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Published On: Fri, Jan 23rd, 2015 at 6:23am

Five things you need to know today

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Young photographer shows off Edinburgh at its best

Airport set for expansion

Adult Education Programme

Volunteers required for helpline

Garden Kitchen open for business


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Edinburgh Airport has announced more plans for expansion. The airport is in a special position as it does not require to ask for planning permission on the land it owns, but the plans are for a new airside development which will renovate the immigration and baggage reclaim facility meaning that the airport can accommodate bigger long-haul aircraft.

A five week holiday language course is one of the highlights of the new Adult Education Programme launched by the City of Edinburgh Council.It’s the perfect way to learn some local phrases before jetting off for your summer break. With more than 400 new day, evening and weekend courses available, the Council’s Adult Education Programme has something for everyone.

Most classes resume at the end of January with some beginning in February, and weekend classes in March. The holiday language course starts in April.

But if learning a new language isn’t for you, then how about a cooking class? There are courses in Italian, Indian and Spanish cuisine and many more. Or what about trying digital photography, creative writing, guitar, fitness classes or one of the many other subjects on offer?

For a full list of Adult Education Programme classes click here or phone 0131 556 7978 to get a brochure or pick one up from your local library, community centre or GP surgery. Classes can still be booked by post, phone or in person as well as online.

Councillor Cathy Fullerton, Vice-Convener for Education, Children and Families, said: “Every year, thousands of people of all ages and in all areas of the city take part in our adult education classes. Learning should always be enjoyable, and we hope the wide range of courses will inspire people to learn something new or in more depth.

“Taking up a class can help people develop confidence and keep mentally and physically active as well as acquiring new skills. Research shows that people who are in lifelong learning are more likely to be employed, to remain in work and to be involved in their communities. It truly is about learning for life and it’s never too late to start.

“I would advise anyone who has some time to spare over the coming weeks to look into what’s on offer and to book a place sooner rather than later.

“After listening to customer feedback we rolled out online booking last year and we’ve had a huge response with more than 15,000 places booked since September.

For a full list of Adult Education Programme classes click here or phone 0131 556 7978 to get a brochure or pick one up from your local library, community centre or GP surgery. Classes can still be booked by post, phone or in person as well as online here.

Many other classes are held all over Edinburgh in schools and community centres. You can find full details here.


An Edinburgh based helpline for stressed parents and carers is looking for volunteer call takers.

ParentLine Scotland took more than 4000 calls from anxious mums, dads and carers from across the country last year.

The charity offers a helpline, email and web-chat service, for anyone caring for or concerned about a child. It is run by CHILDREN 1ST which works to ensure every child and young person in Scotland has a happy, healthy, safe and secure childhood.

Helpline Manager Jill Cook said: “Our volunteers make an enormous difference to the lives of mums, dads, carers, and professionals just by being there to listen and reassure. It’s a vital service and we ensure they’re ready for the role with 40 hours of high quality training. They also have back-up from a supervisor.”

Volunteers at ParentLine Scotland give a minimum commitment to a year after training. The charity says it’s looking for caring, non-judgemental people who are interested in the wellbeing of children and young people.  Calls can be about all sorts of issues from bullying to separating families, teenage behaviour and toddlers tantrums.

Volunteer Janin Pohl (40) said: “Whatever people call with we take it seriously, it’s not trivial. In that time they are valued. You don’t often find out how things go but at the time you have that sense that there is now a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.”

The next volunteer training course starts on 31 January. To find out more contact

ParentLine Scotland is open 365 days a year on 08000 28 22 33.

You can also get in touch by web-chat at or by email


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About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter. Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist, and always available for freelance work. A keen iPhoneographer!

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