Meet Rowland’s new chairman ...
ROWLAND’S new chairman admits there are challenging times ahead for the West Port youth project.
Jamie McIntyre was appointed to the post at this month’s Annual General Meeting, after Graham Easton stood down following four years in the role.
The Borders College librarian, who moved to Selkirk in 2005, has been a Rowland’s volunteer for the past four years and was previously vice-chairman.
Jamie told The Wee Paper: “There are challenging times ahead.
“Just like everyone else, charities up and down the country are feeling the effects of the recession.
“Our main challenges for the year ahead will be raising funds, recruiting more volunteers and extending our services to reach out to more young people.
“This is easier said than done but with our team of talented staff and dedicated volunteers, I am confident that we will meet our targets and then some.”
Outgoing chairman Mr Easton, who succeeded ex-community policeman Murray Macdougall, believes many youngsters in the Royal Burgh face similar economic pressures in the future.
He told us: “There is a genuine concern from everybody who works at Rowland’s about the opportunities young people in Selkirk have in the jobs market when it comes to leaving school.
“Go back to my time when all the mills were open, you could leave school on the Friday and start work on the Monday.
“That is never going to happen again. There is a real concern that if they do not have the required academic qualifications for further education or university, what are they going to do.
“We are a small cog in that wheel, but we look to improve their chances.”
Reflecting on his time in charge, Mr Easton added: “It has been very rewarding.
“When I started it was only Avril Nairn as the worker, along with a number of volunteers. But we have progressed really quite quickly.
“We have always been in the fortunate position of owning our own building and getting the Big Lottery Funding to design it the way we wanted it.
“We have not had to worry about finding rent for the premises, so have been able to progress our youth work.
“A lot of other youth projects have had that to contend with that on a week-to-week basis.
“We have been very well supported by locals. Local firms have helped us as well, such as RP Adam, who until very recently provided us with all our cleaning materials, and Spark Energy have sponsored us for heat and light.”
Mr Easton will remain on the board, with the task of finding fresh revenue sources for the initiative.
Two board members stood down last week – Stacey Grieve and David Wilson – and Mr Easton hopes to attract more people to help the organisation.
He added: “We are always looking for volunteers and board members. If someone from a professional background believes they can contribute to the management of the place, then they would be welcomed onto the board.”
Mr McIntyre added: “I am really looking forward to taking up my duties as chair of the Rowland’s board.
“Rowland’s plays a vital role in helping our young people become the well-rounded, enterprising and responsible citizens that a town like Selkirk needs to survive.”
Anyone who believes they can help out Rowland’s can phone 21222.
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Weather for Selkirk
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: South west
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: South