‘Staff hold a special place in our hearts’

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What does it take to make a hero? Is it the Hearts or Hibs star who scores the winning goal at Hampden? Or the 
1 Scots soldier who puts their life on the line to protect their comrades in Afghanistan? Or perhaps the selfless nurse who goes that extra mile to make sure their patient not only gets the medicine they need to make them physically better but the personal care to keep their spirits up, too?

The answer, of course, is that it can be all three.

But the footballer will get plenty of adulation – too much, in fact – and, thankfully, at long last, we are getting better as a nation at recognising the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces.

It is not often though that we get the chance to show our appreciation for those people responsible for the “everyday miracles” that take place in our health service.

When our children are sick, we tend to be at our most vulnerable, and that is perhaps why the nurses and doctors – as well as other staff and volunteers – at the Sick Kids hold such a special place in our hearts.

Please help us to honour them by telling us about those who have touched your life and supporting our Sick Kids Heroes awards.

Time to get tough

THE city council will always get it in the neck when Edinburgh fails on cleanliness. And rightly so.

But there is a great deal of frustration within the City Chambers as resources have been directed at tacking this problem in recent years. And some privately believe that the Capital isn’t as dirty as some would have you believe. Anyone been to Dublin recently?

And, of course, the disruption caused by the tram project will have affected cleanliness levels in the city centre.

The reality is that council leaders are not the ones dropping litter and chewing gum on the streets; or spray painting graffiti; or letting their dogs foul public parks. But they have to tackle it.

Tougher enforcement is required as there is definitely an intractable problem. And for a city that trades so heavily on tourism we need to look our best every day. If you make your living as a catwalk model you don’t turn up for the photo shoot with dirty nails.

Those who take the beauty of Scotland’s capital for granted should face more frequent enforcement and bigger fines. After all, why should the majority of citizens who are so proud of our city be affected by the minority of miscreants?