News

Humans of Scotland book launches

Section: The ALLIANCEType: News Item Date Published: 25th September 2019
Selection of people's photos featured in the Humans of Scotland book

“Humans of Scotland”, a new book contains stories that have captured the hearts of people up and down the country.

“Humans of Scotland”, a striking new book published by the ALLIANCE launches today.

Featuring Scotland rugby international Doddie Weir speaking candidly on his experience with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), the book shares personal pieces on the struggles of living with illness, disabilities and as an unpaid carer.

Remarkable in their honesty, the stories are a heartfelt contribution to our understanding of what it means to live with significant challenges from recovering from mental illness and addiction to life after cancer, coping with hearing and sight loss to living with crippling arthritis as a young mum, among many other subjects.

With a foreword from the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, the book contains stories that stay with us long after they’ve been read.

Professor Ian Welsh OBE, Chief Executive of the ALLIANCE says the book is a powerful look at the lives of those whose stories need to be heard:

“Living with a long term health condition, disability or as an unpaid carer presents challenges that often must be overcome time and time again. It is important to us to highlight these issues as an organisation that champions the voice of people with these experiences. In sharing their stories, the contributors to Humans of Scotland have played a vital part in growing our understanding of what it means to face and cope with adversity.”

In her foreword, Nicola Sturgeon says: “In reading this collection, I was touched by the candid nature of the different pieces.  By sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings, each contributor has demonstrated a huge amount of bravery – as well as great generosity.  They’ve given us a valuable insight into lives and experiences we might never know.”

Containing the stories of 30 Scots, the book also features the story of Amanda Kopel, wife of footballer Frank Kopel. Amanda successfully campaigned for the introduction Frank’s Law – free personal care for those under 65 in Scotland – as a result of her family’s experiences following Frank’s early dementia diagnosis. Her story tells of having to sell a prized family possession to pay for Frank’s care.

Also included is a story from Clutha disaster survivor, Michael Byrne, whose traumatic experiences have resulted in him living with and managing Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Melanie McLean talks of trying to care for her eight-month old baby while coping with debilitating arthritis and Imran Akhtar tells his story of sight loss and his journey to how he lives today.

The book will be available free of charge and will be distributed across all libraries in Scotland as a result of the ALLIANCE’s partnership with the Scottish Library and Information Council.

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