secondary schools in inverclyde have made sure that this year’s new pupils don’t miss out


nverclyde’s high schools are making sure that this year’s new first year pupils do not miss out because their induction visits were cancelled due to Coronavirus precautions. P7s who begin their secondary education when the new school year starts would normally attend each of the six Inverclyde high schools for an induction before the summer break. This year they have had welcome videos and virtual tours to allow the pupils and their families to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings when they eventually reopen. Teachers at Inverclyde Academy, for example, produced two short films introducing themselves to the next intake of first years and showing the young people around the building. School staff have delivered more than 120 welcome bags to each of the new S1 pupils. Each bag contains items such as a school tie, polo shirt, stationery, comic book and the bag itself can be used as a school bag. Denise Crawford, head teacher at Inverclyde Academy, said: ‘The children who have been coming to the key worker childcare hub here at the school have been helping to make up the bags, along with our pupil support staff because they will be the first point of contact for the new first years.’ Videos have been posted online on YouTube and school social media channels for all to see and the response so far has been extremely positive. Gordon Livingstone, the academy’s depute head teacher, in charge of the new S1s, said: ‘Although it’s a real shame we couldn’t welcome students into the school as normal we’re using technology, along with traditional methods, to reach out to pupils.’ ‘It is the idea of science and ICT teacher John Harkins and by putting them on YouTube has allowed us to reach a bigger audience, including www.clydelife.co.uk

From left: Inverclyde Academy teacher John Harkins, head teacher Denise Crawford and depute head Gordon Livingstone

parents and grandparents.’ The virtual tour video was viewed more than a thousand times in four days. Depute council leader Jim Clocherty, Convener of education and communities, is full of praise: ‘Staff and pupils have embraced technology and used it to their advantage to continue teaching and learning during lockdown. ‘These welcome videos are an extension of that and a clever way to connect with current P7s to help with their transition into high school after the summer.’ 15

ThE ShOw muST gO ON! Kilmacolm and port glasgow agricultural society show is one of summer’s highlights and this year it went online with photo and video submissions judged by the community. it turned out to be an amazing success.


his year the supreme champions were not livestock but people from Inverclyde or West Renfrewshire nominated for going above and beyond to help others during this crisis and then voted for by the public. The champion group was Branchton Community Centre for cooking and delivering hot meals to over 350 people from Wemyss Bay to Port Glasgow every day along with free groceries and toiletries. Runners-up were Sew Kind - Emily Wilson and Anna Watson - both only 13 who have been making things for the workers in local care homes plus face masks to raise money. Eileen Kane was voted champion individual. Despite her own major health issues she has been hard at work making plastic safety masks for NHS and community nurses and carers. Runner up was 12-year-old Fergus Dorrington who visits local care homes playing his bagpipes to lift spirits, even playing for a lady’s 100th birthday.

right (from top): Four-year-old Kayleigh Beaton with mum Cathy, dad John and Cosmo the pony won the fancy dress with horse; Kirsty Ohly and son, Owen, aged five, made the best scarecrow; Livvy Braid’s Teeny won cutest pet lamb as picked by the residents of Campbell Snowdon House; Aly Young, won pet most like its owner; Linda Taylor and a 1960 Massey Ferguson 35; she is the fourth generation of her family to prepare the tractor for showing. Owned from new it is still in use as a working tractor; it was voted best in show.




the more we adhere to the guidelines, the quicker we will defeat this virus and get back to a better way of life, writes stuart mcmillan msp


s I write this, we are almost finished the first week of Phase 1. Almost 11 weeks have passed since lockdown began and, like me, I am sure you are still adapting to the new normal. As MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, the part of the role I love most is getting out and about, meeting constituents, visiting businesses and meeting third sector organisations. Covid-19 has fundamentally changed the way we interact with each other. Phase 1 now allows us to meet with one household per day, up to a maximum of eight people. For many people, this will be the first time they have seen loved ones in 10 weeks. I have been doing my mother’s shopping once a week, so I have seen her. However, it was so much better when my family and I sat in her front garden chatting last weekend, all socially distanced. No one is immune to this disease and the effects of


lockdown. However, some people are more vulnerable than others. As most of us used the fantastic weather at the end of May and beginning of June to visit loved ones, people who are shielding did not yet have that option. The First Minister addressed people in the shielding group directly during the first week of Phase 1. She said ‘You have not been forgotten’. Most of us will not understand how difficult it has been for some people to stay at home for 11 weeks. While you have been asked to do this for your own safety, no one should underestimate how difficult this will have been. As people think about possibly breaking the lockdown guidelines at present, due to the nice weather or not thinking it will affect you, please bear in mind that some people will have been at home, not even able to go out for a walk, for almost 3 full months. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

stuart macmillan msp

said recently that there is no ‘I’ at the moment, there is only ‘We’. That is what we must remember. All the precautions we are taking are not just to protect ourselves and our families, but to protect the most vulnerable in our society. We also need to remember that the more we adhere to the guidelines, the quicker we will defeat this virus and get back to a better way of life. While we are all bound by the same restrictions, some people will have faced more hardship, including losing their job with limited ability to get a new one, while others have not even had the ability to enjoy a garden of their own. When you are making a judgement over whether or not to do something that might break the guidance, please err on the side of caution. Ask yourself if it is really necessary and remember that there is someone in Inverclyde doing the right thing in more difficult circumstances. Take care.




We are reallyis happy with our Finance new wardrobes. People are available continually commenting on

(T’s & C’s apply) how great they look and asking where we got them from. Catrina Frame

Really happy with my Absolutely terrific! We are more finished wardrobes. than delighted with our sliding Just what we were wardrobes. We have shown them looking for. Brilliant to all our family and friends and value for By money! everybody them. appointment onlyabsolutely for theloves showroom Mrs Travers David Wilkes

SUPERIOR BESPOKE STORAGE SYSTEMS AT SMART PRICES... Alvic Sliding Wardrobes Ltd is a small friendly, family run business established in 2012. At their impressive showroom in Crosslee, Houston you can see their full range of stunning doors and furniture on display. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, the team at Alvic can turn any empty and unused spaces to good use. There’s no need to put up with wonky wardrobes which don’t suit your needs any longer, Alvic can fully design and install perfectly fitted wardrobes and furniture that is truly bespoke to your requirements. Whether it’s hinged, angled or sliding doors, you’re after, a built in quest bed or a fully fitted walk-in wardrobe or library, the team are always on hand to offer their advice and expertise.

01505 614419 • www.alvicslidingwardrobes.co.uk www.clydelife.co.uk 18 Visit our showroom: Suite 1, The Old Mill, Houston Road, Crosslee, Houston PA6 7AW

YOuR DREAm FITTED wARDROBES mAKE YOuR SpACE wORK FOR YOu Create the bespoke wardrobe space both you and your home are craving


id you know that for the same price as a large wardrobe from any leading high street store you could be enjoying your very own fitted wardrobes, tailored to fit your home and personal needs? All you can expect from a piece of furniture will be a shelf and a rail with a draw or two if you are lucky. But with the service provided by Alvic Sliding Wardrobes you are in charge from start to finish, helping to create what you want from a staggering array of styles, finishes and accessories. Husband and wife team Allan and Victoria Sawers began their business in 2012 and their hard work and attention to detail has seen them grow this family firm based in Houston to earn the Renfrewshire Trusted Trader accolade and attract customers as far away as the Highlands and islands. One thing that the Coronavirus lockdown has shown us all is that we need to make better use of the space in our homes – plus the fact that after being cooped up for weeks our homes are in serious need of a refresh. The company offers both sliding or hinged doors and recently added aluminium frames to its range. ‘The range of styles and finishes we have enables us to meet the needs of any interior, be it high ceilings in an older property, adding a family’s personality to a new build or re-imagining a family home,’ said Victoria. ‘We also have a wide variety of mirrors, glass and lighting.’ The team pride themselves on creating wardrobes www.clydelife.co.uk

for any space, no matter how awkward the shape might be; sloping ceilings, even old chimney breasts have been accommodated in their designs. The wow-factor continues inside the wardrobes with the fittings and accessories. Rails can be single or double at heights to accommodate full length clothing with drop down rails to truly maximise space and ease of use. Specialist fittings and fixtures will accommodate shoes, ties and trousers and internal drawer units and shelves are at your command, so you know that not a scrap of space will be wasted. The wardrobes can also accommodate a television for a streamlined bedroom look. Alvic now offers bespoke bedroom furniture to complete the look of a room. They are also seeing more customers come to them for the ultimate in storage – the walk in wardrobe. Visit their website www.alvicslidingwardrobes.co.uk to see all the ranges and some impressive before and after photographs. Allan and Victoria are happy to discuss your ideas with you. With zero per cent finance over one or two years, (T&Cs apply) to help plan your budget there has never been a better time to keep your home looking good and working for you the way you want it to with Alvic. As soon as restrictions lift you will be able to a visit to the showroom at The Old Mill, Crosslee, Houston, where you can see the entire range and appreciate the quality for yourself. At the moment, this is by appointment only 19

COuLD YOu BE A FOSTER pARENT? ‘it could be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made’


e may be in lockdown, but life isn’t. That is why the National Fostering Agency is actively looking to recruit more foster parents. ‘There is always a need for foster parents,’ said Pam Goodfellow from the agency, ‘and we are always looking to talk to people about what fostering can offer them and they can offer a foster child.’ Fostering provides a full-time, safe and nurturing family environment for children and young people in need. Foster parents must be over 21 and have the necessary bedroom space to accommodate the children. You might care for a child for two or three days through to months or years. Each fostering arrangement is tailored to the child’s unique circumstances and your own. And just as there is no stereotypical foster child there is not one type of foster parent. A broad range of carers provides more choice for the equally diverse range of children and young

‘If fostering is for you, you will find it the most magical and rewarding career you can ever have. ‘Helping a child grow up within a safe and nurturing environment is one of the most enriching and rewarding decisions you will ever make.

people. The agency welcomes applications from people of all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, physical abilities and the LGBTQ+ community. You can be single, married, a homeowner or a tenant - what matters is your ability to care and nurture. The agency is there all the way with a reassuring selection process and excellent training. Once you foster you will have a dedicated social worker and a ‘foster buddy’ a more experienced foster parent you are paired with for friendly support. ‘We are one of the UK’s most experienced agencies and we’ll support you every step of the way – starting with your application to become a carer,’ said Pam. Your fostering allowance is the amount paid for the care of a child and covers food, clothing, travel, activities, savings and anything else your foster children may need. It includes enough to help with your own living expenses. National Fostering Group pays a far greater allowance than the minimum amount set by the UK government. ‘We don’t want you to struggle financially and you should always be able to give your foster child what they need,’ said Pam who is ready and waiting to discuss fostering with you. Foster parents who can look after sibling groups are especially needed right now. If you could help keep brothers and sisters together you would be playing a vital role in fostering today.

‘and we are here each step of the way for you and the children.’ - Pam Goodfellow, National Fostering Agency



e m s This i

Ian & Meg, Fostering for 4 years took Ben on his first family bike ride

Help a young person like Ben reach their potential BECOME A FOSTER CARER Email pcgoodfellow@nfa.co.uk or call our local team on 07748 302 919

A gARDEN IS gREAT mEDICINE whilst the lockdown and shielding remain in place, your garden is one of the safest and most relaxing places to be says Kieran gallagher of Cardwell garden Centre


he world has become a very different place in a very short space of time. I have always tried to keep in mind the fragility of everyday life and how it can radically change overnight, but the way that this awful virus has swept through the world has been staggering. I offer my sincere sympathies to anyone who has suffered through this terrible time and my continued support for our amazing NHS and all the emergency and front line workers. I say continued support as we must never forget the sacrifices and efforts made on our behalf, especially once this pandemic is over. Much has been written elsewhere by people far more qualified on the topic than I am, so from here on we are all about gardening and lifestyle. Like many things in life that we see frequently, I take my garden for granted. I’ve always had one. Even when I stayed in a flat we had a shared garden. It was mostly grass and it bordered a busy main road, but it was ours. It was our own little green space where, if we wanted, we could sit and unwind. That concept has never been more important. The lockdown period we’ve all endured has been difficult for everyone, but for those in the category who have had to shield, it has been a particularly onerous and often lonely time. The absence of visits


from children, grandchildren and friends has not made it any easier. Their gardens, if they are lucky enough to have access to one, may have been the only time they’ve been outside at all. The trading restrictions on garden centres eased in May when we were encouraged by the Scottish government to offer contact free home delivery to our customers. The government recognised that by allowing businesses like Cardwell to sell to our customers it enabled them to actually spend more time at home and in the garden.


The other beneficial factor to being able to garden is to do with your mental health. Simply being outdoors and breathing fresh air is therapeutic and to have the serenity of your own private space can be a very relaxing experience. That is especially true with the superb run of weather we have had. Whilst Cardwell endorses the government message to stay at home, we have been allowed to open the garden centre to anyone who wishes to visit. Regular visitors will see some changes from the normal way of things. Only 85 customers are allowed in Cardwell at any time. Compare this with a normal busy day where we could have 10 times that number, Cardwell is a relatively quiet place to be. A one-way system is in operation, hand sanitisers are placed throughout the store and screens are in place at all checkouts. Not everyone will be able to visit Cardwell, or want to right now, but if you do we can promise we have made it as safe and relaxing as we possibly can. For those who do not want to visit or are still shielding, we are operating an online store with home delivery and click and collect. Stock of most things is quite good and www.clydelife.co.uk

supply chains are slowly coming back to life. Summer bedding plants are hard to come by, due to the growers halting their operations in March, but we have been able to keep a reasonable level available. We always have something colourful available to buy and that won’t change. I would like to offer my special thanks to everyone who has been a customer of ours recently. Due to your unbelievable support we now have some security for our business and, as of June 1, we have been able to return 12 of our team to the payroll and off the furlough scheme. On behalf of everyone at Cardwell, thank you. Keep an eye on our website and social media where we will post any updates and changes as the situation develops. Whilst the lockdown and shielding remains in place, your garden is one of the safest and most relaxing places to be and that means that this year above any other it is a place to savour and enjoy. If you are unable to get any gardening supplies or plants, then spend your time with what you already have. There is always a little tinkering to be done, some weeding or tidying up, cutting the grass and watering during the hot periods. Hopefully by the time you read this column, or by the time the next issue of this magazine is published, we will have more of the restrictions eased and life can be a little more enjoyable. Until that time please follow the Scottish Government’s advice and stay safe. Take care, everyone. 23

A TREE FOR EVERY FAmILY AND EVERY SERVICE the award-winning Clyde Coast & garnock valley Crematorium to plant a tree for every service undertaken


he Clyde Coast and Garnock Valley Crematorium near Largs is launching a new and thoughtful initiative that will see the facility plant A Tree on Behalf of Every Family and Every Funeral Service they undertake this year. Working in partnership with Eadha, the nationally recognised experts in woodland creation and sustainability, the crematorium is expecting to plant more than 800 native and rare species tree saplings on behalf of families for the remainder of this year. The cost of the trees saplings, the planting, and the on-going management and care will be covered by the crematorium at no extra cost to families, supported by the expert team at Eadha. The saplings will be coming from Eadha’s specialist nursery in Lochwinnoch and the planting will take place every month, and will include a range of species, from Aspen to the ultra-rare Arran Whitebeam, Birch, Alder, Willow, Juniper, Hazel and Rowan. A note of where the trees have been planted for each given month will be taken - allowing families to know the overall area in which the living memorial to their loved one has been placed - and an audited certificate confirming the planting will also be provided to families. The trees will grow and in time greatly enhance the landscape, while contributing to a number of wider and important environmental objectives, including offsetting carbon, creating canopy for local wildlife and helping to 24

promote greater biodiversity. Commenting on the new initiative, Philip Ewing, Manager of the Clyde & Garnock Valley Crematorium said: “We think that this is a gentle idea and one that is also meaningful in terms of timing given the unprecedented situation we have faced through Covid-19. “We were all set to launch the Tree for Every Family and Every Service in March, then the coronavirus situation arose, and we decided to pause what we were doing. But the time now feels right to pick things back up.“The whole idea is about legacy and connecting the local people, families and communities that we help with the landscape that we all share. “Hopefully it will allow people to take A Living Memorial some comfort from for Your Loved One knowing that a living memorial has been planted on behalf of their loved one, and that in time the tree will grow and develop and help to create a new landscape for the benefit of nature and future generations”. Clyde Coast and Garnock Valley Crematorium

A Tree for Every Family and Every Service

On behalf of

For the service held at Clyde Coast and Garnock Valley Crematorium on

We have planted a tree within our extensive grounds as a living memorial for you. ‘A tree for every family and every service’

On behalf of Clyde Coast and Garnock Valley Crematorium

Clyde Coast and Garnock Valley Crematorium Largs Road Dalry North Ayrshire KA24 5LE



Safe. Secure. McClure.

Still to make your Power of Attorney?

Only £199 Everyone over 50 should have a Power of Attorney Visit: www.mcclure-solicitors.co.uk/power-of-attorney Without a Power of Attorney, if you lose capacity, someone will need to apply to the Court for Guardianship. This is expensive, time consuming and a hassle for all involved. A Power of Attorney avoids that. Multi-award winning McClure Solicitors will prepare your Power of Attorney for just £199 and we will donate £30 to charity.

Book your appointment today! Freephone: 0800 852 1999 contactus@mcclure-solicitors.co.uk www.mcclure-solicitors.co.uk


ALwAYS hERE FOR YOu mcClure solicitors ready to help at the end of a phone line or online


ight now there are so many uncertainties in life but of one thing you can rest assured: McClure Solicitors continue supporting their clients during this pandemic. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) there are now severe restrictions on the movement and interaction of people as a means to curb the spread of the disease. McClure Solicitors have been following Government guidelines carefully and will continue to do so. The safety and wellbeing of their clients and of their staff remains their primary concern. With this in mind they implemented changes right back on Friday March 20 this year in the way they conduct their client appointments – both to take client instructions and also how they organise the signing of client legal documents. They have switched all face-to-face appointments to telephone or video appointments, regardless of whether these were to be conducted in one of their offices, at a client’s home or at one of their Charity Partner Will Clinics. If clients wish to have their appointment as a video appointment they will be able to conduct these via a choice of either Skype, WhatsApp or Zoom. McClure Solicitors appreciates that some clients’ first inclination may be to postpone or re-arrange their estate planning appointment. They would urge them not to do so. Making sure that estate planning is in order remains an important issue for clients, perhaps more so than ever. www.clydelife.co.uk

They are committed and prepared to support you as always in achieving this. And by the end of May the law firm had made nearly 1,000 appointments. Andrew Robertson, McClure’s managing director told us: ‘Clients are still very keen to get their affairs in order during the Coronavirus pandemic. ‘It’s not often that solicitors can combine charitable work with good business practice. By offering a Free Will for Charity service and also making a donation from our fee when clients take a Power of Attorney, we achieve three good results. ‘Our clients get their Wills made when many would otherwise die without one, causing considerable problems at a time when their families are under the great stress of bereavement. ‘We raise much-needed funds for charity which all our staff enjoy doing and are proud of the amount the firm has made.’ And Andrew added: ‘We generate business for McClure’s, also, as about half of clients decide to take another legal service. Making a will is simple and easily done and everyone wins: peace of mind for you and your family, incredible help for good causes and we keep our offices and staff active until the economy restarts and we all get back to business.’ To arrange an estate planning appointment with McClure Solicitors call their Freephone 0800 852 1999, or email their appointments team at contactus@mcclure-Solicitors.co.uk today. 27

ThE RESILIENT hOmE with Covid 19 and all the lockdown, furloughs, redundancies, isolating, schooling and working at home this entails resilience is our secret weapon. when we celebrated Hogmanay not one of us had any idea of what 2020 had in store. and now, after experiencing lockdown, and slowly opening up daily life again, we all know far much more about ourselves and how we can cope in a stressful situation.



ousekeeping sounds such an old-fashioned notion but how you ‘keep your house’ is the key to success. Do it well and you instantly remove a huge area of stress when you have to face a challenge.

resilient HouseKeeping: • Declutters and frees up more storage for supplies be they food, stationery and books for children’s lessons and workspace for adults. Kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer need the same treatment. 28

• Knows WHAT is in the house and WHERE it is. This prevents mistaken multiple purchases; will your greatgreat-grandchildren inherit your lockdown stash of ketchup? • Develops the mindset of a caterer or hotelier and knows how much food, cleaning materials and toiletries it consumes on average over a given period, buys quantities accordingly, - with a margin for backup - and remembers to ‘rotate’ new stock to reduce waste. • Prepares as best it can for the unexpected by having torches, candles, batteries, power banks for tech, a good www.clydelife.co.uk

supply of over the counter medicines, (child-proofed) a camping stove if all electric - and remembers to inspect these items regularly once stored. • Fills the petrol tank when it is half-empty and checks the tyre pressure at the same time. • Hides away treats to delight, reassure and break routine: think everything from a bag of sweeties to a bottle of gin or an on-line gift card (thank you couriers). • Has a supply of greetings cards, postcards and stamps because nothing cheers a kid or an older relative up more than having the real thing, not virtual, land on the doormat (thank you posties). • Knows that the difference between good housekeeping and people thinking you have joined some weird, doomsday ‘prepper’ cult is called commonsense. And when you use this you don’t end up brawling in Tesco over the last packet of penne or loo-paper.

hOmE SwEET hOmE Now that you have been locked down inside your fourwalls for more days than ever want to repeat you have had plenty of time to think about how the actual fabric of the property works for you. Heaven forbid that we are called on to do this ever again so now is the time to rethink and make the actual physical space work to its best advantage. a resilient Home: • Freshens up the paintwork and cleans the carpets after kids, cats and dogs have been penned up for so long.

resilient (adjective) • able to feel better quickly after something unpleasant such as shock, injury, etc • (of a substance) returning to its original shape after being bent, stretched, or pressed - The Oxford English Dictionary

• Acknowledges that amongst all this open kitchen and living space there also needs to be a quiet spot for work, conference calls and studying. • Redesigns the garden to get best use, or adds a play area. • Clears out the garage and adds shelves, a second fridge or freezer, or creates an indoor play space or home gym. • Builds an extension, if funds allow; a loft or basement conversion or adds a garden room or shed. • Installs a new - or refurbishes - the fitted kitchen because it has taken a hammering during lockdown. • Never puts off repairs, no matter how minor, because there is now a risk that you cannot call in a tradesperson even when minor turns major. Or the purchase of a new appliance.

• Rethinks flooring in high-traffic areas like the hall, landing, stairs and kitchen.

• Knows, in all honesty, what it can and cannot DIY. There are going to be some excellent offers to be had as businesses restart but that magnificent luxury wallpaper is not a bargain if it hasn’t been hung properly. It will be a sad mess. Bring in the experts.

• Realises that an extra bathroom or lavatory will make all the difference and balances this against the need for extra room, or storage space by fitting an en-suite.

• Adds greenery to flats and homes without gardens with an array of potted plants, some of which are herbs or vegetables.

• Creates a multi-function room through smart furniture choices that can switch from family living space to school room or office. Think extendable tables, seating with storage, good-looking storage boxes to hide papers and equipment at the end of the day.

A great amount of what we can plan for our homes will depend on our finances and many of us are now facing uncertainties we never thought we would encounter. For some it will mean downsizing. For others it will mean combing generations in a larger home. There is so much uncertainty and our finances need to be in the hands of experts who have a better overview of the money market than the average saver can ever have.

• Thinks about adding French windows or bi-fold doors to open up living space into the garden. www.clydelife.co.uk



Inverclyde Community Care Forum

YOU MATTER... how can we help? Your Voice has provided a lifeline support and connect service to over 4,480 local people during the current COVID19 pandemic enabling people to access food, essentials, and support during this unprecedented time.

We have been working closely with Inverclyde Health & Social Care Partnership to ensure that people receive the right support and information through the provision of welfare calls, digital resources, website, and social media platforms. Since the lockdown, our staff and volunteers have made over 6020 calls to people who are isolating due to the current pandemic. Many of the calls can last up to an hour, providing a listening ear and reassurance.

6020 ISOLATION CALLS MADE 70,000 People engaged on Twitter 8500 People engaged on Facebook 30




The Team from Your Voice are available seven days a week for isolation telephone calls and via social media platforms or email – do you feel lonely, need to talk, need help with arranging services? You can call us on 01475 728628 at any time and speak to a member of the - you can even set up a regular check in with us! It’s time to talk, Inverclyde!

Keeping Communities Connected! Can you spare a minute or two to help us? Tell us about your COVID experiences Fill in our survey online: tinyurl.com/ybs63jp4

Give us a call for our FREE WELLBEING and INFO PACK We have also developed a COVID resource pack, which is full of handy information from food deliveries to important telephone numbers, it’s yours to read online, download, share and keep! Find it online here: tinyurl.com/ybt7kb99

Don’t just take our word for it... you can see our short films on our YouTube channel: tinyurl.com/jlvc8a6

“Thank you very much for all your help, I couldn’t be more grateful... lovely to speak with you!”


12 Clyde Square, Greeenock PA15 1NB Telephone 01475 728628 email enquiries@yourvoice.org.uk www.yourvoice.org.uk Facebook @YourVoiceICCF • Twitter @YourVoiceInver 31



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Clyde Life #54 June/July 2020  

Clyde Life #54 June/July 2020