Queen Margaret University students benefit from first ever Ryder Cup Bursary Scheme

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Five students from Queen Margaret University in Musselburgh, East Lothian, are amongst the first in the world to receive financial support linked to the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland.

Ryder Cup: 100 days to go. 100 players on the 18th at Gleneagles

The group of students, who study on the BA (Hons) International Hospitality and Tourism and the BA (Hons) Events Management, each received a one-off payment of £1,000. Ryder Cup Europe has made a commitment to QMU to fund five tourism, hospitality and event student bursaries per year for a total of four years. The bursary scheme means that a total of twenty QMU students will benefit by receiving £1000 each .

The bursaries will help the students pay for their travel and accommodation costs and ensure they can access courses relevant to The 2014 Ryder Cup.

Richard Hills, European Ryder Cup Director, said: “The 2014 Ryder Cup will bring major benefits to the local and Scottish economy and we want to leave a lasting legacy for generations to come. The bursary schemes will help support QMU students with their living expenses. We hope that these students will go on to contribute to the Scottish tourism and hospitality industries for years to come.”

gleneagles100days-1 Reduced Size Shona Robison MSP, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said: “The Ryder Cup is more than just golf, and good hospitality and management can help make the event truly great.  This investment places young people at the heart of our legacy commitment and will give young people new skills in their chosen career path and the best training to go on to work, whether it is in the hospitality and event management industry, or as the next generation of industry leaders.”

International Hospitality and Tourism student, Calum McEachern (pictured above), from QMU, was delighted to receive a Ryder Cup bursary. He said: “I take on quite a lot of paid employment to support my studies. However, the bursary will relieve some of the financial pressure associated with being a student and I can hopefully spend a bit more time focusing on my studies. I am extremely grateful for the support and freedom which this investment brings. I’m excited about the Ryder Cup coming to Scotland and will be trying to get involved in some way.”

The Ryder Cup Bursary Scheme is running at QMU as well as Perth College UHI and the University of Stirling. The Scheme completes a range of educational commitments made by Ryder Cup Europe, covering primary through to further education initiatives.

Award-winning Edinburgh film-maker launches: Kinetic Edinburgh III (Festival City in Motion)

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An award winning Edinburgh film-maker has launched the latest edition to a series of short films showcasing Scotland’s beautiful capital city: Kinetic Edinburgh III (Festival City in Motion).

Walid Salhab (@SalhabWalid), a media practice lecturer at Queen Margaret University (@QMUniversity), has just released his stunning new time-lapse/stop-motion film captures Edinburgh during the 2014 Fringe Festival.

Festival City in Motion 1There are some amazing and unique views of Arthur’s Seat, as well as some great footage of Edinburgh Castle, The Scottish Parliament, Scottish National Gallery, St Giles’ Cathedral, Festival Theatre, The Hub, Usher Hall and the majestic firework finale to the International Edinburgh Festival.

Walid spent six solid weeks filming Kinetic Edinburgh III and 10,000 static photographs made it to the final edit of the film.

Often dubbed ‘Mr Kinetic’, Walid Salhab has also captivated international audiences with his spectacular portrayal of The Kelpies in Falkirk, Edinburgh in winter (Kinetic Edinburgh II) and the original Kinetic Edinburgh I.  Walid’s suite of dynamic kinetic films has achieved millions of hits on social media.

Walid SalhabCommenting on his new film, Walid said: “I hadn’t planned to make this new film. I was on holiday and became inspired by the creative atmosphere of the Festival.  I wanted to offer people a unique view of Edinburgh as a festival city – something they hadn’t seen before.

The idea behind the film is to not capture the Festival itself, but to capture the atmosphere of the city during the Festival – the streets, buildings and parks.  The footage of Arthur’s Seat is very rare and difficult to capture with photography.

“Shooting stop-motion/time-lapse photography involves taking actual photos to create the illusion of movement, rather than using film or video. It’s a painstaking, complicated process with a very low success rate, in that much of the footage is discarded.”

Walid’s first short film, Bra-et Al Rouh (Innocence of the Spirit), about a six year old girl who befriends a homeless man on the streets of the city, won two awards at the Cannes Film Festival.

View Kinetic Edinburgh III (Festival City in Motion) online at http://vimeo.com/105378561

Suicide Awareness Events in East Lothian

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On 10th September, people from around the world will mark World Suicide Prevention Day, an event that promotes suicide awareness and efforts to prevent suicide.

2014_wspd_banner_englishIn 2011, 22 people took their own lives in East Lothian – the highest since 1991. This figure decreased the following year to 18 and fell further last year to 13*.

In East Lothian, a week long series of events is being organised by Christine Chambers, the Choose Life Co-ordinator for the county, in conjunction with CHANGES and Stepping Out.

This includes a daily broadcast on Radio Saltire which Brian Glass, CHANGES Choose Life Training Co-ordinator, explains: “Each day from Monday 8th until Friday 12th September, between 12 and 1pm, there will be input from those who have experienced suicidal thoughts – or a carer or a representative from a supporting organisation – presenting different perspectives on suicide prevention and raising awareness of the resources available throughout East Lothian.

If you can read between the lines, you can save lives. That’s the message that Brian hopes to get across at Thursday’s SafeTALK event at Musselburgh East Community Learning Centre. “We are running a three-hour training course which gives the attendess the skills to recognise when someone may have thoughts of suicide, and to connect that person to someone with suicide intervention skills.” Anyone wishing to book the course should email brian@changeschp.org.uk.

For those bereaved by suicide, there will be a special time for reflection in St Andrew’s Church, in Musselburgh. To find out more, call Christine 01620 820176.

A LONG WAY DOWNThe week culminates with a free screening of Pascal Chaumeil’s black comedy ‘A Long Way Down’ at the Masonic Hall in North Berwick, at 7p.m. on Friday 12th with an optional post-film discussion and drinks. For further information contact Nicky Fox (Stepping Out) Nicky.fox@btinternet.com Phone: 07966 535 514

To learn more about how Scotland aims to reduce suicide, or, if you are worried about yourself or someone else visit chooselife.net

(*figures from http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/vital-events/deaths/suicides/tables-and-chart.html)

Organic September

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This September, East Lothian retailers and producers are asking everyone to make a Small Change in their everyday lives, in order to make a Big Difference to our food and farming.

SA_SCBD_Food&Farming_Logo_RGB_AWThe Soil Association Scotland, the organisers of Organic September, is the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use.

It is an ethos that Mike Callendar of East Coast Organics, firmly believes and is organising a farm visit on Sunday 14th September (1-4) to the Eco Farm near Morham (not the Boggs Holdings base).

“This is our yearly event for our members, customers, friends and anyone that is interested in sustainable food production. The whole event is a celebration for everyone that has believed in, and supported us over the past 18 years.

As always, it will be a fun day out for all the family with organic hot food and drinks and an organic market.  There will be tours of the farm, polytunnels, crops and orchard, a kids corner with goats, kunekune pigs, rare breed sheep, geese and ducks as well as a chance to play on a JCB digger.”

Always thinking of the environment, Mike is keen to encourage visitors to be eco-friendly “Please try and car share or cycle.  From Haddington head south to Gifford for 2 miles then take a left to Morham.  The Eco Farm is 300m on the left EH41 4PD”.

Cocoa beans may not grow in Scotland but the demand for organic chocolate is certainly growing. Ali & Friederike Gower, of The Chocolate Tree, who specialise in crafting artisan chocolate from their small factory in Haddington, have recently re-launched their range of premium organic chocolate, with amazing flavours like sea salt & caramel and brambles with cardamon.

To create their chocolate bars, they work with an organic certified couverture (a very high quality chocolate). The blend of cacao beans used to produce the chocolate is sustainably & ethically sourced from Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. Organic farming ensures the preservation of biodiversity in these very special parts of the world.

Although most often associated with the food industry, the organic label covers fashion and beauty too as Rosemary Renton from the Small World, suppliers of Fairtrade certified organic cotton bags & homewares, in Prestonpans, is keen to point out: “Most people think of cotton as ‘natural’ but only organic certified cotton is kind to the planet, the producer and the purchaser.  Conventionally produced cotton is an intensive process which accounts from almost one quarter of all the world’s insecticides.  This results in terrible conditions for the cotton growers and thousands of chemicals are used to turn raw material into the textiles that we put next to our skin every day.

By choosing organic we can all support a kinder, greener and more ethical way of living – from more bees and hedgerows, better animal welfare, and shorter more trustworthy supply chains.

For more information about Organic September, visit  www.soilassociation.org

Queen Margaret University open days

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Queen Margaret University open days

Thursday 4th September & Saturday 4th October 2014

Campus tours, university application advice and course talks are just some of the things on offer at Queen Margaret University’s up and coming open days.

The open days, which will take place on Thursday 4th September and Saturday 4th October, will give visitors a chance to find out about a wide range of undergraduate courses. The event, which is suitable for individuals looking to start university in September 2015, will offer visitors the opportunity to meet academics and students, view accommodation and hear about student life. A range of presentations will provide helpful tips for applying through the UCAS system and understanding student funding.

The University offers a niche range of undergraduate degree courses in the areas of Health Sciences; Business, Enterprise and Management; Media, Communication and Performing Arts; and Social Sciences. To help visitors get a better insight into these areas, academics will present subject talks on, for example, Performing Arts, Costume Design and Construction; Business & Management; Media, Film and PR; Nursing, Podiatry and Physiotherapy. Visitors will also be able to find out about new degree programmes which the University will offer in 2015. These include ‘Public Sociology; Physical Activity, Health and Wellbeing; and Nutrition & Food Science.

In addition to course information, visitors can take organised tours of the campus to view teaching, learning and clinical areas, as well as accommodation and sports facilities.

The event will run from 11am – 4pm on Thursday 4th September and Saturday 4th October.

Register for the event via the QMU website http://www.qmu.ac.uk/marketing/bulletins/opendays.htm#UG

(Registration is not compulsory. You are welcome to attend either of the days without registering but in order to speed up your arrival at the university it is best to register at:



QMU graduate named one of the UK’s top event planners of 2014

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Sian DownesSian Downes, a recent PR and Media graduate from Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Musselburgh, East Lothian, has been nominated as one of the top four event planners under the age 30 in the UK and the only ‘Rising Star’ in Scotland, as part of the 2014 Event Awards.

The annual Event Awards is the only industry awards ceremony in the UK that celebrates the creative, experiential and supplier sectors in the live events sector.  This year’s glittering Event Awards ceremony will take place at The Troxy in London on 2nd October, when Sian will find out if she has won the top accolade.

Sian is currently the Events Manager for the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.  Since joining the organisation in April 2013, Sian has overhauled the events programme by boosting the number of annual events held by the Chamber from 35 events last year to 120 events in 2014.

Her biggest success to date was managing the 3rd Annual Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, including the development of the event’s branding, logo, sponsorship packages and the choice of award categories available to enter.

Sian has secured more sponsorship opportunities than ever before for the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Business Awards by engaging with high profile brands like Audi, Vision Events, The Royal College of Surgeons, Hunter Adams, Westfield Health, Skanska, SuperJam and Links of London.  She has also boosted attendance at the 2014 event by over 130% compared to the previous year.

Commenting on her nomination in the 2014 Event Awards, Sian said: “I’m thrilled to have been named one of the UK event world’s ‘rising stars’ this year.  I’m already looking forward to the 2014 Event Awards in London this October and wish all the other nominees the best of luck.

“My QMU degree has certainly equipped me well for my chosen career path by offering lots of practical opportunities as well as building my academic knowledge.

“I really thrive on working in such a dynamic environment and have enjoyed taking on the challenge of boosting the profile of Chamber events and working alongside the members.”

For more information on the Event Awards 2014, visit: www.eventawards.com


Be Prepared for Bertha!

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There is the potential for severe weather over much of the UK during Sunday 10th August, as a depression tracks over, or close to, the UK. There continues to be a great deal of uncertainty in the forecast but the public should be aware of the risk of flooding due to heavy rain as well as very strong winds and large waves.

Keep an eye on the alerts issued the Met Office and SEPA.

A list of East Lothian emergency numbers can be seen in this pdf.  Why not print off a copy now – before you need it – add your own phone number and distribute to vulnerable neighbours?



Win a Big Cheese Making Kit!

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To celebrate having 3,000 followers we have teamed up with award-winning East Lothian company, The Big Cheese Making Kit, to bring you a competition to win a kit of your choice.


To enter, simply follow us and retweet this tweet.

The lucky winner can choose from Halloumi, Mozzarella & Ricotta, Scottish Crowdie, Goat’s Cheese or the Kid’s Kit.

The draw will close on Friday 8th August at 4pm after which time the winner will be contacted.

And remember, you can buy kits from The Big Cheese Making Kit website.

Journalist Kate Adie and international theatre director to receive honorary degrees from Queen Margaret University

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Journalist Kate Adie and international theatre director Eugenio Barba receive honorary degrees from Queen Margaret University

On 1 st July, the internationally renowned journalist, Kate Adie joined influential theatre director, Eugenio Barba to receive an honorary degree from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Katie Adie was awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of her contribution to news reporting and our understanding of world events. The former BBC international affairs journalist was joined by Eugenio Barba, a theatre practitioner who has significantly influenced practice and critical thinking within the art form. Eugenio is director of Odin Teatret, a theatre company which he founded in 1964, and founder of the International School of Theatre Anthropology, both of which are based in Denmark. Both honorary graduates were acknowledged for the relevance of their work to society at large, reflecting the university’s own commitment to enhancing lives in the communities it serves.

The University was delighted to award Kate Adie, one of the UK highest profile journalists, with a Degree of Doctor of Letters at the graduation ceremony held in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. Dressed in flak jacket, helmet and holding a microphone whilst crouching on front-lines, Kate Adie became an iconic figure associated with breaking news from some of the world’s most dangerous conflict zones. She is particularly well known for her reporting of significant international events including the student uprising in China when she received a gun-shot wound to her elbow whilst reporting events in Tiananmen Square. She has also reported on turbulence and conflicts across the world such as in Northern Ireland, the Lockerbie bombing in 1988, the first Gulf War, the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the 1997 uprising in Albania and the civil war in Sierra Leone in 2000.

Kate hung up her flak jacket and helmet in 2003 to become a freelance journalist. Since then she has written five books, been a regular presenter on BBC Radio 4’s ‘From Our Own Correspondent’, and won numerous awards including three Royal Television Society awards, the Richard Dimbleby Award from BAFTA in 1990, the Broadcasting Press Guild’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting, and an OBE in 1993.

As a leader in education for allied health professionals and the only provider of audiology education in Scotland, Queen Margaret University (QMU) was particularly keen to honour Kate given her work with the charity Hearing Link. Kate is a patron of Hearing Link which supports people with hearing impairment and deafness.

The University, which has areas of expertise in creativity and culture, also bestowed a Degree of Doctor of Letters on Eugenio Barba, an influential theatre practitioner, researcher and theorist who has enjoyed a 50 year career in the arts. Eugenio Barba has directed 76 productions, mostly with his theatre company Odin Teatret. The honorary degree recognises his influence on how we see and understand theatre and on the way drama is taught in universities and colleges.

Born in Italy in 1936, but emigrating to Norway in 1954, Eugenio began his working life as a welder and a sailor, whilst studying for a degree in French, Norwegian Literature and History of Religions at Oslo University. He went to Poland to learn directing at the State Theatre School in Warsaw, but left one year later to work with Jerzy Grotowski, a leading contemporary experimental theatre director. Eugenio also spent time in India studying Kathakali, a dance-theatre art form, which uses hand gestures, expressions and rhythmic dancing instead of dialogue and which was unknown in the west at that time.

Since 1974, Eugenio Barba and Odin Teatret have developed a unique style of working – one which trains actors who help communities discover their cultural voice, creating social interaction and breaking down barriers. Eugenio has also written over 20 books, contributes to academic publications and education, and has won numerous awards.

Professor Alan Gilloran, Deputy Principal of Queen Margaret University, presented the orations for both Eugenio Barba and Kate Adie.He said: “Among contemporary artists who have made a mark on the history of theatre, Eugenio Barba is the only one who has worked in such innovative ways across all fields of theatre, ranging from artistic creation to theoretical reflection, and to the use of theatre in a social context as a trans-cultural tool to activate relations between different social and ethnic groups. Eugenio Barba’s influence reaches across all our performing arts programmes, and for that reason, all of our graduating drama and performance students and graduates owe a debt of gratitude to him.”

Professor Gilloran continued: “Kate Adie’s inspirational and gutsy style of reporting has shed light on some of the world’s most significant events and has touched the lives of millions of people, both in the UK and around the globe. She also has expertise in areas of speech and communication which are aligned with the work carried out by Queen Margaret University’s speech researchers – the impact of vocal quality, accent and non-verbal communication in conveying information in different contexts.”

The Principal of Queen Margaret University, Professor Petra Wend, paid tribute to both Kate Adie and Eugenio Barba. She concluded: “It is entirely appropriate that the University honours both these highly influential professionals – Kate Adie for her work with the media, across societies affected by conflict and in support of people with hearing loss, and Eugenio Barba for his ground-breaking development of contemporary theatre and his ability to create performance which unites communities. Both Kate’s and Eugenio’s achievements in their specialist areas reflect the relevance of the university’s work and its aim of serving communities and improving quality of life.”


Queen Margaret University Professor awarded Royal College of Nursing Fellowship

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Professor Brendan McCormack (low res)Professor Brendan McCormack, Head of Division of Nursing at Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, has been awarded a prestigious Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Fellowship.

Celebrating the very best in nursing, the annual RCN Awards present Fellowships, Honorary Fellowships and Awards of Merit to those who have given an outstanding contribution to nursing.

RCN Fellowships are awarded to RCN members who are registered nurses in the UK and who have made an exceptional contribution to nursing or health care.

Professor McCormack is an internationally-renowned authority on the nursing of older people, person-centred nursing, and practice development. His seminal work, ‘Practice Development in Nursing’, explores the basis of practice development, its aims, implementation and impact on health care.

The Professor was appointed Head of Division of Nursing and Research Professor at QMU earlier this year, having left his post as Director of the Institute of Nursing and Health Research, and Head of the Person-centred Practice Research Centre, at the University of Ulster.

He brings a wealth of experience in academic leadership to his new role and his appointment underlines QMU’s commitment to its established international agenda and focus on research development.

Commenting on his RCN Fellowship award, Professor McCormack, said: “I’m really proud to have been awarded this honourable title from the UK’s official nursing industry body.

“Over the years, I have been keen to bring a different perspective to the professional development work of the RCN, enthusing QMU students and colleagues with passion for patients, so it’s hugely rewarding to have been recognised by my industry peers.”

In recognition of his continuing research commitments, he was awarded the status of ‘Senior Distinguished Research Fellow’ by the University of Ulster in 2011, and ‘Researcher Hall of Fame’ by Sigma Theta Tau International in 2014.

Professor McCormack was also recently named one of only 11 researchers in Irish universities on a list of the world’s top 3,000, compiled by the multinational media body, Thompson Reuters. Inclusion means that the research of each academic is listed in the top one per cent for the number of times their work has been cited by other scientists.

Those selected will also be published in a new book – the Thompson Reuters 2014 World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds. Inclusion in this publication means the researcher is among those ‘who are on the cutting edge of their fields. They are performing and publishing work that their peers recognise as vital to the advancement of their science.’

Professor McCormack is editor of the ‘International Journal of Older People Nursing’ and has more than 160 peer-reviewed publications, as well as eight books published. For the past five years Professor McCormack was also President of the All-Ireland Gerontological Nurses Association [AIGNA], Chairman of the charity ‘Age Northern Ireland’ and a Fellow/management committee member of The European Academy of Nursing Science.

Nursing has a long history at QMU and is one of the original subject areas which led to the creation of QMU as we know it today.

Over the years, the nursing portfolio has rapidly grown and today a number of nursing and nursing related courses are on offer. In addition to the BSc (Hons) Nursing programme, QMU offers a number of postgraduate and post-registration courses.

Lecturers teach across all courses and are constantly in contact with all levels of the nursing profession, which greatly benefits students. QMU also has important links with international nursing departments through staff exchanges.

For more information on annual RCN Awards and Fellowships, visit www.rcn.org.uk