Volunteers needed for new bird watching classes at Levengrove Park
Birds you might see around West Dunbartonshire include robins, red shanks, herons and oyster catchers. Pictures by Heather Greer
By Liz Healey
Levengrove Park’s Community Engagement Ranger is on the hunt for volunteers with an interest in art or bird watching to assist with a range of classes.
The new workshops which are set to begin in early 2019 include art for adults, art for children and families and various bird watching activities.
Three volunteers are being sought to give two hours of their time once every week.
Two of the volunteers would be required during daytime hours, while the third is needed for an evening class.
Volunteering for the art workshops would involve working with adults and children, teaching art techniques, helping participants with the correct use of art materials and organising activities for the class.
The bird watching activities involve setting up surveys which will include identification of different types of bird species within the park, through sight and sound and recording information found.
The role will involve working with different members of the community, school groups, youth groups and carrying out nature activities at community events and fun days in the park.
All volunteers will be working alongside the Community Engagement Ranger.
Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development said: “We are very proud of our parks and always looking at ways that we can improve the services on offer. If you have a passion for art or bird watching, please get in touch.”
Councillor Marie McNair, pictured right, Vice Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, added: “These are great opportunities to get involved with your community and give something back. I’m sure both the volunteers and the class participants will get something valuable from being involved.”
If you are interested in any of the volunteering opportunities available, please contact West Dunbartonshire Council’s Community Engagement Ranger, Sandra Anton, on 01389 772090 or Sandra.firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust has seen a significant increase in participation over the past year.
The annual performance report shows that the number of people using the Trust’s three facilities in Alexandria, Dumbarton and Clydebank for swimming and other water-based activities has increased by almost 46,000 visits (12.4 per cent).
The number of residents taking part in dry activities, like fitness classes, has gone up by more than 146,000 (35.8 per cent) at the Vale Pool, Meadow Centre and Clydebank Leisure Centre.
And there has been more success with a record number of Active Schools participants, as well as more Primary Seven pupils being able to swim 25 metres than ever before.
Enhancing the sports programme on offer for both children and adults has seen an 11 per cent rise in sports development participation.
The details were relayed to councillors at a recent meeting of the Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development Committee.
Councillor McLaren, pictured left, Convener of the Committee, said: “I am delighted to see such improvements across the Leisure Trust.
“We are committed to helping our residents improve their health and well-being, and giving them access to good value, well maintained facilities which enable them to do this.
“Officers will now focus on areas requiring further work, and the detailed Business Strategy will help ensure that we continue towards our targets.”
Councillor Marie McNair, Vice Convener, said: “It is especially pleasing to see that record numbers of kids are taking part in Active Schools and approaching high school with swimming skills.
“The key to having an area full of healthy adults is to ensure we teach them as kids that a healthy and active lifestyle is important.”
Despite vast improvements, these fell slightly short of ambitious targets set for the year.
Officers told councillors they will continue to work with WDLT to ensure that the service continues to grow and the customer experience improves.
Steps towards this have included self-service kiosks at Clydebank and Vale of Leven swimming pools and a new mobile phone app, which allows users to make bookings.
Last year, WDLT delivered 78 festivals & finals, with over 6,000 attendances; expanded swimming lesson provision at Clydebank Leisure Centre by 56 per cent; upgraded the Concord Centre, pictured right, and Denny Civic Theatre and Introduced a student placement project in partnership with West College Scotland giving HND Sports Coach students an opportunity to improve their coaching skills and to deliver sports sessions to 400 local nursery children. The service also supported schools to achieve sportscotland’s School Sport Award, with three primary schools achieving the Gold Award.