The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 9 February 2008

American university adopts Scottish
couple’s alcoholism book as set text

A BOOK by a married couple from Ayrshire in Scotland has been selected as a set text by a top American university.

Phoenix in a Bottle by Lilian and Murdoch MacDonald will now be required reading for all doctoral students in a psychology programme at Alliant International University in San Diego, California.

The book tells the story of Lilian and Murdoch’s desperate fight against and recovery from alcoholism.

Alliant International University, headquartered in San Diego and San Francisco, California, was formed in 2001 by the merger of the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) and the United States International University. Alliant has 6 campuses throughout California and also runs programmes in Mexico City, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant is one of the premier psychology schools in the US, and it counts roughly half the licensed clinical psychologists in California as its alumni.

Dr. Gary W. Lawson (pictured above) is Professor of Psychology at CSPP. He says: “I adopted Phoenix in a Bottle because the dilemma this couple struggled with and the questions they ask themselves are like so many others I have encountered in 35 years of clinical experience treating addictions.

“However, nowhere in addiction literature have I seen these issues examined and explained as well as Lilian and Murdoch do in Phoenix in a Bottle.

“I also recommend Phoenix in a Bottle to many of my patients as well.”

Since it was published in 2005, Phoenix in a Bottle has been listed on Amazon UK, but this month it was also listed for the first time on, hopefully giving an extra boost to future international sales of the book.

Phoenix in a Bottle is published by Melrose Books price £16.99.

Melrose Books

Melrose Books marketing and promotions co-ordinator Judith Stephens commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the authors to use their writing to help those studying addictions and behaviour, who will of course go onto to help addicts.”


In 1994 as a result of their alcoholism, Lilian and Murdoch MacDonald were down and out, sleeping rough in the streets and parks of Cambridge, the English university town where, a quarter of a century before, Murdoch had attained an honours degree.

Rejecting the conventional concepts of alcoholism, Lilian and Murdoch set about searching for the underlying causes of their self-harming behaviour problem, which they discovered lay in childhood.

They argue that no alcoholic is addicted to alcohol, but rather to the escape that alcohol affords - escape from life, or certain aspects of life with which they are unable to cope.

Having identified and addressed their issues from the past, the couple are today back home in Ayrshire, Scotland, leading normal lives again, with their problems of alcoholism and Lilian’s associated eating disorder well and truly behind them.

Controversially, they are also now able to drink alcohol responsibly again, if and when they so wish.

Described as a modern day Days of Wine and Roses, Lilian and Murdoch’s book Phoenix in a Bottle is the inspiring story of their journey.


Dr. Lawson, a Professor of Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Diego, teaches in the PsyD doctoral programme in clinical psychology. He has been teaching, conducting research and publishing articles and books in the addictions field since 1971. He has conducted training in addictions all across the United States and worldwide. He and his wife Dr Ann W Lawson, a Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Marriage and Family Therapy programme at Alliant, were co-founding editors of the journal Family Dynamics of Addictions Quarterly and between them they have written 10 books on addictions and related topics. They are currently working on a fourth edition of their book Essentials of Chemical Dependency Counselling and a third edition of their book Alcoholism and the Family: A Guide to Treatment and Prevention. They just completed work on a 2nd edition of their edited book Alcoholism and Substance Abuse in Diverse Populations which should be available this summer through ProEd publishers in Austin, Texas.


Alliant International University offers a unique curriculum that combines academics and apprenticeship in all courses of study. With accredited programs at San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles, Irvine and San Diego, California, Alliant also hosts accredited programs in Mexico City, Mexico and Tokyo, Japan.

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Friday, 8 February 2008

Tesco’s Great Wee Scottish Walk comes to Allseasons in Galston

TESCO, Scotland’s leading supermarket has been named as the main sponsor of the Great Wee Scottish Walk.

The series of eight walks aimed at children from 2-16 years take place at parks and prime locations across Scotland (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Dumfries, Dundee, Perth and Galston in Ayrshire) on selected dates from April to August 2008.

This will be the first time that a Ayrshire Wee Walk has taken place and this will take place at Allseasons at the Meadows on Sunday 3 August 2008.

It will be the second successive year that Tesco has supported the Wee Walk series of family orientated outdoor events. Participants can either choose to walk or complete a fun run over a distance of two miles for charity or a schools or community project of their choice. For young children there is a toddlers romp and teddy bears picnic. Charity Mascots normally start off the walks and lead the fun. Entrants completing the course will receive a goody bag and a certificate and medal to thank them for participating. The Ayrshire event will also include a bouncy castle, local produce stalls, Chaplin’s Disco Bus, Children’s bungee run, egg and spoon race, youngsters paint ball, live music and inter-community tug of war event.

Tesco marketing manager in Scotland Angus Bell commented: “We are delighted once again to be supporting the Great Wee Scottish Walks – the walks are a fantastic way of encouraging Scottish children of all ages to get active while having fun along the way. The Great Wee Scottish Walks compliment well our Sports for Schools scheme which has seen nearly £2million of sport equipment and coaching given out in Scotland over the past two years.”

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon MSP has endorsed the Wee Walks and said: “In a Scotland where too few children are reaching the recommended healthy levels of physical activity and we are seeing rising levels of childhood obesity, it is hugely encouraging to see organisations like the Great Scottish Walks organise events such as the eight Wee Walks across the country. These walks will introduce children to the fun of taking part in physical activity while at the same time raising funds to benefit individuals and communities across Scotland.”

Great Scottish Walk organiser Priscilla Turner added: “We are delighted that Tesco has renewed their sponsorship of this popular event for 2008. The Wee Walks were first introduced in 2004 and designed to engage children of all ages and to encourage the youngsters to get outdoors and get fitter whilst also participating in an event which enables them to raise funds for charity and community projects in their area and across Scotland. Due to the success of the event in 2007 we have expanded the entry age for 2008 from 11 years up to 16 years inclusive and have also added a new Wee Walk location at Galston, East Ayrshire.”

Entry to a wee walk or fun run is £5 per child (3 to 16 years) and parent / guardians and infants under 3 years walk free. The Toddler romp is a distance of 100 yards – entry to the event is free – please register online.

For full details on the event and visit

Tesco is proud to support initiatives at both a national and local level, which encourage people of all ages and abilities to lead active and healthy lifestyles. In 2008 Tesco are supporting The Great Wee Scottish Walks, Falkirk School of Football, Farmhouse Breakfast Week, Royal Highland Educational Trust – taking the classroom into the Countryside and have teamed up with Kevin Keegan’s Soccer Circus and Glasgow City Council to offer over 850 school children the opportunity to take part in interactive sessions and learn about making healthy food choices. Tesco are also supporting Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life for the seventh year running and our Sports for Schools & Clubs scheme has seen nearly £2million of sports equipment and coaching given out in Scotland over the past two years’.

Great Wee Scottish Walks is part of the Great Scottish Walk series of walking events.

The Great Scottish Walk was first held in Edinburgh in 1998, with over 2,000 walkers taking part in aid of two charities. Now over 6,000 walkers of all ages, fitness and physical ability participate raising in excess of £1 million for over 100 charities. The Walks are promoted to all sections of the community, particularly encouraging groups, teams and families to walk. Inclusivity is one of the keys to the Great Scottish Walk’s success. Participants may choose from one of three distances; the 12, six or one mile course, after which walkers will be presented with a medal, certificate and a product bag.

The Great Scottish Walk is held in Edinburgh (22 June) and Glasgow (25 May). Sponsors of the Great Scottish Walk include - Scottish Slimmers, Highland Spring, Paths to Health, NHS Scotland, Young Scot and the event is also part of the Governments Healthy Living campaign.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Status Quo will rock the Burns Festival at Ayr Racecourse

ROCK icons Status Quo are to headline the 2008 Burns Rock At The Racecourse concert at Ayr Racecourse, one of the main events of the Burns an’ a’ that Festival.

As the legendary band announced the prestigious gig, founder member and guitarist Francis Rossi said: “The boys are delighted we have been asked to headline Burns Rock At The Racecourse. Normally the furthest south we are in Scotland is Glasgow, so its good to be playing Ayr.

“I’m not too familiar with the works of Burns, but I’ve plenty of time to read up before the concert, and who knows I might even recite something form his works.”

Burns Rock At The Racecourse will be staged on Saturday 24 May and follows a successful first ever Rock At The Racecourse in May 2007 which featured Deacon Blue and The Saw Doctors.

Burns Festival director Michael McDaid said: “This is great news for the Burns an’ a’ that Festival. Rock At The Racecourse was a huge success last year, and to be able to announce that a band of Status Quo’s standing will be playing next year is brilliant.

“The racecourse is a perfect venue for concerts of this type, and everyone who attended earlier this year recognised that.

“Status Quo have a huge following, and by bringing a band of this magnitude to Ayr we are sure will be build on last year’s audience of 5,000 people. The Burns an’ a’ that Festival is all about attracting visitors to this wonderful part of Scotland, and I am sure we will achieve that with this concert.”

Status Quo is one of the most successful bands in the history of rock. They formed in 1966, and have sold tens of millions of albums and singles all over the world. The band is currently on tour promoting their latest album “In Search Of The Fourth Chord”.

Tickets for the concert priced £27.50 are now on sale from Ayr Racecourse and Ticketmaster.
Ayrshire Modern Apprentices win top community prize

A TEAM of young Kilmarnock engineers has secured an impressive community award for the design of a new aviary in Dean Country Park.

Three Modern Apprentices from drinks giant Diageo in Kilmarnock designed and built the structure to house the park’s exotic birds.

[Photograph shows left to right: Scottish Enterprise manager of skills and learning Joe Hoolaghan with the three winning Diageo Modern Apprentices Michael Webb, Stewart Aitken and Christopher Differ with Fiona Stewart of Scottish Enterprise. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

Working with the park ranger, the small team agreed that improving the park’s pet corner would benefit the community. The area was very popular among visitors to the park - however, the existing aviary was old and damaged.

The apprentices had sole responsibility for planning, budgeting, sourcing funding, managing resources and project management.

The project took top prize in the Ayrshire Modern Apprenticeship Community Challenge, organised by Scottish Enterprise and Ayrshire Business in the Community. More than 20 Modern Apprentices from Ayrshire companies formed five teams to compete for the prize (see picture below).


The Community Challenge invited company apprentices to dedicate their time and skills to put something back into their local communities.

Each group completed a community project which they selected themselves after consulting their local community. A panel of independent business representatives judged the completed projects.

The quality of entrants was very high, and the judges faced some tough decisions.

A team from North Ayrshire Council upgraded an area within the grounds of James McFarlane Primary School, a special need school in Ardrossan. The apprentices designed and built a sensory garden for the children to enjoy. They had to take into account the special needs of the children, health and safety legislation to ensure that all the features were suitable for the pupils to touch and feel safely.

GE Caledonian’s team project greatly improved an area in Lainshaw Woods. Working with Stewarton Woodland Action Trust, the project team constructed benches, bird boxes and foot scrapers to enhance the experience for walkers.

A team from Goodrich Corporation worked with Stewarton Woodland Action Trust to provide a safe and secure seating place for the friends and families of a young boy, Dean McGregor, who died tragically last year. The team built a commemorative bench in the woodland area.

East Ayrshire Council created a memorial to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Kames Colliery Disaster in the small village of Muirkirk. Modern Apprentices from the council’s Building and Work department designed and produced a memorial bench that is in a prominent position within Muirkirk Cemetery.

Scottish Enterprise manager of skills and learning Joe Hoolaghan said: “The five entries were first-class. The decision-making process was tough, and it took a series of site visits for us to differentiate between some excellent projects. Ayrshire Modern Apprenticeship Community Challenge is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the calibre of young people working in Ayrshire.

“The Modern Apprentices, who are still learning their trades, have delivered some great projects that will mean a lot to their communities, while contributing significantly to their own personal development.”

Lesley Craig of Ayrshire Business in the Community said: “The Ayrshire Modern Apprenticeship Community Challenge promotes mutual benefits between employers and local communities, in addition to increasing the confidence and skills of the modern apprentices. The project sponsors and the modern apprentices thoroughly enjoyed their time together during the planning and installation phases and this also promotes citizenship within local communities.”

The winning team was presented with its award at a special ceremony at the Park Hotel, Kilmarnock on 4 February 2008.

Ayrshire Scotland Business News -
where Ayrshire business news breaks first!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Seguro Holidays open new superstore at Glasgow Prestwick Airport

SEGURO HOLIDAYS have opened their brand new purpose-built holiday superstore.

The new store is situated on the first floor of Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s terminal building and first-day visitors, more than 200 of them, had the opportunity to save 10% on selected holidays.

The opening was a double celebration for Seguro, which is the airport’s largest tour operator, as this year the company is celebrating 10 years of flying from Glasgow Prestwick.

To mark this milestone, Seguro are running a series of competitions and promotions throughout the year.

Seguro Holidays managing director Richard Burke said: “We are very proud of our new home in the airport, and we were overwhelmed at the amount of people who turned up on the opening day to show their support for Seguro by booking holidays for 2008 and meeting our staff face to face.”

Seguro Holidays began life in 1991 and their first flight left Glasgow Prestwick for Majorca in May 1998. It was the only destination they served that year with one rotation a week, carrying around 4,500 passengers.

Seguro has since grown into the airport’s largest holiday tour operator, operating all year round and currently flying around 75,000 people every year.

Seguro’s website offers customers the ability to book the traditional Seguro flight only or package holiday, but also tailor their own package by choosing their own airline, accommodation and transfers.

The Seguro sales team can be contacted on 0845 676 0043, or else visit the new website

Seguro are operating flight-only and package holiday deals to the Algarve, Benidorm, Costa Brava, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Majorca and Tenerife in 2008.

The company offers a wide range of 7 and 14 day packages, with accommodation in the two star to five star range.

Seguro operates a policy of “The Price You See is the Price You Pay” – there are £0 flight supplements and no hidden costs in the small print.

All Seguro holidays and flights are protected by Seguro Travel Limited ATOL 3251 and ABTA V7808 licenses.