Friends of The Scotsman

Duncan Thorp: Enterprising social businesses are on the up and that’s good for everybody

The results of the national Social Enterprise in ­Scotland: Census 2017 are out. The new census allows us to see the size and impact of social enterprises in Scotland’s communities. It helps us understand how social enterprises benefit everyone and how we can improve in order to take this innovative, dynamic movement forward.

The One Planet Picnic is a Keep Scotland Beautiful initiative aimed at schools to encourage  pupils and staff to think about eating more sustainable, locally-sourced and ethically-produced foods. Picture: Ian Georgeson.

Catherine Gee: What sort of world are we making for our kids? It’s time we thought about it

Most of us have goals that we seek to achieve, either set by ourselves, by who we work for, or both. ­Common, shared goals are important in delivering real change and none more so, in my opinion, than the global ones for sustainable development set by the United Nations in 2015.

Counselling depressed man head in hands. Man upset during a chat with a woman, possibly a failed relationship / breaking up.

Anne Chilton: Change is inevitable, but how we deal with it is the most important thing

Change happens all the time; the seasons, governments, our relationships, our ­bodies and even how we spend our free time can be afflicted by change – like when the football team we ­support moves up or down the tables or when our favourite baking show changes channel.

The Young Talk Project had a positive impact on school life,  created better pupil relationships, improved discipline and cut the number of suspensions, as well as freeing up time for teachers

Graham Boyack: Get pupils to sort out conflict by themselves and reap the benefits

Mediation Awareness Week provides a great opportunity to examine how we deal with conflict as a ­society and how better approaches can ­generate wider benefits.

10/10/17 . GLASGOW. Stock shot of First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. SNP�"s Nicola Sturgeon.
Nicola Sturgeon makes her keynote address to SNP party conference in Glasgow.

Dr Katherine Trebeck: Fair play to the SNP – their ideas could cut gap between have and have-nots

This Friday, political leaders from various corners of the world will meet in Glasgow for a conference hosted by the Scottish Government on ­inclusive growth.

Opinion 21
Martin Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Wheatley Group

Martin Armstrong: No more going round the houses – support from day one helps people off the streets

In Scotland last year, nearly 34,000 people in Scotland presented as homeless and nearly 11,000 families were living in temporary accommodation.

Opinion 1
Amanda Ward is CEO of Friends at the End

In the end, we all want a good death

Assisted dying is not the easiest topic to discuss, but with complex illnesses and an ageing population, now is the time to speak about the last taboo.

Opinion 17
Malcolm Mackay is chairman of United Employment Lawyers, a network of local law firms

Treat people fairly to stay ahead of gig economy

It’s illuminating speaking to a mini-cab driver. Of course there’s been plenty of controversy over the future of Uber in the big cities such as London. And there are definite worries about passenger security, the road worthiness of vehicles and implications for taxation. But when you actually speak to a mini-cab driver you find out a lot more about the so-called “gig economy”. On recent trips I was picked up by an Iraqi who has settled in the UK, a South Korean teacher who has come to the UK to improve his English, and a Nigerian fed up with earning less than a crust back in Africa.

Opinion 1
Newquay Tretherras Academy Outward Bound Winter Skills Course Loch Eil

Martin Davidson: Get the kids to go outside and they will learn more about themselves

The advantages to young people of outdoor adventure and education have become widely acknowledged in recent years, as evidence has mounted about the positive advantages high quality experiences can bring.

Opinion 2
Lynne Paterson, Director of Tearfund Scotland

Lynne Paterson: Throwing away so much food means the poorest around the world are going hungry

For the first time in more than a decade, the number of hungry people in the world is on the rise.

Opinion 9
Students at Sighthill Campus of Napier University

John Donnelly: Students love our capital city – and they bring lots of money with them

Earlier this year, ­Edinburgh rose 15 places in the QS World’s Best Student ­Cities Index, moving into the top 20 at 18.

Opinion 5
Girlguiding Scotland member Catherine Young

Catherine Young: Girls can do anything that boys can – but society still finds it hard to accept

Today is International Day of the Girl Child – a day to raise awareness of the rights of girls and importantly, to highlight the challenges girls face around the world.

In so many ways there has never been a better time to be a girl. Since the UN declared October 11 to be International Day of the Girl Child in 2011, more girls are getting the start they deserve in life with better access to basic rights like education and healthcare.

Opinion 13
People with mental health issues after war and conflict can be helped to recover by the RE:Tune project, where they can make their own guitars and submerge themselves in creativity

Kathryn Welch: Get your mind in tune by being creative – and take a break from cares

For some, it’s a brief respite from work and family commitments – for others it’s a lifeline that gets them through the day. However, and ­wherever, ­people get creative we know that it does more than just fill up the hours. An increasing body of scientific ­evidence points to the arts for physical well-being, from increased lung capacity through singing to improved joint flexibility through dance.

Miss Great Britain finalist and Mental Health nurse Louisa Thomson

Louisa Thomson: The beauty of Miss GB was that it gave me a platform to talk about mental health

On 15 September, I stood with almost 50 ­other ­women, including my twin sister Christina, to compete for the title of Miss Great Britain. I may not have won, but I am enormously proud that I achieved what I set out to do – to help raise awareness of mental health issues.

Opinion 1
Paul Marshall is a partner in Brodies LLPs Dispute Resolution practice.

Paul Marshall: CAA flying high after a busy week for troubled airlines

We often hear that a week is a long time in politics. Well, the UK’s airline regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), certainly had an eventful recent week. On 27 September the CAA launched enforcement action against Ryanair for “persistently misleading passengers with inaccurate information regarding their rights in respect of its cancellations”. The CAA is empowered to investigate and, if necessary, take court action in relation to breaches of consumer protection laws.

Chris Phillips is a Partner at Loch Employment Law, part of the Loch Associates Group.

Chris Phillips: Employers must be careful when considering a suspension

While the battle over Employment Tribunal fees in the Supreme Court has understandably captured headlines in recent weeks, another less prominent but nonetheless very practical challenge for employers has also been the subject of judicial scrutiny.

DUP leader Arlene Foster and MP Nigel Dodds arrive at 10 Downing Street in June to talk terms with the UK Government. Picture: Getty

Gordon Deane: Is UK Government’s £1bn for NI just a bribe to the DUP?

One of the big political stories of this summer was the agreement reached between the Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party on 26 June 2017. The two political parties entered into a so-called “confidence and supply” agreement which meant the DUP agreed to support the Government on all motions of confidence, including the Queen’s Speech and the Budget. Furthermore, the DUP agreed to support the UK Government on legislation relating to Brexit. Further support on other matters would be agreed on a case by case basis.

Opinion 4
Colin Valentine, National Chairman, Campaign for Real Ale

Colin Valentine: I’ll raise a glass to anyone who can explain why pubs have to pay more tax

In my last article, I wrote about the pressures facing Scottish publicans tied to large pub companies (pubcos). Unlike in ­England and Wales, many landlords in Scotland have no means to argue a dispute with a large pubco and are trapped into contracts that force them to buy beer at above market value prices.

Opinion 3
While other shops move out of town, bookmakers have remained loyal to the  high street while contributing hundreds of millions of pounds and thousands of jobs to the economy, says Phil Prentice. Picture: Ian Georgeson.

Phil Prentice: Sniffy middle-class forget that betting shops help keep town centres alive

One of the many misconceptions surrounding betting shops is that they draw money out of our towns and city ­centres.

Opinion 8

Dr Martin Goldberg: Golden chance to save Viking hoard of buried treasure for the nation

The Galloway Hoard is an archaeological find of national significance and international importance. It is the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in ­Britain or Ireland.

Opinion 5
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