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Provost Praises New Polish Group

A group of volunteers have set up Renfrewshire’s first officially-constituted Polish group with the aim of helping their compatriots settle into the area.

The members of Renpa – the Renfrewshire Polish Association – held their first meeting last month, at their temporary home in the Sea Cadets Hall in Paisley’s Cardell Drive.

The idea for the group came from Polish people living locally, with the aim of encouraging its members to be involved in the wider community, and to help them get access to services.

Some of the members met with Renfrewshire’s Provost, Celia Lawson, who has backed the aims of the group.

Provost Lawson said: “Renfrewshire has seen a significant influx from Poland and Eastern Europe in recent years, and many of these new arrivals have made a great contribution to the area in which they now live and work.

“Anything which helps people integrate into Renfrewshire and become a firm part of the community here is to be welcomed, and I salute everyone behind this group for their commitment to helping their neighbours.”

The group has been assisted by Engage Renfrewshire, a body which offers support to voluntary and community groups in the area.

Iain Cunningham, of Engage Renfrewshire, said: “Some of the Polish people mooted the idea that they would like their own group, and we have been working with them since last October, by helping them go through training in things like first aid.

“Young people are part of the schools and they will join in with things through that, but sometimes the older ones can feel a bit dislocated and the group hopes to be able to help people overcome that.

“We would also like to thank the Sea Cadets, because they have been brilliant by giving them a base while they get themselves up and running.”