Continuing success of Angus Cardiac Group

Around 40 members attended the annual general meeting of Angus Cardiac Group (ACG), which is now in its 19th year of existence.

It was an evening of constructive discussion around the events and developments of the past year.

ACG continues to be a vibrant thriving group of just short of 300 members.

This patient-led group has bucked the trend of shrinking groups and dwindling committees yet again.

Montrose, Arbroath and Forfar are the three branches in Angus and each group carries out fund-raising activities to help support cardiac care in Angus and beyond.

Mary Ballantyne, chairman, congratulated her committee for the exemplary work they have done with all the membership in promoting the group and fund-raising to support the efforts of the members as well as the organisations who support them.

“The group has actively supported a number of initiatives this last year and been very successful in securing funds to carry forward the great work done by the volunteering members,” explains Mary.

“Angus Cardiac Group (ACG) has secured The Co-operative’s Big Community Vote fund to assist with the traditional exercise classes and social interactions in an attempt to support both the physical and emotional wellbeing of the members and The Angus Activity Programme.

“ACG has secured a second tranche of funding to assist mobility and social interactions of individuals who require chair-based or circuit-based exercise regimes and to include at these classes anyone in Angus who has any long term condition.

“Both of these funds will greatly benefit members who are enduring an often wide range of physical and emotional difficulties when living with cardiac disease and other long term conditions which often accompany heart disease.

“Active living and community engagement can bring many clinical and social benefits to all who participate in the various initiatives.

The supporting and collaborative organisations working with Angus Cardiac Group will continue to play a huge part in further developing and supporting the group as the year progresses.

The NHS, Angus Primary Care Trust (PCT), Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) , Angus Council Leisure team, Long Term Conditions Alliance Scotland (LTCAS) , Audit Scotland and the Scottish Government are only a few who feature heavily in the ongoing activities of the membership.

Changes to the committee following the latest a.g.m. and subsequent committee meeting include the appointment of a new experienced treasurer, Stan Eggie from Forfar, who will take over the reins from Jean Cook, who has been a very competent and attentive ACG member.

Jean will continue on the committee as well as pursuing her many other activities.

The chairman, Mary Ballantyne has fulfilled a busy three-year period and now hands over to Gordon Snedden who will take the group into its 20th year and beyond.

Gordon was born in Glasgow in 1940 but spent his formative years growing up in Oathlaw. Adulthood saw him serve for 30 years in Tayside Police and, after leaving the police service, he formed a hillwalking holiday business taking clients from around the world on walks in the Tayside hills.

In 2001, after managing the national census for that year in Tayside and Dundee, he retired, although still doing some occasional guiding.

In 2005 one of his heart valves ruptured and, after surgery and treatment, he joined the Angus Cardiac Group.

He set up and maintained the ACG website and has faithfully served on the committee for six years, part of that time as vice-chairman.

He is a member of Tayside PPG and the Academy Medical Centre (Forfar) PPG and also involved with various committees and projects involving Angus Community Health Partnership, Tayside NHS, Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland, Long Term Conditions Alliance Scotland and the Scottish Government.

Fund-raising activities and social gatherings are programmed through 2011 in each of the branch areas and all the details these can be found on the web site at