Saturday, September 09, 2006

Suicide Prevention Week

Choose Life

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Walk for hope this morning in Paisley, it meant that I had to for go visiting any of the doors open day attractions but it was worth it. I met among others a young girl with her dog called Milly, the workers in the choose life project and people who had been affected by suicide. I was greeted by the project managers one of whom used to be a geography teacher in my High School, so it is a MAJOR struggle to call her by her first name (sorry Rosemary!) but the day went swimmingly! There were around forty participants and in my welcome I pointed out how important the issue of suicide is, it shouldn't be a taboo one of the women who had been affected by it told me, if it saves ONE life it is working!

The walk took place through Paisley town centre with a piper, balloons and leaflets being given out to the sometimes bemused public, but I am sure once they were aware of the reason for the walk they were in full support. suicide

I would urge anyone who is thinking about suicide to speak to breathing space, Choose life or someone, it is not always the end, someone may be able to help, even if it is just to listen!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006



Well as a Councillor you get days where you are basically running around chasing yourself for the entire day! I left this morning about 8am and was lucky enough to visit the Charleston Centre in Paisley for the Choose Life Renfrewshire open information day. The team of people who run this project are absolutely amazing, they not only help those who feel as though they cannot go on, but they also teach others how to deal with people who disclose suicidal thoughts. Further to this they also help those who self harm and help those dealing with young people who self harm to understand that it is a coping mechanism and not attention seeking or a phase they are going through. This week is suicide prevention week and I will be at the walk for hope on Saturday morning 10:30am at Paisley Town Hall and EVERYONE is welcome!

Also on the agenda is preperation for the Full Council meeting tomorrow morning, I am moving one of the motions on the agenda and seconding another as such it takes a bit of time to prepare what I am going to say, at least this time I have remembered that I am summing up as well, the first motion I moved I forgot all about it! Just as well I can think on my feet. The first motion is on the Boundary Commission changes and the second on the Renfrew Health Centre. You have to put yourself into the position of the opposition and think about what they will say in response to your comments, I know what they will say to the latter! But the first is a little more tricky and so preperation is the key.

I also had constituent enquiries to chase up and calls to make, all this using my dad's laptop because mine broke during the week and I needed to give it back to allow the IT people to scrub the hard drive and re install all of the software! ALL of my letters and preperation work for the meeting tomorrow had to go through my excellent right arm - namely the two admin assistants in the office who I could not do my job without - both the girls are always great but they have been especially great this week as I keep coming in and saying 'can I ask someone to ...'! After this there was the rest of the reports on the full council including one on Free Personal Care which comes under Social Work, and I am the Deputy Convernor for this board so I HAVE to know it inside and out regardless of whether or not I come in on the debate! Luckily I moved a report to the full council on the issue of Free Personal Care and food preperation at the last full council meeting and my Convenor has been great at keeping me involved and informed of what is going on, that always makes it easier.

I had about twenty minutes of quiet and then the Standards Commission for Scotland put a spanner in the works with an ill timed email for quite a few Councillors about an issue we had sought guidance on. Then two of my colleagues who had been away most of the week at a conference came back and I led them through the order paper for tomorrows meeting, in terms of who was doing what and what was being amended and what wasn't that type of thing, brought them up to speed on a number of issues from during the week and then scampered over to one of the Primary Schools in my area for a School Board meeting and Cheese and wine. Unfortunately I had to leave the Cheese and wine section in order to go to the PTA meeting for the local high school to advise of the grants on offer.

I eventually got home around 8 O'Clock and needless to say I could not have survived without my personal driver (my mum who is an angel!) who ferried me between my evening meetings and then home, and missed the beginning of Holby City to do so!

Right now it is more preperation for tomorrow, more constituency work, maybe some dinner and then bed!


Please note all postings on this blog are of a personal nature and do not reflect the opinions of either Renfrewshire Council, the Scottish Labour Party or Renfrewshire Labour Group. NB No annonymous comments will be published on this blog if you have something to say have the courage to identify yourself.