Car Free Zones introduced around six Glasgow primaries

The council announced in February that Car free zones would be trialled at six Glasgow primary schools in a bid to improve road safety for children.

The trials will now begin on Wednesday 14 August – the start of the new school term and following extensive consultation with the school, local communities and stakeholders – and will run for approximately 18 months.

The scheme will see temporary pedestrian areas created around Bankhead, Broomhill, Hillhead, Lourdes, Our Lady of the Rosary and St Blane’s primary schools for limited periods in the morning and afternoon to help ensure pupils can arrive and leave school safely.

The push for the pilot programme follows a series of concerns such as poor and risky driving outside schools, obstructive parking that forces pupils on to the road as well as the issues created by congestion and harmful emissions.

The schools chosen for the pilot have a history of complaints and concerns from parent councils, community council and elected members about pupil safety on the school run.  But there is evidence that the schools earmarked for involvement in the scheme experience high levels of car use for the school journey and also have to deal with acute congestion at the school gates.

The eligibility for involvement in the scheme also considered the school’s location on the road network – the school entrance shouldn’t open on to a bus route for instance. But also that there should be reasonable scope for the surrounding area to cope with displaced traffic.

Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convenor for Education, Skills and Early Years, said calls from the affected communities for a safer environment outside schools have driven forward the plans for school car free zones.

Councillor Cunningham said: “There is a public demand from parents and residents to make sure children are as safe as possible when heading to and from school.  A number of initiatives have already tried to clamp down on poor driver behaviour, but problems that put children at risk still persist.

“In the circumstances we have to go one step further to protect our children.  Car free zones outside schools can create safe spaces for young people at key points of the school day.  The zones are being introduced on a trial basis and we will be looking very carefully at the evidence to see how effective they prove to be.”

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convenor for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, backs the pilot programme and hopes it will encourage more pupils to take an active travel option to get to school.

Councillor Richardson said: “We must ensure our young people are as active as possible as a way to tackle the ever increasing problem of childhood obesity. Creating a safer, more pleasant environment for children to walk and cycle to school can absolutely play a part in promoting a healthier lifestyle for young people.

“Unfortunately, Glasgow currently has the highest rate of pupils being driven to school compared to the other cities in Scotland.  This amount of traffic heading to the school clearly impacts on the wider environment and creates road safety risks at the school gate. School car free zones will keep streets around schools clear of cars at the busiest times of the school day. We hope school car free zones will give parents greater confidence that their children can walk or cycle to school safely every day.”

Indicators for the success of the project will include a reduction in congestion and speed of traffic around school gates and increase in the number of children walking and cycling to school alongside a reduction in the number of car trips to school.

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Council Worker Saves Life After Suicide Prevention Training

Frontline workers across Glasgow are being trained to look out for people who may have thoughts of suicide amongst friends, family, colleagues and the public.

An army of 40 suicideTALK session leaders are visiting offices, banks and depots to encourage employees to talk about suicide and recognise the signs that someone could be at risk.

Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP) has trained staff and charity volunteers to teach others how to broach the subject sensitively and tactfully with anyone they are worried about.

Staff at Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are among those who have received the talks as well as supermarket and bank staff, benefits advisors, faith groups and bereavement charities.

Larry Callary, Session Leader for suicideTALK, said: “Life can be very stressful, yet there is still stigma around admitting to thoughts of suicide. Talking about your problems is imperative – it could save your own or someone else’s life.

“People contemplating suicide may use what we call ‘invitations’ as a way to invite help. It’s important to recognise these, talk to them about it and not be afraid of using the word ‘suicide’ in those conversations.”

The suicideTALKs highlight key ‘invitations’ to look out for – especially if they coincide with financial difficulties or a major life event for that person such as a bereavement or relationship breakdown. These can include someone suddenly becoming withdrawn, a distressed person stating “I’ve had enough”; “I have a solution”; or “I want to escape”.

If you are worried about someone – don’t be afraid to broach the subject of suicide. Specifically use that term – avoid asking “are you thinking of doing something silly?”. This wrongly implies they are silly for thinking about it and they may not want to confide in you.

A good approach is asking – “Are you OK? I’ve noticed that you seem stressed / depressed – sometimes when people feel like that, they think about suicide. Is that something you’re thought about?”

Listen sympathetically to what is going on in their life and make it clear that help is available. Keep them safe by encouraging them to seek help either from their GP, the Samaritans or Breathing Space.

Father-of-five, Larry, said: “Having thoughts of suicide is a normal human reaction when life gets painful and it’s important that people talk about how they feel. Suicide prevention is not the job of one person or service. Anyone can prevent suicide.

“We would encourage anyone with thoughts of suicide to talk to more than one person and get the support they need. And we would encourage people to intervene if they are worried about someone. Suicide Prevention is everybody’s business and there are a lot of resources out there that can help.

“The positive thing is when people have admitted to having thoughts of suicide during the training, their colleagues have been hugely supportive. The suicideTALKs spark debate and discussion and people often feel able to discuss their own experiences.”

If you or anyone close to you is struggling with issues of suicide, please seek help, either from your GP, the Samaritans (call free on 116 123 or by email at jo@samaritans.org) or from Breathing Space (call free on 0800 83 85 87).

Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership also runs an out-of-hours Mental Health crisis service. It can provide short-term intensive community based care and is targeted at people who are experiencing a mental health crisis. It operates seven days a week and is available by phone on 0845 650 1730, Monday to Friday 8pm – 9am, weekends and public holidays 5pm – 9am.

Find out more about Suicide Prevention Training and sources of help for anyone struggling at https://www.yoursupportglasgow.org/chooselife.aspx

If you are having serious thoughts about suicide, and have a plan and the means to carry it out: call 999 immediately.


Glasgow City Council Roads Supervisor, George Duff, saved a stranger’s life weeks after receiving Suicide Prevention training.

While working outdoors with a colleague, he was approached by a woman who said someone was attempting suicide nearby.

They rushed to investigate, and found a man in his early 30s teetering on a bridge parapet.

Father-of-three, George, spent 25 minutes calmly talking the man down – using tactics learned in his training.

He said: “Everyone was just walking past the guy, like they didn’t want to get involved. No-one stopped. I think they thought, because we were wearing hi-vis vests they could leave us to sort it out!

“We phoned the police and I walked over to the guy, not getting too close, and started talking to him, asking his name. I asked why he was doing this. I kept telling him it would be OK, and he should climb back over towards me, but he kept saying he didn’t want to be here anymore.

“You’re trained not to try to grab anyone, as they might fall. I made general conversation with him to try to take his mind off what he might do. I tried to use humour to try to lighten the situation and he gradually started to calm down a bit.

“I asked him what football team he supported, and if there was anything I could get him. He said he wanted a cup of tea, so I offered to take him for a cuppa at a wee café round the corner. I said, I was parched too, so we could go together.”

The man eventually agreed to go to the café. He brought one leg back over the parapet, but panicked when the police arrived and again threatened to jump. George asked the police for some space, as he’d struck up a rapport with the man and had almost convincing him to climb to safety.

After several more minutes of reassurance from George, the man eventually climbed to safety. True to his word, George went and bought him a cup of tea which he drank, before the police took him to hospital.

George said: “The training was very good. I think it gave me the confidence to try to help the guy. You never want to see anyone hurt themselves.”


The end of his first marriage and a long-standing battle with mental health problems drove Derek Chalmers to attempt suicide.

Derek of Glasgow’s Southside said: “I’d struggled with my mental health since my teens and the end of my marriage sent me over the edge. I was drinking and started using drugs and as time wore on I didn’t like the person I could see myself becoming. I’d had suicidal thoughts in the past, but this was the first time I planned what I was going to do in any detail. I rehearsed it and rationalised it in my mind.”

Luckily, the father-of-three survived, and the shock of what he’d done later made him realise he wanted to live and desperately needed help.

Eight years on, Derek is in a much happier place after receiving treatment, changing careers and meeting his second wife. The 40-year-old now uses his personal experience to help others – working as a peer support worker with mental health charity SAMH in North Lanarkshire.

In his spare time, Derek also volunteers for MindTheMen – a voluntary group which meets weekly in Springburn and Partick.

He said: “There is still a stigma around suicide and mental health issues. I felt guilt and shame about what I’d done, because it would have hurt others, but I also had a sense of relief that it hadn’t worked. I still have my bad days, but I know my triggers and how to manage them. I get a lot from using my personal experiences to help other guys open up about their own mental ill-health and thoughts of suicide.”

MindTheMen was set up by Gary Macdonald in memory of his cousin, Grant, who died by suicide. The group was set up as a legacy to Grant with flyers, t-shirts and wristbands bearing the club slogan, #supportgranted.

Men aged 18 to 80 years, from all walks of life attend. On the first night at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Peel Street, Partick, – 31 men walked through the door. A new branch in Springburn Community Hub in the shopping centre is also helping men in the North of the city. Both groups meet on Mondays from 7pm-9pm.

Father-of-three, Derek, said: “There is a lot of toxic masculinity in society today, which suggests big boys don’t cry or it’s weak to admit you need help. That’s utter rubbish and it’s costing lives. We have a phrase that’s been used more and more at MindTheMen, it’s very simple and very powerful  – It’s Not Weak to Speak.”

MindTheMen is a suicide prevention peer-to-peer support group where men can meet in a safe place, talk openly, be listened to and feel supported. It is not a crisis service. The volunteer facilitators have all received suicide prevention training and will signpost men to help. But anyone who needs urgent, immediate help should contact their GP, The Samaritans or Breathing Space.

MindTheMen is confidential and free. No one need give their real name and everyone is guaranteed a warm welcome. Free tea and coffee are also on offer. Find out more on Facebook or twitter @mindthemen or go along to a meeting.

Derek said: “Anyone new walking through the door will be welcomed warmly by our facilitators and members.”

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KG Café introduces Meat Free Monday menu to complement Linda McCartney exhibition


Visitors to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum are in for a treat as the venue’s KG Café serves up a new vegetarian menu to honour Linda McCartney and complement her retrospective, currently making its UK debut at the museum.

In a nod to one of the country’s pioneers in making meat free eating more mainstream, the Café run by Encore, the council’s hospitality and events service, is serving up vegetarian and vegan hot meals, soups and salads every Monday, as part of the wider Meat Free Monday campaign.


Dishes including beer-battered tofu ‘n’ chips; sweet potato, red pepper and butternut squash coconut curry; rosemary and garlic-marinated pan-fried tempeh, and a vegetarian haggis burger make this a mouth-watering menu. This is addition to a selection of fresh sandwiches and cakes.

Ross McKenzie, senior operations manager for Encore, said “The decision to dish up more planet-friendly meals was informed by the growing popularity of meat free and plant based meals and increasingly a number of visitors to the KG Cafe were choosing or asking about veggie dishes. With the arrival of the Linda McCartney Retrospective it seemed like an ideal opportunity to change the menu and perhaps encourage people to try something different when visiting the museum.”

The scheme may extend beyond its current six month run if it proves a success with Café patrons.

Launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, Meat Free Monday is a not-for-profit campaign that aims to raise awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of animal agriculture and industrial fishing.

The campaign encourages people to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one plant-based day each week.

Linda was an acclaimed and prolific photographer while simultaneously transforming the world of meat free eating with her popular recipe books frozen vegetarian meal range.

Curated by Paul, Mary and Stella, the Linda McCartney Retrospective has already wowed audiences in Vienna, Montpellier and Seoul, but this will be the first time it has been seen in the UK. As well as a huge collection of Linda’s photography – including a section dedicated to the family’s time on the Mull of Kintyre – there is archive material including her photographic equipment and a diary from the 1960s, during the heyday of the Beatles.

Paul said: “It is really good having this exhibition in such a cool gallery in Glasgow. Linda would have been so proud of it being held in Scotland. She loved Scotland because it gave us a lot of fond memories, a lot of freedom and a lot of happy times. It is nice to have all of that encapsulated in the Kelvingrove exhibition.”

Linda McCartney Retrospective runs at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum from 5 July 2019 until 12 January 2020. Tickets cost £7, concessions £5, under-16s free.

Adjacent to the exhibition fans of Linda’s work can also snap up books, clothing jewellery bags and prints inspired by Linda McCartney and the MFM movement.

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Beauty / Health & Wellbeing Space to Let – Killearn


Beauty / Health & Wellbeing Space to Let – Killearn
(next door to the Pharmacy) – Available October 2019


Three single well-presented individual consulting rooms to let (might be let separately or as a whole).

Great opportunity for Dentists, Opticians, Physio, Beauty Therapists complimenting the local Health Centre.

Call 0141 843 4211 to get more details!

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BCAh Medalist Suzanne Fernando MBE was invited to attend a Special Recognition and Formal Presentation at the Palace of Westminster in London

British Citizen Awards July - 2019
As a BCAh Medalist Suzanne Fernando MBE was invited to attend a Special Recognition and Formal Presentation at the Palace of Westminster in London.  She was awarded and honoured the BCA for services to Military Veterans, Autism and Cervical Cancer where she received a specially struck medal of recognition inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’.  
British Citizen Awards July - 2019
The purpose of the BCA programme is to recognise individuals that are making a positive contribution to their
community, society or chosen cause, in the hope that it encourages them to continue and others to emulate
their good deeds.  It is important to the BCA that people are recognised as widely as possible for the good that they do, to help change perceptions of young people often portrayed negatively in the media.  BCA recipients are all extraordinary people from across the country who have a commitment to improving the lives of others. They come from all over the country to be honoured at The Palace of Westminster.  The programme represents multi-cultural Britain welcoming
nominations for any person that is committed to making a positive impact on their community or their chosen cause.
The BCAh category Suzanne was nominated in is typically for an individual who has promoted healthcare in any or all of its forms. The individual may have devoted time, energy or effort into helping the community retain or improve its health awareness, may have lobbied to build new facilities or created innovative approaches to healthcare education. It includes any individual working in the healthcare sector both private and public, from porters to physicians and carers to caterers. Individuals who save lives, change lives and prolong lives are suitable for this category. People who brighten the days of those who are unwell or unable to care for themselves are often deserving of praise and recognition. 
Suzanne said: “I’d like to say ‘Thanks’ to everyone at the Palace of Westminster, Church House, House of Lords, the British Citizen Awards team, Lord Dholakia, Dame Mary Perkins, Sara Yarrow – Business Development Director and Matt Albright of Rouge Traders for making the day so special, and as I told them up on stage as I collected my award, us Scot’s like to say…. “It’s been pure dead brilliant”.  The highlight of my day though was meeting fellow veterans Frank McGowan, Tony Nisbet, Archie Dryburgh and Tony Foulds, Tony whom you’ll know from recent TV appearances as the gentleman who has dedicated 66 years to the fallen from WW11 continues to look after the memorial to the crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress ‘Mi Amigo’ that crashed at Endcliffe Park in 1944.  
  I was overwhelmed with the award and will continue my volunteering for as long as my health allows.   Am looking forward to what the future holds and attending Buckingham Palace next where I’ll be presented with my MBE”.
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  • £1 million fund for rescue boats and equipment opens for applications
  • Now in its sixth year, the fund has already paid for thousands of items of rescue equipment
  • Launch comes as part of the UK’s first Maritime Safety Week.

Lifeboat charities across the UK can now bid for Government cash for life-saving equipment.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani visited Oxfordshire Lowland Search and Rescue Service (OxSAR) today (July 4) as part of Maritime Safety Week and to launch this year’s £1million Rescue Boat Grant Fund.

The fund is open to search and rescue teams in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to buy new boats, engines or other equipment.

So far, the £6million scheme has paid for 82 new boats, more than 1,800 items of equipment for rescue operations and in excess of 5,000 items of crew kit to keep volunteers safe on missions.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said:

“We want everyone to be safe on or around water, but occasionally people get into trouble.

“These charities do amazing work and I’ve seen first-hand how they help people in their hour of need.

“I’m proud that this fund has already helped more than 100 groups buy the vital boats and equipment they need to rescue those in need. I want to see even more people benefit from this fund this year.”

In May, the government announced it had secured a further £1million for the fund, taking it into its sixth year and bringing the overall total to £6million.

OxSAR has received about £40,000 from the fund to buy a new rescue boat, lifevests, drysuits and other equipment to help them find and rescue people, while also keeping the volunteers who risk their lives to save others safe.

This year’s fund has opened for bids as part of the Department for Transport’s first ever Maritime Safety Week.

At the start of the week, the Government launched its Maritime Safety Action Plan, which sets out ambitious targets to cut the number of preventable deaths on UK waterways.


£1.5m Extra Investment to Help Glasgow’s Carers

Carers who look after loved ones in Glasgow will receive greater support due to £1.5million in extra investment.

The city’s Health & Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP) is to bring in additional staff to help young people and adults who look after relatives. It follows a consultation with carers about the pressures they face in their caring roles.

People are living longer and illnesses such as dementia are more prevalent. However, many older people are desperate to live in their own homes for as long as possible. GCHSCP is investing £428,000 in a project which helps older people to live at home for longer by offering a wide range of support. It will provide emergency help in situations where the person being cared for is at risk of being admitted to a care home. It will also help when someone is being discharged from hospital or returning home after a temporary stay in a care home.

A further £467,000 will be spent maximising support for families via targeted and personalised early intervention and crisis prevention work.

Six new Family Support Workers will be provided to support young carers and alleviate any inappropriate care tasks being carried out by children. Additional funding of £210,000 will be provided to purchase this service from the Third Sector.

An additional  Health Care Liaison Worker will also be funded to support carers at a cost of £26,000 in 2019/20.

Extra funding of £300,000 will also be spent providing carers with additional short breaks. It will be split equally between the city’s children and families and adult and older person’s teams.

Research shows that unpaid carers are a third more likely to be in poor health than non-carers and carer breakdown is a main factor in hospital and care home admissions.

Spouses are the fastest growing group of carers and over half of older carers are providing more than 35 hours of care a week. In older couples, it can often be difficult to identify who is the carer and who is being looked after, as both can have age related medical conditions. Yet, people often continue to struggle on, despite reaching crisis point and eventually, this can result in their loved one being admitted to hospital or placed in a care home.

Unpaid carers often have to juggle this role with other commitments such as their own jobs, studies or children.

Susanne Millar, Interim Chief Officer, GCHSCP, said: “This extra funding recognises the needs of young and adult carers.

“It will help them safeguard their own health and well-being while carrying out this vital role and also enable young carers to enjoy time with their peers.”

The additional investment has been approved by GCHSCP’s Integration Joint Board.

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PAYMENTS to Glasgow’s thousands of equal pay claimants have begun, it was confirmed today.

Council leader Susan Aitken told this morning’s City Administration Committee that the first settlements were paid on Wednesday – with cash expected to reach workers today and tomorrow.

The update came as members heard the council had concluded the first of three deals to finance the settlements, with the other two on track to be signed during summer recess.

The first – and biggest – deal is a partnership with insurance and pensions giant Legal & General.


The FTSE 100-listed firm is investing £285 million over 30 years; refinancing City Property’s existing portfolio as well as its purchase of the SEC Armadillo, Glasgow City Halls and Glasgow Museums Resource Centre – all of which will be leased back by Glasgow City Council.


Cllr Aitken said: “Today is the day we can finally allow ourselves to say we are making good on equal pay and a promise of justice for thousands of women workers.


“Today is the day that hundreds of millions of pounds starts to find its way into the pockets and purses of thousands of people who earned it and who always should have had it.”

The council concluded its deal with Legal & General on Wednesday and immediately started the process of making payments to claimants.


It is expected that settlements will arrive in claimants’ accounts today and tomorrow, although exact timings will depend on each individual’s own banking arrangements.


Further batches will then be paid, daily, in the order they were accepted by claimants and within the agreed timescales.


Cllr Aitken said: “This is a hugely significant step forward for the council and the city as a whole. This deal not only means we can meet our responsibilities on equal pay – but do so while safeguarding the future of the city’s property assets in public use.

“I’m very pleased to be doing that in partnership with Legal & General, which has already shown great confidence in Glasgow as a place to invest.”

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Council approves £4.2million funding to make Glasgow homes energy-efficient


Glasgow City Council today (27 June) approved funding of almost £4.2million towards making homes in the city more energy-efficient.  The funding is expected to deliver insulation measures to 776 households in the owner-occupier and private landlord owned sectors.


The Scottish Government’s Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland: Area Based Schemes (HEEPS: ABS) was introduced in 2013, and is an area-based approach to deliver insulation measures to owner occupied and private landlord owned properties.


The programme’s objectives are to upgrade housing stock; tackle fuel poverty; reduce carbon emissions; lever in Energy Company Obligation funding; support the local economy and sustainable local economic development, and these align with the aims of the council’s Affordable Warmth programme – part of the city’s Housing Strategy – to tackle fuel poverty, energy inefficiency and climate change.


11 projects have been identified in Glasgow to benefit from this funding, in areas which:

  • feature non-traditional or hard to treat house types
  • have missed out on GHA’s investment programme
  • are in the lowest Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation(SIMD) or
  • are in Council Tax Band A-C and Tax Band D, in certain conditions


The funding will also give owner-occupiers who live in mixed-tenure blocks the chance to participant in improvement schemes carried out by Registered Social Landlords, and allows the council to deliver projects in wholly-owned private schemes – particularly those with non-traditional type housing.


HEEPS: ABS is funded from the Scottish Government and is delivered by local authorities.


In 2017, the Scottish House Condition Survey 2017 found that approximately 61,000 householders – 21% of all homes – in Glasgow were fuel poor, ie households spending more than 10% of their disposable household income on fuel costs.


The work to be delivered will bring significant savings to people living in these homes every year, as it is estimated (by the Energy Saving Trust) that those living in terraced and semi-detached houses will save between £160 – £260 annually, with people in flats saving around £120 per year.


The programme will deliver significant carbon reductions over its 25-year lifetime.


Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm, said: “Making homes in Glasgow more energy-efficient is good for the city in a number of ways: it helps those who are struggling to pay energy bills, reduces energy use, benefits the environment, and contributes to tackling climate change. The funding we have approved today expands the number of homes which have benefited from these measures, and I look forward to the scheme continuing this very important work.”


To deliver these energy-efficient measures, contributions from other sources such as owners, private landlords, and UK energy efficiency Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding, will be added to this HEEPS:ABS support.  Over £100million funding from all these sources has been raised since the programme began in 2013.

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Glasgow celebrates Armed Forces Day on Saturday


Glasgow’s Lord Provost Eva Bolander, in her role as Lord Lieutenant, will lead the city’s Armed Forces Day celebrations in George Square on Saturday 29 June.

The Lord Lieutenant will take the Salute at the march past the Cenotaph just after 11 am joined by senior military including Commander John Cunane, HMS Dalriada, Colonel Sandy Fitzpatrick, Deputy Commander 51st Infantry Brigade and RAF Squadron Leader Archie McCallum.


The Lord Lieutenant said: “Glasgow’s Armed Forces Day is an opportunity to let the incredibly brave and professional men and women in our armed forces know that we are grateful for all they do. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone including our remarkable veterans – some who saw service during the Second World War.

“It’s also a chance for our citizens to demonstrate their pride in our military personnel and our veterans. Inevitably too, our thoughts stray to those far from home, serving in some of the toughest places on earth.”

Colonel Fitzpatrick said: “On behalf of serving and retired personnel from all the services, and their families, I thank the city of Glasgow for its generosity on Armed Forces Day.

“Armed Forces Day differs from Remembrance. It’s a chance to celebrate our military and allow communities to recognise and show their appreciation for the contribution they make. We’re extremely appreciative of the support we receive from Glasgow’s citizens”.

The parade will leave Holland Street at 11am followed by serving Royal Navy, Army and RAF personnel, as well as cadets from all three services and veterans.