Africa-bound Fraser in call for phones

An enterprising Paisley school pupil hopes to mobilise some help ahead of an African adventure – by funding his journey with old phones.

Fraser Ross, a fourth-year pupil at Gleniffer High, is one of 24 school pupils planning to jet off to Malawi next year to carry out charity work.

The youngsters are responsible for funding their own trip, and Fraser came up with the idea of selling off unused phones in a bid to raise cash.

As a helping hand, a box has been placed in council HQ at Cotton Street, Paisley, for staff to drop in their out-of-date mobiles for Fraser to collect.

Fraser and teacher Linda Bowie – one of the staff members going on the trip – visited Renfrewshire House, where they were met by council leader Mark Macmillan, and education convener Jacqueline Henry.

Councillor Macmillan said: “The Gleniffer High pupils are going to Malawi to carry out some very worthwhile work for a great cause.

“I’m sure they will have the trip of a lifetime, and will enjoy an experience which will stay with them forever.”

Councillor Henry added: “The pupils are working hard to raise the funds. Fraser has come up with an excellent idea and when I heard about it, I was keen to help.

“I hope council employees will be kind enough to help him with his ambitions by donating their unused phones.

“And if any other local organisations are able to help the pupils reach their fundraising target, I would encourage them to call the school on tel: 01505 20813116

The 24 pupils and four staff members are due to visit Dzenza Primary School in the Dedza region of the impoverished African country.

There, they hope to be involved in a project to build a new schoolhouse. Gleniffer pupils have already contributed towards various projects at the Malawian school.

Fraser said: “The trip will be a once-in-a lifetime opportunity and myself and the rest of the pupils are already really excited.

“We are really grateful for the help we have received and would like to thank everybody who has donated so far.”

Head teacher David Nicholls added: “The pupils are really looking forward to going to Malawi.

“This is a special project which has generated huge interest in from pupils and parents and we are absolutely delighted to be part of it.”

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Linwood High School shot for The Holmes Partnership.

Linwood High School: Lessons From Auschwitz

27 January marked international Holocaust Memorial Day. Across the globe, people are asked to remember and stand by those who were forced to live through these experiences of Holocaust, to honour those communities which were destroyed in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Linwood High School shot for The Holmes Partnership.Holocaust Memorial Day provides an opportunity for everyone to learn lessons from the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides and apply them to the present day to create a safer, better future. On HMD we share the memory of the millions who have been murdered in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur in order to challenge hatred and persecution in the UK today.

As part of this ongoing learning process, students from across Renfrewshire annually participate in the Lessons from Auschwitz programme, which allows students and their teachers the opportunity to visit the former concentration camp and learn about its significance in order to then pass on the lessons in their schools and communities.

Following their visit, Fiona Lawrie and Sarah Cooper, who both attend Linwood High, have created an evocative mural containing powerful images from the former concentration camp, in Poland.

The pupils visited the site, which is now a museum in honour of victims of the Holocaust in November 2011.

John McColl, head of religious studies at Linwood High, is full of praise for the work produced by Fiona, 17, and 18-year-old Sarah.

He said: “What they have produced is a large piece highlighting the shared humanity which runs between the people who suffered during the Holocaust and themselves.”

The work has previously been displayed at St Mungo’s Museum, in Glasgow and the Scottish Parliament.

It is now being displayed at Paisley Museum and Art Galleries as part of the annual Inspired Exhibition, which showcases creative work by young people from across Renfrewshire and will be officially opened by Councillor Henry.

In praise of the young people’s work, Cllr Henry remarked:

“Inspired by their journey to Aushwitz, these young people have created a thought provoking piece of work which challenges us to reflect on the holocaust atrocities and the devastating effects it had on the various communities. This is something which has to be remember to help us move forward and to learn from the events of the past.”

For further information on Inspired or any of our future exhibitions and shows log on to or follow us on Facebook

Schools Badminton Festival

Active Renfrewshire

12,000 get Active in Renfrewshire 

Thousands of children in Renfrewshire are swapping the sofa for the sports hall according to a new report.

Last year over 12,000 pupils took part in lessons, events and taster sessions designed to make local children more active and help to build up the area’s sporting infrastructure. The figures are contained in the 2011/12 annual report for Active Schools – a partnership which promotes healthy lifestyles and involvement in sport.

The intensive sporting activity over 2011/12 generated a significant haul of precious metals for Renfrewshire. Pupils won 10 gold medals and three silvers at events outside the region. Six competitors from the Paisley Piranhas Swimming Club secured a further eight gold medals and two silver medals at the regional championships at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board, said, “Our Active Schools programme is a key part of our drive to deliver on the National Physical Activity Strategy, ‘Let’s Make Scotland More Active.’

“Active Schools is about building exercise into young people’s lives by developing Renfrewshire’s sporting infrastructure. A major part of the programme is to train the trainers and create qualified coaches who can take their expertise into the community. Over 400 volunteer coaches have been recruited, trained and deployed. These figures show that we are achieving our goals.

“But this isn’t just about hitting targets. Active Schools helps pupils develop a lifelong passion for sports that will protect their health and build their fitness. Not only that but we are now seeing graduates from the training programmes going on to represent Scotland in our national teams.”

The foundation for the programme’s success is this core of trainers which consists mainly of teachers and students from the Renfrewshire School of Sport Education and other award programmes. These help pupils acquire essential life skills such as team working, organisation and communication.

The Active Schools programme for primaries involves seven key sports: tennis, badminton, hockey, rugby, basketball, netball and athletics. It also includes dance events.

Between August and March 2011 some 382 clubs were open to pupils in primaries one to seven. These prepared the 8,822 participants for the Gateway to the Games event held during National School Sports Week 2012. The primary school programme also enabled pupils to take part in 44 sporting festivals.

Over 800 pupils got involved in primary school football and netball leagues and another 600 took part in two dance performance evenings held in March 2012 with partners, Infusion Dance.

St Mirren Football Club and the Scottish Football Association helped deliver a six week football programme for primary twos and threes in 12 primary schools. Similar programmes were also held for rugby, hockey and basket ball.

The secondary Active Schools programme focused on badminton, hockey, rugby, tennis and volleyball. Dance and fitness clubs were also provided in all schools to target girls and young women.

Fit for Girls, an innovative new scheme supported by the Youth Sport Trust and Sportscotland ran in seven secondary and two special schools. The aim of the project is to encourage less active girls to take part in all-girl activities which are designed to build their self-confidence and remind them that sport can be fun.

Girl’s rugby was a prominent feature of the Active Schools during 2011/12. One hundred girls took part in the first ever West of Scotland 7s tournament at Scotstoun Leisure Centre. A girl’s rugby academy has also been established for primary six to S6 and 30 pupils regularly attend training. Two of the pupils were selected for the West Under 18s in 2011 and are now playing in the Scotland Women’s Under 20 squad.

Pupils from Renfrewshire’s special schools took part in the Renfrewshire Special Games and hosted two regional events for children with a disability – the West of Scotland Junior Boccia Championship and the Renfrewshire ASN Indoor Athletics Championship.

Active Schools’ key sports are developed and delivered with relevant local clubs including Paisley and Bishopton Rugby Clubs, Kelburne Hockey Club, Strathgryffe Tennis Club, Basketball Paisley, Kilbarchan Athletics Club and Netball Renfrewshire. This partnership approach encourages pupils to become more involved in community club sports.

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council