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Opening up the Countryside

Wednesday 20th December 2017

The local community are set to benefit from a new public footpath to improve access to St. Vincent’s Hospice by connecting Beith Road and Midton Road.

Running through the playing fields of the former St. Cuthbert's High School, the route will provide safer and more direct access to the Hospice for those relying on public transport and from the nearby Corseford School, run by Capability Scotland.

St. Vincent’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for individuals affected by life limiting conditions throughout Renfrewshire, as well as support for families and young people who have been impacted by the loss of a loved one.

Chief Executive of St. Vincent’s Hospice, Kate Lennon, said: “At the moment, access to the Hospice is limited to a single track lane, which can make it difficult for people to get to us, especially those who rely on public transport, or are coming across from Capability Scotland Corseford School.”

Capability Scotland’s Corseford School provides education and respite for children with complex support needs, all of whom use wheelchairs. Staff will regularly take pupils from the school out for walks and visits to St. Vincent’s Barn Tearoom and Community Garden and have struggled to use the public road.

Commenting on the new path Sean Donachie, Interim Head of Care and Education said: “We educate 19 children and young people, and offer respite for another 40, helping them to lead as independent a life as possible. We always look at various ways of inclusion in the local community, allowing them the opportunity to explore the area safely, take in their surroundings and interact with people along the way.

“This new pathway is a fantastic development, and will make it so much easier to not only see more of the countryside, but reduce the risk of damaging some of the vital communication and transport aids that our young people need to go about their daily lives.”

The project was approved by Renfrewshire Council in November and is set to begin construction in January with a target completion date of March 2018. The pathway will also dramatically improve access to the playing fields which are regularly used for recreation, horse riding and exercise by the local community.

Convener of Renfrewshire Council's Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, Cathy McEwan, said “We are pleased that access to St Vincent’s Hospice will be improved early next year. It’s imperative that anyone visiting the hospice or accessing the school facilities can do so easily. Renfrewshire Council’s support will help to ensure that the journey of patients and their families is easy and stress free.”

Kate added: “There has been a lot of hard work and time to take this project from concept to reality, and I am very excited to see it take shape in 2018. As we move forward, aiming to help more people than ever before, it is essential that we make it as easy as possible to access our services, and this new path is just one of the many ways we are doing this.”

Opening up the Countryside