School Protesters Hijack MSP in Maryhill

February 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Features, Glasgow West, Local News

An announcement that the Heritage Lottery Fund was giving £1 million to restore the derelict Maryhill Burgh Halls was hijacked by angry parents campaigning to retain their local schools.

While officials were inside looking at the empty shell of a building, about 10 parents arrived and some of them chained themselves to the railings outside.

‘We’ve got to make a stand,’ said Laura McKenna who has a 3-year-old son at Wyndford nursery. ‘Closing the schools will destroy the whole community. They expect us to take our kids a 45 minute walk to a nursery in Summerston. You can’t put a wee one on the bus by themselves. Buses only take one baby buggy at a time and what are you supposed to do to get the older children to school at the same time?

When she exited from the building, MSP Patricia Ferguson, told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘I know these parents well. We’ve had discussions about the situation. I agree with them, it will take the heart out of the community and I’ve made my views known to Glasgow City Council.’

The affected schools are Ruchill Primary, Our Lady of Assumption, St Gregory’s Wyndford and St Agnes’s.

Before the parents had descended on the building, Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland and Billy McAllister, Chair of the Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust had both expressed their delight at the funding. Said Colin McLean: ‘This is exciting news and is an important step forward in the revitalisation of modern Maryhill.’

Billy McAllister added: ‘This very substantial grant is crucial for unlocking the balance and deliver our ambitious and much-needed community project. More than five years’ hard work has been put into this. I am confident we soon will be celebrating the re-opening of this much-loved hub.’


Councillor George Ryan, Executive Member for Development and Regeneration at Glasgow City Council, said: ‘This is another step towards the full restoration of the Maryhill Burgh Halls and the Maryhill Leisure Centre. When completed, some of the area’s most celebrated buildings will be restored back to their rightful role in the heart of the community.’

Healthy Eating at John Paul Academy

December 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Features, Glasgow North, Local News

The new Fruit Barra launched at John Paul Academy in Summerston got off the ground thanks to pupils of feeder primary St Bane’s.

The initiative was set up by Health Development Officer Jane Kelly in partnership with Milton Food Project and with the active involvement of pupils at John Paul’s. Said Jane: ‘The pupils worked hard to design a leaflet which they delivered to the local community to advertise the Barra. And they developed a pre-order service for staff.’

But on the first Tuesday the Fruit Barra was open for business in the secondary school, the pupils were noticeable by their absence.

Primary pupils from St Bane’s, however, stepped in and did a roaring trade selling the fruit and vegetables to Academy staff and visitors. ‘I was nervous at first,’ said Lucy Gavin (11) who with Abigail Finnigan (11) represented their Pupils’ Council.

A variety of organisations had set up information stalls alongside the Fruit Barra. Their workers ended up doing a lot of the buying and having a rare chance to network among themselves.

Pupils who do help run the Fruit Barra every Tuesday will improve their numeracy and literacy skills. The experience is also seen as a way to prepare for work by learning about stock control, cash handling and customer service.

Along with Milton Food Project, Jane has helped John Paul pupils learn about healthy eating and nutrition as part of their school curriculum. ‘We hope to run cookery classes for parents in the future,’ she said.