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suicide prevention - Liam Yule, North East Suicide Prevention Lead for SAMH-min

1000s of workers in Aberdeenshire trained in suicide prevention during the pandemic

Leading employers in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have completed vital and potentially lifesaving suicide prevention training ahead of Suicide Prevention Day 2021

As part of efforts to support people in the North East of Scotland, SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) has completed over 200 suicide prevention training sessions over the pandemic to over 2,300 people. SAMH coordinates the North East Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NESPLG), which brings together suicide prevention expertise from across Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, and Moray, with a shared commitment to save lives.

The latest figures from the National Records of Scotland show that more than one person a week lost their life to suicide in Grampian in 2020.

The training has been delivered to people working in key employers and industries in the north, including Police Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen Council, NHS Grampian, HM Coastguard Grampian & Tayside, oil & gas, education, fishing, and farming.

Liam Yule North East Suicide Prevention Lead for SAMH 2 min
Liam Yule, North East Suicide Prevention Lead for SAMH

The introductory sessions aim to provide a grounding for people to feel more informed and confident about having a conversation with someone about suicide and connecting them with appropriate support.  

Liam Yule, North East Suicide Prevention Lead for SAMH, said: “We work with incredible partners across the North East of Scotland to provide people from different backgrounds and communities with the skills they need to help someone at risk of suicide.

“Thinking about suicide is very common – in fact, it’s estimated that one person in 20 is thinking about suicide at any one time – so training like this is really valuable for us all. It’s been great to get feedback from participants that many of them think it will be helpful not just in their professional lives, but also in their personal lives.

“As we collectively focus on recovery from the pandemic, we need to encourage people to talk about suicide, to feel able to ask for help, and to feel confident to give help when it’s needed; and Suicide Prevention Day is a great time to shine a light on this.”

The NESPLG works closely with Police Scotland to help officers respond in different scenarios and to provide follow up support to groups affected by suicide. This includes using data to identify at-risk demographics and quickly target them with tailored support and training.

Darren Bruce Police Scotland North East Division min
Darren Bruce, Police Scotland North East Division

Darren Bruce, who leads the Harm Reduction team in Police Scotland’s North East Division said: “The police have an important role to play in helping prevent suicide. We’ve built a really meaningful and valuable partnership with SAMH and the North East Suicide Prevention Group that allows us to support some of the most at-risk groups in. This could be within a school, an online community, or a geographical region. Working with SAMH means that together, we ensure the right people are getting the right support.

“We’re in the process of developing a bespoke training programme for officers which will complement the existing suicide prevention training, which has included providing them with the skills to have conversations with members of the public in distress, and to escalate for longer term support if required.”

Fourteen rescue teams from the HM Coastguard, including in Aberdeen and Grampian, have also completed the training having often being called upon to assist people with thoughts of suicide. The training has helped rescue officers to better support those who need it. 

April Doig, Senior Coastal Operations Officer at HM Coastguard Tayside & Grampian said: “The training has helped to open the conversation and dissolve the stigma around mental health.  It also helps our Coastguard rescue officers better help and support those in our communities, their own friends and families and each other. With so many people experiencing mental health problems, especially during such a difficult year, this training is invaluable.

“People are often concerned in these kinds of situations that they may accidentally say the wrong thing, but our SAMH trainer gave us the confidence and tools we need to help, which is really empowering.”

Along with emergency services and frontline workers, the training has been well received with employees of Aberdeenshire Council, helping managers and mental health first aiders upskill.

Mitch Robertson, Health Promotion Officer, Wellbeing Team at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “My role is to drive wellbeing within Aberdeenshire employees, I firmly believe to improve one’s wellbeing whether that’s physically or mentally, there needs to be information shared on topics like suicide and mental health conditions because we need to reduce stigma around these topics and encourage people to speak up, so I try and set up these sort of workshops to get people involved, raise awareness and ultimately help reduce stigma.


“The training is beneficial because again its raising awareness of a tricky topic, it will help reduce the stigma around suicide and it will compliment other training we do such as mental health for managers, stress management and reduction and mental health first aid.”

SAMH is encouraging those affected by suicide in any way to download the free Prevent Suicide app, which has been created to offer support for those living across the region. To download the app, visit

There are several events taking place in Aberdeen in the lead up to and on Suicide Prevention Day 2021, including a drop-in Conversation Café in Union Square on Suicide Prevention Day, where team members will be sharing suicide prevention materials and information. Marischal College will also be lit up yellow on the day.

For more information, visit

If you’re thinking of suicide and need help now, you can contact the Samaritans 24/7 free of charge on 116 123.

Reasons not to feed seagulls

8 Best Reasons not to feed seagulls

Feeding seagulls can result in over-population, 8 Reasons not to feed seagulls.

Feeding seagulls can result in over-population and the birds becoming a nuisance as they quickly learn where there are ready sources of food.

Gulls in urban areas will start nesting on roofs and this will damage the buildings.

More birds mean more mess and the bird poo can attract vermin and spread disease.

1. HEALTH. Reasons not to feed seagulls

Gulls are “the new public health risk” (the BBC, 2004). The rise in the urban gull population is
increasing the risks of e-coli, salmonella and botulism. And “..gulls could soon be more of a pest in urban
Britain than rats” – a warning given at the 2003 National Conference on problems caused by urban gulls.

2. NUMBERS. Reasons not to feed seagulls

Gulls can live for 40 years, can breed for 25 years and they and their offspring will return to the same nesting site.

3. NOISE. Reasons not to feed seagulls

Noise is by far the greatest nuisance factor. Gulls’ raucous calls typically begin at 4 o’clock in the morning and are impossible to sleep through. When regularly fed, they also become tamed and will start to repeatedly call for food during the day too.

4. MESS. Reasons not to feed seagulls

Mess it was recognised that gulls can expel significant quantities of runny faeces on the wing, which makes it difficult for residents to enjoy their gardens. Their washing, windows, cars and property are also continually being
fouled. Fouling on roofs can also increase the rate of moss growth, which can be unsightly and block
drainage outlets.

5. DAMAGE. Reasons not to feed seagulls

Damage to property is the third biggest problem. Gulls will destroy insulation, air conditioning, will pull up exposed roofing felt and will even pull away lead flashing. Other damage includes blockages to rain water gutters, down pipes and even gas flues.

6. PROPERTY PRICE. Reasons not to feed seagulls

Gulls nesting near or on your property could affect the value and/or the saleability of
your home and the cost to gull-proof your property can be significant.

7. ATTACKS. Reasons not to feed seagulls

The Guardian reported in 2013 that “pensioners have been hospitalised, knocked to the
ground, breaking bones. Small dogs have bled to death, children’s lips been sliced open, and an
elderly man died of a heart attack following a particularly vicious assault in his back garden.” There
have been many other reported attacks on adults, children, pets and livestock. Urban gulls also attack and
will feed on garden birds; so when gulls move in, the small garden birds are driven out.

8. HARM TO GULLS THEMSELVES. Reasons not to feed seagulls

Both the RSPB and RSPCA warn that feeding gulls will not only lead to
attacks but feeding the birds an un-natural, high calorific, low nutritional diet is detrimental to their health as it
can lead to long-term health problems and incurable syndromes such as “Angel Wing”.

Reasons not to feed seagulls

Follow Peterhead.Live on Facebook for get more actual information

FREE online course

FREE online course – Foyer Families

Foyer Families FREE online course runs for 16 weeks.

If you’re a parent or carer who’s looking to build confidence and learn new skills then our online course “Foyer Families” is just for you.

“Foyer Families” – FREE online course starts on Tuesday 24th August within Aberdeenshire and runs for 16 weeks.

It’s a great opportunity to gain important skills and ​accredited qualifications while cultivating a meaningful team experience– at a pace that works well for people with young children and busy lives!

FREE online course – Foyer Families is a 16-week fully funded programme created and delivered by Aberdeen Foyer which will help you to:

  • Achieve accredited learning and employability skills
  • Progress into further education and employment​
  • Support your child’s development​ through learning and play
  • Improve the health and wellbeing of yourself and your family

FREE online Course dates 
This course will run from the 24th of August 2021 to the 10th of December 2021
Every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
9.30am to 2.30pm

Aberdeen Foyer is working in partnership with North East Scotland College to deliver a City & Guilds Extended Level 1 Certificate in Employability skills. REHIS Food Hygiene and Pediatric First Aid certificates will also be available during the course. Child development workshops will also be delivered.

college and council logo

Additional support such as childcare provision and access to digital kit can also be provided during the course.

The course will be delivered online with access to course leaders and personalised support.

Is this course for me?

If you Are a parents/carer with children under 12 looking to do any of the following:​

  • ​Develop personal confidence ​​
  • Meet other parents ​and contribute to shared learning
  • Take part in a meaningful team experience ​​
  • Obtain accredited qualifications
  • Learn how to further support your child’s learning and play in everyday life ​
  • Consider if further education, training, or work is a possibility for you ​​

Then this FREE online course is for you.

As part of Foyer Families you’ll complete 5 City and Guilds units:

  • Building personal confidence
  • Contributing to healthy living
  • Effective skills and qualities for learning and work
  • Coping with change
  • Managing personal finance
  • A range of course related activities to boost productivity, team building and personal confidence
  • You will also gain a broader understanding of how learning and play contributes to child development.
  • Attend wellbeing sessions including: Mindfulness, Stretch and Tone and Tai Chi
  • Be invited to course-related talks from a range of external organisations and partners
FREE online course - Foyer Families
FREE online course

FREE online Course Content

Week 1/2: Getting to know you
A chance to get to know one another and set the foundation for an exciting journey with Foyer Families.

Week 3/4: Building personal confidence
Working together to understand personal confidence, while branching out into related activities to help build your own personal confidence.

Week 4/5: Contributing to own healthy living
Looking closely at what contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Guided cooking sessions and Food Hygiene will be used to support your learning along with a range of relevant activities.

Week 6/7: Effective skills and qualities
Working together to highlight and build upon existing skills to prepare you for the working and learning environment.

Week 8/9: Managing personal finance
Focusing on planning and preparation you will gain the skills to develop budget plans and financial inclusion sessions will help you to manage your finances.

Week 10/11/12: Coping with change
Encourages you to explore the different types of change, including the impact of change and strategies to help you to cope with change.

Week 13/14: Skills development
Helping you to build your CV for potential job opportunities and preparing you for mock interviews and build progression pathways.

Week 15/16: What’s next?
Reviewing 16-week programme with discussion about future steps and finally your graduation!

Katie Summers (Aberdeenshire)​ M: 07979 199 896​

We can even help with childcare and digital kit if needed.
If you think this might be for you, or a family member/friend – then please get in touch by emailing

School clothing grant

School clothing grant

Help with school clothing grant for uniforms increases.

Eligible families can apply for a grant of at least £120 to help with the cost of school uniforms.

The Scottish Government and local authority leaders have reached an agreement to increase the national school clothing grant to a minimum of £120 per eligible primary school pupil and £150 per eligible secondary school pupil.  This will be supported by £11.8 million of additional funding to local authorities.

The announcement marks another commitment for the first 100 days of this Government.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“School uniforms can place a significant financial burden on families, some of whom are already facing additional hardship as a result of the pandemic.

“This school clothing grant will help to relieve some of that pressure for around 145,000 families and it will help to ensure that all children can go to school feeling comfortable, confident and ready to learn.”

COSLA Children and Young People’s spokesperson Councillor Stephen McCabe said:

“Councils and schools are working to tackle the costs of the school day, ensuring that all children are able to fully participate in their education. Working with the Scottish Government, we are pleased that the national minimum school clothing grant has been increased and that families can get extra support as we continue on the road to recovery from the pandemic.”

Eligible families can apply for the school clothing grant through their local council.

School clothing grant

Help with school clothing costs –

local business

Local Business SYMPOSIUM coffee house

Fundraising from Local Business SYMPOSIUM coffee house for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland

SYMPOSIUM coffee house fundraising for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

Paul and Wendy want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who supported fundraiser for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

Local business

SYMPOSIUM coffee house loved seeing all the photos of your blue cups and can now reveal we managed to raise £3,000 for this amazing cause!

This money will go into supporting the incredible work that Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

Thank you from owners Paul and Wendy

Great well done and Thank you!

local store

Local Store Community Champion Sheena

Morrisons Community Champion Sheena from Peterhead local store

Sheena has done a huge amount of fundraising for Young Lives vs Cancer reaching over £88,000 for the charity!

This whopping figure is a huge amount for one store alone, helping Morrisons collectively get to a total of £15 million for the charity so far.

What a fantastic achievement!

Well Done Sheena!

Also, Sheena and Morrisons Peterhead Community support local organisations like – Salvation Army Peterhead Corps, Peterhead Foodbank Centre, Buchan Giving Tree and etc.

Amazing community in Peterhead & surrounding areas.

local store