community, promotions, public sector, social media

Award-winning campaign vies for national honour

AN award-winning publicity campaign is vying for honours with the best in Britain.

The Your Community Council initiative took gold in the community category in last year’s PRide Awards in Scotland, run by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

The project – which included a website, posters, leaflets and media relations work – aimed to make West Lothian’s community councils more accessible and accountable to local people.

The publicity campaign is now being pitched against gold winners from other parts of the UK in the CIPR President’s Grand Prix. A national awards ceremony will be held in Newcastle on May 11.

The local entry was devised by Bo’ness-based consultancy The PR Store, in conjunction with West Lothian Association of Community Councils. At the core is the website  www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk

Jean Flynn, the acting chair of the Association of Community Councils, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be considered for this national award. To win gold in Scotland was fantastic, and it would be great to have a chance of a UK title.

“But far more important has been the success of the campaign locally. Nearly all community councils in West Lothian are now using the web and PR techniques to make themselves more accessible and accountable to local people.”

She added that the award-winning campaign – which has also been praised by First Minister Jack McConnell – would not have happened without the support of The PR Store, which masterminded the project, and its web partner Oldhand Media.

“Both firms did much of their work free of charge, and gave us lots of professional ideas to promote ourselves,” said Jean. “Adrian Mahoney from The PR Store became so interested, he joined his own community council. I think Bo’ness Community Council is very lucky to have someone with his professional expertise on their committee. His skills are a real asset to any organisation.”

Jacqueline Morison, the secretary of Linlithgow Bridge Community Council, said: “The Association’s award-winning campaign has helped local community councils and I wish them well in the national competition.”

CIPR President Tony Bradley said: “Having been judged the best in their region, the CIPR PRide Awards gold winners now have the opportunity to see if they are the best in the UK and to share best practice with others who are at the top of their game.”

Across the UK, there were 1000 entries for PRide Awards in 11 participating nations and regions. Twelve per cent of entries across the UK were judged worthy of a gold award.

In the Scottish awards, announced last October, other local winners included Falkirk Council, which took a silver honour.

———————————

For more information, please contact Jean Flynn on 01506 444055
Or Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store, on 01506 823714

community, environment, heritage, tourism

Walk back in time this Easter at Kinneil

HISTORY lovers are getting a chance to walk back in time this Easter . . . .

A guided historical tour of Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness is being held on Monday, April 17.

The free event has been organised by a new group, The Friends of Kinneil, with the support of CVS Falkirk District – the body supporting local voluntary groups.

Historian Ian Scott will take visitors to the remains of Kinneil’s Roman Fortlet, as well as Kinneil House, the ruined Kinneil Church and the cottage used by inventor James Watt.

The walk will start at 2 p.m. outside Kinneil Museum and should last just over an hour.

The Museum is opening up specially for Easter Monday, allowing visitors to see its own historical displays and an audio-visual show.

The idea of forming a Friends group was suggested by Bo’ness businesswoman Lynn Munro, who attended the public meeting on Kinneil Museum a month ago.

She said: “The aim of the walk is to help people discover the rich heritage we have here on our doorsteps.”

Lynn, who runs the Country Fayre antique shop and cafe in Bo’ness town centre, said: “One of the ideas behind the Friends group is to look at ways to promote and develop Kinneil Estate. Perhaps we may even persuade the powers-that-be to re-open the fantastic Kinneil House on a regular basis.”

Bo’ness community councillor Adrian Mahoney has supported the setting up of a Friends group. He said: “Kinneil Estate is much loved by local people and I think everyone would like to see its historical facilities enhanced and enjoyed by a much wider audience.

“Hopefully anyone taking part in the walk will discover the fantastic stories from Kinneil’s past. They may even be inspired to join the Friends of Kinneil.”

Mr Mahoney said he was particularly grateful to Falkirk Council for allowing the walk to go ahead – and for opening up Kinneil Museum on Easter Monday. The museum will be open from 12.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on April 17.

“If the weather’s bad, we’ll be able to delay the start of the walk and shelter in the museum,” he said. “I’d certainly encourage people to bring sensible shoes as some of the paths at Kinneil can be muddy at this time of year.”

Pandora Summerfield, the chief executive of CVS Falkirk and District, said: “As the Council for the Voluntary Sector (CVS) in the Falkirk area, we aim to support the development of community and voluntary groups. We were delighted to help the Friends with their launch event. Here’s hoping for good weather on Easter Monday.”

Anyone interested in joining the Friends of Kinneil can email: info@kinneil.org.uk The first formal public meeting of the group will be held soon.

 

Issued by The PR Store on behalf of The Friends of Kinneil Contact Adrian Mahoney on 01506 823714
Email: adrian@theprstore.net

community, promotions, public sector, social media

Helen steps down from top community role

COMMUNITY campaigner Helen Taylor has stepped down from her role as chairwoman of West Lothian Association of Community Councils.

In a letter to Association members, Ms Taylor said was resigning from the voluntary post due to personal circumstances. She held the position for four years.

Ms Taylor, originally from Linlithgow, was instrumental in the launch of an award-winning publicity campaign and website – http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk – to make community councils more accessible and accountable to people in West Lothian.

The project was praised by First Minister Jack McConnell. He wrote to Ms Taylor last September, telling her: “I sincerely appreciate the dedication and goodwill shown by both you and the other volunteers in successfully achieving the launch of the West Lothian community council website. Neighbouring community councils sharing information, news and knowledge and encouraging people to interact with their community representatives online are steps towards e-democracy. I hope the project continues to build on its success.”

A month later, the initiative won best community campaign in the PRide Awards in Scotland, organised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. Ms Taylor – who also serves on Bathgate Community Council – was part of a delegation which attended the awards ceremony in Glasgow. She was said to be “thrilled” at the campaign’s success.

In her letter to Association members, Ms Taylor said: “I think we have all achieved a lot over the past years – particularly in 2005 when we won the award for best community campaign.

“For a small voluntary organisation to achieve this was marvellous. I’d like to thank everybody for their help and support and wish the Association well for the future. I hope you get the funding and assistance to build on your efforts so far.”

Association vice-chair Jean Flynn – a member of Ladywell Community Council in Livingston – will take on the chair’s role for the time being.

She said: “Helen was a marvellous chairwoman, who did so much to help and support community councils across West Lothian. Her tireless work for the Association – much of it funded out of her own pocket – was a great contribution to the local community and I’m sure she’ll be sadly missed by many community councillors.

“The Association will now be looking for a new chair to build on the excellent work undertaken under Helen’s leadership.”

Jacqueline Morison, secretary of Linlithgow Bridge Community Council, said: “Helen was very supportive to us, and she will be a huge loss to the Association. I’d like to thank her for all the help and encouragement she’s given to community councils across the district.”

Mary Miller, the secretary of Winchburgh Community Council, added:”Helen has been wonderful. She turned the Association round and really raised its profile. She’s very wise and understanding and was always willing to help. It’s sad that she’s standing down.”

Willie Boyle, the planning secretary of Bathgate Community Council, said: “Helen was a hard-working, conscientious campaigner for local communities. Her work on the Association will be sorely missed. She’ll be very hard to replace.”

Anyone who wishes to contact the Association of Community Councils can email: info@yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk

For more information, please contact
Adrian Mahoney
The PR Store
T: 01506 823714 or 07967 150560

community, heritage

Group to discuss museum closure bid

PLANS to close the historic Kinneil Museum in Bo’ness will be discussed at a specially-extended meeting of Bo’ness Community Council next week.

The group is urging local people to come along and share their views. The meeting will be held in the upper meeting room at Bo’ness Library next Wednesday, March 8, from 7 p.m.

Community council chairman Bill Bruce said: “A number of groups and individuals within the town have expressed concern at the closure plans for Kinneil Museum.

“We’re asking representatives from Falkirk Council to come along and explain their position to local people. Ian Scott, from Falkirk Local History Society, has also agreed to attend the meeting to give a historic perspective on the Kinneil area.”

The museum is located in the 17th century stable block of Kinneil House and acts as an interpretative centre for Kinneil Estate – which includes the Antonine Wall, a Roman fortlet, a medieval church and a cottage used by inventor James Watt.

Falkirk Council first revealed plans to close the museum two weeks ago. Officials are recommending that some exhibits be transferred to the Hippodrome cinema in the town, which is currently being refurbished, and that Roman relics be moved to Callendar House in Falkirk.

It is understood the museum plans will be discussed at a meeting of the local authority’s policy committee next Tuesday, March 7 – the day before the Community Council meeting.

Mr Bruce said Falkirk Council had yet to formally notify the Community Council about its plans for Kinneil. However, he said it was important that public bodies listened to the views of local people.

“The community council is there to represent the views of the local community and I that hope people from all sides will attend our meeting on March 8,” said Mr Bruce. “Bo’ness people are incredibly proud of their rich heritage and I think Falkirk Council should recognise their views and aspirations before making a final decision.”

ISSUED BY THE PR STORE on behalf of Bo’ness Community Council.

For more information, please contact Bill Bruce on 01506 822801 or email: bill.bruce@bonesscc.org.uk

 

charities, community, construction, housing, public sector

£4 million project provides new homes for rent

A £4 million Edinburgh housing development – which includes new homes for people with disabilities – was officially opened today by local councillor Andrew Burns.

The project at Coxfield Lane, off Gorgie Road, provides 42 new flats for rent. Six of the new homes have been set aside to accommodate people with brain injuries and their support workers.

Dunedin Canmore Housing Association developed the scheme in conjunction with Freespace – a charity which helps people with severe disabilities live in their own homes. They were backed by a £2.6 million grant from the government agency Communities Scotland.

Councillor Burns – whose Moat ward covers the Coxfield Lane area – said: “This development provides much-needed rented homes near the city centre for up to 100 people – as well as transforming an industrial site on Gorgie Road.

“I’m particularly impressed that a number of the new homes have been earmarked for people with disabilities and I’d like to congratulate Dunedin Canmore on their partnership with Freespace to make this happen.?

Ewan Fraser, the chief executive of Dunedin Canmore, said: “Five of the ground floor flats are being allocated to people who have sustained brain injuries. A sixth flat will also be used by Freespace staff, who will be on site to support these residents.”

Mr Fraser said the remaining tenants came from the city council’s housing list and the association?s own list.

“There is a mix of new tenants in the development -including young people setting up their first homes. The ground floor flats allocated to Freespace have been specially adapted to suit tenants with disabilities. For instance, we’ve added extra sound insulation and the flats are in a quieter location within the development to suit these residents.”

Jane Ballantine, the director of Freespace, said: “The people moving into Coxfield Lane have come from a range of backgrounds, including institutional care, and will now be able to enjoy much more independence than previously.”

She said that two of the Freespace flats were now occupied and people were due to move into the remaining flats soon. She added: “There were numerous enquiries for this development.”

Mr Fraser added that the new development at Coxfield Lane incorporated a number of environmental features – including solar water heating. The “green” scheme attracted further funding of £20,000 in grant aid from the Energy Savings Trust. “Solar panels have been incorporated into the roof to serve the top 11 flats with hot water – in turn reducing gas bills and carbon dioxide emissions,” he said.

Dunedin Canmore – a not-for-profit body and a Scottish charity – manages homes across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife.

The Association currently has a turnover of around £12 million a year and has assets worth around £176 million. The organisation provides homes for families, single people, couples, older people and people with disabilities. It works in partnership with a wide range of agencies including local councils and the government agency Communities Scotland. You can find out more about the Association online at http://www.dunedincanmore.org.uk/

Freespace has been supporting people with severe disabilities to live in their own homes in and around the centre of Edinburgh for more than 15 years. During this time a close and supportive partnership has been developed with Canmore (now Dunedin Canmore) Housing Association to provide fully adapted and secure tenancies for people in the Gorgie/Dalry area.
NOTES TO EDITORS:

There are 42 flats in the development. There are:

  • TWO one-bedroomed flats – suitable for wheelchair users
  • NINE one-bedroomed flats – suitable for older people/amenity users
  • FOURTEEN one-bedroomed flats – for general use (couples, single people, etc.)
  • FIVE one-bedroomed flats – for people with acquired brain injuries (ABI)
  • ONE two-bedroomed flats – for people with ABI
  • THREE two-bedroomed flats – suitable for older people/amenity users
  • EIGHT two-bedroomed flats ? for general use (families, etc)
  • TOTAL 42 FLATS

The total cost of the development was £3,999,000. This came from:

  • Communities Scotland (Housing Association Grant) — £2,624,000
  • Energy Savings Trust grant — £20,000
  • Royal Bank of Scotland (loan/private finance) — £1,355,000
  • Total £3,999,000

The project team for the development at Coxfield Lane was:

  • Contractor: J Smart (Contractors) Plc, Edinburgh (design and build contract)
  • Architects: Jenkins and Marr, Edinburgh
  • Employer’s Agent: Pottie Wilson, Edinburgh
  • Solicitor: Archibald Campbell & Harley, Edinburgh

Hi-res pictures of the opening ceremony are available from The PR Store. Call 01506 823714 or 07967 150560 or email us: info@theprstore.net

Issued by THEPRSTORE on behalf of Dunedin Canmore Housing Association

For more information, please contact, Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store
T: 01506 823714 M: 07967 150560
E: Adrian@theprstore.net

Ewan Fraser, Chief Executive, Dunedin Canmore Housing Association,
T: 0131 624 5600

charities, community, promotions, public relations, public sector

Community campaign wins gold award

The Award certificateCOMMUNITY councillors in West Lothian are celebrating this week – after a campaign to boost their profile won a top award.

They took gold in the best community campaign category of the Scotland PRide Awards, organised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Adrian Mahoney of The PR Store – the Bo’ness agency which masterminded the campaign – picked up the award from broadcaster Fiona Ross at a ceremony in Glasgow (on October 20). Looking on were some of the community councillors who took part in the publicity push.

For the past year, The PR Store and partner Oldhand Media have worked with West Lothian Association of Community Councils to make member councils more accountable and accessible to local people.

They created a website – http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk – backed by posters, leaflets, events and press articles . . . all designed to get more people talking to their community representatives.

Community councils are active in almost every area of Scotland. Run by unpaid volunteers, they represent public opinion to local authorities and other government bodies.

The CIPR judges said the West Lothian campaign was “highly creative and imaginative”, adding that the professionals involved “went beyond the original remit”. The PR Store and Oldhand did much of the work for low cost or for free.

Association of Community Councils’ chair Helen Taylor attended the awards along with Morag Nelson of Linlithgow Community Council and Willie Boyle of Bathgate Community Council.

Ms Taylor said: “We’re absolutely delighted to win this award. Everybody involved in the campaign – from the agencies to individual community councillors – have worked incredibly hard on the project. To get recognition from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations is the icing on the cake.

“We’re now looking at ways to move the project forward, to encourage more people to engage with community councils and make their views known.”

Mrs Nelson said: “The campaign has been a tremendous success and has really put community councils on the map.” Mr Boyle added: “The award is a fitting tribute to all the work put in over the past year by a lot of dedicated people.”

The CIPR award is just the latest success for the project. In June this year, West Lothian Council leader Graeme Morrice wrote to Ms Taylor to say the website was “exceptionally good”. He also said it could become a “best practice” reference for other community councils in Scotland.

Then in September, First Minister Jack McConnell wrote to congratulate everybody involved in the project. Mr McConnell said: “I hope the project continues to build on its success and would like to congratulate you in your efforts to encourage community councils to use this facility.”

Adrian Mahoney of The PR Store was shortlisted for an award in last year’s PRide Awards. He was delighted to go one better and win in this year’s contest.

Adrian (36), who lives in Craigallan Park, Bo’ness, said: “I was absolutely thrilled to pick up this award. To get this kind of endorsement from the PR industry is fantastic.”

The CIPR PRide Awards showcase the very best work and talent in the communications arena outside of London. The Awards saw PR practitioners in Wales review the Scottish submissions and then put through finalists to a second round of judging. A panel of experts from London then assessed the shortlisted entries to choose the winners. The panel was chaired by Colin Farrington, the director general of the CIPR.

Mr Farrington said: “The PRide Awards are about raising professional standards by identifying, recognising and rewarding the first-rate work going on in the PR industry outside of London. They are also about advancing the profession by clearly demonstrating just what PR can achieve at its best, as a strategic management function that manages relationships and reputation.

“The PRide Awards judging process is rigorous and to win is a tremendous achievement. The PR Store, Oldhand Media and West Lothian Association of Community Councils are worthy winners.”

*** Adrian enjoyed working with the community councils so much he stood for his own community council in Bo’ness – and was elected with nearly 2000 votes last week.

NOTE TO EDITORS:

1. The website and publicity campaign for community councils were formally launched in the spring of 2005. Central to the campaign was http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk – which gives information on more than 30 community councils in West Lothian. Each community council has been given its own “homepage” and the ability to easily upload news and information without any specialist knowledge.
A private online forum was also created to provide advice and guidance to individual community councils. Training at a local school was also arranged to support community councillors.

2. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations – behind the PRide Awards – is the professional body for PR practitioners in the UK. With over 8,000 members, involved in all aspects of the public relations industry, it is the largest body of its type in Europe. Formerly the Institute of Public Relations, the CIPR was awarded a Royal Charter in February 2005.

3. The PR Store, is a PR and communications business, based in Bo’ness, West Lothian. Founder Adrian Mahoney is a former chief reporter of The Falkirk Herald. Find out more at
http://www.theprstore.net

4. Oldhand Media is a website design and development business based in Bo’ness. Find out more at
http://www.oldhandmedia.co.uk

5. West Lothian Association of Community Councils is the umbrella group which represents the community councils across West Lothian.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Please contact Adrian Mahoney at The PR Store

on 01506 823714 or 07967 150560 or email: adrian@theprstore.net Or call Helen Taylor on 01506 633925

charities, community, promotions, public relations, public sector

First Minister’s praise for website

Helen Taylor with the letter from Jack McConnell praising the Your Community Council website. The PR Store worked to help create the site.FIRST Minister Jack McConnell has praised a pioneering internet project.

He has written to West Lothian Association of Community Councils to congratulate everyone involved in the launch of their website – http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk

The portal was launched earlier this year, with information, news and contact details for more than 30 community councils across West Lothian. It has been hailed as a model for similar groups around the country.

In a letter sent to Association chair Helen Taylor, Mr McConnell said: “Community councils are at the heart of local government in Scotland and I know volunteers play a key role in encouraging community engagement and participation. I sincerely appreciate the dedication and goodwill shown by both you and the other volunteers in successfully achieving the launch of the West Lothian community council website.

“Neighbouring community councils sharing information, news and knowledge and encouraging people to interact with their community representatives online are steps towards e-democracy.

“I hope the project continues to build on its success and would like to congratulate you in your efforts to encourage community councils to use this facility.”

The First Minister even provided a special version of his message to publish on the website.

It said: “The fact residents can, with the click of a mouse, access information on community council meeting dates, items of community news, and have the facility to email local councillors, as well as getting information from other useful links, is a great achievement.”

Mr McConnell’s message is just the latest endorsement of the project, which aimed to raise the profile of all the community councils in the district – making them more accessible and accountable to local people.

In June, West Lothian Council leader Graeme Morrice wrote to Ms Taylor to say the site was “exceptionally good”. He also said it could become a “best practice” reference for other community councils in Scotland.

Then last month it was revealed that the web project – which has been backed by leaflets, posters and media relations work – was one of two entries shortlisted in the community category of the PRide Awards in Scotland, the country’s public relations’ Oscars.

Ms Taylor said: “It was very kind of the First Minister to take the time and trouble to send a message of support. Community councils are run by unpaid volunteers to reflect the views of local people to public bodies. I’m sure his endorsement will be a huge boost to all the people who worked so hard to get the website and publicity campaign off the ground.”

The Association of Community Councils was given professional help and support by Bo’ness consultancy firms The PR Store and web partner Oldhand Media. Ms Taylor added: “Both businesses did much of the work for free – or at low cost. This endorsement is as much for them as it is for all our community councillors. They have helped to deliver something which has really put us on the map. Even the First Minister has noticed us!”

WHAT COMMUNITY COUNCILS DO:

Community Councils are run by volunteers from the community.

They work to safeguard and promote their area’s best interests – and represent public opinion to the local authority and other government bodies.

Each community council is regularly asked to comment on a range of issues such as:

* the local environment;
* local planning applications;
* drinks (liquor) licensing;
* local plans;
* decentralisation of public services; and
* community planning.

People in West Lothian can find out more about their community councils or the Association, read news and minutes, and make contact with the groups by logging onto: http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk. Alternatively they can
email: info@yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk

NOTE TO EDITORS:

* West Lothian Association of Community Councils, which commissioned the website and publicity campaign, represents more than 30 community councils across West Lothian. One of its key aims is to strengthen the identity of community councils in the area. The Association, like member community councils, is run by volunteers and grant-funded by West Lothian Council.

* The PR Store is a PR and communications business, based in Bo’ness, West Lothian. Find out more at http://www.theprstore.net

* Oldhand Media is a website design and development business based in Bo’ness. Find out more at http://www.oldhandmedia.co.uk

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Please contact Adrian Mahoney at The PR Store
on 01506 823714 or 07967 150560
or email: adrian@theprstore.net

community, promotions, public sector, social media

High-tech boost for community councils

COMMUNITY councils in West Lothian now have a new set of high-tech tools to help them promote their views.

A laptop and data projector have been bought to help the voluntary groups deliver presentations at public meetings and take part in training sessions.

The IT equipment was bought by West Lothian Association of Community Councils with a ?1000 grant from West Lothian Council.

Association chair Helen Taylor said: “We’re pleased the Council could help us buy this new equipment. The laptop and projector will be available for free loan to community councils in West Lothian.

“We’ll also use the equipment to run training sessions to help community councillors use our website: http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk. This provides information on community councils across the district, making them more accountable and accessible to the public.”

Any community council interested in having a free loan of the laptop and/or projector should contact the Association of Community Councils by emailing: info@yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk or calling 01506 633925.

Jackie Morison, the secretary of Linlithgow Bridge Community Council, said: “This is a great resource for small community councils, which would struggle to afford this type of equipment on a limited budget. We’re pleased the Association and West Lothian Council could help.”

** Nominations in this year’s community council elections in West Lothian close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 29. Completed nomination forms must be received by the returning officer in Livingston by the deadline. Full details are available from http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk

There are currently 34 community councils in West Lothian, these cover:

Addiewell/Loganlea, Armadale, Bathgate, Bellsquarry, Blackburn, Blackridge, Bridgend, Broxburn, Dechmont, Dedridge, East Calder & Wilkieston, Ecclesmachan/Threemiletown, Fauldhouse, Howden, Kirknewton, Knightsridge, Ladywell, Linlithgow, Linlithgow Bridge, Longridge, Mid Calder, Murieston, Newton, Philpstoun, Polbeth, Pumpherson, Stoneyburn, Torphichen, Uphall, Uphall Station, West Calder and Harburn, Westfield, Whitburn and Winchburgh.

jackie-morison-cc

PICTURE SHOWS: Jackie Morison on Linlithgow Bridge Community Council with the Sony laptop bought by the Association of Community Councils, with the help of West Lothian Council. The laptop and a data projector are available for free loan to member groups in the district.

Issued by The PR Store
On behalf of West Lothian Association of Community Councils

For more information, please contact:

Adrian Mahoney
THE PR STORE

T: 01506 823714
F: 0870 1642844
M: 07967 150560

community, housing

Chinese ‘first’ celebrates decade of success

SCOTLAND’S first sheltered housing development for Chinese people has celebrated its 10th birthday.

Cathay Court, in Dorset Place in Edinburgh, put on a party for its elderly residents today (Monday) and invited community leaders to join in the fun.

Ewan Fraser, the chief executive of Dunedin Canmore Housing Association – which manages the complex – said it was groundbreaking when it opened in 1995.

“It was Scotland’s first purpose-built sheltered housing development for older Chinese people,” he said.

“The development – which includes 33 flats for couples and single people – has been a real success. Currently there?s a waiting list of people wanting to move here.”

All the residents – nearly all of whom don’t speak English – are supported by an on-site manager, who provides translation services. The Edinburgh Chinese Elderly Support Association also runs a lunch club and art classes at Cathay Court for the residents.

Mr Fraser said: “A number of the residents’ paintings are on show in the common lounge. There’s a real community spirit here at Cathay Court. Much of that success is down to the manager, Catina Adams, who’s great with the residents. She’s outstanding. I just hope the next ten years at the development will be just as successful.”

Resident Terry Wong (76) was one of the residents who joined in today’s party – which included Chinese food, music and even a Lion Dance display.

He said: “It’s just like living in a five star hotel. There?s lots of support from the housing association and they take good care of the residents. There?s also a manager on hand to help us. I’ve lived around the country but this is one of the best places I’ve stayed.”

Dunedin Canmore – a not-for-profit body and a Scottish charity – manages homes across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife.

The Association currently has a turnover of around ?12 million a year and has assets worth around £176 million. As well as older people, it also provides homes for families, single people, couples, and people with disabilities. It works in partnership with a wide range of agencies including local councils and the government agency Communities Scotland. You can find out more about the Association online at http://www.dunedincanmore.org.uk/

NOTE TO EDITORS:

The full address of Cathay Court is 1 Dorset Place, Edinburgh, EH11 1JG.
Telephone No: 0131 221 9790. The manager is Catina Adams.

Hi-res pictures of the birthday celebrations are available from The PR Store.
Call 01506 823714 or 07967 150560 or email us: info@theprstore.net

Issued by THEPRSTORE on behalf of Dunedin Canmore Housing Association

For more information, please contact
Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store
T: 01506 823714
M: 07967 150560
E: Adrian@theprstore.net

Ewan Fraser
Chief Executive
Dunedin Canmore Housing Association
T: 0131 624 5600

community, public sector

Community councils in West Lothian – nominations set to close

ANYONE interested in standing for a community council in West Lothian has just a week left to put themselves forward.

The closing date for nominations in the forthcoming elections is 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 29.

Helen Taylor, the chair of West Lothian Association of Community Councils, said: “I’d encourage anyone interested in serving on their community to come forward. You can download nomination forms from our website – http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk – or get them from West Lothian Council offices.

“The voluntary posts are for four years, and there’s no pay. But you do get the reward to being able to represent your community and, on occasions, affect real change for the better.”

Community councils work to safeguard and promote their area’s best interests – representing public opinion to the local authority and other government bodies. Each community council is regularly asked to comment on a range of issues such as:

* the local environment;
* local planning applications;
* drinks (liquor) licensing;
* local plans;
* decentralisation of public services; and
* community planning.

Anyone interested in finding out more can call the community councils’ liaison officer, Lorraine McGrorty, on 01506 777239 or email: community.councils@westlothian.gov.uk.
There are currently 34 community councils in West Lothian, but the opportunity to have 42. Staff at West Lothian Council have been working with existing community councillors to encourage new groups to be set up in areas around Livingston – and the villages of Seafield, Breich and Greenrigg.

Last week, a display was set up in Almondvale Shopping Centre in Livingston to support the election drive. A mobile stand has also been made available to community councils to use.

Helen added: “Each community council has different numbers of community councillors, based on the size of their local population. The groups need at least half of their allocated places to be filled at an election to remain viable. If more people than places stand, then a formal ballot will be called for that area.”

— ends —-

NOTE TO EDITORS:

West Lothian Association of Community Councils is the umbrella group which represents the 34 existing community councils across West Lothian. These are located in the following areas:

Addiewell/Loganlea, Armadale, Bathgate, Bellsquarry, Blackburn, Blackridge, Bridgend, Broxburn, Dechmont, Dedridge, East Calder & Wilkieston, Ecclesmachan/Threemiletown, Fauldhouse, Howden, Kirknewton, Knightsridge, Ladywell, Linlithgow, Linlithgow Bridge, Longridge, Mid Calder, Murieston, Newton, Philpstoun, Polbeth, Pumpherson, Stoneyburn, Torphichen, Uphall, Uphall Station, West Calder and Harburn, Westfield, Whitburn and Winchburgh.

The elections could mean that new community councils could be set up in:

Carmondean, Craigshill, Deans, Eliburn and Livingston Village – plus Seafield, Breich and Greenrigg.

To find out more about community councils in West Lothian – visit their award-nominated website at http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Please contact Adrian Mahoney at The PR Store
on 01506 823714 or 07967 150560
or email: adrian@theprstore.net