Mammoth £100,000 lotto boost will help Paisley's Tannahill Centre continue its good work

By Alison Rennie

Hundreds of people will be given the chance to volunteer at the Tannahill Centre thanks to a fantastic lottery grant.

The centre, at the heart of the community in Ferguslie Park, has received £100,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund.

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It plans to use the money to continue supporting people who want to make a difference in the community.

The community hub has already recruited and supported people to start projects including community gardens, family events and festive celebrations like the much-loved Community Advent Calendar held every Christmas.

The Tannahill Centre has been at the forefront of the community response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Whilst the building has acted as a hub for food distribution across Renfrewshire, volunteer numbers have more than doubled to 60 as the community rallied together to deliver food parcels and home cooked meals, deliver digital devices to those being home schooled and ran community events such as street bingo and walking trails.

The lottery funding will last for three years and enable the Tannahill Centre to continue employing a volunteer coordinator.

Bobbie McCabe, who has fulfilled the role for the past two years said: “I’m delighted that I’ll continue to be able to work with local people helping them make a difference in their local community, seeing all their amazing ideas become a reality over the next three years.

“We take a very person-centred approach to volunteering, asking what skills people have, or would like to develop and how they want to put them to use to benefit their community.

“Sometimes this means matching them up with an existing opportunity, or referring them onto another organisation who may be better suited, but my favourite situation is when someone has their own idea and I get to help them and watch it grow.”

Malgorzata Hayward is a volunteer with the Tannahill Centre and said the support she’s received has been invaluable and even helped her start her own community project.

She said: “In the summer months, during lockdown, I started litter picking in my neighbourhood and received funding from the Tannahill Centre to make my idea of turning an abandoned patch of grass into a community space.

“Staff have been incredibly helpful, listening to ideas, providing advice and giving me the moral support I need whenever I hit a stumbling block.

“The Tannahill Centre is a special place in the community. It’s a very accepting place and you are encouraged to be yourself.

“Volunteering with the Tannahill Centre has had a really positive impact on my mental health during the pandemic, I now have a lot more confidence and I am a much happier person.

“It has also given me the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills and experience that I’m looking forward to sharing with my community as part of the Barrochan Green Team.”

Jamie Mallan, business transformation manager at the Tannahill Centre, said the money will make a big difference.

He said: “I’m delighted that we’ve secured this funding which will have a massive impact on the local community.

“I’d like to thank national lottery players, as thanks to their support we will be able to work with over 100 volunteers to deliver services and activities that make a difference to them and their community.”

If you live in Ferguslie Park and would like more information on how you can become a volunteer at the Tannahill Centre, phone Bobbie on 0141 280 8801 or email bobbiemccabe@fpha.org.uk.

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