, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Safety first is the goal for Renfrewshire pupils

Almost 2,000 primary six pupils have taken part in a series of safety workshops designed to keep Renfrewshire children safe.

The annual Safe Kids events, organised by the Renfrewshire Community Safety Partnership and hosted by St Mirren Football Club, has delivered safety messages to more than 20,000 young people since it was first introduced more than a decade ago.

Pupils from every school in Renfrewshire were invited to take part a wide range of workshops, from littering, dog fouling and anti-social behaviour to fire safety, drugs and alcohol awareness and emergency situations.

The workshops took place in and around the Paisley 2021 Stadium, including the dressing rooms and hospitality suite, with pupils taking their seat in the stand before being split into their groups for the day.

Kids were also tasked to create their own posters detailing what being safe means to them and five winners were selected by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.

The winners, and their families, were invited to a special VIP day at the Paisley 2021 Stadium and were joined by pupils from Bargarren, St John Bosco, Glencoats and Barsail Primary.

The five winners were:

Momina Ali – Newmains Primary, Renfrew

Gracie Boyd – Ralston Primary, Paisley

Evie Crawford – Lochfield Primary, Paisley

Jemma Johnston – St Anthony’s Primary, Johnstone

Summer Coyle – Rashielea Primary, Erskine

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Safe Kids is a fantastic project which is ensuring our children have the correct information and skills to stay safe in a variety of situations.

“More than 20,000 pupils have had the opportunity to learn from a variety of our community partners and this will allow them to be fully informed to deal with issues both in and out of school.

”The workshops are delivered in a fun and engaging manner which means the young people involved can enjoy the day while still taking in the serious messaging behind the activities.”

Safe Kids events took place on 7-8 March, 13-16 March and will conclude between 19-22 March.

The workshops were delivered by a range of partners including Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Team, Renfrewshire Council’s Wardens, Renfrewshire Council’s Civil Contingencies Service, Renfrewshire Council’s RADAR (Drugs and Alcohol), Police Scotland, British Transport Police, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Who Cares Scotland and Street Stuff.

Prizes for the winners, including discounted passes, bags and tickets, were kindly donated by Flip Out, Joma Sport and St Mirren.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2021 thank you event to look ahead to Paisley’s bright future

Plans to secure a exciting future for Paisley will be laid out at a celebration event aimed at highlighting the benefits of bidding for UK City of Culture 2021 and how the town plans to continue to harness the power of culture to transform its fortunes.

The ‘Our Journey Continues’ event, which will take place on Thursday 29 March at Paisley Town Hall from 12.00 – 1.30pm, will examine the key benefits of the town’s bid including helping to raise the town’s profile, raising ambitions for the area, developing a deeper understanding of the excellent work taking place in the community.

The town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 changed the town for the better, and the momentum it generated will continue and this will be discussed in more detail at the event.

In addition to celebrating the work which has already taken place it will also reveal more about the future opportunities. This includes investing in cultural venues and outdoor spaces such as Paisley Museum, Paisley Arts Centre and St James Playing Fields, developing the creative economy and enhancing our cultural events and festivals programme and continuing to build on the support from the community. This investment demonstrates how Renfrewshire continues to buck the trend in terms of cultural investment.

Furthermore it will show that the council and its place partners are still committed to achieving the step changes outlined in the bid – to grow a new dimension to the economy, transform the town’s image, lift Paisley’s communities out of poverty, be recognised for cultural excellence and transform the town into a vibrant cultural centre.

The event will see partners and local community groups come together to find out more about future plans and members of the public are encouraged to come along to learn what will happen next for the town.

Chair of the Paisley Partnership Board, Councillor Iain Nicolson, said: “The Our Journey Continues event is not only a celebration of the excellent work which has already taken place through the bidding process but is a great opportunity for us all to look ahead to the exciting plans for the future.”

This event precedes the Future Forward: Culture in Renfrewshire collaborative discussion which will ask attendees what directions culture in Renfrewshire should take, and what successes people would like to build on.  The event will be held in Paisley Town Hall from 2-4pm.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Head of Cultural Services, Morag Macpherson, said: “The thank you event is a great introduction to the Culture in Renfrewshire discussion which will allow everyone to have their say on what the priorities for culture in Renfrewshire should be in the years to come.

“I’m sure the plans unveiled through Our Journey Continues, and the ideas and ambitions which people come along with, will create a really rich inspirational mix. We will discuss how we best focus our aspirations and collectively create a really exciting cultural environment over the next few years.”

There will also be another Future Forward session on Tues 17 April 6-8pm, places can be booked here.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Leaders in education, local government and business are urging employers across Renfrewshire to have their say in the West of Scotland Skills Survey before it closes on Friday 23rd March.

Scotland’s largest college kicked off 2018 by launching the West of Scotland Skills Survey. The first of its kind to be conducted by a Scottish college or university, it is a new way that West College Scotland is engaging with employers to help build a modern workforce.

Launched online in January, the West of Scotland Skills Survey has been gathering the views and experiences of employers in the West region – focusing on their 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 how they support employers in 2018 and beyond.

The West of Scotland Skills Survey is open to employers of all sizes in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and Dunbartonshire – and closes on Friday 23rd March. Upon completing the survey, participants will be able to enter prize draws for £1,000 worth of free workforce training and development, free use of the College’s conferencing facilities and a 3-course lunch for 10 people.

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 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 before the survey closes this Friday to help us support them in the future 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.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Renfrewshire schools celebrate British Science Week with range of activities including Whodunits

From turning classrooms into crime scenes and studying tsunamis, schools across Renfrewshire marked British Science Week with a string of activities.

Budding forensic investigators at St Mary’s Primary in Paisley turned detective to take part in a special CSI day, ‘Who killed Mrs Friel?’

The classroom was turned into a CSI lab as the children solved the whodunit of which member of staff killed their head teacher in the gym hall.

A guest speaker explained to the children how evidence is gathered in real life, while they were also given the chance to quiz suspects.

Pupils also enjoyed a range of science workshops, with younger students visiting Glasgow’s Science Centre to mark the ten day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths.

St. Anne’s Primary in Erskine held a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) week with a variety of different activities to promote learning and career choice.

The Scottish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals talked to children about their work in the care and protection of animals, as well as the impact humans can have on the environment and how this affects other living things.

Microbiologist from Glasgow University undertook experiments with older pupils to help them understand how microbiology works and how it can improve our world.

Staff from Trinity High School, Network Rail and the University of West of Scotland also dropped by, while visiting academics from Strathclyde University helped children learn about wind turbines.

At Howwood Primary, older children heard from a parent based at Prestwick Airport as an air traffic controller and pupils were able to track a plane that passed over the school to Amsterdam.

Other pupils embarked on Space discovery and worked together to create rockets while senior pupils created working volcanoes and disaster movies, while learning about genetics.

Primary six pupils embarked on a bridge building project with local firm Thermo Fisher Scientific, looking at costs and design and then building the bridge in miniature.

Science was also celebrated at St Anthony’s Primary in Johnstone, where children produced a topic on the human body and one class looked at tsunamis and the impact they have on the environment.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “It’s great to see schools putting a range of activities to mark British Science Week and bringing the subject alive in such a fun way for children.“

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kelly Ann McCormick Whats My Story

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Whats Our Story – Tommy McGrory

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gin 71 is just the tonic for Paisley Food and Drink Festival

The award-winning bar chain, Gin 71, will be at Paisley Food and Drink Festival allowing visitors to sample the very best artisan gins.

Paisley Food FestivalDarrel Douglas from the Rum Shack

Paisley’s popular Food and Drink Festival returns next month and for the first time ever will take place over two days from Friday 27 to Saturday 28 April when the very best of Scotland’s producers will showcase their wares to visitors in Paisley’s iconic Abbey Close. Visitors can experience drinks tasting sessions as well as a fantastic selection of street food vendors, interactive workshops, live music running alongside Scotland’s largest real ale festival.

Gin 71 will run two dedicated gin tasting sessions on Friday 27 April accommodating 50 people in each session and showcasing the very best Scottish craft gins with the perfect serves making it a great evening out.

On Saturday 28 April the bar will have their very own gin palace tent with an extensive array of more than 20 craft gins to sample including Arbikie, Gin Bothy and Isle of Harris.

Gin enthusiasts will also have the chance to speak to some of the gin producers at the bar’s free ‘Meet the Maker’ sessions to find out more about their product and the advice for the best way to sample their gins.

Managing Director of Gin 71, Paul Reynolds, said: “We’re looking forward to bringing Gin 71 to Paisley Food and Drink Festival to offer people the chance to sample some fantastic craft gins.

“Gin really is booming at the moment and through our tasting sessions, Meet the Maker opportunities and expert bar staff who will be at the festival we hope to highlight the great range of craft gins available and maybe even create some new gin fans.”

This news follows Gin 71’s recent expansion having opened its third Glasgow branch on the first floor of House of Fraser on Buchanan Street earlier this month. This follows the successful launch of their gin spa – the first spa of its kind in the UK.

Demand is expected to be high for the gin tasting sessions on Friday 27 April so interested parties are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment. Tickets for the tasting session are £25 per person which covers samples of six of the finest artisan gins with Gin 71 expert staff insights on the perfect mixer and garnish. To find out more or to book a slot please visit: www.gin71.com/paisley.

To find out more about what’s on offer at this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival please visit: www.paisley.is.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Employability project with a difference welcomes new applications

A life changing employability programme is welcoming applications for its latest intake.

Project Search is designed for students with a learning disability or autism, who want to move into full time work.

There are 12 places available and the selected students will initially attend a summer school one day a week in July to prepare for the year ahead.

The programme is then delivered full time with Glasgow Clyde College at Renfrewshire Council over an academic year, from September 2018 to June 2019, with students working towards achieving a recognised qualification in employability.

Students will also gain more than 600 hours of practical work based learning and training through working in three different work placements within Renfrewshire Council.

A string of young people from previous courses have already landed jobs across Renfrewshire in a variety of roles including clerical assistant, catering and project assistant.

Colin McKenzie, the first graduate to get a job, said: “Project Search has given me confidence and skills and it has helped me to find a job. Our whole class had a brilliant year and we all felt that by the time we had completed the course we could move into work and make a contribution to the world.”

Every young person will work with a team that includes their family, college lecturer and job coach to create an employment goal to help them move to the world of work.

The experience and skills they get from their work placements will be vital for them in applying for jobs.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “It’s great to see Project Search launch its fourth intake and create training and employment opportunities for young people.

“We look forward to welcoming a new group of trainees to the council and see them hopefully taking their first steps into the job market.”

Renfrewshire’s Project Search is a partnership between, Renfrewshire Council, Glasgow Clyde College and Invest in Renfrewshire.

It originated in Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital and has grown to over 400 sites internationally.

Applicants must be aged 17-26 years old, have a learning disability and/or autism and live within a Renfrewshire Postcode.

They must also want to find full time work on completion of the programme, be capable of  travelling independently and have excellent timekeeping and attendance.

An information evening on 21st March 2018 from 6.00pm-7.30pm at Tweedie Hall Linwood will provide more details about the course and application process.

To apply for the course, please contact michael.moran@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mhairi Black MP Calls For Change In Law To Reunite Refugee Families In The UK

The Private Member’s Bill debate on refugee family reunion could transform lives, bringing families torn apart by war and persecution back together.

Mhairi Black MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South has pledged her support for the Private Member’s Bill on refugee family reunion.

In the House of Commons last week, Mhairi met with members of the Families Together campaign to discuss the urgency of reuniting refugee families in the UK. Refugees who have been separated from their families continue to remain apart from their loved ones because of current restrictive UK laws on refugee family reunion.

The rules mean that some people with family members in the UK – including children who have turned 18 and elderly parents – often find themselves facing an impossible choice: remain in what can often be an insecure and dangerous place, or embark on a treacherous, expensive, unregulated journey, often in the hands of smugglers.

The rules also prevent child refugees in this country from sponsoring even their closest family members to join them, making the UK one of only two EU countries to deny refugee children the chance to grow up with their family.

The Refugee (Families Reunion) Bill debate on Friday 16 March has the power to change this. If the Bill were to pass its second reading, it would bring the UK one step closer to undoing this wrong.

The Bill calls for:

  • Child refugees in the UK having the right to sponsor their close family so they can rebuild their lives together and help them integrate in their new community;

  • An expansion of who qualifies as a family so that young people who have turned 18 and elderly parents can live in safety with their families in the UK;

  • The reintroduction of legal aid so refugees can afford to navigate the complicated process of being reunited with their families.

Ahead of the debate, Mhairi Black MP, said:

“My SNP colleague Angus MacNeil MP has put lots of work and research into this bill. I have no doubt that this bill will help to improve the life’s of many people.

“Refugees should have the right to be with their family, the people that know them best and make them feel safe. But tragically, every single day refugee families already torn apart by conflict and war are being kept apart by restrictive UK rules. I have met with a number of Syrian Refugees who have been welcomed to Renfrewshire and the majority of them were disconnected from their close family members.”

“This urgently needs to change. I will be attending the Private Member’s Bill vote on 16 March and voting to bring refugee families together again.”

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“Amnesty welcomes Mhairi Black MP’s commitment to safely reuniting refugees with their families in the UK.

“Child refugees are some of the most vulnerable in the UK. On their arrival they face a multitude of new struggles – a new language and culture, as well as the psychological fallout from suffering incredibly traumatic experiences back in their home country.

“It is perverse that families are being kept apart by arbitrary rules. This is not a political issue, it is a family issue.

“We now hope that MPs from across the political spectrum continue to show their support and send a message to the Government that refugees in this country should be reunited with their families.”

Angus MacNeil’s Private Member’s Bill is supported by Families Together, a coalition of organisations including Amnesty International, STAR Network, Refugee Council, UNHCR and the British Red Cross amongst others.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Renfrewshire Child Protection Conference focuses on children’s emotional health and wellbeing

More than 200 child protection professionals gathered today in Paisley for a Child Protection Conference on the theme of promoting children’s emotional health and wellbeing.

Staff from Renfrewshire Council, the NHS, Police Scotland, and other local agencies involved in looking after young people were among those who attended.

Keynote speakers at the bi annual event at Paisley Town Hall included Kate Cairns, author of the  bestselling book, Attachment, Trauma and Resilience and the ‘Five to Thrive’ model of parenting and Julia Donaldson, the Clinical Director with the Glasgow Infant and Family Team.

Senior Forensic Psychologist Dan Johnson, who heads the psychology service at the town’s Kibble Education and Care Centre, addressed the conference on trauma and informed care.

Delegates also heard from John Paterson, the independent chair of Renfrewshire Child Protection Committee, which organised the event and brings together all the organisations involved in protecting children in the area.

There was a presentation on the specially commissioned Children and Young People Well-being survey by Renfrewshire Council’s Director of Children’s Services Peter MacLeod and Kate Tobin from the Dartington Social Research Unit.

Renfrewshire was the first local authority in the UK to measure the well-being of children and young people using a census approach in 2011, and the only one to repeat the survey.

Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, who opened the conference, said: “Children’s emotional health and wellbeing is a building block for educational attainment and can prevent future problems like mental health problems and substance misuse.

“It’s important to understand young people and the issues facing them to give them the best possible start in life and allow them to fulfil their potential.

“Events like this are vital in information sharing for the professionals involved in that field.”

Carol Burt and Debbie Campbell from the ‘I am Me Scotland’ team also gave a presentation on the #MakeaDifference programme they are delivering in primary schools to raise awareness of the harm caused by bullying and hate crime.

Pupils from Paisley’s  Gallowhill Primary School, Mikey, 9, Liam and Abbey, both aged 10 and 11-year-old Aimee, told delegates about the work they have been doing with the charity to help tackle bullying, including making worry boxes where they can share any concerns anonymously.

John Paterson, the independent chair of Renfrewshire Child Protection Committee, said:  “I’m extremely pleased the event is taking place and focussing on children’s emotional health and wellbeing.

“Everybody accepts it’s an area which needs the engagement of a wide range of agencies. Events like this will help ensure that this happens and  focus attention on areas where we can seek to make a real difference.”

Anybody with any child protection concerns is encouraged to contact Renfrewshire Council’s social work team on 0300 300 1199 or Police Scotland.