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Smarter help for Renfrewshire’s young job seekers

In a nationwide first Renfrewshire Council, Transport Scotland and McGill’s buses are using Scotland’s smart travel network to help young people between the ages of 16-25 into employment and training.

Where a young person registered with the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire programme is eligible for free travel, advisors can now load pre-paid tickets for McGill’s local bus service onto their Young Scot National Entitlement Card, which is part of the saltirecard family of smartcards.

Advisors at the council’s Youth Employability Hub in Paisley will be able to load one, seven or twenty-eight unlimited travel tickets, which eligible young people would redeem by simply tapping their Young Scot National Entitlement Card on-board a McGill’s bus.

Staff at Youth Employability Hub provide support to young people registered with Invest in Renfrewshire. Working with an Adviser tickets are provided based on an individual’s need and can be used for a wide variety of reasons. For example, bus tickets can be provided to attend interviews and training opportunities or to support young people until their first pay packet arrives.

Through offering support at a key time of transition for young people Renfrewshire Council hope to help them find a new job and continue their journey to a positive life destination.

The project is possible because of Transport Scotland’s nationwide smart card infrastructure and the National Entitlement Card which is available to all Young People aged 11-26. It is a partnership between Renfrewshire Council, McGill’s buses, Transport Scotland and Young Scot.

Transport is mentioned by young people as one of their biggest barriers to accessing opportunities. This new initiative is an example of how Scotland’s smart ticketing network can be used to provide targeted help to specific groups of young people. As all young people have the opportunity to have a Young Scot card it can be used for travel without labelling those who benefit.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Helping young people facing particular challenges to achieve their potential is at the heart of our approach to getting people out of poverty.

“We have made it a top priority to increase the opportunities available to people throughout our communities.

“Our ground-breaking £6 million Tackling Poverty programme makes a real difference and is leading the way in Scotland, so it is fitting that Renfrewshire Council is the first local authority in the country to be involved in this initiative.

“This is yet another innovative way to help overcome the barriers that too often stand in the way of someone finding work and achieving a better future.”

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “This is another important step towards the delivery of Smart-enabled travel products which aims to help young people on their journey to employment and training across Renfrewshire.

“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that all journeys on Scotland’s bus, rail, ferry, subway and tram networks can be accessed using some form of smart ticketing or payment.

“We will continue to work with local authorities and bus operators to develop multi-operator schemes for all commuters across Scotland.”

Ralph Roberts, Managing Director of McGill’s, said: “McGill’s is delighted to be involved with this ground-breaking initiative.  Our £1m+ investment in new ticketing machines in 2016 has allowed us to support this Smart initiative, and we look forward to working closely with Renfrewshire Council, Young Scot and Transport Scotland on future Smart ticketing projects.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot said: “This is really excellent example of how the Young Scot National Entitlement Card can be used to promote equality. By helping young people find and stay in employment, this programme it will have an incredible impact during one of the most important stages in a young person’s journey.”

The project is part of Renfrewshire Council’s £6 million Tackling Poverty Action Plan to end child poverty in Renfrewshire. The smart card scheme one of several ways Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Services Team are using the Young Scot’s services to tackle inequality and improve services. This is the first in a series of smart travel initiatives happening in Renfrewshire in collaboration between Renfrewshire Council and Transport Scotland. More will be announced soon.

ENDS

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Last property remaining!

A well-appointed brand new, mid terraced house at Thrushcraigs Crescent has become available!

This property sits on a generous plot with private drive and back garden and has two double bedrooms, stylish new kitchen and large living area for entertaining.

For more information, contact the Link2Let team at link2let@linkhousing.org.uk
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A novel way to learn their A, B, C’s

Young children and families are benefitting from a literacy programme aimed to inflame a child’s love of reading.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall with parents, children and nursery staff

Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall visited Linwood Community Childcare to see the Literacy Fun Club firsthand as it aims to address the attainment gap at the first stage of education.

Provost Hall observed children learning about The Gruffalo which included a group reading session, a Gruffalo Hunt and the creation of finger puppets to inject a sense of fun into reading out with the traditional approach.

The Club runs for six weeks with a different book and activity each week designed to develop a child’s love of stories, reading and to develop their imagination beyond the book itself.

A parent reading with their child

The children and their families create a family box during the first week which stores each book and activity they complete.

At the end of the six weeks, they are able to take their ‘mini-library’ home creating a literacy resource which they can explore, re-visit and ultimately develop further.

The early intervention project was awarded £2300.40 by the Houston, Crosslee, Linwood, Riverside and Erskine Local Area Committee (LAC) to support the group’s aims and provide resources for the families to use across the six weeks.

Parents and their children making finger puppets

Provost Hall said: “It’s great to see the children so excited to read their latest book and take part in the fun activities.

“A love for reading is extremely beneficial in aiding a child’s education and sparking a willingness to learn and we should encourage this time of approach to education.

“Strong literacy skills increase the opportunities for the individual in all aspects of life and it is great to see this project bring families together to support their child’s learning.”

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Service of Dedication to remember those lost to suicide

An annual memorial service to commemorate those who have lost their lives to suicide will be held in Paisley next week.

The memorial tree

Renfrewshire support group Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) will be holding a short service open to all on Thursday 26 January.

The service will be attended by Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall, Reverend Alan Birss and Deacon Jack Gallacher and will be held in the Marriage Suite of Renfrewshire House.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall lays a remembrance wreath

Friends and relatives are invited to meet at the Marriage Suite from 3:15pm to collect a commemorative purple heart on which they can write a message to a loved one, if so desired.

At 3:30pm there will be a short set of readings followed by a procession to the memorial tree where the Provost will lay a wreath and light the tree.

The memorial tree was first dedicated in 2010 as a permanent memorial to those who have died through suicide and is believed to have been the first of its kind in Scotland.

A girl places a purple heart on the tree in remembrance

Following the service all those attending are cordially invited to join the Provost, the local SOBS support group and the Choose Life team for light refreshments in Paisley Abbey.

The service aims to provide an opportunity to remember those who have been lost while providing an arm of support to the survivors. It is an opportunity to connect with others who have faced a similar situation.

Provost Hall said: “The annual service provides those who have been affected by suicide a chance to commemorate their loved ones and also find support from others who have faced similar heartbreak.

“I would encourage anyone who feels this may benefit them to come along and join me at the service as we remember those lost too soon.”

The local support group meets on the last Wednesday of the month, 7:00pm-8:30pm, at the Wynd Centre, Paisley and new members are always welcome.

Lisa Aitken, Choose Life Resource Worker, said: “It is important that we remember those lost to suicide and also support those who have been affected by the loss of a loved one.

“The annual service provides an opportunity for people to meet others who have faced similar difficulties and all are welcome to attend.”

For more information contact the Choose Life Team on 0141 849 2200 or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/sobs.

If you are feeling suicidal, or you know someone that might be then please call one of the helpline numbers: Samaritan’s 116 123, Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87, RAMH First Crisis 0141 849 90 90 or 0500 829 093

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CONTACT THE ELDERLY RECEIVES £10,000 FROM THE AVIVA COMMUNITY FUND

Contact the Elderly has kicked of the New Year with a bang, being announced as the winner of the 2016 Aviva Community Fund receiving £10,000.

The funds will help support the charity’s existing groups, including two in Paisley, ensuring its older guests continue to have regular, free tea parties to look forward to throughout the year.

Contact the Elderly competed with hundreds of local organisations around the UK to receive funding as part of the Aviva Community Fund 2016. The annual nationwide initiative, which launched in September, called upon Aviva customers and passionate charity supporters to submit a project close to their hearts to be in with a chance of securing funding ranging from £1,000 up to £25,000.

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

“We are thrilled to receive this fantastic funding boost from the Aviva Community Fund and would like to say a big thank you to all of our supporters who voted for us and helped spread the word.

“We are looking forward to putting this money to good use as we continue to make a real difference to the lives of our older guests, combatting loneliness and social isolation.”

Once a month, on a Sunday, a volunteer driver collects one or two guests from their homes and joins them at a volunteer’s house for afternoon tea before returning them safely home. A volunteer host welcomes a group of six to eight people once or twice a year.

To find out more about Contact the Elderly tea parties in your area or to become a guest or volunteer please visit www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk.

 

 

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Clydesdale Bank closure – Gavin Newlands MP

Below is a quote from Gavin Newlands MP on the announcement that the Clydesdale Bank branch in Renfrew is due to be closed.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“I am extremely frustrated and disappointed to learn that the Clydesdale Bank is planning on closing its Renfrew town centre branch. This bank has been based in the town for as many years that I can remember and is valued by local people. My immediate thoughts are with all those who work in the Clydesdale Bank Renfrew branch.

I’m angry as this is another local bank which is being closed in Renfrewshire. Over the past few years, we have witnessed a number of community banks being closed despite their importance to local people. This is not only a problem in Renfrewshire but across the UK where the number of bank branches has been decimated over the past few years. I have previously spoken on this in parliament and called on the UK Government to help maintain local banking.

I have contacted Clydesdale Bank to seek an urgent meeting on this closure in order to find out the reasons behind this decision and if anything can be done to reverse this disappointing decision.”

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Community centre upgrades continue

THE programme of works to upgrade six community centres, in Renfrewshire is now well underway.

Johnstone Castle Community Centre is now re-open after repairs and improvements were carried out and work has started at Ralston Community Centre.

The next facility to temporarily close for an upgrade is Glenburn Community Centre and work there is expected to start mid-February.

The improvements project is part of a £3 million investment upgrading six community centres and is managed by a joint project team made up of officers from Renfrewshire Council, Community Resources and Renfrewshire Leisure. Renfrewshire Council’s own building services workforce is carrying out the work.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “The work being carried out on community centres throughout Renfrewshire will create upgraded and attractive facilities for local people to use.”

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Piazza shows support for bid with Paisley 2021 signage

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture will be seen by five million rail passengers this year – after bosses at the town’s Piazza shopping centre unveiled a giant Paisley 2021 sign.

The branding has just been installed on the side of the centre’s recently-revamped multi-story car park, which faces on to the platform at Paisley Gilmour Street station.

And it means passengers at the station – Scotland’s fourth-busiest – won’t be able to miss the giant advert for Paisley’s ambitions.

Maureen Hill and Cllr Macmillan on the platform at Paisley Gilmour Street, looking on to the sign

Councillor Mark Macmillan – chair of the Paisley 2021 partnership board – said: “We looked at various sites in the town and identified the Piazza car park as one being seen by huge numbers of people.

“A big part of the bid is about raising awareness of Paisley and changing perceptions of the town among potential visitors.

“This means the millions of passengers a year travelling between Glasgow, the airport, Ayrshire and Inverclyde will be aware of what is happening here.

“A successful bid will bring massive economic benefits to Paisley town centre and huge numbers of visitors spending their money with local businesses.

“When the bid goes in it will be crucial we can show the judges at DCMS there is support from throughout the local community.

“To date more than 100 local businesses have shown their support and I would like thank The Piazza for getting involved in this way.”

The Piazza multi-storey car park has a capacity of 336 spaces and recently had a £1.3m revamp, which saw external and internal improvements.

That included extra disabled and parent/child bays, work on the lighting and surfaces, repainting the outside of the building, and new lifts and CCTV.

Piazza manager Maureen Hill added: “We made a major investment in the new car park because we have confidence in what lies ahead for Paisley town centre.

“If Paisley was to be named UK City of Culture 2021 it would be a massive boost to ourselves and other town centre businesses in terms of footfall.

“We are delighted to show our support for the bid to the many millions who pass through the station each year.”

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College Partnership with Elior UK Set to be a Recipe for Success!

West College Scotland has partnered with Elior UK (one of the UK’s leading hospitality companies) at Ibrox stadium under the guidance of award winning chef Jav Aziz.

 

We are looking for people with a positive attitude, who are willing to learn in a fast moving environment to take part in a unique and exciting opportunity to develop their professional cookery knowledge and skills.

This opportunity is open to a very limited number and will involve training and working within the stadium’s hospitality and function kitchens and restaurants as well as attending classes at the Paisley campus. The 14 week course will commence on 3 February  2017 (date may be subject to change).

Entry Requirements- There are no formal entry requirements required, although experience in hospitality would be beneficial.

Apply here: http://www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk/courses/course-directory/courses/hospitality-professional-cookery/wcs-and-elior-culinary-development-at-ibrox-stadium

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Glasgow Girl to lead Holocaust Memorial Day event

A leading human rights campaigner will take centre stage to help mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Amal Azzudin – one of the Glasgow Girls who campaigned against dawn raids, detention and deportation of asylum seekers in Glasgow – will speak at an event being held in St Ninian’s High School, Giffnock, on Tuesday 24 January.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall and East Renfrewshire’s Provost Alastair Carmichael

The national theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day- which takes place on Friday 27 January- is ‘How can life go on?’, and focuses on the aftermath of the Holocaust and of subsequent genocides.

A string quartet made up of pupils from four Renfrewshire schools will welcome guests to the event which is held in partnership between Renfrewshire Council and East Renfrewshire Council.

The service will include a showing of the film ‘Learning from the Past’ which explains why we commemorate the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution, and the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Pupils from Paisley Grammar will read the poem Birdsong by Gillian Clarke while Barrhead High pupils will read First They Came by Martin Niemoller.

As part of the day of recognition Ms Azzudin will visit both Linwood High and Barrhead High to give talks to pupils about her work with refugees and campaigning for social justice in Scotland.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: ““It is important that we mark Holocaust Memorial Day in order to remember, respect and mourn all of those who have lost their lives or suffered through persecution.

“I am pleased to see our Senior Pupils taking part in a number of ways again, with a poetry reading by young people from Paisley Grammar and a musical performance from a Renfrewshire Schools String Quartet.

“We should provide our young people with information so that they understand how these events came to pass and ensure that these atrocities never happen again”.

East Renfrewshire’s Provost Alastair Carmichael said: “Holocaust Memorial Day provides each of us with an opportunity to learn the lessons of the Holocaust. It is a chance to remember, but also a chance to pass the lessons of the past to the next generation.

“As well as honouring those who lost their lives during these atrocities it is also about standing with survivors and showing our support. Whilst we will all take a moment to look back at the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust on this national day, it is also provides a stark reminder that genocide is still taking place across the world.”