Stories of ‘love, loss and hope’ amid the pandemic

Faces & Voices of Recovery UK has created a booklet revolving around those affected by substance misuse.

Favor UK: The charity has created a booklet filled with stories of 'love, loss and hope'. Getty Images
Favor UK: The charity has created a booklet filled with stories of 'love, loss and hope'.

A charity that supports individuals in recovery from substance misuse has collated stories of love, loss and hope amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Faces & Voices of Recovery UK (Favor) – which aims to promote the right to recovery through advocacy and education – hopes the work will help to create change in order to save lives.

As well as tales of hard-fought recoveries and an inspirational poem with hope for the future, one story in the booklet highlights the difficulties one family had trying to organise a funeral amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘It’s tragic – I only ever wished for once he could be happy.’

‘Fred’ on late brother John

 ‘Fred’ said they wanted to participate “because most addicts do not have a voice, and they surely need a voice”.


Speaking about their late brother John, they said: “It’s tragic – I only ever wished for once he could be happy.

“He had a terrible life, his whole existence was so sad. 

“After he died and organising his funeral, the celebrant asked his children if they had any memories or thoughts that they would like to share. It was so sad; they couldn’t think of anything.”

Trying to organise John’s funeral during the pandemic was “very difficult”.


Fred added: “How do you say goodbye? Nearly everything we did was over the phone. 

“I feel like I’m in a bubble because of the pandemic, things just feel unreal.

“It’s hard to feel my emotions. I so wanted the best for my brother. Now all I can say to his children is that their daddy is in peace, there’ll be no more chapping on the door.”

‘Donna’, who was repeatedly abused as a child, said she would still be abusing drugs and would most likely be working on the streets had it not been for rehab.

She said: “My recovery has been totally different during Covid-19 as I have been able to access more meetings through Zoom and connect with a lot of inspirational women which I had never done before.

“I feel like I have the foundation to keep going in my recovery and I am stronger in my faith in the 12-step program.”

Annemarie Ferguson, program manager at Favor UK, carried out the work in response to Government spending cuts, community perceptions and stereotypes that have led to stigma and discrimination towards recovering addicts and their families.


Scotland has the highest reported drug-deaths rate in the EU. The most recent statistics available indicate 1187 people died of substance misuse in Scotland in 2018, nearly triple the UK rate and the highest on record.

At Favor UK’s annual conference on Friday, the charity highlighted that a YouGov poll found that 39% of respondents in recovery from addiction had suffered a relapse or re-occurrence of their addictive behaviour since lockdown.

Speaking to STV News, Ms Ferguson said: “We are calling it a relapse avalanche.

“There has been an increase in suicide and again an increase in drug-related deaths.

“As services have been so massively impacted by the pandemic, people feel cut loose. It’s like they are afloat, and we are hearing on a regular basis that another one of our community has relapsed or another one has died.”

Many of those who participated in Favor UK’s booklet of stories and poems did not feel it was safe to break their anonymity. They believed it would have “personal and professional repercussions”, with some fearing their children would be discriminated against.

‘Each of these personal stories has filled me with admiration, sadness, inspiration, hopelessness and righteous anger.’

Annemarie Ferguson, project manager at Favor UK

Writing in the booklet, Ms Ferguson said: “The development of this project – whilst always a professional endeavour – very quickly became personal.

“Until now my story and experience with substance addiction had been kept in the realms of no one’s business but mine.

“That changed after meeting these storytellers and hearing their stories first hand. 

“Each of these personal stories has filled me with admiration, sadness, inspiration, hopelessness and righteous anger.

“The loss of so many lives, the discrimination, the stigma, the disregard of utter human misery offends the very core of my being and has roused the sleeping tiger in me.

“To that end I made the decision to join these courageous folks and stand alongside them willing to let my face, my voice and my story be seen and heard.

“My name is Annemarie and I am a person in long-term recovery.”

Poem by J

You threw the dice, brought me into your game

Stole my innocence, left me with shame

Took my childhood

You filled it with pain

Left me feeling I was to blame

I feel your touch

I feel your haste

I have your smell

I have your taste

I’m your damaged goods

Your left-over waste

So, I tapped on the wire

I smiled through my frown

I sunk the spike and filled my veins with brown

It lifts me up as it lays me down

Your pain and your abuse have just left town

I’m dying in my future

Living in my past

Going down this road

My recovery won’t last

I won’t be the black sheep of the family or bottom of the class

I refuse to be just another social outcast

For 40 years I’ve lived with this s***

Now I ain’t taking any more of it

I’m gonna take more punches

But I won’t take another hit

I’m taking back my life bit by bit

I am no longer the child filled with fear

I’m no longer the adult who has to take gear

I’ve kicked out the whisky, pills, powder and beer

So, watch this f******

Space cos this is J’s year

Favor UK

By Jenness Mitchell & Sharon Frew

Grandad died at home waiting 40 hours for ambulance to arrive

Gerard Brown's GP said he would still be alive if paramedics had got there sooner.

Family via Supplied

A grandfather died in his home after waiting 40 hours for an ambulance despite his GP telling 999 workers his life was at risk.

Gerard Brown, 65, fell at his home in Glasgow on September 6, but paramedics did not reach him until two days later, on Wednesday, September 8, by which point he had passed away.

The dad-of-three weighed only six stone and had survived cancer and suffered from a number of health issues.

He died at his home and his family say his body was still warm when paramedics got there shortly after 3am.

Family via Supplied
Gerard Brown passed away after waiting 40 hours for an ambulance.

The former engineer had fallen and was unable to get up to unlock his door in Dumbreck, and was dangerously dehydrated and requiring oxygen treatment.

A concierge gained access to the property and called for an ambulance at 11am telling Mr Brown’s family they faced a ten-hour wait.

The crisis was branded “third world” by Mr Brown’s GP, Dr Patrick O’Neill, who had intervened to urge for it to be prioritised.

“If they had got there my dad would still be here. How are you meant to deal with that?”

Dylan Brown

The case has been referred to the Procurator Fiscal and the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman with the Scottish Ambulance Service promising to “learn” from the tragedy.


Heartbroken son Dylan said: “They pronounced that he was only just dead because he still had warmth in his body.

“In this day and age, it should not be happening.

Family via Supplied
Gerard Brown with family.

“I know with Covid people are busy and the NHS is struggling, but that’s unacceptable and we just don’t want it happening to another family.

“The worst thing about it is that Dr O’Neill said to me ‘Dylan, I can assure you that if they’d got to him your dad would still be here’.

“That’s the hardest part to accept.

“I said ‘this man is going to be found dead’ – and I used that language, because I knew the situation he was in.”

Dr Patrick O’Neill

“That’s what led to us saying we need to do something about it because this cannot happen to any other families.

Dr O’Neill said he was first made aware of Mr Brown’s condition by his ex-wife on Monday morning, after she telephoned the practice to let them know that the family were waiting for an ambulance.


He said: “Then at 9am on Tuesday we get a phonecall from his ex-wife to say ‘listen, he’s still in the house’.

“I was like ‘you are kidding me?’.

Family via Supplied

“I got on the phone to the ambulance service at 9.15am and I said ‘this man is going to be found dead’ – and I used that language, because I knew the situation he was in.

“It’s happening across the board and it’s not their fault – it’s shortages – but you assume when you put in a 999 call that these people are going to be picked up.”

Dylan said he had great memories of holidays with his dad, brothers and mum.

“My dad was a family man and he worked all his days. He grafted… and that really all came to can end in 2007,” he told STV news.

“He had cancer of the throat. He underwent a real heavy operation. At the time it was horrendous, when he came through it was a great feeling.

“If they had got there my dad would still be here. How are you meant to deal with that?”

In a statement, the Crown Office confirmed that the Procurator Fiscal has received a report “in connection with the death of a 65-year-old man on September 8, 2021 in Glasgow”.

It added: “The investigation into the death, under the direction of Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit is ongoing and the family will continue to be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We have started an investigation into the circumstances relating to the delay in reaching Mr Brown and will be in contact with Mr Brown’s family directly to apologise for the delay in response and pass on our sincere condolences.

“We are really sorry for their loss and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

“All findings and lessons learned will be shared with Mr Brown’s family as part of the investigation process.”

Scottish Government requests military support over ambulance pressure

Nicola Sturgeon apologised to those who had endured long waiting times for treatment.

PA Media via PA Ready
Ambulance service: The Scottish Government has officially requested support from the military.

The Scottish Government has officially requested support from the military to deal with pressure in the ambulance service that has extended waiting times, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.

On Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs during First Minister’s Questions the possibility of asking for aid was “under active consideration”, but the request came just a few hours later.

The MoD has said the request relates to support of the mobile testing units currently deployed by the Scottish Ambulance Service, which would free up resources within the service.

Sturgeon apologised to people who had endure long waits for ambulances, including the family of 65-year-old Gerard Brown, the Glasgow man who died while waiting 40 hours for treatment.


A spokeswoman for the MoD said: “The Ministry of Defence has received a request from Scottish Government under the Military Aid to Civilian Authority process.

“We are working hard to identify where we can most effectively assist other government departments and civil authorities.”

Speaking in Holyrood on Thursday, the First Minister said: “I apologise unreservedly to anyone that has suffered or is suffering unacceptably long waits.

“A range of actions have already been taken to address these challenges, for example additional funding to support new recruitment.


“A number of additional actions are currently under active consideration and I’m happy to summarise these in further exchanges, but I can confirm now that this includes consideration of seeking targeted military assistance to help deal with short-term pressure points.

“Such military assistance is already being provided to ambulance services in England and of course we have had military assistance for other aspects of the pandemic over the past 18 months.”

Health secretary Humza Yousaf, who said on Wednesday that people should “think twice” before calling for an ambulance, will make a statement to parliament next week, setting out measures being taken by the Scottish Government to ease the crisis.

The Tory leader Douglas Ross criticised Yousaf’s comments, calling them “dangerous and reckless”, and urged the First Minister to apologise on Yousaf’s behalf – which she did not.

Instead, the First Minister said people should “never hesitate in calling an ambulance if that is the intervention they think is required”.

Ross said: “This shouldn’t be happening in Scotland in 2021.”

He added: “Last week, the First Minister wouldn’t accept the ambulance service is in crisis, surely the last seven days will have changed her mind?”


Sturgeon refused to say there was a crisis, instead saying: “I don’t challenge the extent of the pressure that’s on our ambulance service and indeed on all parts of our national health service.

“It is incumbent on me as First Minister, with all of my colleagues across government, as it faces up to these challenges.”

Pressure because of coronavirus, the First Minister said, was driving the problems being seen in the sector.

She added: “These are challenges mirrored in health services across the UK and indeed many parts of the world because of the realities of Covid.

“The fact that anyone in our country waits an unacceptable period of time for an ambulance when they need urgent care is not acceptable to me and it’s not acceptable to anyone, and that is why we will work closely and intensively with the ambulance service to support it to meet those challenges, which I would expect to continue for a period as the Covid pressure continues and as we go into the winter months.”

The First Minister continued: “I do not, in any way, underestimate the extent of the challenge facing the ambulance service and by extension people across Scotland.

“This is the latest in a number of significant challenges posed to us as a result of this pandemic, our responsibility is to take the action to support the service to meet that challenge and that’s what I’m focused on, what the health secretary is focused on and what the entire government is focused on.”

Speaking specifically about the case of Mr Brown, a spokeswoman from the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We have started an investigation into the circumstances relating to the delay in reaching Mr Brown and will be in contact with Mr Brown’s family directly to apologise for the delay in response and pass on our sincere condolences.

“We are really sorry for their loss and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

“All findings and lessons learned will be shared with Mr Brown’s family as part of the investigation process.”

Mr Brown’s death has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal, who said an investigation was “ongoing”.

Lyon strike twice to beat Rangers in Europa League opener

The French side were 2-0 winners in the clash at Ibrox.

Craig Foy via SNS Group
Lyon scored twice to take all three points from their opening game.

Steven Gerrard’s 50th European tie as Rangers boss ended in a 2-0 Europa League defeat by Lyon at Ibrox.

Cameroon international Karl Toko Ekambi fired in a terrific opener for the French side after 22 minutes of the Group A opener in Govan.

The Scottish champions had come close on a few occasions in the first half but in the 55th minute Gers skipper James Tavernier put through his own goal trying to stop a close-range shot from Islam Slimani and, despite a huge effort from the home side, it was too big a lead to claw back.

Gerrard, who had suffered only eight defeats in Europe previously with Rangers, had warned of Lyon’s quality before the game, describing them as arguably the best side he had encountered in his tenure as Gers boss, and in the final analysis the visitors had just that bit too much on the night.


However, Rangers can be pleased to an extent with their performance and there is still plenty of time to get back on track.

Gerrard was boosted by the return of Connor Goldson to the defence after Covid isolation to replace Filip Helander who will be out for months after sustaining a knee injury against St Johnstone at the weekend.

Goalkeeper Allan McGregor, left-back Borna Barisic and midfielder John Lundstram also returned.

Lyon boss Peter Bosz, who guided Bayer Leverkusen to victory over Rangers in the last 16 of the Europa League in 2020, was without former Celtic striker Moussa Dembele through injury, with Algeria forward Slimani taking over the role.


In a tepid start to the game Goldson was booked by referee Swedish referee Andreas Ekberg in the 13th minute for a high tackle on Toko Ekambi which required both players to receive treatment.

The Lyon attacker soon damaged the Ibrox side after Ryan Kent was caught in possession in the centre-circle.

The ball was quickly fed out to Toko Ekambi who cut inside Lundstram and curled a right-footed shot from 25 yards past McGregor and into the far corner of the net, silencing the home supporters.

Just before the half-hour mark, as Rangers rallied and pressed for the leveller,

Joe Aribo’s angled-drive from 18 yards was parried away by goalkeeper Anthony Lopes and then Lundstram came close with a drive which just escaped the far post.

At the other end, Lyon defender Malo Gusto fired wide of the far post after captain Houssem Aouar and Lucas Paqueta sliced through the Gers defence.

Back came the Govan side again and a Kent drive from 14 yards on the turn was brilliantly beaten away by Lopes.


Lyon’s second goal came after Kent lost possession again, this time at the edge of the box.

Aouar’s shot was parried by McGregor, with Paqueta’s shot blocked to Slimani whose close-range shot struck Goldson before it hit Tavernier and limped over the line.

Scruffy as the goal was, it was a long way back for the home side.

In the 63rd minute Tavernier’s free-kick from 25 yards struck the outside of the Lyon post and sped behind.

There was no doubting Rangers’ work rate – defender Leon Balogun headed a Tavernier free-kick over the bar in one of several attacks – but Lyon held firm.

Low-income families to receive £320 payout in coming months

Two cash payouts of £160 per child will be sent to families in receipt of free school meals in October and December.

mcKensa via IStock
Low-earning families will receive bridging payments.

Low-earning families in Scotland are set for a payout of £320 in the coming months, under Scottish Government plans.

Speaking ahead of a debate on Thursday, social justice secretary Shona Robison estimated the money would reach the families of 148,000 children.

The bridging payments, as they have been described, will see two cash payouts of £160 per child sent to families in receipt of free school meals in October and December.

The Scottish Government has already supplied two similar £100 payments this year, while the new scheme – administered by Social Security Scotland – is being rolled out.


The initiative was devised in lieu of the extension of the Scottish Child Payment, which will be available to all eligible families with a child under 16 from next year and, as pledged by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, will be doubled to £20 “as early within the life of this parliament as possible”.

Robison said: “We are determined to build a better future for Scotland’s children and we know how important these payments will be to families in need this winter – particularly with rising fuel bills and Christmas just around the corner.

“Together the Scottish Child Payment and bridging payments will put an estimated £130 million in the pockets of low-income families this year, providing support as we recover from the pandemic.

“Scottish Child Payment is already the most ambitious anti-poverty measure currently being undertaken anywhere in the UK and we have committed to doubling it to £20-a-week per child as soon as possible in this parliamentary term.”


Four more bridging payments are planned for next year, to coincide with the start of school holidays.

While Gail Macgregor, the resources spokeswoman for local authority body Cosla, said: “Councils are pleased to be able to ensure that eligible low income families have access to an additional £520 this year and next through these bridging payments.

“It is important families who have been hardest hit by the pandemic have these vital additional funds as we move forward with the challenging recovery process.

“This demonstrates how local government can reach in and support families in our communities.”

Street locked down after tanker hits car and crashes into building

Emergency services were called to Beauly’s High Street shortly before 1pm on Thursday.

STV News

A Highland street has been locked down after a tanker struck a car and crashed into a building.

Emergency services were called to Beauly’s High Street shortly before 1pm on Thursday.

STV News
Emergency: The tanker crashed on Thursday afternoon.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) mobilised three appliances and specialist resources to the scene.

One casualty freed themselves from the vehicle, while another was removed and handed into the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service.


A SFRS spokesperson said: “Crews are currently still at the scene.”

STV News
Taped off: Police have closed the street.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 12.45pm on Thursday, September 16, we received a report of a crash on High Street in Beauly involving a lorry which has struck a car and a building.

“Emergency services are in attendance and the road has been closed.”

Scottish Album of the Year: Longlist of 20 artists announced

Debut albums from the likes of The Snuts, Joesef and Lizzie Reid feature alongside acts such as Biffy Clyro, Mogwai and Arab Strap.

Zak Hussein / Stringer via Getty Images
Biffy Clyro are among the nominees for Scottish Album of the Year.

Twenty albums released during the pandemic have been longlisted for the Scottish Album of the Year award.

Debut albums from the likes of The Snuts, Joesef, and Lizzie Reid feature alongside acts such as Biffy Clyro, Mogwai and Arab Strap.

The winner of the national prize, now in its 10th year, will take home a £20,000 reward.

Finalists were chosen by 100 music industry figures, who drew up the 20 finalists from 327 eligible albums, and the winner of the ward will be announced in a ceremony at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Saturday October 23.


The Snuts, who cancelled their recent TRNSMT gig after a band member contracted Covid-19, are the first Scottish band in 14 years to get to number one with their debut album, W.L.

The band, from West Lothian, said: “We are delighted for our debut album W.L. to be in the running for Scottish Album of the Year award. It’s an album that’ll always be close to our hearts and the hearts of our fans.”

Joesef, from Glasgow, whose sound has been compared to the late Amy Winehouse, said: “I’m proud to say I love these tunes and to be acknowledged in this way means a lot to me.

“I thought my managers were joking at first but aye cheers.”


Robert Kilpatrick, of the Scottish Music Industry Association, said: “With a massive congratulations to 2021’s longlist also comes a thank you – to the artists and their teams for providing escape, connection and outstanding bodies of work at a time when we’ve never needed them more.”

The longlist for the Scottish Album of the Year:

AiiTee – Love Don’t Fall

Andrew Wasylyk – Fugitive Light And Themes Of Consolation

Arab Strap – As Days Get Dark

Bemz – Saint of Lost Causes

Biffy Clyro – A Celebration of Endings


Carla J.Easton – WEIRDO

Erland Cooper – Landform (Ft Marta Salogni)

Fergus McCreadie – Cairn

Jenny Sturgeon – The Living Mountain

Joesef – Does It Make You Feel Good?

Kubler Ross – Kubler Ross

Lizzie Reid – Cubicle

Matt Carmichael – Where Will the River Flow

Mogwai – As The Love Continues

Paul Towndrow – Deepening The River

Rachel Newton – To The Awe

Stanley Odd – STAY ODD

TAAHLIAH – Angelica

The Ninth Wave – Happy Days!

The Snuts – W.L.

Music fans can watch the livestream from 7.30pm on SAY’s YouTube channel here

Crowdfunder raises £2m towards Highlands rewilding centre

Charity offers opportunity to invest in Dundreggan Rewilding Centre - with most investors coming from outside Scotland.

Trees for Life via PA Media
Trees for Life volunteers in Glen Affric.

More than £2m has been raised in under 48 hours towards funding a rewilding centre on a 10,000-acre estate near Loch Ness – with most investors coming from outside Scotland.

Dundreggan Rewilding Centre – thought to be a world-first – will act as a gateway to the forest and wild outdoors with accessible trails and is expected to open to the public in 2023.

In order to part-fund the development, Trees for Life, a charity in the Highlands, and Triodos Bank UK offered the public the opportunity to invest through a bond.

The bond was launched on Monday and by Wednesday had raised its £2 million target, with the current total standing at £2,000,889.


The overwhelming majority of the investors came from outside Scotland, with just 8% based in the country.

A total of 415 people invested in the bond, with an average age of 53.

Trees for Life said its aim is to restore the “native Caledonian Forest that once covered much of Scotland”.

“Today, only sparse patches of the original forest remain and much of its wildlife – including capercaillie, red squirrel, golden eagle and crested tit – have also suffered significant declines,” it said.


The rewilding centre at the Dundreggan estate in Glenmoriston – between Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye – will “showcase the recovery of nature and allow visitors to explore wild landscapes, discover Gaelic culture and learn about the region’s unique wildlife all year round”, it said.

They plan to increase woodland cover at Dundreggan from 26% to 41% over the next 10 years.

The nine-year bond used to fund the project will pay investors 6% gross interest per year, with a minimum investment of £50.

Steve Micklewright, chief executive of Trees for Life, said: “We have always benefitted from the support of volunteers, donors and many others across our community, but we were taken aback by the enthusiasm of investors in our crowdfunding offer.

“We are delighted that we can move forward with our plans to connect thousands of people to nature.

“Dundreggan will showcase how large-scale nature recovery can give people amazing experiences, create jobs and benefit local communities.”

Bevis Watts, CEO of Triodos Bank UK, said: “This was the first time that Triodos has offered investors the opportunity to invest directly in a rewilding charity and we were blown away by the response.


“We know that rewilding is a vital conservation tool which can be used to combat climate change and tackle biodiversity loss.

“The phenomenal response to the Trees for Life bond illustrates how strongly rewilding projects resonate with the public, and how many are willing to back such initiatives financially.”

Child’s life-changing surgery after swallowing magnets in viral trend

Jack Mason, 9, had his appendix, small bowel and part of his large bowel removed after swallowing magnets.

Carolann McGeoch via Supplied
Jack Mason had to undergo serious surgery after swallowing a number of magnets.

A schoolboy has had life-changing surgery after swallowing magnets in a viral trend that could have killed him.

Jack Mason was taken to hospital on Tuesday last week with abdominal pain and vomiting they struggled to control.

The nine-year-old was blue-lighted to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow the next day where scans showed something was blocking his bowel.

Jack’s mum Carolann McGeoch said he admitted to swallowing around six of the magnets after “a bit of probing”.

British Association of Paediatric Surgeons via BAPS
An X-ray of a patient who swallowed 18 magnets.

It was not until after surgeons came to speak to her she realised the severity of the situation.

She said: “It was explained to me that the damage these magnets can cause could be so extreme that he might not pull through.

“Through floods of tears I then had to sign my permission to the operation and to acknowledging that ‘anything could happen’.”

“There are videos across social media encouraging kids to do tricks with these but what the videos fail to mention is that ultimately those tiny wee magnets could kill.”

Carolann McGeoch, Jack’s mum

After four hours of surgery, Jack had lost his appendix, small bowel and 30cm of his large bowel, “all for the sake of some silly magnets”, Carolann said.


“Jack is lucky to be alive, but if his experience can prevent other kids from enduring the same then I will do everything I can to get the word out there,” she said.

Carolann wrote to Jack’s school, Borestone Primary in Stirling, to ask them to arrange an assembly and inform kids about the dangers of the toy magnets.

Carolann McGeoch via Supplied
The toy magnets that Jack had been playing with.

The trend, known as the “#PiercingChallenge”, originated on video-sharing platform TikTok and involves teenagers using tiny magnets as fake tongue piercings.

The clips have been viewed more than 353 million times.

Jack does not have TikTok but, Carolann said, the videos are being shared all over social media and are easily accessible.

Following several cases of children in Scotland and the rest of the UK swallowing the toys, the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons and Child Accident Prevention Trust launched awareness campaigns.

Gregor Walker, a consultant paediatric surgeon who was involved in Jack’s care, said: “We are very pleased with Jack’s progress since surgery and I am grateful to all members of the team at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow for their continued hard work.

Jack Mason is recovering from serious surgery after swallowing a number of magnets.

“I am also grateful for Jack’s mother in highlighting this on social media. Increasing awareness is extremely important and this is another example of the hazards of swallowing magnets, which seems to have been happening more frequently over the last two years.

“In our hospital 20% of the children who swallow magnets have required a procedure, with 10% requiring major surgery.

“The important message is that if you think your child has swallowed magnets, please attend your local hospital for review.”

Jack’s surgery left him unable to walk unaided but on Thursday his condition improved and his mum was delighted to announce he had managed to go to the toilet meaning what is left of his bowel is working.

Borestone Primary School’s Parent Teacher Association wrote to parents and carers to share Jack’s story.

“We were really concerned when we heard one of our very own P5 pupils has been gravely ill in hospital and had to undergo serious and life changing surgery – all due to a TikTok challenge involving magnets,” the notice read.

“We all wish Jack a speedy recovery and hope he will be back in school very soon.”

Carolann said the last week had been a “heartbreaking” experience that could have been far worse.

“There are videos across social media encouraging kids to do tricks with these but what the videos fail to mention is that ultimately those tiny wee magnets could kill,” she said.

“Jack’s life has changed forever, let’s stop others from having to go through the same.”

TikTok has been contacted for comment.

Care home’s registration temporarily suspended amid concerns

The Care Inspectorate launched legal action following an unannounced inspection.

PA Media via PA Ready
Concerns: A court has temporarily suspended a care home’s registration.

A court has temporarily suspended a care home’s registration after a watchdog raised “serious concerns” about the quality of care.

The interim suspension of the care provider’s registration at Singleton Park Care Home near Lockerbie in Dumfries and Galloway will take effect from September 30.

The Care Inspectorate launched legal action after it found that the home had failed to make any improvements following a critical inspection in July.

Inspectors held an unannounced inspection visit at the home in Courance on July 20 and 21 and identified significant concerns.


They issued an improvement notice requiring “safe and effective management, leadership and oversight of the care home” as well as “improved working practices and care of people in the home”.

However, further inspection and monitoring found the care home provider had failed to meet any of the required improvements in the notice and further serious concerns were also identified.

Following a hearing at Dumfries Sheriff Court, a Care Inspectorate spokesman said on Thursday: “The sheriff court has ordered an interim suspension of the care provider’s registration at Singleton Park Care Home, Lockerbie, to take effect from September 30, 2021.

“The Care Inspectorate is working closely with partners at Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership to ensure residents of the home experience a safe transition to new care arrangements.


“We have taken this legal action to ensure people experienced an improvement in their care following serious concerns raised during an inspection. The suspension of the provider’s registration will allow for transition to alternative care arrangements.

“A further hearing is expected in due course.”

A Singleton Park Care Home spokeswoman said they did not want to comment.

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