The Govan Fair Association recently handed over a cheque for £200 to ‘We are Macmillan Cancer Support’ to help people living with cancer.
Though wheelchair bound, Linda Yates was the chief fund raiser for the Govan Fair Association. ‘I just did what I could to help,’ she said. This included sitting outside with a bucket on Govan Fair Day in June 2015 receiving money given by the crowd. On behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support, modern apprentice Calvin Lynch (17) was happy to receive the cheque for the formal ceremony in the Pearce Institute café in Govan which is run by Macmillan Cancer Support. Vice Chair Sandy Black, wearing the Govan Fair chain of office, officially represented the Association. He said: ‘The money given to Macmillan Cancer Support continues an ancient tradition of the Fair Association – to distribute any surplus from the Fair to those in need locally.’
A spokeswoman for the Macmillan support fundraising team which works upstairs in the Pearce Institute, said the money would be added to what the team raises for Macmillan work.
Later that day, Linda Yates was honoured by the Association – which has a tradition going back more than 300 years – and made a Life Member as was local Church of Scotland minister Moyna McGlynn. Said Chairman Lord James Stringfellow: ‘They have been given Life Membership out of gratitude for the support each has given the Govan Fair and the Govan Fair Association over the years.’
The Association has also ratified its 21st century working model as a company limited by guarantee with Charitable Status. Said Mr Stringfellow: ‘The whole process was managed by OSCR (the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator) who made sure all the legalities and constitutional procedures have been adhered to. We are now on a modern footing and the Govan Fair is protected for the people of Govan for the next 300 years. The current committee are the custodians of huge tradition and we take that role very seriously.’
Later that day, the Govan Fair Association re-elected their committee at a re-called annual general meeting. Solicitor John Flanagan reassured everyone that the legalities of becoming a company limited by guarantee with Charitable Status had been done correctly. He explained that this was to protect the people taking the responsibilities of the Association and was a normal process today. Chairman Lord James Stringfellow also moved an amendment to the standing orders to emphasis that the Govan Fair belongs to the people of Govan and those who are the custodians of the Association and formal supporters of it, are committed to that objective.
Older people should go bungee jumping if they want to. That’s the belief of Rona Agnew, the newly elected chairperson of L.O.T.U.S. The charity – Linking Older People Through Understanding and Support serves North Glasgow and is based in Maryhill Housing Association premises. It provides counselling, therapies and other forms of support to carers and retired people.
Started in 2003, the project had to suspend some services recently because of financial shortfalls. ‘We hope we will be back up and running again soon,’ said outgoing chairperson Denis Bell. He was thanked for his service to L.O.T.U.S and told he would be missed.
Re-elected as treasurer, Derek Iggo reported on the financial position and said only electricity bills were outstanding. He thanked Eleanor Biggs, Director of Finance for Maryhill Housing Association for providing the independent examination of accounts required by OSCR – the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
Service users gave inspiring testimonials which showed the benefit of the person centred approach L.O.T.U.S provides. ‘L.O.T.U.S has changed my life,’ said one woman. ‘I can now contribute to the community and have the opportunity to start again.’
Vice Chair Jean Cherrie instanced how her life changed dramatically when a very large dog used her very small frame as a plaything leaving her severely injured. ‘I thought I’d be in a wheelchair, but L.O.T.U.S gave me back my life.’ she said.
In her acceptance speech, new chairperson Rona – a Research Fellow in older women’s health – said: ‘We have limited time to turn around L.O.T.U.S. We need to use all our resources and spread the work load so that no-one is burnt out. As chair, I’m not here to tell everyone what to do,’ said Rona. ‘I’m here to support you, the committee and users. You are the people who will take the service forward. While I have my ideas we’ve got to work together, brainstorm and be prepared to work hard and to change some things.’
She added: We must try to change the mindset from – I’m old, so I can’t do anything – to – I’ve always wanted to do that. What’s to stop me?’
With initial ideas presented at the annual general meeting it was agreed to see if a L.O.T.U.S choir could be formed, among other things.
For further information see the organisation’s website: http://lotus2003.health.officelive.com/