Pupils Star in Refugee DVD

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Pupils from St Paul’s Primary School in Whiteinch and a former pupil of Drumchapel High have starring roles in a new DVD aimed at easing the integration of refugee and asylum seeking children into Glasgow schools. Called Shared Futures, the DVD comes with a resource pack and retails at £20. The project was developed by London based charity Salusbury WORLD and showcases initiatives from across the UK, including two in Glasgow, that are helping to make it easier for new arrivals to settle into schools and local communities. Currently there are more than 100,000 children in the UK seeking sanctuary.

At a launch in Glasgow City Chambers, Margaret Doran, Executive Director for Education and Social Work Services, introduced the DVD to 200 people including staff from schools and community projects.

Primary six and seven pupils, Kerry Jenkins, Christian Zihalirwa, Sharon Jakisa and Henock Ngonde from St Paul’s demonstrate in the DVD how they work with their parents in school. One project which lasted for ten weeks involved pupils and parents creating an enterprising puppet show.

Eleven year-old pupil Christian came to Scotland with his mum and two brothers from the Congo in 2005. He said: ‘I have found it really easy to make friends at my school.’ Through an interest in football he is now the school football team’s top goal scorer.

Jane Fellowes, English as Another Language (EAL) teacher at the school, also features in the DVD. She said: ‘Children don’t learn in isolation. We have become creative in the school and in the work with parents.’

Amal Azzudin is a member of the Glasgow Girls, a campaigning group of young women who passionately stand up for the rights of asylum seekers. As a former pupil of Drumchapel High School she is now active in highlighting dawn raids undertaken by immigration officers and this features on the DVD.

Amal, who came to the UK from Somalia in 2000, said: ‘I find the communities in Glasgow very welcoming and helpful towards asylum seekers. I didn’t find London as welcoming.’

Comic Relief funded the DVD. Those featured in the nine short films are mostly young asylum seekers. The pack is available to anyone working with refugees and not exclusively to those in schools. Email: mail@salusburyworld.org.uk and website: www.salusburyworld.org.uk

Martin’s Bike Column – October 08

October 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Glasgow South, Glasgow West, Local News

Pothole Patrol

I joined Councillor Danny Alderslowe on pothole patrol outside Queen’s Park just after 7.30 am recently, writes Martin Graham. The idea was to make cyclists aware of the Council’s commitment to repair potholes within 24 hours on main roads and within 5 days on side roads. We handed out leaflets and free bike maps to over 50 people and the response was tremendous: people were delighted that someone was taking an interest. Also, there was an element of camaraderie which let cyclists know that there were other folks out there concerned about their issues.

If you spot a pothole you can call the council on 0800 373635 to report it. You can also let Danny know via email at danny.alderslowe@councillors.glasgow.gov.uk


Pedal for Scotland

This year’s Pedal for Scotland took place on 14 September, and was the biggest yet, with over 5000 people making the 55 mile journey from Glasgow Green to Victoria Park in Edinburgh, via Linlithgow and South Queensferry.

There were plenty of refreshment stops on the way, and Avonbridge Parish Church laid on their usual home baking tent for the ravenous cyclists. The pit stop was needed as one of the biggest hills on the route is just after that village. At Linlithgow, Sustrans had a huge tent serving pasta, soup and sandwiches, the queue was massive!

Participants ranged from experienced cyclists to complete novices and special mention must be made of Patrick, aged 5, who was enjoying the day with his dad.


Bad Luck in the Clyde Cycle Tunnel

I’ve had a run of punctures recently, then a broken chain out at Mugdock Park. To trump it all, I was out on a ride with my brother and we went through the Clyde Tunnel. My bro ended up crashing just at the bend on the southbound cycle path. Luckily he was wearing a helmet and his wheels took the brunt of the force, but it could have been much worse, as the tunnel is a very enclosed space with a metal barrier running down it.

The tunnel is a great route linking Govan and Yoker, and is the only way to negotiate the river between the Science Centre and the Ferry at Whiteinch.

Glasgow City Council has recently secured funding to progress some upgrades to the tunnel, including a controlled entry system supported by CCTV cameras. Hopefully, this should discourage anti-social behaviour in the tunnel and make it a more pleasant environment for cyclists and pedestrians.

There is also talk of a new ferry between Govan and Partick which would re-instate a centuries-old link.