Bail­lie back­ing Sawar to lead af­ter Vale work

Lennox Herald - - NEWS - Lor­raine Weir

Dum­bar­ton MSP Jackie Bail­lie is back­ing Anas Sar­war to be Labour’s next leader as she said he knows ex­actly how im­por­tant theVale of Leven Hospi­tal is to lo­cal peo­ple.

The lo­cal politi­cian spoke to the Lennox Her­ald yes­ter­day (Tues­day) to give her sup­port to the for­mer Glas­gow Cen­tral MP.

This fol­lows Kezia Dugdale’s res­ig­na­tion last week say­ing the party needed a new leader with “fresh en­ergy and a new mandate”.

Sar­war is cur­rently act­ing leader while a per­ma­nent re­place­ment is found.

Jackie said:“I was very keen to en­cour­age Anas to stand. I am pleased he has thrown his hat into the ring.

“Anas has got great ex­pe­ri­ence from West­min­ster but when he has been in the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment and in charge of the health brief he has been su­perb and has re­ally done a great job.

“As peo­ple know my first pri­or­ity at the mo­ment is mak­ing sure theVale of Leven Hospi­tal has a bright fu­ture.

“He un­der­stands the is­sues we’ve got at the Vale of Leven Hospi­tal. I am very keen that the re­la­tion­ship con­tin­ues.” Friends and fam­ily of a tragic Bon­hill teenager who died sud­denly have raised more than £5000 for char­ity in her mem­ory.

Those clos­est to Sa­man­tha Du­nion, who died in July fol­low­ing a mas­sive epilep­tic seizure, col­lected a stag­ger­ing £5479.69 for Epilepsy Scot­land in a touch­ing trib­ute to the 19-year-old, who her fam­ily say had a“zest for life.”

A group effort be­tween her mum Janette, 50, and best friend Emma McSorely, 20, saw two events tak­ing place in Sa­man­tha’s hon­our, while busi­nesses across West Dun­bar­ton­shire also helped raise do­na­tions.

Janette took on a chal­lenge her daugh­ter dreamed of do­ing and zip-lined over the River Clyde on Au­gust 27, and even donned a su­per­hero cos­tume to earn her­self some ex­tra do­na­tions for the char­ity which was so im­por­tant to her daugh­ter.

Sa­man­tha’s best friend of 16 years, Emma, along­side a group of close friends of the vi­brant teenager laced up their walk­ing boots on the same day to climb Ben Lomond.

They re­leased pur­ple bal­loons at the top of the Munro in a trib­ute to Sa­man­tha, which Emma said was a great way to re­mem­ber her friend.

Dum­bar­ton busi­nesses The Clip­per and Cheers — where Sa­man­tha was well known — as well as col­leagues at her work in San­tander also col­lected money in char­ity buck­ets.

Janette, who faced her fear of heights to take part in the zi­pline, told the Lennox Her­ald:“My brother sent me the cos­tume and told me that if I wore it to do the zip-line he would add more money to his do­na­tion and it just grew from there.

“Once I was fin­ished some­one said they would give me more money if I wore it to Asda, so I did.

“It was just a bril­liant ex­pe­ri­ence and I loved ev­ery minute of it and we had so many peo­ple with us for sup­port on the day.”

Janette and Sa­man­tha’s dad Hugh, 53, also said the fam­ily were com­pletely over­whelmed at the sup­port they have re­ceived from Sa­man­tha’s fam­ily and friends to raise the money.

And there is set to be more fundrais­ing ef­forts for Sa­man­tha next month, as her for­mer col­leagues at Hal­fords will be host­ing a Psy­chic Night on October 1 to raise money for Epile­spy Scot­land.

Janette added:“It is just amaz­ing and a real tes­ta­ment to Sa­man­tha that so many peo­ple got in­volved and ral­lied round to raise as much as we did.

“We are com­pletely over­whelmed at the amount of money we man­aged to raise and ev­ery time I thought that was it, more and more do­na­tions just kept com­ing in.

“It’s clear she touched the lives of so many peo­ple and we can’t thank them all enough for their help and sup­port.”

Vi­tal Bail­lie and Sar­war on a visit to the Vale Hospi­tal

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