Community care and rehabilitation play a vital role

I met members of the GCRA at the Turriff Sports Center last week

As of this writing, the Winter Olympics have just ended with Team GB narrowly missing out on gold by just one stroke and winning silver in men’s curling.

This was followed by a much more comprehensive and well-deserved gold medal in women’s curling.

Congratulations to both teams and all participants.

I was also interested to learn that all the curling stones used in all the Winter Olympics until Chamonix in 1924 came from granite from the small Scottish island of Ailsa Craig.

I was delighted to see Turriff’s own Olympian, Conner Morrison – who competed at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo last year – claim silver in the World Para Series men’s 100m breaststroke final this week. last.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Grampian Cardiac Rehabilitation Association (GCRA) session in Turriff.

Attendees have told me they’ve enjoyed resuming instructor-led in-person sessions at the Turriff Sports Center since the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

GCRA is a patient-run charity founded in 2002 by three cardiac patients to establish and run Phase IV cardiac rehabilitation exercise classes at Grampian.

They currently run 39 circuit-based, gentle movement and chair-based Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention classes across Aberdeenshire.

Personal fitness as well as social interaction is very important and GCRA provides fantastic support to people in the Turriff and wider region who are recovering from and living with heart conditions and other long term respiratory issues.

More information can be found at: www.gcra.org.uk

I have repeatedly expressed concerns about the prolonged closure of the Minor Injury Unit (MIU) in Turriff and the continued lack of health benefits such as access to GPs and ambulance wait times.

Residents of Turriff tell me they often feel left out when it comes to decisions about health care and other public services.

The NHS Grampian even told me once that “Turriff is in an uncomfortable place!”.

Of course, this is not the case if you live in Turriff or the surrounding large rural area that depends on Turriff services, such as Auchterless, Fyvie, Cuminestown and everywhere in between.

I will continue to push for Turriff MIU to reopen as soon as possible as Covid-19 restrictions continue to be eased.

I was relieved and happy to see Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross confirm that no Tory-led council in Scotland will enforce the SNP’s punitive parking charge.

In rural Banff and Buchan, there is often no alternative to using a car.

I am not against initiatives to promote active travel or facilitate less carbon-intensive alternatives to car use, but any such measure must be practical and realistic.

Again, it appears that the SNP/Green Scottish Government applies logic which may be appropriate in the urban central belt, but shows no knowledge of real life in rural Scotland.

Perhaps if the Scottish government were to invest in improving transport infrastructure in the North East, such measures might start to look feasible.

But, as we saw in their recently published ‘National Transport Strategy’, there’s very little in there for rural Scotland and certainly nothing in Banff and Buchan.

Finally, I wish Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Rothsay and all staff at Windsor Castle who have tested positive for Covid-19 a speedy and full recovery.


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About Walter J. Leslie

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