The community in Govan joined millions of people around the world on Wednesday 1 December to commemorate World Aids Day by raising awareness of a disease that afflicts 33.4 million lives worldwide.
At the Pearce Institute on Govan Road, members of the local community braved atrocious weather conditions to attend an event hosted by the Jubilee Social Centre. There they heard from Reverend Michael Angley Ogwuche of Govan’s Jubilee Social Centre, the international Christian charity, before watching a documentary investigating the Aids/HIV situation across Glasgow and the world.
Said Reverend Michael: ‘ It is important that on this most remarkable of health days we as a community do something. It is very important that people know that HIV and Aids is a problem that has not gone away.
‘There are 33.4 million lives affected by this disease across the world and over 6000 in Scotland. The problem is still covered in a shroud of stigma. As long as you live on planet earth then you need to be tested for Aids and HIV. We need to keep up the fight against the pandemic.’
The audience then watched a documentary, made by the Jubilee Social Centre, called HIV Reframed. It investigates Aids and HIV in the Glasgow community and tackles misconceptions and myths relating to the illness.
The film highlighted the difference between having HIV and being ‘Aids sick’ – the latter being the stage when symptoms are active in the sufferer.
John Flanagan, Councillor for Govan, also addressed the room, saying: ‘People should not discriminate through their misconceptions about HIV and Aids. Awareness should be promoted, it is a disease that continues to affect people across the word and within this city.’
Before finishing with refreshments for all, a minute’s silence was observed for all Aids/HIV sufferers around the globe, joining the million of others doing the same worldwide. The message of the event and documentary was this: Aids and HIV is associated with death, but to be educated is too know that long happy lives can still be enjoyed by people with this condition.
Historic changes were confirmed at the annual general meeting of the Pearce Institute (PI) in Govan on Wednesday 2 June.
Ownership of the building has been transferred from the 104 year old Trust to a limited company and registered charity.
Councillor John Flanagan, Chair of the Management Group, told the poorly attended meeting: ‘The PI has undergone a remarkable transformation both physically and legally. The Trustees made way for the new charitable company to become the legal owners from 1 January 2010. And £1.4m has been spent on the roof.’
Norie Mackie, Chief Executive of the PI added: ‘Ownership of the building was transferred from the Trustees to the new Board of Directors representing local people – among them Central Govan Community Council, Govan Housing Association, Govan and Linthouse Parish Church, tenants, hall user groups and individual members.’
He pointed out that more than 40 groups have been using the facilities of the PI to learn new skills, to exercise, to dance, to meet friends and receive support to quit smoking. ‘Thanks to grants from Awards for All, the Art of Living Club was started in May 2009 and has provided a wide range of activities for local people to enjoy.’
He said this year will continue to be challenging as the impact of the recession continues and commented: ‘We are confident that significant growth opportunities remain in our key target market of conference hire and associated catering. At the core of our confidence lies the vigorous drive of Glasgow City Council through the Central Govan Action Plan and Townscape Heritage Initiative.’ The meeting at which financial accounts were unanimously approved, was chaired by Rev Dr Moyna McGlynn.