Glasgow City Council today (6 February) adopted the Open Space Strategy for the city – a document that will identify and guide how open space can be used to improve health, liveability and the resilience of Glasgow.

 

Open spaces in Glasgow are diverse and include the city’s parks, gardens, allotments, civic spaces, rivers, lochs and ponds.

 

A draft version of the strategy was put out to public consultation, and the overwhelmingly positive response – along with the input of other stakeholders – helped to inform the future response.

 

Through the Open Space Strategy (OSS), there is now the ability to analyse open spaces on a local level, audit existing open spaces and their functions, and use this information to guide engagement on how best to use and manage these open spaces.

 

A process has been identified to help monitor and deliver how the strategy can achieve its aims of enhancing local quality of life and the environment, and this is shown below:

 

  • Establish current and future need;
  • Plan for current and future need;
  • Inform future use; and
  • Deliver future use.

 

Through this process, the strategy’s action plan will help to deliver the aims of a more healthy, liveable and resilient Glasgow.

 

The strategy will direct future decisions on open spaces, such as whether they should be enhanced or used for other open space purposes; where priorities for maintenance may lie; and where opportunities may exist to plant trees or let them regenerate naturally. It will also identify where new open spaces should be created and where using existing open spaces for other purposes may be appropriate.

 

The strategy has responded to the Climate Emergency – open space has a key role to play in providing for both carbon savings and in helping the city adapt to climate change – as well as the council’s recently-published Pollinator Plan, and will be published as an accessible, easy to read document.

 

Discussions with local communities and organisations will take place to establish aspirations for open spaces in their areas, and the council will work with partners – such as the NHS – to deliver mutually supporting aims. The strategy will also help to co-ordinate the roles, policies and strategies of council services with open space responsibilities.

 

Delivery of the strategy will also see the council supporting community groups to manage open spaces through asset transfer, participatory working and/or co-production; identifying options for maintaining open spaces less intensively – for instance, growing trees can reduce grass cutting that generate benefits for biodiversity; investigate where our open spaces might be able to generate income – e.g. by generating renewable heat or energy; and identifying whether there may be open spaces that are not needed to meet current or future need and where income may be generated from their sale.

 

Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “Our open spaces are enormously important to us, socially, economically and environmentally, and considering how we can best use them is crucial to our future quality of life and success.  The Open Space Strategy for Glasgow will guide us in our efforts to make the city more healthy, liveable and resilient.”

A Glasgow City Council committee today (6 February) approved almost £70,000 ENV2 funding towards the creation of a children’s play area and a woodlands community space in the North Toryglen Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA).

 

Both the play area and the community space will be built on council-owned land.  ENV2 funding for these comes from contributions from the building of the Crudens’ housebuilding.

 

North Toryglen is one of Glasgow’s eight Transformational Regeneration Areas, with extensive demolition of unpopular housing stocks clearing land for new housing, with 100 socially-rented homes for GHA tenants displaced by demolition and 104 homes for sale (by Crudens) built.  Another 127 for sale are either on site or planned.  The area also now has a 120-bedspace elderly care home.

 

Although North Toryglen has benefited from these developments, the surrounding quality of open space and standards of connectivity with other areas need to be improved.  To address this, a greenspace group was set up though the local delivery group.  The main partners of this sub-group – Glasgow City Council, Clyde Gateway and Urban Roots – have now drawn up proposals for improvements, following public consultation events.

 

These proposals include the delivery of new public space, parkland and a network of sustainable transport routes with the intention the area will become more permeable, raising the profile for local residents, visitors and those using the through routes on bikes and other non-motorised transport.  The creation of the children’s play area and the woodlands community space will be important part of these proposals to come to, and will be delivered by the summer of 2022.

 

Both projects sit within the wider greenspace strategy for the area, which aims to attract a capital budget of almost £3.35million.  The greenspace group is attracting funding from Glasgow City Council; the Scottish Government’s Vacant & Derelict Land Fund; Scottish Natural Heritage’s Green Infrastructure Fund, SUSTRANS and Transforming Communities: Glasgow.

 

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “While the standard of housing in North Toryglen has been transformed in recent years, there have been issues with the quality of open space, accessibility and connections to surroundings areas.  The new children’s play area and woodlands community space will be the first of a series of projects to tackles these issues, allowing the community the chance to fully enjoy their local spaces.”

Thomas1

People who have conquered drug addiction have earned jobs with Glasgow services helping others on the road to recovery.

Glasgow Alcohol and Drug Recovery Service (GADRS) recently employed 13 new staff – half of whom are people with personal experience of addiction.

Thomas1

Dad-of-three, Thomas (aged 50) of the Gorbals, started sniffing solvents as a teenager in the 80s and later began to use opiates. Heroin addiction saw him overdosing more times than he can remember and spending years in and out of hospitals and prisons.

Thomas said: “I was aware of the potential consequences, but it was about trying to fit in and find a sense of belonging. It was a form of self-harm to cope with childhood trauma and it had a massive impact on my social, physical and psychological development.

“It also impacted on my family. They tried to be supportive, but they couldn’t understand it, and didn’t know what to do for the best. People understood alcohol addiction in the 1980s, but no-one was prepared for the explosion in drug addiction.”

Attitudinal change in the criminal justice system around the year 2000, set Thomas on the route to recovery after decades of destructive behaviour and stints in prison. Instead of jailing him for shoplifting to feed his habit, a sheriff gave him an 18 months suspended sentence and ordered him to undergo treatment in the community.

Thomas said: “The courts realised they weren’t solving anything by just locking people up. They gave me a chance. I started to engage with services, my care manager was supportive and helpful. I got access to psychotherapy to deal with childhood trauma and the underlying issues of my drug taking. I was sofa-surfing at the time, so I also got involved with homelessness services.”

Six months in rehab at Rainbow House in Glasgow helped him come off drugs and, despite a brief relapse in 2013, he hasn’t looked back. Thomas got involved with the South East Recovery After Care Group – one of the city’s first peer led groups to come out of discussions about service redesign with people with lived experience.

He volunteered full-time with the group and later earned a part-time post as a peer educator. He’s since gained SVQs in health and social care and community development, completed a three week placement in Sweden where he learned about the country’s work to get people recovering from addiction into employment and advised medical professionals and social workers on new treatment options in Glasgow such as the Heroin Assisted Treatment facility and the proposed Safer Drug Consumption Facility.

Thomas has been thrilled to help others in the Gorbals where he admits he was previously known for his addiction and is now known for his recovery.

He is now about to start a permanent, full-time post as a Social Care Worker with South Glasgow Alcohol and Drug Recovery Service.

His message to anyone grappling with addition is: “There is a better life out there. Sometimes it’s just about grabbing it with both hands, accepting help and creating and developing your own opportunities. There is a way out and there are people there to help you.”

Susanne Millar, Glasgow’s Chief Social Worker, believes the views of people with lived experience offer service providers real insight into the barriers to recovery.

She said: “Knowledge from people with lived experience is invaluable to the city’s Health and Social Care Partnership.

“They can understand and empathise with other people who are wrestling with addiction better than anyone else. They know the challenges people face and, importantly, they know coping mechanisms, how to tackle challenges and all about the various services available. We work closely with people with lived experience on many projects. Their input continues to help shape and redesign services, so that they are more easily accessible and deliver better outcomes for people with complex issues.

“People like Thomas are living proof that addiction can be overcome to rebuild successful, productive lives free from drugs and alcohol. I congratulate everyone who recently earned jobs with the recovery service and look forward to working with them all going forward.”

RECOVERY CAFES 

Glasgow has a network of recovery cafes across the city including Govanhill, the Gorbals, Whiteinch, Parkhead, Ibrox and Easterhouse.

They aim to reduce stigma around addiction, promote recovery by making it visible within communities and upskill people for new and improved lives after addiction.

Activities for people in recovery include table tennis, art classes, massage, yoga, reiki, welfare rights and housing advice, healthy lunches, shared experience sessions, recovery meetings, beauty and nail treatments. Children’s 1st also provide activities for children during the sessions.

The cafés aim to boost people’s self-confidence, help them overcome barriers to recovery and develop new skills to increase their employability.

LauraEllenBacon_580

A new exhibition at The Lighthouse in Glasgow – Woman’s Hour Craft Prize – showcases the work of the 12 finalist of the inaugural prize, a collaboration between BBC Radio 4, the Crafts Council and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

LauraEllenBacon_580

The exhibition opens on 30 March.

 

The prize was established to find and celebrate the most innovative and exciting craft practitioner or designer-maker in the UK, and seeks to reward originality and excellence in concept, design and process.

 

The work on display includes handwoven willow structures, futuristic glass figures and carefully darned clothing to bespoke bicycles and unfired clay installations.  The pieces exhibited explore issues as varied as consumer culture, identity and heritage.

 

The winner of the inaugural prize was ceramicist Phoebe Cummings.

 

Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome this exhibition to The Lighthouse, one not to miss for the many people who are interested in craft and designer-making.  The work on display comes from some of the finest practitioners in the UK.”

 

More information on the exhibition, which runs from 30 March – 26 May, is available at: http://www.thelighthouse.co.uk/visit/exhibition/womans-hour-craft-prize.

 

The exhibition tour was organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

 

The Woman’s Hour Craft Prize is in association with BBC Radio 4 and the Craft Council

Cancer survivor Erin McCafferty with David Walliams at Britains' Got Talent auditions

COURAGEOUS teenager Erin McCafferty who beat cancer has been chosen with her twin sister Nicole to launch the 25th birthday celebrations of Race for Life in Scotland.

The twins shared almost everything together growing up but never the same birthday. Despite entering the world just 25 minutes apart, they were born on separate days with Erin arriving at 11.50pm on November 1 while Nicole was born in the early hours of November 2, 2000. But after Erin was diagnosed with leukaemia only three days before her 15thbirthday, Nicole vowed to do everything she could to share that heartache, standing by her every step of the way through treatment.

Cancer survivor Erin McCafferty with David Walliams at Britains' Got Talent auditions

Now Erin has been given the all clear, the twins are marking another milestone – the 25th birthday of Cancer Research UK Race for Life in Scotland. Scotland’s first Race for Life event was held in Glasgow in spring 1995. Since then, millions of pounds have been raised to fund vital research in to gentler and more effective treatments for cancer. Thousands are set to take to the streets again to take part in Scotland’s biggest Race for Life at Glasgow Green on May 19. Money raised will help scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease, helping save more lives.

And there’s a chance to join the Race for Life 25th birthday celebrations at a special event on Argyle Street, Glasgow on Saturday March 30 between 10am and 5.30pm. Shoppers can decorate a sign to say who they’ll join the Race for Life for this year as well as submit their entry for this year’s event and take part in some fun glitter face painting.

Erin, now 18, said: “I’ve just celebrated the first year of being cancer free and it’s been the best year of my life.

“Nicole may be my little sister by 25 minutes but she’s also been like a best friend.  I’m lucky to have a twin sister who I’m so close to. When I had my hair shaved off after I was losing it due to the side effects from chemotherapy it was Nicole who held me for ten minutes as we cried in the toilets. But I didn’t actually cry the first day I was told I had cancer. I think I was just in shock. When you’re a teenager you feel that you’re invincible. Cancer was something that happened to other people. It didn’t even enter my head that I might get the disease.

“Cancer made Nicole and I grow up very quickly. We got through it and now if we can help other people get through it then we’ll do everything we can.”

Every day, 88 people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland and the number of people being diagnosed with cancer has now reached around 32,000 people every year.*

Erin of Carluke, South Lanarkshire, knows exactly how vital the power of research is. Erin was in her fourth year at Carluke High School when she first started feeling unwell, developing unexplained bruises and fainting on the way to school. She recalls vividly the moment her life was turned upside down on October 29, 2015, at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow after tests revealed she had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Erin endured two and a half years of treatment including eight cycles of chemotherapy in total. Her lowest point was in May 2016 when a chest infection led to pneumonia and Erin was in the intensive care ward, watched over anxiously by her parents, Yvonne McCafferty and Vincent Mooney, both 47.

Erin in Race for Life tshirt

Erin said: “I thought I was going to die.

“I felt so terrible. I remember even saying to my mum that if this was really it then she should just let me go. I felt so unwell then but my consultant Dr Brenda Gibson was amazing, very calm and explained what we were going to do to get me well again.”

As Erin slowly recovered there were good days too. Her twin Nicole rallied family and friends to raise more than £31,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. It was fixed up for the twins to meet the Britain’s Got Talent stars including Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and comedian David Walliams and they also jetted to London to a gig where they met singer Olly Murs. But the greatest highpoint was on February 27 last year after Erin took her final chemotherapy pill and was able to ring the ‘End of Treatment bell’ at hospital. Now Erin is keen to train as a nurse to help others.

Erin said: “I was very scared in the early days when I got cancer and there were some really special, highly skilled nurses who stepped in to help me saying just the right thing at exactly the time I needed them to.

“I’d love to be that special person for someone else in the future and to give something back.”

Cancer Research UK has funded pioneering research in to understanding different types of childhood leukaemia, which has improved the way children are treated today, meaning more survive.

Organisers are appealing for Scots of all ages and abilities to stride out to help beat cancer with Scotland’s first Race for Life 5K and 10K events of the year kicking off in Stirling and South Queensferry on May 12, closely followed this spring by events across the country, everywhere from Edinburgh to Irvine, Falkirk to Fife. Scotland’s biggest Race for Life event is on Sunday May 19 at Glasgow Green.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK’s spokeswoman in Scotland, said: “We’d like to thank Erin and Nicole for helping us celebrate Race for Life Glasgow’s 25th birthday this spring.

“Our Race for Life events are fun, colourful, emotional and uplifting. They help people with cancer by raising money for research, including clinical trials which give patients across Scotland access to the latest treatments. You don’t have to be sporty to take part. You don’t need to train or compete against anyone else.  All you need to do is go to the Race for Life website, pick an event, sign up and then have fun raising money in whatever way you like.

“Taking part in our Race for Life events enables like-minded people to get together and remember loved ones lost to cancer or celebrate the lives of those who have survived.  At the same time, they are helping to make a difference to people with cancer, right now.  Our Race for Life events were women-only when they started, over 25 years ago.  But we now feel the time is right to open them up so that everyone – women, men and children – has the chance to participate together.

“One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer, at some point during their lifetime.  Sadly, this means nearly everyone is touched by the disease, either directly or through a loved one or friend.  To make a significant difference in the fight against cancer we need to harness as much energy and commitment as possible – so what better way than involving everyone in the community in our events.

“This spring, we’re urging mums, dads, nans, grandpas, brothers, sisters, friends and workmates to show their support by joining the Race for Life.  It’s a perfect example of everyday people doing an extraordinary thing – uniting in a common cause to beat cancer.”

Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity was able to spend around £38 million last year in Scotland on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research. Glasgow is home to the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute where a thriving community of cancer scientists and doctors are working to reduce the impact of this disease around the world. An exciting programme of work has been established to look for ways to tailor treatment for pancreatic cancer. Our scientists in Glasgow first manufactured the brain cancer drug, temozolomide. Thousands of people now benefit from treatment with this drug worldwide.

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.

To enter Race for Life today visit raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.

glasgow city region

Ambitious start-ups with aspirations to scale up, had the chance to discuss their growth plans today (1 March) with Kate Forbes MSP, Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy as she paid a visit to Tontine, the City Deal business accelerator based in Glasgow’s Merchant City.

glasgow city region

The Minister was keen to hear more about the success of Tontine as a growth incubator and how the model which actively encourages businesses to scale-up, could be replicated in other parts of Scotland.

 

As a centre of innovation, Tontine attracts and nurtures high growth entrepreneurial talent and is host to many of Scotland’s significant growth companies of the future.

 

Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes said; “Scotland’s entrepreneurs are hugely important to our economy.

 

“Tontine is a fantastic example of how the right support can help ambitious tech start-ups to grow.  In particular, it demonstrates what can be achieved when organisations from across the private and public sectors work together towards a common goal.

 

“I’m really impressed by what I’ve seen here today, and wish all of the companies every success for the future.”

 

Cllr Angus Millar, Glasgow City Council’s Depute City Convener for Economic Growth added: “Tontine is a fantastic space in which businesses with aspirations to grow can thrive.

 

“This City Deal funded innovation project champions entrepreneurial drive and provides a boost to the region’s economy, with enterprises fully supported in their ambitions to scale up.

 

“Tontine is nurturing many young, innovative companies, all of which have exciting futures in store. I look forward to watching these enterprises grow and generate future employment opportunities for the region”.

 

Tontine was the first Glasgow City Region City Deal project to be completed in the city. Based in the Tontine Building, the former workshop of Scottish inventor James Watt supports and sustains the development of high-growth start-ups in the enabling technology, advanced design and manufacturing, and creative economy sectors; offering high-quality and flexible workspaces.