Provost practices before charity abseil

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall has been getting in some last-minute practice before leading a charity abseil with a difference.

Provost Hall will join Renfrewshire Council chief executive David Martin and  will be part of a group of 20 people who will abseil from the roof of the council’s HQ in Cotton Street, Paisley, at noon on Saturday. (May 25)

Abseil Lapwing Lodge 04
The event will launch a new charity-giving scheme to support four local charities chosen by Provost Hall.

And joining in the event, representing charities and council departments, will be Superman, Supergirl, Batman and the Black Widow from the Avengers who will all abseil in costume.

In keeping with the Provost’s aim of involving the community in the new project, a range of entertainment has been arranged for the watching crowd on the day.

Starting at 11am, the upper deck of the council HQ car park will host a bouncy slide, an inflatable beat the goalie and a range of charity stalls.

In advance of the big day, Provost Hall visited Lapwing Lodge Outdoor Centre in Paisley for a spot of abseiling practice.

There she met up with representatives of Civil Defence Scotland (CDS), a registered charity which provides a volunteer national emergency response team to assist in emergencies such as flooding and extreme winter weather.

CDS also help other organisations and charities run fund-raising events and have offered their knowledge of organising abseils to Provost Hall for the occasion.

“I’d like to thank CDS for the time and commitment they have given to our event,” said Provost Hall. 

“And while I am looking forward to my first abseil it did no harm to get in a spot of practice!

“I’ve been very encouraged by the positive response to my aim of using the office of Provost of Renfrewshire to highlight and support the work of four outstanding local charities.

“I’d urge people to sponsor friends, family or colleagues who are taking part.  Or they can support the charities by simply donating direct to the collective charity fund online or in bank branches using Account Number: 20041937 
Sort code: 82-54-04.  Further information on the scheme is available at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostcharities

“I also hope as many people as possible come along to enjoy the event and join in the activities that have been laid on. 

“People can  take advantage of the free parking in Renfrewshire Council marked bays in Paisley town centre every weekend.”

Four charities will share equally the donations received – Renfrewshire Carers’ Centre, RAMH (Recovery Across Mental Health) and two hospices – Accord and St Vincent’s.

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Cash boost for friendship service for older people

A scheme to help older people stay out of hospital, and live longer happier lives in their own homes, is to receive a £96,000 cash boost from Renfrewshire Council, bringing the total funding from the council and the Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership to over £250,000.

The money will help Reaching Older Adults in Renfrewshire (ROAR) to continue to deliver its range of volunteer-based services designed to counter the negative effects of loneliness and isolation.

Council Leader Mark Macmillan at the ROAR lunch club in HoustonROAR started as a pilot project in June 2007 and has gone from strength to strength since then. Currently 150 volunteers provide help to 300 older adults.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work, Health and Wellbeing Policy Board, said, ““The services provided by ROAR offer vital practical help to keep people in touch with the outside world, helping people to maintain their independence and improving their quality of life.”

“As people get older they can become isolated and lonely as their family grows up and moves on and friends and acquaintances pass away.

“This can affect a person’s mood and ultimately their health. Research shows that having friends and an active social life are key factors in staying healthy for longer. They also provide an important defence against dementia.”

ROAR’s services including; activity clubs, weekly health and wellbeing clubs, a befriending service for older adults and people who suffer from dementia, a pilot shopping service and support for older people who have become isolated.

The project helps three main groups:
* Older people who are housebound and experience social isolation
* Older people who may have lost confidence and need encouragement and help to get out and about and stay active
* People whose own support networks may not be adequate and where help would improve their independence and quality of life.

ROAR works with Active Communities Scotland (Ltd), Alzheimers Scotland, Linstone Housing Association, Renfrewshire Council and the Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership to deliver its services. Visit their website for more info..

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All aboard as Street Stuff buses get back on road

Two buses used to help give the young people of Renfrewshire somewhere to go in the evenings are back on the road and coming to a venue near you.

The award-winning Street Stuff youth diversionary project runs a programme of activities – such as street football – at various sites in the area.

Street Stuff buses launchUntil last year, the Street Stuff timetable included a youth bus and gym bus, which went temporarily out of use when Arriva – which operated the vehicles – was taken over by McGill’s.

But the two buses have since been given a makeover by McGill’s and are now back on the road.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment and Infrastructure Policy Board, met up with Ralph Roberts, managing director of McGill’s, to help show off the revamped vehicles at St Mirren Park.

Councillor Devine said: “Over the last few years, Street Stuff has been doing fantastic work around Renfrewshire, with a clear trend showing a reduction in youth disorder in the areas where it operates.

“While many young people will enjoy taking part in the street football, it is important we offer a range of activities which will be of interest to everyone.

“The youth bus and gym bus have plenty which will help give those aged 10 to 18 something to do in the evenings and we are pleased they are back on the road.

“While Street Stuff has already won a series of awards, we are keen to build on its success, and the return of these buses will help us to do that.”

Ralph Roberts of McGill’s added: “McGill’s is delighted to support such a worthwhile initiative as the Street Stuff programme.

“The buses offer easy access to great facilities for teenagers across the McGill’s operating area and we were only too happy to get involved. We wish the team every success.”

The youth bus boasts Playstation and Xbox games consoles in its computer area, as well as musical equipment. The gym bus has six pieces of cardiovascular fitness equipment and Wii Fit computer games.

As well as street football with coaching from St Mirren, the Street Stuff timetable includes The Box, a multi-functional games area.

Street Stuff is a partnership between St Mirren FC, Renfrewshire Council, McGill’s, Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, Engage Renfrewshire and Reid Kerr College.

The programme attracts more than 20,000 young people a year and has led to youth disorder dropping between 18% and 40% in each area where it operates.

The current Street Stuff timetable can be viewed at www.activerenfrewshire.co.uk

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Provost teams up with Paralympian Aileen

Renfrewshire’s Provost teamed up with Paralympic medal-winning heroine Aileen McGlynn to help honour the area’s grassroots sporting champions.

Provost Anne Hall was at the Renfrewshire Sports Network Awards in Paisley Town Hall where she gave a speech in honour of Aileen.

Paralympian Aileen mcglynnThe Paisley-born cyclist – who was given an OBE in 2009 – is partially-sighted but rides in tandem with a fully-sighted pilot.

She picked up a silver medal in the summer to add to the three gold and one silver won at the Athens and Beijing Paralympics.

Provost Hall gave a short speech congratulating Aileen, who used to train with the Johnstone Wheelers club, while also praising her fellow Renfrewshire-connected Olympians and Paralympians

They are Emily Maguire, of Paisley, who won bronze in London as part of Team GB’s ladies’ hockey team, and 16-year-old Paralympic swimmer Andrew Mullen, who started out at the local REN96 club, and who qualified for three finals in the pool.

Provost Hall said: “The achievements of our Olympians and Paralympians this summer were so inspiring to watch.

“It was great to meet Aileen in person to hear her talk about her fantastic list of achievements over the years.

“There was a lot of talk during this summer of sport about legacy, and that’s what organisations like Renfrewshire Sports Network are there to build.

“The ultimate success of the London Olympics and Paralympics will be judged on how many of our young people are taking part in sport and living healthy lives.”

Aileen, 39, handed out awards to local sportspeople as the guest of honour at the town hall event.

Renfrewshire Sports Network offers representation and support to a range of sports clubs. A total of £5,800 was given out on the night to help aid local competitors.

John Rodger, chair of Renfrewshire Sports Network, said: “It was the first time we have held an event like this, but the Provost wanted to do something to help us mark the Olympic year and the achievements of our sporting champions.

“It was a great night and was really successful. We plan to do a lower-key version again next year.”

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.

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REEM – Renfrewshire Effort to Empower Minorities

From the Community Champions Section (click here to be redirected)

Introduction

During the summer of 2010 a ‘Taste of Africa’ event was held in Paisley Town Hall, organised by West of Scotland Regional Equality Council Ltd, working in partnership with local African volunteers and performers. From this event a few of the participating volunteers decided to get together to become a group and take forward some of the ideas and requests raised at the event. The more popular requests were for more events, family based activities, and setting up a ‘drop-in’ information shop somewhere in Paisley.

To assist with the various parts of how to set up a group and go about arranging activities and so on, two volunteers, during early November 2010, the group contacted members of staff at PPRC asking to arrange a meeting with one of the development officers. Just after the first meeting of REEM and PPRC a group established to support local Polish people approached REEM and asked if they could join up with them as they found themselves facing similar situations to the Africans – for example, they struggled with issues such as learning how best to contact health service providers, how to connect with the wider community of Paisley and Renfrewshire, and how to become more aware of the cultural and social norms that are taken for granted by the indigenous population.

Consultation

The group and committee members have undertaken a number of consultation sessions. They have held open meetings of the committee to find out what types of things people want to do, where they would like to visit and gauge interest in holding a carnival/parade. They have held an African cultural event in Paisley town Hall, where again they asked people what they saw as the main issues for REEM to tackle. REEM are in the process of recruiting more volunteers through their own community networks and with the assistance of Engage Renfrewshire. They have also accessed local funding and been involved in CPP community based consultation events.

Future

So far the group have organised a trip for around 50 people to the Falkirk Wheel. Within the feed-back on future ideas, people were asking to visit places that make Scotland ‘Scotland’ – for example Stirling/Edinburgh Castle, Glasgow River Side Museum, Kelvingrove Park, The Burn’s visitor Centre and lots more. As money becomes available trips and days out will be organised for as many people as they can get transport for.

The shop has proved extremely successful in generating quite a lot of ‘footfall’ with Africans and Eastern Europeans coming in to find out about numerous issues. The numbers coming in have surprised the committee so much that they are now looking at how to raise funding to employ people, and negotiate with various agencies and organisations for them to provide additional drop-in information sessions.

Visit www.renfrewshireefforttoempowerminorities.org.uk

Engage Renfrewshire – Community Champions

For more information about Engage Renfrewshire please visit www.engagerenfrewshire.com

The ‘Community Champions’ section is a showcase of local community groups and organisations in the town. Each group has been working in the community for years dealing with all sorts of issues. In partnership with Engage Renfrewshire, Paisley on the web will promote each of these groups via the website, social media and through our volunteer network.

 

‘Engage Renfrewshire’ – the single door access for community action, volunteering and the voluntary sector in Renfrewshire

All of us here at Engage are committed to a strong, diverse and influential community and voluntary sector in Renfrewshire. We support local voluntary action by providing support, knowledge, and where possible innovation. We work in partnership with other support organisations and with the public and private sectors.

A large element of our work involves promoting the views and needs of people involved in local groups. We like to share ideas and we’re keen to make local working relationships better.

Engage Renfrewshire Website