THE MSP for Renfrewshire South attended a meeting with the Linwood Community Development Trust to learn about their ongoing projects within the community.

Tom Arthur was met warmly by the team at their organic fruit and veg shop, Roots of Linwood. The packed meeting room also included Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing.

The team put on a talk which extensively outlined their history, achievements and future goals for the community of Linwood.

Tom and his colleague learnt about the tireless efforts that brought about the success of projects such as 'The Kit and Caboodle', a community enterprise that provides a recycling and kit wash facility.

People can donate their unwanted sports kits for the local sports teams, which are then washed by volunteers, ultimately reducing the community’s carbon footprint.

Another being 'The Linwood Community Choir', which has a membership of over 60 people.

As research suggests that singing as part of a group is good for the mind and body, the choir has seen community ties strengthen as a result.

Kirsty Flannigan, one of the members of the Trust, also described some of the difficulties that people living in Linwood face which includes a lack of knowledge on the workings of local government.

Kirsty recollected how this was a drawback for her and her peers when the Trust was getting started.

She believes that people often don’t know their rights and are willing to accept less, as they find dealing with the council intimidating.

The former nurse, like many of her peers, gave up her job to invest her time in the Trust. She was one of six women, often described as “the tenacious ladies”, who founded and got the trust off the ground.

Commenting on the meeting, Tom said: “The dedication of those who have brought the Trust to what it is now is truly inspiring.

“They have proven that community spirit is not dead in Linwood and this is imperative – the social aspect of projects such as Roots of Linwood have been extremely valuable to local people, who now have the chance to buy quality produce with a personal touch.

“To me, one of their most important achievements is restoring people’s confidence.

“They have done fantastic work in helping people prepare for job interviews – a key skill in today’s job market.

“The issue with confidence is deep rooted - Linwood has been overlooked for too long now and one of the sad points raised in our meeting was that some people even feel embarrassed about their home town.

“What the trust has done and continues to do is a credit to the community, with its exemplary community focus, it has succeeded in giving the people of Linwood something to be truly proud of.”

Source: The Gazette

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