Carradale Beach

Summer holidays, a warm welcome and a happy retirement

It’s holiday season and I hope that you’re managing to take a summer break. I know that holidays this year might be different but it’s still important to take time out to recharge the batteries.

What a week of weather we’ve had, it does make working inside more challenging when the sun is shining but hopefully you’ve made the most of it. 

A Fond FarewellJulie Conlan

I was really thrilled to be able to surprise Julie Conlan, Head Teacher at St Mun’s in Dunoon recently. After 37 years as a class teacher and four years as Head Teacher, Julie is retiring.

Following strict Covid guidance, I joined P6/7 pupils to mark the occasion with a special presentation to celebrate her achievements and wish her well. It was lovely to see the warmth and enthusiasm from both staff and pupils.

Julie is looking forward to spending more time with her family, her dog Bonnie and pursuing her favourite hobbies.

We hope you’ve recovered from the surprise Julie. Enjoy your well-earned retirement.

A special thanks to Wendy Brownlie, Susan Tyre and staff at St Muns, Dunoon Grammar and Kirn Primary for allowing me to visit safely.


Jen CrocketAnd a Warm Welcome

I’m delighted to announce that Jen Crocket is joining us as Head of Education-Lifelong Learning and Support. Jen has spent the past two years as Lead Officer with the West Partnership Regional Improvement Collaborative and was previously a Depute Head Teacher in East Dunbartonshire.

Welcome to the team Jen, we look forward to working with you.

Smart deviceWell done to the Web Team

The team has launched a new feature on Amazon’s Alexa platform. Known as the ‘skill’, it allows you to ask your smart device when your council bins will next be collected.

This latest development is part of our ongoing commitment to delivering new and useful digital services. We’ll be adding other council related information to the service later this year.

Find out how to get started with the new Alexa Skill. 


Pippa with volunteers from the Dunoon ProjectDunoon Project

I was lucky enough to catch up with the team of volunteers behind the Dunoon Project who are looking to acquire Corlarach Forest in Cowal to manage on behalf of the community. 

It was fascinating to hear about their ambitious plans which include installing a cable car system, a visitor heritage centre, zip line, mountain bike trails and other outdoor activities.

The attraction would be a welcome boost to the local economy creating employment opportunities and attracting more visitors to the area. We wish them all the best with the plans.

The Dunoon Project will be the subject of a future podcast. 

Holiday testing

If you are heading away, it’s a good idea to take a Covid test before you leave. With 1 in 3 people with coronavirus not showing any symptoms, getting tested is key to reducing infection levels. It’s easy to arrange, you can order free home test kits, pick up one from a pharmacy or drop into a testing centre. More details can be found on the website.

tree of lifePodcast

To tie in with World Wellbeing Week, this week I’m joined by Seona Laird, Kay Owen and Sharon Johnson from the Wellbeing Team as we talk about the importance of wellbeing in the workplace. I also catch up with a group of radiant ramblers as they returned from the Wellbeing Walk around Kilmory, one of the many activities arranged for staff during the week.

You can listen to the podcast on the website. 




Diagram showing different support offered including mental and emotional, financial and physical wellbeingEmployee Counselling Service

Balancing everyday life with the requirements of work and home can create pressures for us all.  In addition, the ever changing demands being placed upon us by the coronavirus pandemic has created additional pressures and can have a negative impact on our wellbeing.

The Employee Counselling Service is provided by Health Assured who offer independent confidential support and information. 

This service is available to all employees, your spouses or partners and dependents aged 16-24 if they are in full time education.

You can access the service directly or by calling 0800 030 5182 or by downloading the app via Apple Store or Play Store for Android devices.  Contact the Wellbeing Team to get a username and password:

It takes two minutes to download the app on to your smart device and it’s there for when you need it.

Have a lovely weekend – here’s hoping the good weather continues.