Hunterhill Paisley News

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How to get over being an under – Lisa Kowalski headlines King Tuts on her 18th birthday

As an emerging singer songwriter determined to build a career, a lot of items on Lisa Kowalski’s bucket list are music related.

She has already ticked off a few things – releasing her first EP, playing a festival headline stage, performing on TV, meeting her original inspiration Taylor Swift and supporting a few more well-established artists.  There’s still a big list and a long journey ahead, but one major barrier is about to be smashed.

Having been a performer and a local music fan for the last four years, 17 year old Lisa was getting increasingly frustrated that, as an under, she could neither perform nor go and see her favourite bands and artists at certain gigs and venues. The popular and iconic King Tuts was often the venue for an event Lisa really wanted to attend but wasn’t able to. This situation is all about to change on 6th February when, with the help of Salute Music UK, Lisa is going to celebrate coming of age by headlining King Tuts on the night of her 18th.

Salute Music UK run an innovative new signwriting competition designed to discover under the radar song writing talent from across the UK. Lisa entered their first contest in summer 2017 with a rough demo of a song she had written and had filmed at her fortnightly singing lesson.  Despite competing with more experienced artists and polished and produced tracks and videos, the panel of industry judges selected the song “I do” from thousands of entries to make the top 100.

The public were then asked to vote over several weeks for their favourite songs and the top six made the final, with a £10,000 cash prize paid to each and £50,000 to the overall winner. Lisa was delighted to find out in November that she was a finalist and would be winning a prize that will allow her to realise a lot of musical goals for 2018 and continue to progress her career. The prize also included the arrangement of a “Home Town gig” for each finalist and it was the absolute icing on the cake when Lisa learned that this would not only be in the legendary King Tuts but would also fall on the very night she turned 18. The prize money will be officially presented on the night.

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday than to perform old songs and some new material in a venue that’s so iconic! I also have an incredible artist lined up to support me, Megan D. I’ve been loving her EP and it’s amazing to have a musician that I greatly admire in the line up! ”

Lisa has a lot of other aims and wishes for the year ahead and, as is usually the way for emerging musicians, some will happen and some won’t.  Receiving an invaluable cash sum to invest in her music, as well as a public recognition of her song writing talent, provides a brilliant foundation on which to build. The night at King Tuts is hopefully the start of many things but regardless of what comes next, Lisa will never forget being able to share such an exciting event with friends, family and fans on the long awaited night on which she turns 18.

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Culture events from iconic painting to puppets and much more

A variety of cultural activities will be taking place in Renfrewshire over the next few months.
Art lovers will be able to see one of Scotland’s most iconic paintings when it is put on display at Paisley Museum.


The town is only one of four places in the country to put the famous Monarch of the Glen painting by Sir Edwin Landseer on show, as part of a nationwide tour organised by the National Galleries of Scotland.

The free viewings will take place at Paisley Museum between January 20 and March 11. Free family activities related to the painting are also being planned by Renfrewshire Leisure to coincide with the exhibition.


The Monarch of the Glen exhibition is just one of a host of cultural events being staged in Renfrewshire during the next six months and featured in the latest edition of the free what’s on brochure – The Guide.

The Guide, published this week shows a diverse range of shows, events, exhibitions and workshops is being staged by Renfrewshire Leisure between now and summer.

There are events that are part of the UK’s Puppet Animation Festival with two shows – Little Light and Conan the Dragon – being staged at Paisley Arts Centre and Red Riding Hood’s Magic Purse, at Johnstone Town Hall, in April.

LGBT History Month, in February is being marked with a series of events locally, as is Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, during May.

And a special performance by soprano and piano duo, Voice and Verse that is particularly suited to people suffering from dementia is being held in Paisley Arts Centre, on April 18.

Traditional folk music fans have lots to look forward to with well-known bands like the Tannahill Weavers, Blazin’ Fiddles, Daimh, along with the legendary trio of musicians Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle performing over the next few months.

And on March 2 and 3 the Scottish Alternative Music Awards and festival is being staged in Paisley Arts Centre.

Ballet West bring their enchanting performance of Giselle ou les Wilis to Paisley Town Hall, on February 2 and if you like some rib-tickling comedy of an evening, then former River City star, Gary Lamont brings his Edinburgh Fringe sell-out show, Dropping the Soap to Paisley Arts Centre, on April 28.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “We may have missed out on City of Culture, but we’re not going to be short on cultural activities over the next few months.

“We’ve a hugely diverse range of shows, events and exhibitions going on and there will be something for everyone to enjoy.”

The Guide can be picked up for free at Paisley Museum, Paisley Arts Centre, the town halls at Paisley, Johnstone and Renfrew or download a version on www.renfrewshireleisure.com.

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5621 Baby Boxes Delivered In Greater Glasgow and Clyde In First Six Months of Scheme

Latest figures from the Scottish Government have revealed that the transformative Baby Box policy has already benefitted 5621 newborns across Greater Glasgow and Clyde since they were introduced last year – and over 22,000 across Scotland.

The Baby Box is a key part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to making Scotland the very best place in the world to grow up – and contains important items for parents and babies alike, such as baby clothes, a digital ear thermometer, a bath towel, a changing mat and books.

The box itself also doubles as a bed for a newborn, containing a mattress, mattress protector and fitted sheet – providing a safe and warm place for babies to sleep.

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, said:

“It is excellent to see so many families across Paisley and Greater Glasgow and Clyde benefitting from the Baby Box.

“The Boxes are a really positive Scottish Government initiative providing parents with many of the essentials they need to care for their child.

“From thermometers to towels, changing mats to clothes – the boxes are a fantastic way of giving children in Paisley the very best start in life.

“That 5621 boxes have already been provided to parents across Greater Glasgow & Clyde, part of a total of over 22,000 across Scotland, shows how popular they are proving with parents in every corner of the country – and given how beneficial they are to parents and newborns, long may that continue.”

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Amanda’s getting fit to have a ball with Team GB

An international ball hockey player who trains at The Lagoon gym in Paisley is urging people to set goals when they set out to become fitter and healthier.


Amanda Murdoch knows all about goals, as her target for 2018 is to be selected to play for the Great Britain Women’s Ball Hockey team in the World Championships, in Bratislava, which take place in 2019.

The 40-year-old mum with a teenage daughter was picked to play for Great Britain last year in the 2017 World Championships, held in Pardubice, in the Czech Republic playing against Canada, America, Italy, Slovakia and the host nation.

Ball hockey is a version of ice hockey only played on a dry sports surface with the players wearing trainers instead of skates using a ball instead of a puck.

The GB selection process means Amanda, from Paisley has to play in a series of trial matches later this year before she finds out if she’s again picked as one of the wingers in the GB squad.

She’s now training five times a week with the help of Renfrewshire Leisure gym staff, doing two spin classes and three sessions in the gym with weights and treadmill to build her core body strength and cardio fitness levels.

Amanda, who also works for Renfrewshire Leisure, reckons the organisation’s new What’s Your Goal? campaign is ideal for people who want to get fit and healthy.

Amanda says: “I’ve certainly got my goal for this year and that’s to make the GB team for Bratislava in the World Championships, in 2019.

“No matter what goals you set yourself, it makes the training much easier when you have something to aim for and that’s the case whether you’re a serious sports athlete, or you just want to lose weight and get more fit and healthy.

“I’m quietly confident I’ll make the squad, but I need to be sure I’ve got a high level of fitness, as you’re playing six games in seven days in the World Championships.”
Renfrewshire Leisure’s new campaign has something for everyone; from their Yearly Saver membership, offering 12 months for the price of ten, to six personal training sessions for the price of five.

Once they have joined, members set their goals with trained gym staff who help them create a tailored individual fitness plan.

Then it’s about taking action by heading for the gym and fitness classes for their regular workouts.
The third part is tracking progress and every four weeks gym staff check with members that they’re still on track to achieve their goals and give them any help if needed.

And once they reach their goal, members are encouraged to set new goals, either to maintain their fitness levels, or take it to the next level.

Amanda added: “Everybody needs to set a realistic goal, as that gives you something to aim for and encourages you not to give up. And when you reach your goal, you’ll get a great sense of achievement.”

For more information about Renfrewshire Leisure’s What’s Your Goal? campaign, log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com or call 0300 300 0250.

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Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, Encourages Flu Jab Take Up

George Adam has urged all eligible adults in Paisley to take up the offer of a free flu vaccination.

Everyone aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people at most risk of serious illness are offered the flu vaccination on the NHS.

Flu rates in Scotland doubled in December with the most recent figures from Health Protection Scotland showing around 46 Scots in every 100,000 were suffering from the virus, comparing to 22 in every 100,000 for the same week in 2016.

George said:

“It’s not too late to get the flu jab – and if you’re eligible for vaccination on the NHS it’s important that you take that offer.

“Cases of flu were at double the rate in December as the previous year, and can be a serious illness that can make even healthy people very unwell.

“NHS staff in Renfrewshire are doing a tremendous job at a tough time of year, and we should all do our bit to not add unnecessary pressure on the health service.

“If you’re eligible, please make getting the vaccination a priority and book an appointment with your GP practice or health board as soon as possible.”

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SAMAs announce new music festival in Paisley this March!

The two-day event will include LIVE showcases, Music Workshops, Industry Seminars, In-store performances and more!

The Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs) will return in March with their first event of 2018 taking place in Paisley, bringing a two-day showcase and celebration of grassroots music to the thriving town.

This will include an array of industry seminars and speakers covering “How to do D.I.Y Music in 2018” and “When is the best time to showcase yourself to the music Industry?” plus live sets across various Paisley venues, including the Arts Centre and record shop Feel The Groove.

The event will provide an insight into the music industry and showcase Scottish talent. The event is being funded by Renfrewshire Council through the area’s Culture Heritage and Events Fund, which was created as part of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and will continue to form the legacy of that.

Renfrewshire Council deputy leader Jim Paterson said: “Paisley has a rich musical history, a thriving contemporary music scene and is now well established as a key destination within Scotland for music and events – making the town a perfect fit for this event. “We created the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund to boost the local creative scene in the area as part of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 – and that fund continues as part of the legacy of that.

“That means Paisley can continue to attract well-respected national events such as the SAMAs – giving local talent a platform to show what they can do and meet key industry figures from across Scotland.” Festival manager Richy Muirhead says: “We’re thrilled to be hosting a range of new music events in Paisley this March! The SAMAs Takeover is a great opportunity for people to come and see some of Scotland’s new and exciting artists at the showcases, and learn about the industry at the seminars, and everything else in between from in-store performances and workshops!”

The first act announced are Paisley natives, disco-synth quartet The Vegan Leather who will be hosting their own workshop at Paisley Arts Centre as they unlock the key to their signature pop sound featuring a lesson in songwriting plus Q&A! The full line-up will be revealed throughout January. For tickets visit Eventbrite UK and Paisley Arts Centre.

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Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union + Connect4Renfrewshire

Over the past 4 years Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union has been working with the Connect4Renfrewshire (C4R) project to help members with Energy advice, budgeting, money management, and helping them access ethical financial products.

How can the C4R project help you?

 

What

Connect4Renfrewshire brings together a wide range of services working with partners such as Renfrewshire Council, RAMH, Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union and RAMH Lifeskills Furniture Re-use. Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union has been working in partnership with Connect4Renfrewshire for the past 4 years to help our members with various services such as –

 

  • Energy advice and advocacy
  • Specialist debt advice
  • Budgeting and money management support
  • Access to appropriate financial products
  • Advice on benefits
  • Access to recycled goods

Who

Connect4Renfrewshire launched in December 2013 and has supported 1800 Renfrewshire households to save money and ease the load. C4R have experienced workers who are available to help with money, budgeting and energy needs.

Connect4Renfrewshire is funded by Big Lottery and partner agencies, C4R is a direct response to welfare reform and the challenges that it presents to people living in social housing. By providing coordinated support, C4R seeks to help residents that are experiencing financial hardship and those that have been identified as being at risk.

Do you think you could be paying less for your energy bills? If you are a Renfrewshire-Wide member and you think the C4R project could help you with any of the above, give us a call on 0141 889 7442. You can also pop in and have a chat with Calum our C4R representative.

For further information about the C4R project please visit our website – http://www.rwcu.co.uk/news.php?article=82-Connect4Renfrewshire#.WVthLzOZPVo

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Shine The Light Miss January

Introducing, Miss January; In Partnership with Paisley.org.uk and Pinnacle Training.

Mary McCorkindale

Mary is fondly known to family and friends as Dancing Queen; with an insatiable desire to dance, laugh and have fun.


Mary was nominated by her family, not because of her killer dance moves, but because of her undeniable strength and fortitude.

Mary was a foster parent to a large number of children along with her late husband Peter McCorkindale.
As well as fostering, Mary raised a large family of 6 children; late Colin, Paul, Ian, Lorraine, Shona and Peter. Amazingly, she also held down several jobs during this period and ran the well remembered Lonend Diner.

Mary recently fought and beat throat cancer; with lifestyle changes, Mary received the all clear.
Mary’s fortitude is also evident as the survivor of a severe house fire. She lost all belongings, and if not for trusty feline Kitty giving the warning, possibly a lot more. Thanks to local firefighters and Mary’s shouts for help, Mary was rescued and started life afresh.

In recent years, Mary tragically lost her oldest son. When Colin passed away, it was as if life had ended for Mary also.
It was only her undeniable strength and the love of her children that kept her moving forward. However, Mary was dealt another blow when her husband Peter passed away, and shortly after, her grandson, young Colin, son to Colin senior also.

For many this would have been the undoing but, armed with a fishing rod and a pack of sarnies, Mary sought refuge in fishing. At 78 years old, and 4ft 9 inches tall, Mary is a keen fisherwoman, and often puts seasoned (and often oversure fishermen!) to shame. She has the touch; the fishies can’t resist!

Mary is famous for not only for her dance moves, fishing skills and strength; she also makes the best pancakes in Paisley!
She was also recognised in the Paisley Daily Express for her artwork.

Mary is a proud woman, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. It is evident she has a family who are incredibly proud of her, her spirit, and her legend.

Dance on dancing queen, a worthy Miss January! 👏🍾🎉🎶

And remember; if you have a family member or friend deserving of recognition, they could be our next Miss or Mr February!

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West College Scotland Launches First Regional Skills Survey

Opportunity for Renfrewshire’s Employers to Help College Build A Modern Workforce

Scotland’s largest college is kicking off 2018 by launching the West of Scotland Skills Survey. The regional employer skills survey, the first of its kind to be conducted by a Scottish college or university, is a new way the College is engaging with businesses in Renfrewshire to help build a modern workforce.

Launching online today, the West of Scotland Skills Survey will gather the views and experiences of employers in the West region – focusing on their skills, workforce and business support needs. The findings of the sector-leading research will then be used to better inform the work of the College and their efforts to tackle the skills gap.

The West of Scotland Skills Survey is open to employers of all sizes in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and Dunbartonshire – and closes on Friday 9 March. Leaders in education, local government and business are urging employers across Renfrewshire to participate in this opportunity to boost skills and bolster the regional economy.

Audrey Cumberford, the Principal of West College Scotland, said:

“As Scotland’s largest college and a leader in the region we serve, West College Scotland is committed to working with partners and employers to build a modern workforce, sustain a thriving economy and help people achieve their potential.

“The West of Scotland Skills Survey is just one way that we are engaging with employers in Renfrewshire and across our region to ensure that the West is able to overcome the challenges and grasp the opportunities of a competitive global economy.

“I would urge employers across Renfrewshire to participate in our sector-leading research to help us tackle the skills gap and build a modern workforce.”

Cllr Iain Nicolson, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said:

“We are committed to growing the local economy by creating new job opportunities in Renfrewshire and removing barriers to employment.

“Renfrewshire has the fourth best youth employment rate in Scotland and we are developing a reputation as a place of enterprise, creativity and drive, home to a highly-skilled workforce making a vital contribution to the local and national economy.

“West College Scotland plays a key role in this and we are working closely with the College and with business and education leaders across Renfrewshire to develop a long-term economic strategy. The findings from this innovative skills survey will provide further important information and help inform our collective approach to drive Renfrewshire’s future economic success.”

Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, added:

“Getting the right people, with the right skills, in the right jobs is one of the biggest challenges facing employers no matter what sector or industry they operate in. Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce welcomes West College Scotland’s latest initiative to support employers across the region.

“The West of Scotland Skills Survey gives employers across Renfrewshire the opportunity to have their voice heard, to shape the College curriculum and to help build a modern workforce. I’d urge all local employers – no matter how big or small they are – to participate in this important work.”

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‘Post Sexy, Post Truth’ new album out February 2018

Born and raised in Texas, USA; Erin Bennett has shaken the UK’s

underground music scene since moving to Scotland in 2010. The award-
winning singer-songwriter/guitarist received positive reviews for her debut

album release, ‘ReFlowered’ in 2015 and stirred audiences with her promo
tour in 2016. Described by Indie Pulse magazine as ‘Music’s Wonderwoman,’

Erin is trying, with her latest offering, to earn that accolade.
‘Post Sexy, Post Truth’ features 12 original tracks which take listeners on a
relentless journey of severe self-scrunity. The hard/prog rock musical style
adds an extra degree of intensity which locks listeners in for the 48 minute
duration. Erin’s crunchy Texan guitar style and wide vocal range is woven
wonderfully onto a backdrop of unforgiving and driving bass tones; rumbling
and skilfully played Hammond organs; and tasteful and yet intricate
drumming. All of this is capped with exceptional and surreal vocal harmonies.
Erin, along with the members of her long standing outfit ‘The EB Band’
recorded ‘Post Sexy, Post Truth’ at Watercolour Studios in Fort William,
Scotland. Adhering to a more ‘old fashioned’ technique for recording, the
band performed the songs ‘live’ together in the same room in order to capture
the musical atmosphere of their celebrated live shows… including pops,

clicks, creaking springs and mumbles.

Due for release in February 2018, Erin Bennett and the EB Band will kick off
promotions for the album with an acoustic tour of music stores throughout
Scotland as well as a performance at Planet Rock’s ‘Winter’s End Festival’ on
February 24th. Other tour dates in the UK and Europe are to be confirmed.
Digital and physical Publications such as Metal Discovery, Devolution
Magazine, Indie Music Women and Music News Scotland have already hailed
Erin’s live shows and are set to review ‘Post Sexy, Post Truth’ upon its

release.