Students from Gryffe High School are attempting to raise awareness of the issues facing young people who have lost a parent or loved one by sharing their own experiences, and pioneering a new approach to bereavement support in school.
In a collaboration between the Children and Young People’s Service at St. Vincent’s Hospice and Gryffe High School, the pupil’s own words and experiences of some of their hardest moments after the loss of a significant person in their life, and attempting to readjust to school life, have been shared as part of a new set of support and information materials, aimed at teachers, parents and other pupils.
Children and Young Persons Bereavement at St. Vincent’s, Alison Provan, said “Being a teenager is a difficult time for anyone, there are so many changes going on in your life that it can be overwhelming at the best of times. Now imagine going through that after the death of a parent or someone close to you.
“Sadly, for most schools and teachers, the resources simply aren’t available to provide proper training and development to give staff the confidence and knowledge to effectively manage issues around bereavement. The students felt so passionately that they wanted to help people to understand, that we thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with Gryffe High School and develop materials which can make a real difference and offer tangible, practical support.”
As well as being a specialist provider of palliative and hospice care for people with life limiting conditions in Renfrewshire, St. Vincent’s Hospice also offers bereavement counselling and support for children and young people aged 2-18, helping them come to terms with major changes in their lives.
As part of the project, which included creating practical guides and advice for teachers, pupils and staff, the group created an “Advice from our Pupils” booklet. This listed significant incidents, issues, worries or concerns that the students had experienced while coming to terms with loss, written in their own words. This has now been made available to all teachers and support staff across the school.
Andrew Findlay, Principal Teacher for Guidance at Gryffe High School, said: “The collaboration with St. Vincent’s is something that has been in development for a couple of years. Gill Brand, a fellow Guidance Teacher at Gryffe High School, and I identified a large gap in the universal support offered to young people within a school setting. As we supported pupils who were experiencing loss and bereavement, we found that there was no specific guidance for all pupils, staff and parents to follow to ensure the pupils and their families received the best, and most appropriate support required at such difficult times.
“Through conversation with Alison, who already supported a number of pupils within the school, we discussed the possibility of creating resources to aid that process. The relationships and confidence that she had built with the pupils, allowed a unique insight into the approach staff members could take to ensure an environment is created in which a pupil would feel safe and supported.”
These materials have now been rolled out across the school, and are available for all members of staff, pupils and parents, to help them gain a more meaningful understanding of bereavement and loss for children and young people. The materials, and more information, can be found at: http://www.svh.co.uk/services/supportive-care
Campaigners marched through Paisley on Tuesday 27 November to mark the beginning of Renfrewshire’s 16 Days of Action campaign, which aims to eliminate violence and sexual abuse towards women.
The Reclaim the Night march left from the University of the West of Scotland and marched to Dunn Square where Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron led a two-minute silence in memory of those affected by domestic and sexual abuse.
The assembled campaigners also heard speeches from Renfrewshire’s Year of Young People Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell, and from White Ribbon Scotland Ambassador, Gavin Newlands MP.
The theme of the march this year was “Year of the Young People let’s talk about it” reflecting on the statistic that young people experience the highest rates of domestic abuse of any age group.
Provost Cameron said: “For far too long, fear, silence and stigma have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions – and one in three women worldwide now experience gender-based violence.
“It was inspiring to see so many people, including a huge turn-out of men and young people at the march this year. They are breaking the silence on this issue and giving hope to those who are suffering.”
The 16 Days of Action takes place from 25 November to 10 December.
Anyone suffering from domestic violence can get help via two national helplines, which are available 24 hours a day and are free to call from a landline.
Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 027 1234
Abused Men in Scotland Helpline – 0808 800 0024
Locally, Women and Children First can be contacted on 0300 300 0345
Inspiring volunteers are set to be rewarded as the Provost’s Community Awards returns for 2019.
The Community Volunteer award is once again sponsored by Glasgow Airport and sets out to recognise those who give their time and effort for nothing more than the knowledge that they are making a difference to their community.
Craig Martin, Head of HR at Glasgow Airport, said: “We’re proud to serve Renfrewshire and as a major employer is the area it is important we support the Community Awards.
“It is particular appropriate for the airport to support the Community Volunteer award as we have strong links to the local area, and the vast majority of our staff live in the Renfrewshire area.
“We are keen to recognise the contribution of the significant number of everyday heroes who are making a real difference in their communities.”
Nominations are now open and all entries must beat the deadline of Wednesday 12 December.
Craig added: “This is your opportunity to recognise the real unsung heroes in your community who are making a real difference to both their neighbourhoods and other people’s lives so get your nominations in now!”
There are five other categories which anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire can nominate in, which are Community Group, Sporting Achievement, Arts and Culture, Employee of the Year and the Carers Award.
Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “It’s great to have the support of Glasgow Airport again as part of the awards and I’m looking forward to seeing the brilliant nominations for Community Volunteer.
“It’s important we recognise those inspiring people who go above and beyond the call of duty to make Renfrewshire a better place so don’t miss your chance to give them the recognition they deserve.”
The winners and their nominators will be invited to a special ceremony on Friday 15 March at the Lynnhurst Hotel to celebrate their achievements.
The stars in Renfrewshire’s communities are set to be honoured once again this year and the long-standing sponsors of the awards have shown their support once more.
Glasgow Airport Ltd, ACRE Industiral, UNISON Renfrewshire and the Piazza Shopping Centre have committed yet again to sponsoring one of the awards which aims to recognise the unsung heroes of Renfrewshire.
Nominations for the 2019 awards are now open and will see six individuals or groups celebrated for their hard work and dedication within Renfrewshire.
Anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire is invited to nominate in any of the following categories:
- Community Volunteer (sponsored by Glasgow Airport Ltd)
- Community Group (sponsored by the Piazza Shopping Centre)
- Sporting Achievement (sponsored by ACRE Industrial)
- Employee of the Year (sponsored by UNISON Renfrewshire)
- Carers Award (sponsored by former Provost Nancy Allison)
- Arts and Culture Award (sponsored by Renfrewshire Council)
Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “We’re delighted to have the continued support of our sponsors who make it possible for me to honour some of the amazing people in our communities.
“It’s a fantastic part of my role being able to reward the inspiring people we see nominated every year and I can’t wait to see who is put forward this year.
“Please don’t miss the chance to give that person or group the recognition they deserve and get your nominations in now.”
The deadline for entries to all categories is Wednesday 12 December.
The Provost will be joined by the award sponsors and other local elected members to choose the winners who will be invited, along with their nominator, to the awards ceremony on Friday 15 March 2019 and the Lynnhurst Hotel in Johnstone.
The nominations are open for @ProvostCameron’s Community Awards 2019.
Who will you nominate in any of the six categories?
Community Volunteer, Community Group, Sporting Achievement,
Carers’ Award, Arts & Culture and Employee of the Year.
Nominate here: http://socsi.in/WFGwT
The town centre was taken over by the ghoulish extravaganza, which is one of the major events as part of the Year of Young People 2018 celebrations.
Around 500 young people and costumed performers took part in the parade, which wound its way through the town centre against a backdrop of historic steeples and spires and the 850-year-old Abbey.
The Photographs below were taken by Scottish Photography Productions and kindly allowed for use on paisley.org.uk
Year of Young People
A global first, YoYP 2018 is a part of the Scottish Government’s themed-year programme which focuses on celebrating Scotland’s greatest assets.
A year-long programme of events and festivals are taking place across the whole of the country for all ages to enjoy, led by EventScotland part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. More information at www.visitscotland.com/yoyp2018
Paisley Halloween Festival is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 Event Fund, managed by EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate.
EventScotland is working with the events and festivals sector to develop an exciting portfolio of Year of Young People 2018 public-facing events which provide opportunities for young people to express themselves through a wide range of activity.
Local authorities, schools, youth groups and organisations are running their own YoYP 2018 activity. Search #YOYP2018 on Twitter for the latest news.
Young people co-designed the Year. A group of young leaders, Communic18, lead on all key decision making. More than 380 Ambassadors are championing activity.
The Year is delivered in partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland and EventScotland – part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate, Young Scot, Scottish Youth Parliament, Children in Scotland, YouthLink Scotland and Creative Scotland.
More information can be found at yoyp2018.scot, searching @YOYP2018 #YOYP2018 on Twitter or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Charity RAMH teamed up with Renfrewshire Council employees to stock up their Re-use Superstore.
Located in Johnstone town centre and run by RAMH’s Lifeskills service, the store offers low-cost household items for sale as well as work experience and training for those wanting to boost their skills.
Stephen McLellan, RAMH Chief Executive, was at the store to receive the collection from Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.
Stephen said: “We believe firmly in supporting people recovering from mental ill health. That’s why we started the Re-use Superstore to give people the practical things they need at a low cost.
“Having the store as a place people can gain confidence as well as skills and experience to support them recover and help them to feel capable of finding suitable employment is also a big part of what we do each day.
“The collection received from Council staff will help use stock up our store ahead of the winter season.”
Provost Cameron said: “People always need low cost household items, whether it’s a new cutlery set, winter clothes or some toys for the kids.
“Giving away furniture, soft furnishings and electrical goods that you no longer need is a great way to help support others to keep their homes cosy and warm at a low cost.”
The collection was held during Challenge Poverty Week, which aims to highlight the reality of poverty and demonstrate what needs to be done across Scotland to address poverty.
Residents can support the store by bringing in working, clean and complete household items to RAMH Re-use Superstore at Houstoun Court Shopping Arcade (across from the town hall) Church Street, Johnstone, PA5 8DT.
Volunteers from across Renfrewshire hailed the Spotless September Challenge a success as they took to the streets to make a difference to the cleanliness of their local area.
More than 700 inspiring local people, both young and old, took part in more than 20 clean ups as schools, community groups, businesses and volunteers donned their bibs and set out with their litter picker to tidy up their community.
A fantastic 280 bags of rubbish were collected by Renfrewshire Council’s StreetScene team as part of the joined-up approach which the Team Up to Clean Up campaign has become known for.
Jake Fulton, Houston Litter Crew, said: “We were delighted to have taken part in the Spotless September Challenge. Litter picking is such a worthwhile thing to do in support of our community and to be part of a Renfrewshire-wide event makes it all the more meaningful and special.
“Team Up to Clean Up is a wonderful initiative, which mobilises and assists communities to improve their environment. It creates a sense of momentum, it brings communities together and it allows new friendships to form.”
Litter picks are supported by the Community Wardens who offered advice, encouragement and the equipment to take part as part of the drive to change the behaviour of those who drop litter and fail to take care of where they live.
Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I’m continually astounded by the support and enthusiasm that the community put behind the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and this weekend of action is yet another example.
“We are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that we’re sweeping the streets, clearing gullies and collecting litter more often than has been done before as we realise that commitment is needed on both sides to make this campaign a success.
“We are making a real difference to the cleanliness of our streets and I want to thank everyone person, group or business who is taking the campaign forward.”
To close the weekend, a special thank you event was hosted at Paisley Town Hall to pay tribute to the local people who have driven the campaign forward from the grassroots level.
Local groups were awarded certificates of appreciation as they gave short presentations on why they’ve taken part and what they have achieved so far.
Karen Campbell, Pals of the Privies, said: “We have come a long way in such a short space of time as part of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign. We’ve never had a plan, simply going by our community’s concerns, but we’ve managed to change an area that people were previously scared to use as well as giving our children a safe place to play.
“Over the last 8 months our community has started to become the Ferguslie we all know best so thank to my community for supporting us to Team Up to Clean Up.”
There was also a showcase of the new Team Up to Clean Up caddies which will provide local groups with equipment to carry out clean ups and will be available for use later this year.
Councillor McEwan added: “I was delighted to see such a great turnout for the thank you event as we wanted to show our appreciation for all the fantastic work which local people are carrying out.
“It’s great to see people taking a real pride in their community and taking it upon themselves to make a difference – be it a two minute clean up on their way home or an afternoon spent cleaning up the local park.
“We’ll continue to do our bit and I know that these inspiring people will continue to do theirs, who’s going to join them?”
The Team Up to Clean Up campaign has been allocated £2.5million across five years to make a difference to the local environment in Renfrewshire.
As part of the investment an increased programme of road sweeping and gully cleaning is in place, as well six community litter pickers across Renfrewshire and an enhanced Rapid Response Team who deal with roadside litter and local community issues.
For more information on the campaign, what it entails and how to get involved, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/
Communities across Renfrewshire are joining forces this weekend (28-30 Sep) to make it a Spotless September in Renfrewshire.
Schools, community groups, businesses and volunteers will be donning their bibs, grabbing their litter pickers and heading out onto the streets of Renfrewshire to make a difference as part of the Spotless September Challenge.
More than 20 litter picks are scheduled to take place across the weekend, with numerous other groups heading out this week to ensure they still do their bit for the Team Up to Clean Up campaign.
The community clean-ups have been arranged by local people and new volunteers are encouraged to join in at any of the events taking place across Renfrewshire.
Every litter pick is supported by Renfrewshire Council’s Community Wardens and StreetScene team to deliver the equipment and remove collected litter after the event.
Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I can’t wait to see the number of inspiring volunteers who will set out across Renfrewshire this weekend to make it a cleaner, brighter place to live and somewhere they take pride in staying.
“Whether it’s five minutes, an hour or a full afternoon, it all makes a difference to the cleanliness of our streets and I’m so proud of the way people have taken this campaign to new heights.
“Thank you to everyone who is taking part, and if you’re not yet planning to then please come along if you can and learn about all the worthwhile work going on in our communities.
“The events are open to all and the volunteers are always delighted to meet another keen face!”
A special, free, thank you event is being hosted on Sunday 30 September, 2:30pm-5.30pm, at Paisley Town Hall to thank everyone that has taken part over the weekend, and the campaign as a whole, since it began almost a year ago.
Anyone who has taken part, however small, is invited along for food, chat and a chance to meet like-minded people as the campaign takes a look back at what has been achieved so far.
For a full list of the clean ups taking place, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/