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They came mall dressed up for Comic Con event

SHOPPERS at Intu Braehead yesterday must have thought they had landed in the middle of a sci-fi movie.

Wonder Woman and Superman, Louise Dominick, aged four, from Port Glasgow and Brandon Walker, aged three, from Chapelhall hang out at intu Braehead.
All images © Gibson Digital 2016.

There were characters from all kinds of films, TV shows and comics, who had obviously come from a galaxy far, far away to have a look round the shops.

James Breen, aged 24, from Stevenston, Ayrshire as Thor from the Marvel movies and comics.

Thousands of fans turned out for the Film and Comic Con Glasgow event – formerly Collectormania – being held at intu Braehead Arena over the weekend and they got the chance to meet stars of iconic films and shows like, Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr Who, Aliens and Games of Thrones.

Crowds turned up for the Film and Comic Con at intu Braehead Arena.
All pictures by
Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital

Many fans were dressed in the costumes of their favourite sci-fi characters and they certainly caught the attention of Saturday shoppers in and around the malls.

The sci-fi fans also flocked to hundreds of stalls set up in The Arena – that has previously hosted rock concerts, world championship boxing matches, Davis Cup tennis tournaments and is home to the Braehead Clan ice hockey team – to snap up movie memorabilia and sought-after rare comics.

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “This is one of the most colourful weekends of the year at intu Braehead with fans dressed in some amazing costumes.
“You just never know which character from the movies or TV you’re going to meet in the malls.”

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Mall staff dig deep to make school wildlife habitat

PRIMARY pupils will be getting closer to nature when they go back to school after the summer holidays.

staff from intu Braehead and Cardwell Nurseries worked at Newmains Primary to create a wildlife habitat.

And it’s thanks to the hard work of volunteers from intu Braehead that youngsters at Newmains Primary, in Renfrew now have a wildlife habitat as part of an Outdoor Classroom in the school grounds.

Along with workers from Cardwell Nurseries, based in Gourock, the 12 volunteers spent a day working at the school, as part of intu’s company-wide initiative encouraging staff to take the time from their work schedule to help support charity or community work.

Management at intu Braehead also donated more than £3000 for materials, plants, shrubs and flowers, which were planted in the school grounds aimed at attracting different kinds of wildlife to the new habitat.

Community development manager at intu Braehead, Lydia Brown said: “The pupils will have lots of fun learning about the natural world.

“Armed with shovels and spades, we were happy to literally dig deep to help create this wildlife habitat as part of the school’s outdoor classroom.”

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paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates are gearing up for a successful defence of their SNL title and are inviting players and volunteers to come forward and join the organisation.

paisley pirates

Coach Ian Turley said, “I’m really looking forward to the start of training in a few weeks, on 22 August, as this won’t only give our new member of the coaching set up, Adam Walker, the opportunity to get to know the players, it’ll also give us the chance to look at the guys who played for us before, and, hopefully, there will be a few players from around the ice rinks wanting to come along and impress us enough to be offered a team slot. It’s a very critical period for us as we’d like to get a lot of hard work and preparation under our belts before the serious stuff starts.”

“It’s always nice to get a few new faces in as it freshens up the dressing room a bit, and it showed last season when we got young players like Dean Hamilton and Euan McLaughlin to join up with us. The enthusiasm of the youngsters always rubs off on the more established players so I’m hoping that the early practices will throw up at least a couple of new faces able to join the ranks and make a difference. The standard of the SNL has risen markedly in the seven years I’ve been involved with the Pirates and there’s no reason to suggest the new season will be anything different in that respect.”

He continued, “We’re also looking to expand our army of off-ice volunteers to do the million and one jobs which need to be done on match nights. We’re proud of the fact that we’re regarded as a well run organisation and there’s good reasons for that-we work very hard at being the best we can be, and we have a lot of folk helping us too! Like I say, we’re wanting to further increase our volunteer numbers as there’s a lot of unseen jobs go into putting on a professional show.”

“The message is the same for anyone wanting to join our on-ice team, or our off-ice squad. Get in touch with us at paisleypirates@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you with all the details you need to become one of the Pirates’ family. It really couldn’t be simpler and we’ll look forward to hearing from you!”

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Star Wars Sandtroopers head for the beach

YOUNGSTERS at an indoor beach could hardly believe their eyes yesterday when they were joined on the sand by some visitors from a galaxy far, far away.

Stars Wars characters from the desert – two Jawas, a Tusken Raider and two Sandtroopers take a look round the beach area in Soar at intu Braehead

The beach in the Soar at intu Braehead leisure destination was almost a home from home for a Star Wars Tusken Raider and a Sandtrooper who had come from the sandy deserts of planet Tatooine.

Margaret Kirk and four-year-old Harry Ballantyne, from East Kilbride meet up with the Star Wars characters on the beach area in Soar at intu Braehead

The Star Wars characters, from the Imperial Scottish Squad, were visiting Soar to check out the lie of the land before they returned for the Film and Comic Con event being staged at the nearby intu Braehead Arena, on Saturday and Sunday, August 19 and 20.

Gracie Woods, aged three, from Kilbarchan joins the Star Wars characters on the beach area in Soar at intu Braehead

And they couldn’t resist spending time on the sand among the deckchairs and buckets and spades of the 32 metres long beach area specially created for youngsters to enjoy.

The free to use beach is open until Sunday, August 20 and features lots of sand to make sandcastles, deckchairs – including a giant deckchair, which is great for photographs – buckets and spades, beach hut, surfboard and beach games.

Marketing manager at intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “We know our beach is very popular with youngsters and their parents, but we didn’t realise the word had reached a galaxy that far away!

“But where else would a Tusken, who are known as the Sand People, go when they visited Earth other than our beach at Soar. After all, we’ve got plenty sand for everyone to enjoy.
“And of course, a Star Wars Sandtrooper had to be there as well to make sure the Tusken Raider was on his best behaviour.”

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PLAYMOBIL play zone to launch at intu Braehead

Intu Braehead

Intu Braehead and Soar at intu Braehead is to open a free play zone featuring toy brand PLAYMOBIL on Monday, July 31, as part of a summer of activity planned for families during the school holidays.

Intu Braehead

There will be a range of PLAYMOBIL toys as well as some larger than life figures to keep children entertained in the dedicated space that will be open in the central atrium at intu Braehead every day between noon and 5pm until Friday, August 11.

Children will even get the chance to meet members of the PLAYMOBIL Ghostbusters team when they patrol the centre on Thursday, August 3, between 10am and 5pm.

Marketing manager at intu Braehead and Soar at intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “We’ll be bringing a smile to the face of all our younger customers thanks to our partnership with PLAYMOBIL over the next two weeks. It’s just one in a series of activities planned to keep families entertained over the summer holidays.”

Dedicated play zones will also open at intu’s 13 other centres up and down the country thanks to its partnership with PLAYMOBIL.

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UK first as Scots shopping mall launches bicycle patrols

SHOPPERS yesterday saw a retail chain with a difference at intu Braehead – after security staff started patrolling on bikes.

Youngsters Shay McGinn, aged four, from Johnstone with intu Braehead bike patroller Willie Carmichael

It’s thought the shopping mall and leisure destination is the first in the UK to equip its staff with bicycles to help them get around car parks, it’s riverside boardwalk and pathways.

On bike patrol, intu Braehead security staff, Mohammed Aswar and Willie Cunningham

Security staff, Willie Carmichael and Mohammed Aswar have now completed a training course on patrolling on bicycles, with tuition from an expert with the government-backed Cycling Scotland charity.

The idea for the cycle patrols around the shopping centre and the nearby Soar leisure destination came from intu Braehead’s operations manager, Paul Lucas.

He explained: “We are a 300-acre site and there’s a very large outside area we are responsible for. That includes several car parks with 6500 free spaces, the boardwalk along the River Clyde and the many walkways and cycle paths.

“We thought having some of our security staff on mountain bikes would be a good way of covering such a large area in a quick and environmentally friendly way.”

Paul added: “It also gives the public a reassurance that there’s help at hand no matter if they are inside or outside intu Braehead.

“Initially, we have purchased two bikes, but if required and if the initiative is successful, we can have more available for our staff to use.”

Caroline Hammond, Development Officer at Cycling Scotland, said: “Working with intu Braehead on this unique initiative has been a pleasure.

“Training security staff to cycle confidently as part of their daily rounds is an efficient and innovative way to embed cycling into everyday journeys.

“Cycling Scotland offers a range of training opportunities to help more people to cycle regularly, and it is great to see our training being implemented in this way.”

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Shoppers take a dive into UK’s biggest ball pool

HUNDREDS of shoppers got the chance to dive into the UK’s biggest ball pool, at the weekend.

The UK’s largest ball pool at intu Braehead yesterday.

The nine metres square sea of 200,000 multi-coloured plastic balls has been set up in the middle of the intu Braehead shopping centre.

Both adults and children couldn’t wait to enjoy the free fun sessions that are part of intu Braehead’s Summer Party, held on Saturday and Sunday, July 1 and 2.

And over in the nearby Soar at intu Braehead visitors headed down to a specially-created beach with lots of sand, giant deckchairs, buckets and spades and an inflatable slide for youngsters.

Christine Macdonald, marketing manager at intu Braehead said: “This is a summer party like no other and we couldn’t wait to see the smiles on the faces of shoppers when they saw what we had in store for them.
“Whether they are visiting us to take part in fun activities like the giant ball pool, or heading for our beach area to simply enjoy a great day out with family and friends, everyone joining us for intu Braehead’s Summer Party is in for a real treat.”

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UK’s.biggest ball pit comes to intu Braehead

intu Braehead hosts spectacular summer party  

Free entertainment and activities including the UK’s biggest ball pool and summer beach area

Everyone’s invited to intu Braehead’s weekend-long summer celebration

intu Braehead will host two days of free activities and entertainment on Saturday and Sunday July 1 and 2, as it kicks off one of the area’s biggest summer celebrations.

Shoppers can have a ball at a special Summer Party as the country’s biggest ball pool for adults and kids, measuring nine metres square is being installed in the mall’s central atrium.

Close on 200,000 brightly-coloured balls will be in the pool for everyone to dive into and have free fun sessions.

And over in Soar at intu Braehead visitors can head down to a specially-created beach with lots of sand, giant deckchairs, buckets and spades and an inflatable slide for youngsters to enjoy.

Christine Macdonald, marketing manager at intu Braehead said: “This is a summer party like no other and we can’t wait to see the smiles on the faces of shoppers when they see what we have in store.

“Whether you’re visiting us to take part in fun activities like our giant ball pool, or heading for our beach area to simply enjoy a great day out with family and friends, everyone joining us for intu Braehead’s Summer Party is in for a real treat.”

Visit www.intu.co.uk/braehead for more details of what’s on and opening hours.

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Mall offers free personal guide service to visually impaired

A FREE service has been launched to help people who are blind or visually impaired get around one of Scotland’s biggest shopping malls.

From left, intu Braehead guide Christine Wilson; visually impaired shopper, Theresa Jenson; Christine Olsen from the mall and visually impaired shopper, Cathy Slyder

Staff at intu Braehead have been given specialist training by the Visability Scotland charity to act as personal shopping guides around the stores.

Theresa Jenson, from Erskine and Cathy Slyder, from Paisley were the first to take advantage of the new service, as they were guided around the stores at intu Braehead, by staff members, Christine Olsen and Christine Wilson.

Cathy said: “This means a lot to me. It’s a great service and very helpful as the staff who accompany us are able to describe the colour, design, type of material and size of what we were planning to buy.

“If it wasn’t for this service I would have to rely on family to come round the shops with me.”

Theresa added: “Having this service at intu Braehead gives me some independence and means I don’t have to rely on other people.
“And I can buy my family presents without them having to be there with me when I do that.”

Already this year, a specialist trainer in sign language was brought in by intu Braehead to teach up to 20 staff basic sign language skills during a two-day course.

And staff have also been given specialist training by Scottish Autism to make life more comfortable for people with autism when they visit the centre.

Lydia Brown, intu Braehead’s community development manager said: “We want to make sure everyone – and we mean everyone – has the opportunity to come to intu Braehead and experience what we have to offer.

“The recent training that gives our staff the skills to help people who are deaf, blind or suffer from autism shows we are serious about this.”

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Mall staff learn sign language to help deaf shoppers

STAFF at intu Braehead have been taught basic sign language, so they can help shoppers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Sign language tutor, David O’Rorke shows Louise Reynolds how to spell out letters.

Customer service, security and cleaning staff at the shopping and leisure destination have been learning how to communicate by finger-spelling letters, phrases and numbers and how to sign greetings, pleasantries and directions.
The move follows staff being trained by Visablity Scotland to help people who are blind and a free service introduced to provide a trained guide to aid people who are visually impaired to get around the shops.

Staff spell out the name intu Braehead as the sign says above their heads

Staff have also been given specialist training by Scottish Autism, to make life more comfortable for people with autism when they visited Intu Braehead.

A specialist trainer in sign language was brought in by intu Braehead to teach up to 20 staff basic sign language skills during the two-day course.

Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, Delia Henry, said: “It’s great that staff at intu Braehead are becoming more deaf aware and learning basic British Sign Language which will help them communicate better with deaf customers or colleagues whose first language is BSL.

“Scotland’s 13,000 BSL users would appreciate it if other shopping centres and retail staff followed intu Braehead’s lead and learned some signs or fingerspelling to welcome people who are deaf.”

Community development manager at intu Braehead, Lydia Brown said: “We want intu Braehead to be welcoming to everyone.

“And we hope that having staff trained in basic sign language will give people who are deaf an even better experience when they visit us.

“The staff who have taken part in the course realise the importance of deaf awareness and they’ll put their new skills to good use by assisting people who are deaf and putting them at ease during their time in our busy shopping centre.”