Tom Arthur, SNP MSP for Renfrewshire South, visited Include Me 2 Club’s Community Hub at Barrhead’s Cowan Park recently to meet with Club co-founder Paul McIlvenny. As a long-time supporter of the charity, Tom was keen to catch up with Paul and see how the amenities onsite had grown and developed since its official opening in April of last year.

The Community Hub was the result of collaborative working by East Renfrewshire Council, Include Me 2 Club and the Scottish Government, who provided an almost £700,000 investment to bring the ideas gathered through community engagement exercises to life. When asked, the consultation respondents advised that the community would greatly benefit from a multi-purpose community space for local groups, accessible toilets and somewhere to catch up with friends over a bite to eat and a drink.

Situated in a well-loved and much-used park, Include Me 2 Club’s Hub has repurposed the historic gatekeeper’s building and retained the beautiful structure for community enjoyment by many generations to come. Visitors can utilise adaptable meeting spaces, and try out the wonderful cakes, hot food and drinks at their lovely café, Social Blend. Keen cyclists can even pop in and see the experts at The Bike Hub which offers repairs, maintenance and cycle hire in the area’s first active travel hub.

Speaking after the visit, Tom said:

“It was fantastic to meet up with Paul again and see how this wonderful community hub has so quickly become an invaluable resource to groups, individuals and families since it’s opening last year.

“Over the years that Include Me 2 have been operating, they have gone from strength to strength. The team’s ambition to foster an inclusive, supportive and empowered community resonates strongly with me and their determination and passion is unsurpassed.  Paul and the team are an inspiration to us all and I really look forward to every meeting to hear about the Club’s latest projects and successes.

“The hub was buzzing with activity when I visited and it is easy to see why. With such welcoming surroundings and staff, the fantastic food and drinks available from Social Blend and a real commitment to the community which it serves, I look forward to each visit and to continuing my support of Include Me 2 Club in their admirable efforts.”

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