- Winning road safety designs make 2014 calendar
- New CHCP help number launches
- ER Smokefree Community Services
- Local Christian charity celebrates its 150th anniversary
- Public event for new Barrhead High plans
- Pupils star struck by NASA visit
- Praise for award-winning housing team
- Theatre treat for children
- X Factor star is a smash hit at school
- School pupils fully booked for outdoor fun
Winning road safety designs make 2014 calendar
Talented children from East Ren schools who drew the pictures featured in the 2014 East Ren road safety calendar were presented with certificates and vouchers by Provost Alastair Carmichael.
More than 1,000 youngsters from all East Ren primary schools submitted their posters of road safety messages and the best designs from across the area were chosen as winners. The prizes included each artist's work being featured as a monthly illustration in next year's calendar.
Twelve winners in total received a certificate and Silverburn vouchers for their efforts.
The Rowan Quaich, presented to the school that had performed best overall, went to Kirkhill Primary with principal teacher Lisa David collecting the Quaich.
The winners were as follows:
Group 1 - Winners (P1)
1st Imogen Thomson, Braidbar Primary
2nd Jessica Lok, Busby Primary
3rd Aidan Roberts, St Thomas Primary
Group 2 - Winners (P2-P3)
1st Calum Veitch, Kirkhill Primary
2nd Jennifer Addie, Busby Primary
3rd Maryam Wassay, Kirkhill Primary
Group 3 - Winners (P4-P5)
1st Lawizah Shahbaz, Thornliebank Primary
2nd Sunny Boe-Anderson, Braidbar Primary
3rd Emma Gillespie, Kirkhill Primary
Group 4 - Winners (P6-P7)
1st Lucy Miller, Kirkhill Primary
2nd Nathan McCulloch, Netherlee Primary
3rd Susan Howie, Kirkhill Primary
New CHCP help number launches
A new phone number has been launched to help anyone who needs support from health or social care in East Renfrewshire.
0141 577 3777 aims to get the right help from the appropriate CHCP service to those who call the number and meet residents' needs sooner.
The new number was set up to give residents just one number to ring when they are looking for health or social care help or information. This should minimise the number of calls an individual will make, avoid duplication and enable people to make contact with the appropriate service more quickly.
Councillor Alan Lafferty, convener for social work and health said: "We've listened to suggestions from those who use our services and a common theme was that people wanted a single number to phone when they need to get in touch and request support or information. Based on this we've set up one phone number - 0141 577 3777 - to initiate contact with the CHCP."
The CHCP is a partnership between East Renfrewshire Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGG&C) and brings together local community and primary care health services from NHSGG&C and social work services from East Renfrewshire Council.
ER Smokefree Community Services
For anyone who is considering stopping in the New Year, East Renfrewshire Smokefree Community Services offer free help and support as giving up is not always easy. By coming along to a local group and using a stop smoking product you are giving yourself the best chance of success.
What support is available?
- Friendly and informal group support offered at Barrhead and Clarkston options of daytime and evening sessions
- One to one sessions for those unable to attend groups
- Telephone support for those discharged from hospital
- Practitioners can also help you to decide on the best way to stop smoking and stay stopped for good
Within in East Renfrewshire, all community pharmacies also offer support to smokers who want to stop. Please ask your local pharmacy for details.
Whether you are stopping smoking for health or financial reasons it's never too late to stop. The benefits include improved health and bank balance for many people who decide to take the step and quit for good.
If you would like to attend a group for support or would like more information and advice go to 'East Renfrewshire Smokefree Community Services' or telephone the service on 0141 577 4804.
Local Christian charity celebrates its 150th anniversary
The Barrhead based Society of St Vincent De Paul celebrated its 150th anniversary recently at a civic reception organised by East Renfrewshire Council.
Provost Alastair Carmichael welcomed members of the local clergy and Councillors Danny Devlin, Tommy Reilly, Kenny Hay and Charlie Gilbert attended the reception in St John's Church hall in Barrhead.
Members of the group were invited to the reception.
Former East Renfrewshire councillor Danny Collins is president of the society which is believed to be one of the oldest in Britain.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul is a Christian charity that aims to help people in need from all walks of life and in any situation.
It is made up entirely of volunteers and is based at St John's Church in Barrhead.
The group is also celebrating the 150th anniversary by publishing a booklet on their history.
Public event for new Barrhead High plans
Members of the public will have the chance to find out more about the new Barrhead High School at a special consultation session next month.
East Renfrewshire Council has organised the public drop-in event.
It will take place at the council offices in Barrhead Main Street on Tuesday 14 January from 3 to 7pm.
Local residents are invited to call in at any time during those hours where they will be able to find out what is proposed for the £24 million Barrhead High replacement.
There will be representatives from the council and also from the companies who are responsible for designing and building the new school.
Everyone is welcome to drop in and view the initial plans for the new Barrhead High, ask questions, and give their comments on what's proposed.
Convener for education and equalities, Councillor Elaine Green, said: "This event is just the latest in the widespread consultation the council is undertaking on the plans for our new Barrhead High School.
"We are keen to let people know more about the wonderful new school we want to deliver for the current pupils of Barrhead as well as the next generation.
"We also want local residents' input into this major investment so I would urge everyone to come along on 14 January and let us know their views."
The council is proposing to build a replacement Barrhead High School at a cost of £24 million. It is to be built under the Scottish Government-funded 'schools for the future' programme, from which £12 million towards the cost has been secured.
The stunning new Eastwood High in Newton Mearns was also built under this programme.
It is planned to create the new school on land behind the existing building in Cowan Park.
The site of the current school would then be restored to parkland, which would increase the green space in the park.
The council is also proposing major improvements to Cowan Park in conjunction with the school construction. A masterplan for this is being drawn up in conjunction with partners . Ideas include a skate park, new trails and a high-quality play area.
Pupils star struck by NASA visit
Two East Renfrewshire school pupils are over the moon after a once-in-a-lifetime visit to NASA.
Hayley Moss and Eve McGlynn spent a week in Texas in the USA at space school after winning one of just 10 Scottish places.
Woodfarm High pupil Hayley, and Eve, who attends St Ninian's, beat more than 400 pupils from across Scotland to get the opportunity to travel to Houston.
During their time at space school, they were given a tour of the NASA space centre, usually strictly off limits to anyone outside the space programme.
There they watched astronauts training in the Neutral Bouyancy Laboratory, and saw the famous Saturn V, the biggest rocket in the world.
Eve and Hayley also visited Rice University, where John F Kennedy made his legendary 'man on the moon' declaration.
And there were talks from astronauts and a meeting with Gene Kranz, flight director of the Apollo XIII mission, plus a mock landing on the moon.
Both Hayley and Eve say they had a fantastic time as part of the 'Houston Ten', as they called themselves.
Hayley, who is in S6, said: "Houston was a life-changing experience.
"Everyone I spoke to was enthusiastic and friendly and I feel so privileged to have spent a week as part of the Houston Ten.
"The trip allowed me to experience the full scope that a future in science and engineering has to offer and reinforced my desire to pursue a future in science.
"It's a trip I'll always cherish."
Eve, also an S6 pupil, said: "It seems surreal that I was in Houston, having dinner with astronauts and seeing things never before shown to space school pupils.
"We received numerous talks from experienced astronauts - but even our hundreds of photographs are barely enough to convince me that any of it really happened.
"And despite their prestigious qualifications and towering intellects, everyone we spoke with could not have been more enthusiastic in sharing their stories and answering our questions."
The group also enjoyed seeing the Orion capsule, NASA's latest innovation, which will be used for transportation to the International Space Station.
Downtime included dinner with a group of astronauts and taking in an American football game.
Praise for award-winning housing team
The team behind an award-winning £500,000 housing project has been praised for their success.
East Renfrewshire Council's innovative mixed tenure improvement scheme has won a national award after impressing judges.
Now they have been congratulated by councillors after the trophy was presented to key members of the team at an East Ren Council meeting.
The innovative mixed tenure improvement scheme aims to improve blocks of mixed occupation - council tenants, owner occupiers and private lets.
It is the first of its kind in Scotland and has been a real success story.
It has just won a National Good Practice Award from TPAS, the Tenant Participation Advisory Service, where it was hailed as 'outstanding and innovative' and 'head and shoulders above the rest'.
Convener for housing, Councillor Danny Devlin, said: "What an outstanding achievement by everyone involved in this programme.
"I have seen first hand the difference it has made to shared closes and gardens right across the local authority area.
"Once again East Renfrewshire Council has led the way in Scotland with an innovative project that is delivering real tangible results.
"I was delighted to be able to congratulate them personally in the council chambers. This, and their award, is very well deserved."
The improvement scheme was set up in April with a budget of £500,000.
Since then there have been 140 overgrown gardens tackled, more than 150 closes cleaned, more than 60 closes painted, and a range of improvements such as fence repairs and replacement, footpath improvement and tree and shrub removal.
A 'hit squad' to tackle one-off requests from residents for work such as refuse clearance has been set up, employing local young job seekers.
Small local firms have been given contracts to carry out many of the improvements, helping sustain around 20 local jobs.
And the project has won praise from local residents, who say it has led to improvements being maintained right across mixed housing blocks and improved community spirit.
Also, by giving buildings and estates a makeover, empty properties that were difficult to let are now proving more popular.
Theatre treat for children
A special theatre treat for youngsters is coming to Eastwood Park Theatre this Christmas.
The Edibles is a multi-sensory show full of magical ingredients.
And it's being served up for children aged three to seven from Wednesday 18 to Friday 20 December.
The Edibles is set in a bakery during winter time when there are lots of festive treats. But when the bakers go to bed, the cakes just won't go to sleep!
There will be two shows each day, starting at 10.30am and 1.30pm.
Wednesday's shows are exclusively for children who would benefit from a more relaxed theatre environment, including those on the autistic spectrum or with sensory or communication conditions.
It has been endorsed by the National Autistic Society Scotland. Robert MacBean of the society said: "Many of our supporters, who are people with autism and their families, tell us they are keen to celebrate Christmas with fun activities, but can struggle to access mainstream entertainment venues.
"By making some simple adjustments to their performances of The Edibles, Eastwood Park Theatre and Grinagog Theatre have given families affected by autism a brilliant opportunity to enjoy the same Christmas entertainments many people take for granted, in an atmosphere where they don't risk being judged."
Tickets are £8 standard and £6 for concessions / children - but ALL tickets for all performances are just £5 if you quote the special promo code TREAT when booking.
Any families wishing to attend either of the special 'relaxed' Wednesday shows are asked to contact the box office directly to book, rather than use the online facility.
The box office can be contacted on 0141 577 4956. For more information see The Eastwood Park Theatre website.
X Factor star is a smash hit at school
A STAR from this year's X Factor series has wowed the crowds at an East Renfrewshire high school.
Finalist Sam Callahan called in to Barrhead High to meet delighted pupils.
The Essex boy told his excited audience to 'follow their dreams' - and revealed his favourite to win the X Factor crown this year.
The 19-year-old tipped Scots singer Nicholas McDonald to take the title when the final is held later this month.
During his flying visit to Barrhead High School on Monday, Sam hosted a question and answer session for a large group of pupils.
He also chatted with the young people and posed for pictures.
The singer dropped in to Barrhead High as part of a tour of schools and other venues in Scotland.
Sam was a popular finalist and progressed far in the X Factor, only being voted out last month, halfway through the competition. He lost out to Luke Friend in the sing-off.
Remaining in the final are Sam's favourite Nicholas, who is 16 and from Motherwell, prison officer Sam Bailey, 17-year-old Luke and boyband Rough Copy.
School pupils fully booked for outdoor fun
Pupils at an East Renfrewshire school are booked in for a challenge with a difference.
The major outdoors test is being attempted by youngsters at Isobel Mair School, which is for children with additional support needs.
And it will see pupils try to take on no less than 50 different tasks out in the fresh air.
The challenge is called '50 things to do outdoors before you leave Isobel Mair School'.
It has been inspired by the National Trust's '50 things to do before you're 11 and three-quarters' scheme, which is signing up youngsters right across the country.
Both have the same aim - to encourage children to leave behind their TVs and computer games and get out into the great outdoors for some simple fun instead.
The National Trust programme challenges children to try things such as skimming a stone or playing pooh sticks.
At Isobel Mair, it does exactly the same - with some adjustments to suit the pupils' different level of ability.
So, for playing pooh sticks, some children will experience being on the bridge while the game is played and handle the sticks before they are thrown in, others will help throw a stick in as part of a group and watch for it to re-emerge, while others will throw their sticks in themselves and excitedly look to see who is the winner.
Pupils have their entire time at Isobel Mair to work their way through the challenges, which will be carried out with help from their teachers.
There will be bronze level certificates for children competing 15 challenges, silver for 30 and gold for 50.
Pupils will record the completion of their challenges in special books that have been printed for every child at Isobel Mair.
The books and the challenges were launched at a special event held in the school's outdoor classroom, where director of education Mhairi Shaw was special guest.
Mrs Shaw was also treated to a performance of 'Room on the Broom', from the popular children's book by Julia Donaldson, by pupils and staff.
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