Dundee Community Transport – new wheelchair dedicated service

As many residents will already be aware, Dundee Community Transport is a local charity that provides an affordable and accessible transport service for Dundee’s over 65 community.
 
It has secured funding to trial a wheelchair dedicated service as part of its very popular Community Cars project and yesterday, I was delighted to attend the launch event and official ribbon cutting ceremony at the City Chambers.
 
Amongst the speakers was Jan Goodall (pictured right at the event) – Jan was Dundee Community Transport’s first chair when it was formed back in 2005 and she has been a tireless and effective campaigner for community transport in Dundee.
 
You can read more about Dundee Community Transport here.
 
Later yesterday, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.    
 
We had an excellent discussion about a number of matters including Jericho House participating in “Drink the Musical!” now taking part in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the house obtaining a new minibus and the successful improvements to the house’s back garden/seating area.

Busy Tuesday …

This morning, I was very pleased to attend and do the welcome and introductions at Jericho House’s Open Day for partner organisations working in the alcohol and drug fields.     
It was an impressive showcase for the vital work that Jericho House undertakes and to listen to the personal journeys the service users told.    I have served on the Jericho House Support Group that assists the work of the house.
 
You can read more about Jericho House in Dundee here.
 
I also attended the official opening of C Gate, the new home for the Dundee Carers’ Centre (spookily enough, situated in the Seagate!)
 
There was a great turnout to the opening – the photo below is of Fraser Patrick, Chair of the Carers’ Centre’s Board, addressing the audience.
This evening, I attended the May meeting of West End Community Council where there were very positive discussions on a number of local issues including supporting our local shops and parking issues locally.

Busy Wednesday!

Earlier today I had the pleasure of visiting Heart Space Yoga and Bodyworks in Scott Street to see round the impressive facilities and meet Ian Alexander and Finlay Wilson who have, over the past five years, built up services aiming to improve quality of life by increasing physical activity levels and offering numerous services for well-being.
 
Here’s a couple of photographs from my visit :

 

Later, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.   
 
We concentrated our discussion of final arrangements for the impending Open Day at Jericho House aimed at local organisations working in the alcohol and addiction fields, to showcase the work of Jericho House.  
 
This evening, I attended the latest Harris Academy Parent Council, which commenced with another joint meeting with Menzieshill High School Parent Council.    The working together of the two school communities in coming together is impressive and there was very positive discussion over a number of subjects – visits to the new school building for pupil year groups, parents and the wider community and school uniform being just two.

Jericho House Support Group

Yesterday, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.
 
We had a further discussion on a number of matters including the April Open Day at Jericho House aimed at local organisations working in the alcohol and addiction fields, to showcase the work of Jericho House.     We also had a very positive update on the work of the Jericho House Social Committee and also discussed funding for gardening projects.

Jericho House Support Group

Yesterday, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.
 
We had a useful discussion on a number of matters including the proposed Open Day at Jericho House aimed at local organisations working in the field, to showcase the work of Jericho House.     This will take place in April.

Tuesday meetings

Jericho House
Earlier today, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.
 
We had a useful discussion about promoting the work of Jericho House across the city.
 
Later today, I had a helpful meeting with Chief Superintendent Eddie Smith, the police area commander, and two of his senior colleagues, about local policing matters affecting the West End and the wider city area.

Tuesday West End meetings

A busy day with activity across the West End included :
 
+ A meeting of the Pennycook and Sinderins Courts Residents’ Association, at which we discussed a number of matters including issues around the new recycling and bins arrangements and problems needing resolved.
 
+ A meeting of the Jericho House Support Group, at which we discussed the continuing success of the house’s “Drink the Musical!” (soon to be performed in Blairgowrie, with over 160 tickets already sold) and also outreach work and Jericho House’s participation in Dundee Open Doors 2015 this September.
 
+ The Annual General Meeting of Friends of Magdalen Green.   Taking place at Dundee West Church, the guest speaker was Eddie Small, author of ‘Forgotten Visionary of Dundee’ – the excellent book about the life and work of Mary Lily Walker.    Eddie is a superb speaker – informative and entertaining.    
 
It was an excellent AGM coming at the end of a very successful year for the Friends.   A couple of photos from the AGM tonight :
Catherine Fairweather, Chair of the Friends, addresses the AGM
Eddie Small giving his talk about Mary Lily Walker
The Friends’ Vice Chair Angela Mehlert asked everyone to pause to remember West End resident Ed Thompson, who sadly passed away earlier today.   Ed, a greatly talented writer, whose wife Christine is former Treasurer of the Friends, will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with Christine and family at this very sad time.

Jericho House Support Group

Jericho House
Yesterday, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.
 
Following the recent great success of the “Drink!  The Musical” starring Jericho House service users and staff, it was good to hear that an invitation has been extended to the play’s team to participate in the Edinburgh Fringe.
 
There was also a very positive report on activities including assistance Jericho House is getting from Enactus Dundee in terms of producing and marketing its planting projects.

‘Drink! The Musical’ : from Jericho House

Another excellent production ahead by producer Claire Bee with a cast from the service users and staff at Jericho House.
 
With a cast of 30+ aged from 7 to 81, ‘Drink! The Musical’ guarantees to bring you fun, laughter, amazing original songs and a heartfelt script.
 
A snapshot of the emotional journey any of us could face. This diverse cast brings you a performance like no other…filled with high energy and tears along the way.

Busy Tuesday

Yesterday morning, following a meeting with the Director of Housing to discuss options for council house rent levels for 2015/16, I took part in a ‘walkabout’ round the Logie area.
 
The six-monthly walkabouts take place in a number of areas (Pentland and Blackness are other examples) and are a useful way to look at local issues and problems and ensure these are taken up and resolved.
 
Here’s some of issues picked up from yesterday’s walkabout:
Overgrown foliage across the pavement in Glenagnes Road to be trimmed
Missing street sign in Glenagnes Street to be replaced
Ownership of untidy ground in Logie Avenue to be ascertained and tidied

 

Untidy area at side of Glenagnes Street pavement to be tidied
After the walkabout, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.   It was a very positive meeting, covering various of Jericho House’s activities including charity fundraising.

Jericho House Support Group

Jericho House
Yesterday, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.
 
Jericho’s staff and service users are starring in a play that it is hoped will be performed during this year’s West End Christmas Fortnight.   We were pleased to hear yesterday that rehearsals are going well.
 
Jericho House service users and staff are also participating in a car wash fundraiser (with thanks to Tesco who are hosting it!) later this month and have already participated in 2 alcohol awareness events with Tesco recently.
 
The house, in Artillery Lane, will also participate in Doors Open Days (13th and 14th September), one of a number of West End buildings taking part.

Busy Tuesday …

A busy day today on local issues, including :
 
* A morning site visit to speak with residents in Mitchell Street/Polepark Road/Benvie Road about the recent external cyclical works to their properties.   Council officers from housing and architects also attended.
 
* A meeting with the Pennycook and Sinderins Courts’ Residents Association, at which we discussed a number of local issues.
 
* A meeting of the Jericho House Support Group.  The support group is a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.   We had a good discussion about funding initiatives to support the House, participation in Doors Open Day 2014 and the new production of a play that the House service users and staff will be participating in.
 
* Tonight at the West End Community Council, there was a lengthy presentation on bin collection and recycling proposed changes and we also discussed the roads proposals relative to Riverside Drive.

Jericho House support group meeting

Jericho House
At lunchtime yesterday, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.
 
We had a good discussion about forthcoming activities by the folk at Jericho House which will include their participation in the Community Fayre as part of this year’s West End Christmas Fortnight and also carol singing in Perth Road during the West End Christmas Fortnight activities.

Jericho House support group meeting

Jericho House
Yesterday, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.
 
We had a very positive discussion about forthcoming activities by the folk at Jericho House, including :
 
* Participation in the next Dundee Open Doors events in September.
 
* Service users and staff walking the West Highland Way in October.   If any local resident is interesting in participating, please contact Jericho House at dundee@jericho-addictionservices.co.uk
 
* There is to be a cycle ride for charity – again, local residents interested in taking part should contact Jericho House.
 
* The excellent “Broken Puzzle” play that the service users and staff participated in earlier this year will be re-run at a West End venue during West End Christmas Fortnight in November.
 
We also discussed a number of other issues in what was an excellent and productive meeting.

Jericho House support group

Jericho House
Earlier today, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.
 
We received the extremely positive news that the recent play at the Steps Theatre (“Broken Puzzle”) not only produced an income of over £1200 in aid of Jericho House’s charitable work, the service users, staff and others who performed in it are now taking the show to Glasgow.
 
We also heard the good news that the Families Anonymous support group at Jericho House is going from strength to strength and gaining new participants.
 
Jericho House staff and service users are kindly taking part in the West End clean-up initiatives as part of the Festival of Volunteering early next month, which is also good news.

Jericho House’s ‘Broken Puzzle’ success

Earlier this afternoon, I had the real pleasure of attending the matinee performance of “Broken Puzzle” at the Steps Theatre – a production with service users and staff taking part, alongside other performers including members of a Blairgowrie-based amateur drama group.
 
It was superb, entertaining and had a really powerful message.    Congratulations go to producer Claire Bee and all who took part.     Here’s three videos below of some of the musical entertainment from this excellent presentation: 
  

Jericho House Support Group

Earlier today, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.
We had a useful update on “Families Anonymous”, the family support group recently formed that is now meeting weekly.
The “Broken Puzzle” play, being performed later this month, is progressing well and we would urge residents to attend.

Broken Puzzle

recently mentioned the play that service users from Jericho House together with a group of young people are performing in April.   
 
Produced by Claire Bee, there’s now a poster available advertising it and my thanks go to the City Council’s Design Unit and our West End communities officer who made that possible.   The poster is below but you can download a high quality PDF poster here:

Tuesday meetings …

Yesterday, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House Support Group, the team that help support fundraising and other initiatives for Jericho House that does vital work to assist people with alcohol dependency problems.
 
We had an extremely positive meeting, with an update from Claire Bee who is leading the group of Jericho House service users, staff and others including young people, who are to be presenting their play “Broken Puzzle” at the Steps Theatre on Saturday 27th April.     We also discussed other possible fundraising events for 2013.
 
Thereafter, I had a useful discussion with trades union representatives about the forthcoming City Council budget meeting on Thursday and then chaired a meeting of the Barney’s Fund committee, the charity fund established by Barnett’s Motor Group.    In our first tranche of applications for 2013, we had a large number of submissions and were able, after detailed discussion, able to select three very worthy charitable causes for funding awards.
 
Yesterday evening, I attended the latest meeting of West End Community Council, at which a number of local issues and concerns were discussed.

Jericho House Support Group

Earlier today, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward that assists those recovering from alcoholism.
It was good to hear that the Jericho House play is taking great shape and will have its public performances in late February or early March, taking place at the Steps Theatre.  We also discussed possible future fundraising activities.
You can read more about Jericho House at www.jericho-addictionservices.co.uk/jericho-dundee-alcohol/.

Jericho House celebrates as new minibus arrives!

This morning, along with my ward colleague Cllr Richard McCready and other members of the Jericho House Support Group, we attended a photocall to celebrate the charity taking possession of a new minibus that will transform the lives of the service users who are being helped by the very worthwhile Jericho House charity.   

 
Jericho House Dundee is an Alcohol Recovery Unit,  that provides a clean and safe environment in which men have the opportunity to address their alcohol problems.  Unfortunately, in 2008, the minivan that the Dundee charity had came to the end of its useful life and had to go to the scrap yard.   There were no extra funds available to buy a new minivan.  Jericho Benedictine Society headquarters kindly advised David McEnroy, the Manager of the Dundee House, that if they raised £7000, this amount would be matched by the Trustees of the Society.
 
Since then and with the help of a newly-formed small support group of volunteers from St John the Baptist Scottish Episcopal Church, Albert Street, Dundee, a sustained fundraising effort has taken place to raise the necessary funds to get the charity a new minibus.   This has included sponsored walks over the Tay Bridge and along part of the West Highland Way,  a Disco and Karoake night and a large raffle.   The service users and staff also wrote, produced and acted in two plays with the proceeds going to the minibus fund.
 
The new van can now take the men to meetings and on outings together.  Service users and staff will now have annual breaks together, one 5 day trip to country house in Inverness and a long weekend at Jericho House in Girvan to join other recovery groups.   The minibus will now also support their West Highland Way adventure.
 
The various fund-raising projects have also played a vital part in the men’s recovery giving them targets to achieve and helping them co-operate with each other, as well as enhancing their social and personal skills, and all together giving us all a most marvellous sense of achievement.
 
Here’s a couple of photographs from the photocall this morning, together with my interview on Radio Tay news this morning on the event:
Cutting the ribbon!
David McEnroy, Jericho House Manager, interviewed by STV News

Well done, Jericho House!

Earlier today, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, the group that assists Jericho House with various projects and its fundraising efforts.    Jericho House in the West End undertakes excellent work assisting people who have alcohol problems.
 
We were all delighted today to learn that Jericho House has now taken possession of its new minibus – see right – following a sustained fundraising campaign over many months.
 
We are organising an official ‘handover photocall’ after Christmas to mark this great step forward for Jericho House.   The new minibus will greatly assist getting the residents at Jericho House out and about.

Jericho House Support Group

Yesterday lunchtime, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House (see right) support group, a regular meeting at which a group of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.
It was good to hear about the very positive progress on the fundraising and the new Jericho House minibus will arrive before Christmas.   Jericho House’s play is also making good progress with rehearsals and will be performed in February of next year.

Tuesday in the West End …

Yesterday, in addition to visits to constituents, I took part in a walkabout round the Logie Estate with council officers from various departments and a ward colleague to look at issues in the area.   An example is damaged fencing (see right).    It was good to welcome the Director of Housing to the walkabout on this occasion.
 
Thereafter, I enjoyed a very well-attended general meeting of the Pennycook and Sinderins Courts Residents’ Association at which we discussed numerous local issues including parking, noise and the Association’s forthcoming Christmas Coffee Morning, taking place on Saturday 24th November, as part of the West End Christmas Fortnight activities.
 
I also attended a committee meeting of the Jericho House Support Group and am pleased that Jericho House will be taking part in our Christmas Fortnight Community Fayre Launch on Saturday 17th November.   Over 20 community groups, charities and other organisations are taking part in the Community Fayre at Dundee West Church (10am to 12 noon) and it will feature other activities including face painting for the children.
 
Later on, I had a very useful site visit in Ancrum Drive to look further at possible parking improvements there and in the evening I attended the Blackness Primary School Parent Council meeting.    At the Parent Council, there was a very interesting update from Mr Ferrier, Head Teacher, on school building improvements that have recently taken place and a number of school initiatives planned for the new term, including science workshops and co-operative learning for staff.   There’s also a new P5-P7 athletics club which is a really good new initiative for Blackness Primary School.

Jericho House Support Group

Jericho House
Earlier today, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.
It was good to hear about positive progress on the funding issues I have been assisting Jericho House with and we also had a discussion about local activities Jericho House will be involved with in the coming months.

Tuesday in the West End …

I had a very busy Tuesday with West End Ward activities yesterday including :

* A meeting with the sheltered tenants in Tullideph at the sheltered lounge in Tullideph Place, where we discussed a number of local issues, including the punctuality of local bus services.

* Attending the latest meeting of the Sinderins Court and Pennycook Court Residents’ Association, at which one of the local community policemen for the area also attended and we discussed local issues around the sheltered housing area.

* I thereafter attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House Support Group at the base in Artillery Lane.   I have recently been assisting the group, who assist men with alcohol-related problems, over funding and benefits related issues and, after discussion yesterday, will be discussing these further with the Social Work and Finance Departments of Dundee City Council.   The staff and service users at Jericho House recently took part in the large West End litter and graffiti clean-up I assisted with the organisation of, and we were most grateful for their help.

* I also held a meeting with the sheltered tenants at the Ancrum Place and Morven Terrace and we had a good discussion about many local issues including lighting in the sheltered housing complex and overgrown trees.   As with all the other meetings I attended yesterday, I am taking forward all issues raised by residents with the appropriate organisation or council department.

* Last night, I attended the final meeting of West End Community Council of its present session, before its summer break.   There was a detailed and highly informative presentation by the Dundee Airport Manager as well as an update on local policing matters by the community police officer covering the western part of the West End ward.   I was able to update the Community Council about a road safety matter at Sinderins and on local litter issues and forthcoming events as part of WestFest were also mentioned.    The Community Council next meets after its summer break on the second Tuesday of September.

Tuesday activities …

Today :

* I attended the Annual General Meeting of the Sinderins Court and Pennycook Court Sheltered Residents’ Association.  It was very well-attended and good to see progress on a number of issues including the proposed planters at the seating area in Pennycook Lane.   I was able to update residents about bin collection matters.  There was thereafter a really entertaining and interesting talk by Ann Thomson on ‘Local Witches and Vampires.’

* I also attended the latest committee meeting of the Jericho House Support Group at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this extremely worthwhile facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.    

* This evening, I firstly attended the Blackness Primary School Parent Council meeting at which concern at the loss of PE and music specialists in primary schools was discussed.   The Director of Education attended and there was a useful question and answer session.   I have strongly opposed  the loss of these vital teaching posts and attempted to reverse the cut during the City Council budget meeting.

* Lastly, I had the great pleasure of attending a very well-attended Civic Reception in honour of the Whitehall Theatre and to officially launch its very impressive new web pages and social networking presence.   The Whitehall Theatre has faced great challenges of late but a bright future lies ahead.  The theatre is an iconic part of the West End and it was good to see such strong support for it at tonight’s event.