suicide memorial tree, purple hearts

Bereaved relatives gather for suicide memorial

Renfrewshire residents who have lost loved ones to suicide gathered in Paisley for a special service.

The event was organised by the local support group of Survivors of Bereavement through Suicide (SOBS), and was attended by Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall.

Those attending the annual event met at council HQ in Cotton Street for a short service led by Reverend Alan Birss and Father Stephen Baillie

They then proceeded outside the building, to a special tree which was planted four years ago as a memorial for suicide victims.

The Provost laid a wreath and lit the tree, after which visitors had the chance to place purple hearts with messages written on them on its branches in memory of their loved ones.

Provost Hall – who welcomed guests to a reception in Paisley Abbey after the event – said: “Hearing the stories of people who have been affected by suicide really brings home the extent to which it affects the lives of those who are left behind.

“Events like this help raise awareness of the issue, and make sure anybody struggling to cope is aware they aren’t alone and help is out there.”

Moira Buchanan, 39, began attending SOBS meetings after her sister Mary took her life two years ago.

She said: “When it happens, you go through so many different feelings all at once. As individuals we have different experiences.

“When I first went along to the SOBS meetings, I found it quite incredible. You can talk in privacy and share your stories.”

The event was supported by Choose Life, the national strategy to prevent suicide in Scotland.

Local Choose Life co-ordinator Rosemary Mullan added: “Every day, two people in Scotland die from suicide, but talking about it can save lives.

“If you are worried someone is suicidal, ask them – it could make the difference. And if you feel suicidal, talk to someone you trust or call a helpline.”

The national helpline Breathing Space can be reached on 0800 83 85 87, and the number for The Samaritans is 08457 90 90 90.

For more information on the Renfrewshire meetings of SOBS, call 0141 849 2200, or email rosemary.mullan@renfrewshire.gov.uk

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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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NEWS FROM THE ROTARY CUB OF PAISLEY

QUEST4TALENT 2013

Have you got what it takes?

The Rotary Club of Paisley is gearing up to launch the 2013 Quest4talent competition for young people.
Now in its fifth year this has become a popular established competition which has already helped some of the areas most talented young performers on the road to success.

Q4TlogoThe competition is open to young people from 6 to 25 years with categories in vocal, instrumental, soloists and groups, choirs, bands,dance, and entertainers.
This year there are two new categories- musical theatre and Scottish traditional music.

The Grand Final is on Saturday 20th April 2013 in Paisley Town Hall with the heats taking place during March.
The competition aims to give as many young people as possible a chance to perform on the stage and at the same time raises money for charity.
In the past the charities which have benefited have included Rotary’s End Polio Now, Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, and Paisley YMCA.

www.quest4talent.org.uk