I have had the pleasure of attending a number of significant events recently.

As NAC’s Mental Health Champion I was privileged to be shown round the soon-to-be-opened Foxgrove, the new secure mental health facility for young people, at Ayrshire Central Hospital.

I was most impressed with the foresight, expertise and sensitivity behind the creation of this state-of-the-art facility, where young people with complex mental health issues are to be cared for by a team of dedicated professionals, some of whom I had the pleasure of meeting.

It was an honour to be asked to introduce the Drama for Wellbeing Summer Showcase at the HAC, the culmination of weeks of effort by young people, who explored, through drama, themes such as on-line harm, bullying and peer-pressure.

I was genuinely moved to tears by the heartfelt performances by the talented young performers. I am also full of admiration for their drama coach, Greg, and for all those who worked behind the scenes to make this initiative such a successful initiative.

Equally impressive were the activities of our youth workers who took the Mobile Youth Centre out into our communities over the summer.

Ayrshire Today: Councillor Jean McClung

I caught up with them at South Beach and was gratified to see how much the young people, and the adults present, enjoyed the activities on offer. An escape from phones and tablets!

My congratulations go also to the Saltcoats Active Lifestyle Team on their annual Sand-Building Competition at Saltcoats Beach. The turnout of participants exceeded all expectations. Being asked to judge the competition presented me with my hardest task of the year!

Every one of the competitors deserved first prize for ingenuity and enthusiasm! I remember my mum talking about having won this competition once, almost 90 years ago! I am delighted to see this tradition revived.

Saturday, July 15 was a particularly enjoyable day. In the morning I took part in the Saltcoats Sea Queen gala, having been asked to appear as the 

Town’s very own Betsy Miller, the world’s first female sea captain, the eponymous Queen of the Sea.

I am delighted to see the revival of this event, which was a major feature in the town’s cultural calendar when I was young. My thanks to the committee for all their hard work and dedication. The event was a huge success.

The same afternoon saw me at the Three Towns Growers’ annual Duck Race where I was given the task of starting the Golden Duck Race. I was still dressed as Betsy but no one seemed to notice!

 These events are, I believe, invaluable in fostering community spirit and a sense of wellbeing. I can’t thank all those involved enough.