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KINLOCHARD GATHERING FOR PAISLEY CONTACT THE ELDERLY GROUP

A tea party group for older people in Paisley who live alone enjoyed a day out in Kinlochard with 60 other guests and volunteers of Contact the Elderly.

Kinlochard Village Hall hosted the event and the groups entertained by harpist Katherine Harrison, singer Donnie MacLeod, piper Murray O’May and accordionist Raymond Chalmers.

The annual event is a rare chance for so many groups to get together and share stories over cups of tea, sandwiches and cake.

Caroline McGinlay, Support Officer at Contact the Elderly, said:

“The annual outing to Kinlochard is one of the highlights in our groups’ calendars. It is always such a fantastic day out to a beautiful part of the country. As well as the afternoon itself, our guests and volunteers enjoy the chance to travel to Kinlochard.

“Our thanks go once again to the fantastic volunteer team at the Kinlochard Village Hall.”

Contact the Elderly organises free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for older people who live alone. There are more than 120 groups in Scotland offering a vital lifeline of friendship to almost 900 people. The parties ordinarily take place in volunteer hosts’ homes, with guests being accompanied by their volunteer drivers.

To find out more about becoming a guest or volunteer of Contact the Elderly, please contact Caroline on please contact Caroline McGinlay on caroline.mcginlay@contact-the-elderly.org.uk or 0141 812 1555.  Contact the Elderly can email or post a leaflet if someone would like to share it with an older person who would benefit.

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Gavin Newlands reaffirms commitment to WASPI women

Gavin Newlands, SNP Candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has pledged his continued support to help those women affected by the UK Government’s changes to their State Pension.

Since 2015, Mr Newlands has been supporting the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaigners who have been affected by UK Government changes to their State Pension.

John Major’s 1995 government passed a State Pensions Act that saw both men and women’s state pension age rise to 65 by 2020, while the Coalition Government’s 2011 Act brought forward the changes to 2018 and raised the state pension age to 66 by October 2020.

These changes, that saw the state pension equalised for both men and women, had a particular impact on women born in the 1950s as many of them have had their state pension age increased twice, the second time with little warning.

About 2.6 million women across the UK have been affected by the changes to the State Pension. In Renfrewshire, according to the independent House of Commons Library, around 8,130 women are directly affected by the 2011 Pensions Act alone.

Gavin Newlands, SNP Candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“At every step of the way I have supported the 2.6 million women – including over 8,000 in Renfrewshire – who have been affected by the changes that the UK Government made to their State Pension.

“It’s vitally important that we continue to put pressure on the Tory UK Government to ensure that we achieve the best outcome for these women, many of whom have worked hard for decades without taking a penny out of the system.

“If re-elected, I will continue to take the fight to the Tories to ensure that they finally start to the voices of all the WASPI women.  They should correct their mistakes, honour their commitment to the WASPI women and provide relief and dignity in retirement for the millions of women who have been affected.

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TALENT OF TOMORROW TO RECEIVE £5,000 CHIVAS BROTHERS’ BURSARY FOR SECOND YEAR

Chivas Brothers began the search for bright, enthusiastic and dedicated applicants for its popular bursary scheme in partnership with the Scottish International Educational Trust (SIET). The initiative, which launched to great acclaim for the first time last year, offers financial support to ambitious employees or their family members, helping them to realise their aspirations and take their talents to the next level, whether through further education or vocational training.

 

This sought-after bursary scheme sees Chivas Brothers team up with SIET, a body which provides talented men and women with grants to complete further education studies. The partnership provides employees and direct family members with the opportunity to secure funding of up to £5,000 a year over three years.

Last year, the bursary, which is open to the 1,600 employees of Chivas Brothers, contributed towards the studies of an aeronautical engineer, a budding actress and a Classics student studying at Cambridge University. Employees throughout the country at 32 sites in Orkney, Speyside, Central Scotland, Ayrshire, London and Plymouth are now being encouraged to apply and further their personal and professional goals.

Mia Forbes, one of the three recipients of last year’s bursary said: “The bursary has been invaluable, it has relieved the stress surrounding my financial situation at university and allowed me to be more focused on my education. People underestimate the cost of books and other resources, but without the bursary it would have been a struggle. Chivas Brothers helped me to pursue my dream degree, easing the pressure of financial costs, something I will always be thankful for.”

Adam Donnelly, who is studying to become an engineer in aeronautics said: “It’s safe to say, I don’t know what I would have done without the bursary. It enabled me to travel to college, something which was a high expense in my plans for further education. For anyone wanting to further their learning, I cannot urge you enough to apply, it’s an invaluable opportunity and the business’s support just eases that pressure of the financial demands.”

Jennie Norrish, Global Communications Director at Chivas Brothers said: “When we launched the Chivas Brothers Bursary last year, we were overwhelmed by the response and the high calibre of those who applied for it. Last year’s recipients have really benefited from the funding provided and we can’t wait to see the aspirations of this year’s applicants. An entrepreneurial mind-set is something that we champion at Chivas Brothers and so to be able to support that with not only our employees but their families too, is something we are truly proud of as a business.”

Michael Ewart, Director of SIET, said: “This bursary is such a worthwhile initiative and we are delighted to be working with Chivas Brothers again this year. The scheme shows the business’s dedication and commitment to its employees, opening up opportunities for them that might never have been possible otherwise.”

To apply, employees can visit the company’s digital hub for its staff where an application form will be available. Applicants will be required to showcase why they should be selected via three sections on personal details, education and work experience. Here there will also be a variety of information about the beneficiaries from 2016.

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Trinity High School’s upcoming production of The Sound of Music

The show will take place in Trinity High School, Glebe Street, Renfrew PA4 8TP from 19th June 2017 – 22nd June 2017 (7pm).
Tickets for the show can be ordered and collected by contacting the school office on 0141 886 6121.  Family tickets (two adults and two children) cost £12; adult tickets are £5; child and concession tickets cost £3.

Here’s the publicity blurb if required:

“This summer, the staff and pupils at Trinity High School are proud to present their production of the Rodger and Hammerstein’s much loved musical smash hit, The Sound of Music.  The production is the fruit of ten months of hard work and labour, with daily after-school rehearsals becoming the norm for those involved.  The result is a finely choreographed and highly entertaining revival of the Broadway musical hit.

All involved are eagerly awaiting the chance finally to take to the stage and put on the show.  For the many Sixth Year students involved, it marks a fitting and deserved conclusion to their time at the school.

The show will be produced by Miss Catriona Duggan, English Teacher and producer of the school’s highly successful and much lauded rendition in 2013 of West Side Story.  Miss Duggan’s own playscript Things Change also featured in the Progressive Playwright Award finals at Tron Theatre in September last year.”

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Gavin Newlands joins The Great Get Together in honour of Jo Cox

Gavin Newlands, SNP Candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, took some time out from campaigning to take part in the Jo Cox Foundation’s ‘The Great Get Together’.

Gavin Newlands, Councillor Jim Paterson with volunteers from Our Place, Our Families

Mr Newlands and Councillor Jim Paterson visited Our Place, Our Families in Renfrew to learn more about their work to bring communities together, including taking part in cookery classes.

Jo Cox MP was tragically murdered last year and The Great Get Together is a community event that was held throughout the UK on the weekend of the 16-18 June to mark the anniversary of Jo’s death.

Gavin Newlands, SNP Candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“I can’t quite believe that it’s been a year since Jo Cox was tragically murdered in her constituency as she carried out her parliamentary duties. Jo was a committed parliamentarian who strived to bring communities together.

“The Great Get Together is a fantastic initiative which has been set-up in honour of Jo’s commitment to bring communities together.

“I was delighted to visit ‘Our Place, Our Families’ to learn more about their recent work to support the local community. ‘Our Place, Our Families’ do fantastic work to support families and individuals – their work epitomises the positive legacy of Jo Cox.

“We can all get caught up in the heat and pressure of an election campaign. The legacy of Jo Cox reminds us all that we all have more in common that what divides us.”

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MAJOR SUCCESS FOR JOHNSTONE BANDS

The two Johnstone pipe bands made the short trip to Paisley at the weekend to take part in the British Pipe Band Championships at the St James Playing Fields.  The two World Championship winning bands were competing for the first time in a major championship at their new promoted grades of 1 and 4a.

Grade 4a band with their 3rd place trophy. Pictures by John Shaw.

The Grade 4a band carried on from their successful season last year with third place from a field of seventeen in the final, a fine result given the step up in class of the opposition.

The Grade 1 band also had a fine result coming tenth of sixteen in their final, beating some well established Grade 1 bands in the process.

some of the Grade 1 drummers warming up prior to their competition.

Pipe Major Keith Bowes Jr commented, “I was delighted that the Johnstone grade 4 and grade 1 bands performed well at the first major competition of the year.  With both bands being newly promoted it was great to see them do so well, as it is never easy to make an impact as you move up the grades. There is always lots to improve on, but as long as the standard of the performances continue to improve then I can’t ask for much more.  I was also delighted to see many of our Renfrewshire learners came for a listen and join in with the bands to play during the march past, I hope they will have been inspired for what they can achieve in the future.”

The Johnstone Bands’ next competitions are Shotts Highland Games on the on the 3rd June followed quickly by the UK Championships in Belfast on the 10th June.

Johnstone Pipe Band are currently on the lookout for sponsorship to help enable them expand and progress the band and their educational activities, for further information please contact the band on 07751 500520.  Details on the band’s learner setup can also be found by calling the same number.

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Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union’s Linwood outreach is moving to the Linstone Hub Belmar Court, starting Monday 5th June 2017

Starting Monday 5th of June 2017 Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union’s (RWCU) Linwood outreach is moving from the Tweedie Hall in Linwood to the Linstone Hub.  The partnership with Linstone has enabled the move and will help the tenants and other members in the Linwood community gain access to the products and services that are available from Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union on their doorstep.

Linstone Housing Association’s Tenant Liaison Officer, Margaret Baillie, said: “We are very excited that Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union is moving to the community Hub in Belmar Court, currently there is no bank in Linwood and as Belmar Court is in a central location, it will give the community of Linwood the chance to save and enjoy the many benefits the credit union provide, there will be a warm welcome to all who visit and the chance for the community to meet up and a nice cup of tea will always be offered to all.”

RWCU was established in 2006 after a group of volunteers from the local areas of Linwood, Erskine and Renfrew decided to work together to ensure that everyone who worked or lived in Renfrewshire had access to a credit union. From their hard work, Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union was born.  Ten years later Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union is proud to be serving the community to provide access to affordable, ethical financial services, as well as working with local schools to educate our young people on the benefits of saving via the Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union CashCubs program.

RWCU’S Marketing Officer, Paula Ferrier, said: “Our aim at Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union has always been to promote ethical, affordable financial choices.  We believe that our credit union services and products offer the people of Renfrewshire a great value, community based alternative to the poor deals offered elsewhere.  You don’t have to be a Linstone resident to come along; the outreach is open to the whole community of Linwood.  If you are interested in joining the credit union or would like to find out more information on the products and services that are available, then pop in on Monday 5th of June for a cup of tea and chat with our Linwood volunteers Margaret Gourlay and Elizabeth Anderson.

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Will Ferrell backed comic makes Paisley debut

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4,000 of world’s best pipers descend on Paisley for British Championships

Around 4,000 of the world’s top pipers and drummers descended on Paisley today to contest some of bagpiping’s most prestigious titles during the British Pipe Band Championships.

More than 140 bands from as far afield as Canada, Denmark and Ireland formed an incredible spectacle of sight and sound in town’s St James Playing Fields.

Pictured l-R Erin Charker age 12 from Inchinnan Niamh Burns 11 and Olivia Burns age 6 shelter from Rain showers

A crowd of thousands gathered to see bands compete across various grades, watched by judges from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

The championships are the first in piping’s annual calendar of ‘majors’ and were taking place as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

This was the second of a three-year run in Paisley for the event.

The free family event also featured a Highland dancing competition and children’s entertainment zone, which included the team from Renfrewshire’s award-winning Street Stuff youth diversionary scheme.

There was also a bar and outdoor food village boasting quality cuisine from across Scotland.

The final marchpast was watched over by event chieftain Corinne Hutton – founder of the Finding Your feet charity, and the first quadruple amputee to climb Ben Nevis.

She was joined for the prize-giving by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, in one of her first official engagements since being voted into her new role this week.

Provost Cameron said: “I was delighted to be part of this event, which saw the people of Paisley give a warm welcome to our thousands of visitors.

“Today’s success shows the town’s ability to host big crowds and events of national importance – which bodes well for the UK City of Culture 2021 bid.”

Ian Embelton of the RSPBA added: “Once again, Paisley made a great host for the first major championships of the season.

“We were pleased with the turnout from bands and spectators, who enjoyed some first-class piping throughout the day.”

For a full list of winners from today, see www.rspba.org. For more information on Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

Photos taken by Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital

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Key appointments made at first Renfrewshire Council meeting of new session

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Key positions have been confirmed at the first meeting of the new Renfrewshire Council which will operate as a Scottish National Party (SNP) minority administration.

Councillor Iain Nicolson has been appointed as the Council Leader and Councillor Jim Paterson as Depute Leader.

Renfrewshire’s Provost is Councillor Lorraine Cameron, supported by Depute Provost Councillor Cathy McEwan.

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Changes were agreed to the decision making structure of the Council, with a move from six to four policy boards:

Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board: Councillor Marie McGurk (Convener), Councillor John McNaughtan (Depute Convener)

Education and Children’s Services Policy Board: Councillor Jim Paterson (Convener), Councillor Lorraine Cameron (Depute Convener)

Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board: Councillor John Shaw (Convener), Councillor John McNaughtan (Depute Convener)

Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board: Councillor Cathy McEwan (Convener), Councillor Natalie Don (Depute Convener)

Councillor Iain Nicolson was appointed as Convener and Councillor Jim Paterson as Depute Convener to the Leadership Board, which has been revised to incorporate the remit of the previous Economy and Jobs Policy Board.

A Cross Party Sounding Board will also be established comprising the Leader and Depute Leader of the Council and representatives from each of the political parties and groups.

Appointments were also confirmed for the positions of Convener and Depute Convener of the five Local Area Committees, which fund local initiatives and enable the local community to see how services are operating in their areas:

Houston, Crosslee, Linwood, Riverside & Erskine Local Area Committee: Councillor Natalie Don (Convener), Councillor Michelle Campbell (Depute Convener)

Johnstone and the Villages Local Area Committee: Councillor Andy Steel (Convener), Councillor Emma Rodden (Depute Convener)

Paisley North Local Area Committee: Councillor Jennifer Adam-McGregor (Convener), Councillor John McNaughtan (Depute Convener)

Paisley South Local Area Committee: Councillor Marie McGurk (Convener), Councillor Stephen Burns (Depute Convener)

Renfrew and Gallowhill Local Area Committee: Councillor John Shaw (Convener), Councillor Cathy McEwan (Depute Convener)

The meeting also confirmed Renfrewshire Council has agreed to seek to rejoin COSLA.