Community Publication Set to Celebrate First Anniversary

The Clydesider community magazine celebrates its first anniversary this autumn and its refreshing ‘positive news’ ethos is a hit with both local readers and advertisers.

The free quarterly publication is part of Clydesider Creative Ltd, a media and communications social enterprise based in West Dunbartonshire. It is the brainchild of Amanda Eleftheriades-Sherry, a local journalist, researcher and communications expert who has lived and worked in the area since joining the Dumbarton Reporter newspaper as a trainee reporter back in 1996.

It is one of a growing number of social enterprises in West Dunbartonshire and a new member of the Dunbartonshire Chamber Commerce.

Amanda said: “West Dunbartonshire gets a lot of bad press both locally and nationally – and that isn’t good for either our local communities or businesses.

“There are lots of talented and interesting people living here whose stories never get told because they are drowned out by the more sensational bad news, that is why I wanted to create something that focused specifically on the positive.

“We cover the whole of West Dunbartonshire – the only publication to do that. And at Clydesider we do things differently, this is a real community publication - for our community and by our community.

“We are also keeping a 3:1 balance between editorial and advertising and keeping the majority of our advertising local so businesses who advertise with us know they are not competing with national businesses with big advertising budgets.

“We want our readers and advertisers to recognise West Dunbartonshire has a lot to offer. And it seems to be working, we have a fantastic team of volunteers and contributors who provide us with features, photos, stories, poems, artwork, photo walks and tips. Our print run of 10,000 for each issue reaches at least 25,000 readers and we also have a digital issuu version of the magazine so ex-pats can read some of the good news stories from home.”

Clydesider Creative Ltd also provides a variety of training and they recently worked with local youth charity Y Sort It to run citizen journalism training.

Amanda explained: “In Issue 3 we published three articles written by these young reporters which were about youth activities in the area. As a result one of the young writers secured a media course place at college and won the Vale of Leven Academy’s employability award.

“It has been a really exciting first year and we have had such positive feedback – people from all different walks of life keep telling me they are reading the magazine cover to cover and passing it on to their friends.

“And some of the stories we featured have had an amazing knock on impact – the feature about the Clydebank brothers who cycled to the Moscow Olympic Games is being turned into a book and there is even the possibility of a film.”

Amanda received social enterprise start up awards from Firstport and West Dunbartonshire Social Enterprise Challenge Fund to get her business off the ground and is keen to encourage others to look into the social enterprise route.

“I have worked for both charities and the private sector and I think that social enterprises are a great middle road between the two I would recommend it to anyone who has an idea to address a social or environmental problem.

“And if anyone is interested in contributing, volunteering or advertising with Clydesider we would love to hear from you. Please just drop us an email to [email protected]

About the author

Chamber admin are responsible for the day to day running of the chamber, dealing with enquiries, membership as well as organising events and meetings.