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LOCAL VOLUNTEERS URGED TO VOTE FOR THEIR CHARITY AT NATIONAL AWARDS

Volunteers are being urged to vote so the work they do for Contact the Elderly can be recognised at a national awards ceremony.

Contact the Elderly’s 125 tea parties in Scotland, including groups based locally, are supported by 1400 volunteers and offer an invaluable lifeline of friendship to more than 850 older people who live alone.

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The charity’s volunteers are in the running for The Great Scot Community Champion award.

 

Morna O’ May, Head of Service Scotland at Contact the Elderly, said:

 

“We were delighted to find out our volunteers had been shortlisted for this award. We were nominated anonymously so it is a great honour.

 

“Without our volunteers, we would not be able to break the cycle of social isolation for hundreds of older people who live alone in villages, towns and cities throughout Scotland.

 

“This is an opportunity to thank our volunteers and for their superb efforts to be recognised. I hope plenty of them vote and make sure their friends and families get on board too.”

 

In the past year, Contact the Elderly in Scotland has won five awards and been shortlisted for a further five.

 

Volunteer drivers collect one or two older people each month and accompany them to an afternoon tea in a volunteer host’s home. A host will welcome a group of between six and eight people once or twice a year.

 

Voting, which remains open until 1st October, takes only a few moments atwww.greatscotawards.co.uk/vote.html.

 

To find out more about becoming a guest or volunteer of Contact the Elderly, contact0800 716543.

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Renfrew Ferry – MSP Comments on ferry withdrawal due to safety concerns

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has expressed his deep concern that the vessel used to operate the Renfrew ferry service has been withdrawn due to safety concerns.

The service has been out of operation for the past week. This followed a similar situation in July, when the service was suddenly out of operation for a number of weeks leaving passengers stranded at either side.

The private operator of the service was uncontactable and no explanation for the lack of service forthcoming. Mr Mackay wrote to the company in July seeking answers and reassurances the issues encountered would not happen again. To date no response has been received.

In a letter to Mr Mackay Transport Scotland have confirmed that following enquires with the port authority and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have indicated that following an inspection on 12 September “the vessel was found to be in a poor state of repair with a number of serious deficiencies noted.”

SPT removed the direct public sector ferry service the Renfrew Rose and Yoker Swan in 2010, a withdrawal then opposed by Derek Mackay.

 

Derek Mackay said:

“It is deeply concerning that the vessel has been withdrawn due to safety concerns.

“I was always worried that when SPT pulled their support for a directly run public sector ferry service that the route would suffer and be at risk, and now my warning may come to pass.

“This is the second time in a matter of months that the ferry has been taken out of operation without any reasonable notice from the private operator or explanation as to why. There has been complete silence, and now we know why.

“This is now a matter of public safety and if the vessel is in the condition it is believed to be in then the port authorities have done the right thing in taking action.

“There is serious safety concerns over this vessel, and the private owners ability to operate the service. These issues need to be addressed urgently.

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SNP MP ENCOURAGES FRESHERS TO JOIN ELECTORAL REGISTER

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has extended a warm welcome to all Freshers who have started their courses at either the University of the West of Scotland or at West College Scotland.

As classes begin, Gavin Newlands MP is also reminding those students to remember to sign up to the electoral register to make sure that they are entitled to vote.

 

While youth turnout was at its highest in this year’s General Election since 1992, and the gap between the number of older voters and younger voters decreased, young people are still noticeably less likely to vote and millions are still missing from the electoral register.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MSP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:
“I extend a warm welcome to all those students who have moved to study in Paisley. Renfrewshire is a fantastic place to live and I hope you enjoy your stay here whilst you are studying.

 

“Many of the students will be moving away from home for the first time and they should remember to register to allow them to vote. Registering to vote online takes a couple of minutes and it is important that the thousands of freshers who may have moved address to begin their studies this year make sure they are registered to vote.

“Decisions are being taken every day that will affect young people, not least on Brexit-related issues, jobs or indeed tuition fees.

“In Scotland, the SNP has legislated to grant 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote, however at Westminster, the Tories are reluctant to extend the franchise to them, despite the SNP’s repeated calls to allow 16 and 17 year olds to have a say in general elections.

“My advice to anyone given the opportunity to register to vote, is to take it with both hands.”

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Influential women of Paisley to be celebrated as part of exhibition in twin town of Furth

Influential women from across Paisley and Renfrewshire have gathered to celebrate their heritage with a special visitor from Paisley’s sister town of Fürth.

Michaela Schneider, who is a member of the Women’s Museum in the German city, visited the town last week to find out more about the history of powerful women from Paisley.

The museum plans to include information on Paisley’s broad cultural diversity and feminine history in its latest exhibition which focuses on Fürth and its twin locations in France, Turkey, Greece, Tunisia and Scotland.

The exhibition will look at the ‘feminine side’ of Fürth and its twin cities, and will bring to life the stories of strong women, past and present.

Paisley has been twinned with Fürth since 1969 and also has further twin town links with Gladsaxe in Denmark.

During her visit, Michaela attended a special dinner at Paisley Town Hall to meet influential figures in culture, art, music, sport, business and politics from across Renfrewshire.

Among those attending the dinner were former Provost of Renfrewshire Anne Hall, director of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 Jean Cameron, president of the Old Paisley Society Cath Mitchell, InCube Renfrewshire designer Dominika Zurawska, artist Caroline Gormley, Diane Mitchell of the Diane Mitchell Music School and local musicians Carol Laula, Linzi Clark and Lisa Kowalski.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, who welcomed Michaela Schneider and guests at the event, said: “I was delighted to welcome Michaela to Paisley and celebrate the efforts of outstanding women in the Renfrewshire area.

“The exhibition in Fürth will go a long way to highlight the important work of women throughout Paisley’s history and their influence on society today.

“This event was a fantastic way to showcase the inspirational work and activity being carried out by women right here in Renfrewshire, whilst also building upon the strong relationship we have developed with Fürth.”

Michaela Schneider said: “The purpose of my visit was to get to know Paisley, introduce the Women’s Museum and to make connections for future collaborations between our museum and the town.

“Learning about Jane Arthur, the Mill Girls and Agnus Russell, to name just a few, and the businesswomen, politicians and creative minds I have met during my visit, I have found a town with an impressive spirit which has been inspired by these women.

“I have been moved by the unbelievable support and warm-hearted welcome, which was apparent even before I came over from Germany.”

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Celebrating our international links is a key part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and it was fantastic to have Michaela visit from our twin town of Fürth.

“Paisley’s bid is also about highlighting the area’s cultural and historical figures – and the town’s rich history of strong women in the mills showcases just that.

“The town has raised women who have gone on to change the world and it is great that we will be able to mark this with our friends in Fürth.”

You can visit the International Women’s Museum website at www.frauenindereinenwelt.de

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Plans progress to regenerate Paisley’s West End

Plans to transform the West End of Paisley have taken a further step forward after Councillors today (Tuesday, 19 September 2017) approved detailed development of the proposals.

Residents and business owners have already shown their support for the draft Paisley West End Regeneration Masterplan which outlines proposals to convert vacant land and low demand property into new housing.

Now members of the Council’s Leadership Board have backed the plans and called for a finalised, fully costed masterplan to be brought back to the next board in December 2017.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson, Convener of the Leadership Board, said: “I am pleased that there is collective agreement from across the Council to continue to develop these transformational plans for the west end of Paisley.

“They have been welcomed by the people who live and work there, the residents and business owners, and it is vital that we continue to listen to them as we develop the plans further.

“There is a shared desire to improve the quality of available housing and make the area an attractive place for people to live and work.”

The masterplan proposes to develop around 150 private and social homes and potentially provide new commercial units on land around Paisley’s Well Street through demolition of low demand tenement flats and commercial ground floor properties on the east side of Well Street and vacant residential blocks on Clavering Street East.

Land formerly home to University of the West of Scotland Halls of Residence would also be cleared and local community growing areas relocated within the West End under the masterplan proposals.

Councillors noted the positive findings of the consultation conducted so far, with residents and business owners backing the plans and commenting on the benefits of the area’s central location, good public transport links and the close-knit community.

The consultation also highlighted the challenges facing the area, with high levels of vacant properties in a poor condition and issues such as vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Councillor Nicolson added: “We are committed to regenerating Renfrewshire and making it an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest in.

“Paisley’s West End is an integral part of plans to regenerate Paisley Town Centre and we are making excellent progress, driven by projects including the Glasgow City Region City Deal projects and Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.”

Consultation is continuing and residents and business owners in the masterplan area as well as people in the wider community can call 0141 618 6003 to discuss the regeneration proposals.

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Gary shows you how to cook up a storm

FOOD fans will get a masterclass on cooking from a master chef, this weekend.


Gary Maclean was crowned King of the Kitchen when millions saw him on television winning the MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 title, last December.

Now Gary will be sharing some of the tips and skills that brought him gastronomic glory after he battled through seven weeks of culinary challenges.

He will be teaming up with Clyde 1 presenter, Cassi for the Soar at intu Braehead Totally Tasty free event held between 2pm and 6pm on Saturday and Sunday, September 23 and 24, in the central mall.

Gary will show the audience how to create four of his favourite dishes and Cassi will be hosting the event and asking Gary just how he manages to tantalise everyone’s tastebuds.

Totally Tasty isn’t just for the grown-ups, as there will be a kids’ cooking station, where talented little chefs can use their imagination to create their recipes of their own and there will also be arts and crafts to keep the youngsters amused.

Gary said: “You don’t need to be a MasterChef winner to cook fabulous food for your family and friends. Come along to Soar at intu Braehead and I’ll show you how to be a champ in the kitchen.”

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “We’ve all got our pots and pans at the ready and can’t wait for our cookery masterclass.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for people to meet Gary and pick up some great cookery tips and advice.

“And no doubt, there will be a queue of people wanting to get a taste of the dishes Gary prepares during our Totally Tasty event.”

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Scottish Government gives financial backing to Scotland’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021

The Scottish Government has given its financial backing to Scotland’s bid if Paisley is named UK City of Culture 2021.

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, made the announcement while attending the first of a series of culture conversation events which took place at the University of the West of Scotland campus in the heart of Paisley.

The endorsement from the Scottish Government recognises the contribution Paisley makes to Scotland’s culture and demonstrates its support of the ambitions and benefits the bid seeks to deliver.

Paisley is the only Scottish contender and the only town shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021 competition, which is run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The other bidders shortlisted for the title are; Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “I am very pleased to be back in Paisley to discuss A Culture Strategy for Scotland and confirm the Scottish Government’s support for Paisley 2021’s bid as the UK City of Culture.

“It is an exciting prospect which fits in well with the Government’s ambitions as we recognise the significant contribution Paisley makes to Scotland’s rich cultural life and the local and national boost this would bring.

“Scottish Ministers have been consulted on the plans being submitted by Paisley to support the delivery of the bid.  The Scottish Government is including its contribution to the Paisley bid within its spending review plans as will the National Agencies.

“I am confident today’s event will offer an important platform for everyone that is keen to have their say on the future of culture in Scotland. The local and national boost that being UK City of Culture 2021 would bring to Paisley is an exciting prospect and I am pleased the town’s cultural journey continues in this competition.”

Leader of Renfrewshire Council and chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Cllr Iain Nicolson, said: “The fact that the Scottish Government has committed to financially support Scotland’s bid, if successful, is a great boost as we make our final preparations to submit the town’s final bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

“There has never been a Scottish winner of the competition but we would love to be the first. The pledge made by the Cabinet Secretary supports our view that a successful bid for Paisley will produce benefits that will be felt across the whole country in terms of visitor numbers and economic impact and as a showcase of cultural excellence.”

Paisley’s final bid is due to be submitted at the end of the month with an announcement on the winner expected in December.

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21st edition of Provost’s Community Awards launches in Renfrewshire

Local heroes across Renfrewshire are to be recognised as the Provost’s Community Awards open once again for nominations.

The awards are into their third decade and aim to give civic recognition to those who work or live in Renfrewshire, and are making a difference to their community.

Nominations can be made in six categories this year, an increase from five in previous years.

A new Arts and Culture award has been created which will seek out the hidden, or not so hidden, gems who light up Renfrewshire’s cultural scene.

Five other awards, Community Group, Community Volunteer, Sporting Achievement, Carers’ Award and Employer of the Year, give the opportunity for local people to give recognition to their colleagues, friends and family for the work they do in their community.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “This will be my first Community Awards in my role as Provost and I can’t wait to see the nominations coming in.

“Our area is full of inspiring community members who deserve to be recognised for the difference they make to the lives of those around them.

“There are a number of different categories to nominate in so don’t miss your chance and nominate the people or groups who you think deserve to win a Community Award.”

The Community Group award is sponsored by the Piazza Shopping Centre and celebrates the organisations in Renfrewshire that have a positive effect on their communities.

Sponsored by Glasgow Airport, the Community Volunteer award recognises those who give their time and effort for nothing more than the knowledge that they are making a difference to their community.

Perennial award sponsor Acre Industrial will present the Sporting Achievement award to the person, team or group who have represented Renfrewshire to a high standard this year in the sporting arena.

Former Renfrewshire Provost Nancy Allison, who has been a part of each of the Community Awards since its inception, donates the Carers Award which recognises anyone who cares for a relative, friend or neighbour.

This year, Employer of the Year is sponsored by UNISON and encourages nominations for employers who have provided a positive working environment and have gone above and beyond the call of duty for their staff.

Anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire can be nominated for an award.

Further information can be found on www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards

Printed nomination forms are available at Council offices and facilities.

The closing date for nominations is Friday 1 December.

The winners in each category will be invited to a special ceremony which will be held in March 2017

For further enquiries contact: provostawards@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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From New York to New Street for PACE panto star

ACTOR Chris Alexander is swapping New York for New Street, in Paisley to take the role of the Dame in this year’s PACE panto, Snowhite.

Scots-born Chris performed in New York as part of Ramesh Meyyappan’s production of Butterfly, which was part of the Brits Off Broadway Festival, at the 59E59 Theatre, in Manhattan, last year.

And earlier this year, Chris was back in the USA with the same production – an adaptation of Madame Butterfly – staged in Millersville, Pennsylvania.

But the Paisley Arts Centre, in New Street will be Chris’s stage from November 25 until December 30 when he stars in the Snowhite panto.

Also appearing in the panto, written and directed by Ross Stenhouse are professional actors Chloe Lupton, as Snowhite; Dani Heron, as the Evil Queen; Danny Holmes, as The Prince and Nathan Byrne, taking the comic lead.

And of course, there will also be 100 local youngsters who are members of PACE, taking part in the hilarious adaptation of the traditional panto.

Tickets only recently went on sale and already more than half the seats have been snapped up.
The show is produced by PACE panto stalwart, Alan Orr who also takes on the role of musical director.
Alan said: “Everyone at PACE is working their socks off to make this the biggest and best panto we’ve ever done.

“We’ll be performing a magical, fun-filled family show with laughter every step of the way and loads of audience participation.

“Our Dame, Chris Alexander is a very experienced actor and is a really funny guy. He’s got natural comic timing and has experience performing in panto many times before.”

Tickets, priced from £9.50p are available from the Arts Centre Box Office, by logging on towww.boxoffice.renfrewshire.gov.uk or by calling 0300 300 1210.

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Time to remember Absent Friends

To Absent Friends, the people’s festival of storytelling and remembrance, returns from 1 – 7 November, and is looking for people and organisations from across Scotland to join in.

The festival, started in 2014, gives people across Scotland the opportunity to remember loved ones who have died, through stories, celebrations and acts of reminiscence.

 

It is easy to get involved in any way you like. The festival website, www.toabsentfriends.org.uk, offers plenty of suggestions, from small private acts of reminiscence to larger events in which communities can come together to celebrate the lives of those who have died.

People can hold a To Absent Friends supper, a simple gathering of friends or family over food to remember and tell stories of people who have died. Alternatively, people can start a To Absent Friends wall at their workplace or community venue. All it needs is some triangles of coloured paper, some pens and an empty noticeboard. People write a tribute to an absent friend and pin it up, until the wall is filled with memories.

 

Other groups choose an activity more suited to them. Events already planned for this year include street parties, jazz evenings, coffee mornings, even a barber shop concert with an absent friends theme.  

 

Many people choose to hold their own private acts of remembrance as well, and the festival provides an opportunity for people to share their tributes on the online Wall of Remembrance, and their songs on the Remembrance Playlist. People can visit the site at any time to write a message.

 

November has long been associated with remembrance of the dead, through traditions like Samhain and All Souls’ Day. To Absent Friends is reviving those lost traditions and helping to create new ones, as a way to support active remembrance of dead people. Talking openly about someone who is dead can often cause discomfort or embarrassment, but To Absent Friends wants to change that.

“Just because someone has died doesn’t mean they are not a part of our lives any more,” says Robert Peacock of Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief, the alliance of organisations behind the festival. “They are there in our stories and memories. The festival gives people time and space to remember those people – whether it’s just raising a glass, or something more formal. In this day and age, we don’t often stop and do that.”

 

“To Absent Friends has really captured people’s imaginations since we started it in 2014. There have been some very poignant and moving events, as well as many lighter moments shared.”   

 

The festival welcomes anyone who wants to do something – whether it is a large event or a small personal remembrance – as part of the festival.

 

To Absent Friends will take place across Scotland from 1 – 7 November 2017.

 

To take part, contact Robert Peacock on robert.peacock@palliativecarescotland.org.uk or 0131 272 2735 or find out more via the website www.toabsentfriends.org.uk