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Make a date with history at new museum store

PEOPLE can make a date with history at the town’s new treasure trove of interesting artefacts. Dates and booking arrangements have been announced for free guided tours of the new £3.7 million Paisley: The Secret Collection.

The new facility, in a former retail unit in Paisley’s High Street, is the first publicly accessible museum store on a High Street in the UK and will house thousands of items from Renfrewshire’s collections in a purpose-built storage unit.

The opening comes as the town is only days way from finding out if it has won the UK City of Culture 2021 accolade. Public tours of Paisley: The Secret Collection are being held on Wednesday and Thursday, January 24 and 25 and every Wednesday during February, between 2pm and 3pm. School tours are also available on these dates at 10am.

All visits have to be booked in advance by emailing tours@renfrewshireleisure.com  logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/thesecretcollection or by phoning 0141 618 5129 <tel:0141%20618%205129>  between 10am and 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday. The facility is being run by Renfrewshire Leisure, whose chief executive, Joyce McKellar said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for people to explore their heritage by seeing items that they probably never knew existed.

We’ve already got one guided tour fully-booked, so people should contact us as soon as possible to make sure of their place.

“There are thousands of items of hidden treasure for people to see and we expect there will be a huge amount of interest. “Paisley: The Secret Collection is part of a wider push to transform Paisley’s future by using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural assets to turn it into a key destination for visitors and events.”

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Christmas shopping is child’s play with Drop ‘n’ Shop

Parents are getting the chance to do their Christmas shopping without worrying about keeping their children occupied.


In the busy run-up to Christmas, Drop ‘n’ Shop activity camps are being run by Renfrewshire Leisure at local sports centres.

This means parents can take their children along to the Drop ‘N’ Shop and then head off on their own to buy this year’s Christmas presents for family and friends.

And while mum and dad hit the shops, youngsters will be having fun and games with Renfrewshire Leisure staff during the activity sessions between 10am and 3pm.

The first Drop ‘n’ Shop activity day is being held at Johnstone Community Sports Hub, on Saturday, December 9 and the following Saturday, December 16, the activity camp moves to Renfrew Leisure Centre.

On Sunday, December 17, Drop ‘n’ Shop is at the ON-X, in Linwood; Thursday, December 21, at Erskine Sports Centre and on Friday, December 22, at The Lagoon, in Paisley. The activity camps cost only £10 per child.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “With a million and one things to do at this time of year, preparing for the big day can be very stressful for the grown-ups.

“And asking your kids to trail round the shops might not be the favourite activity for youngsters.
“So, we’re giving parents the chance to drop their kids off at one of our leisure centres where they’ll have loads of fun and games with our fully-trained leisure staff, then the parents can get on with the serious work of Christmas shopping.”

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Pupils across Renfrewshire shine a light on respect awareness campaign

Pupils in Renfrewshire are learning what respect means to them and their peers as primary and secondary schools joined in a national awareness campaign – “All Different, All Equal”.

Children and young people took part in a wide variety of activities focusing on respecting individual identity and that people can be different but also equal.

From lip syncing challenges at Johnstone High School to Happy Heroes at Kirklandnuek Primary School in Renfrew; all ages got involved in the week.

Open talks about respect and the use of banter took place at St Benedict’s High School, Linwood, while Houston Primary School pupils used respectme resources to talk about what respect means to people of different backgrounds.

The I Am Me Scotland Cine Bus dropped into St Anne’s Primary School, Erskine, with children from all year groups and the nursery getting on board, and pupils at Todholm Primary School, Paisley, got creative by making collaborative poems on what respect means to groups of pupils.

The award-winning MVP youth group at Paisley Grammar School led assemblies with S1-S3 year groups, talking about the importance of healthy relationships, while Trinity High School pupils in Renfrew explored respect with people of other faiths as part of Scottish Interfaith Week.

Gallowhill, Auchenlodment in Johnstone and Howwood primary schools encouraged pupils to discuss being a good friend, using social media safely, and consulting on respect in their school.

“The staff and pupils across the school have welcomed the opportunity, this week, to join in the national conversation on what respect means to them,” said Karen Parker, PT Pastoral Support at Trinity High School.

She added: “Achieving a culture at the heart of our school community that encourages respect, values opinions, celebrates difference and promotes positive relationships involves everyone playing their part. Giving everyone the chance to have their voice heard on this topic throughout this week has been a hugely positive experience for all.”

Lynne Hollywood, Headteacher at Johnstone High School, said: “This is a nationally important campaign that has had a great impact on schools across Renfrewshire. We are all doing a lot of work on positive peer relationships and school values such as respect and friendship.  The ‘all different, all equal’ campaign has allowed us to explore these issues in lessons and through fun events across the week.”

“Auchenlodment pupils have been focussing on Respect as a school value and what this means in how they live their lives,” said Gerry Carlton, Headteacher. He added: “They have participated in various activities and events throughout the week which encourages friendship, kindness and having a positive mindset.

“The pupils, parents and staff have worked together to create their new Respect Me policy which has a clear focus on prevention and support. The week has been a huge success with all members of the school community coming together to promote Respect.

“We are looking forward to seeing the impact that the week has had on the school and in the wider community of Johnstone Castle and beyond.”

Karen Logue, Headteacher at Kirklandneuk Primary School, is very proud of the confidence the Happy Heroes show in leading classes. She said: “Sharing is an important message about treating everyone with respect and supporting classmates.  We couldn’t do it better ourselves.”

Schools also took part in a national social media campaign and posted their activities on Twitter and Facebook using #respectmeans and #allequalalldifferent.

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Bring a friend for free

THE team at Renfrewshire Leisure has come up with a new version of a well-known proverb – a friend indeed is a friend in need of a free gym session, swim or exercise class!


And it means that this weekend, November 4 and 5, Renfrewshire Leisure members can bring a friend along to one if the gyms, sports centres and swimming pools for free.
The Bring a Friend For Free offer is available at Paisley’s Lagoon Centre, The ON-X, in Linwood, Johnstone Sports Hub, Renfrew Sports Centre and the town’s Victory Baths and Erskine Sports Centre and swimming pool and Ralston Community Sports Centre.

And any friends coming along during that weekend can become a member of the sports and leisure organisation with a ‘join now pay in January’ special offer.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “We have some of the best sports and leisure facilities in the country and people will be doing their friends a favour by bringing them along to try out what we have to offer.
“Keeping fit and healthy is a great idea, but it’s even better when you can do it with friends.

“So, if anyone knows a friend who would like to try out a a fitness class, enjoy a workout in the gym or take a dip in the pool, just invite them along to our Bring A Friend For Free weekend.”

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Kids go on the colour run

You’ve never seen colour run so fast as youngsters enjoyed an unusual race during the October Week Activities Camp, at The ON-X Sports Centre, in Linwood.

youngsters and staff at Linwood’s ON-X Sports Centre’s Colour Run Race during the October holiday activities camp.

More than 30 youngsters took part in the Colour Run Race, which saw them run round the athletics track and take part in an obstacle course while being pelted with powdered paint.

Some of the runners even stopped to let the team leaders cover them in the multi-coloured paint powder.
And the result was a bunch of kids enjoying being turned pink, green, orange and yellow.

The Colour Run Race was just one of the many fun activities organised for them by Renfrewshire Leisure the youngsters took part in.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “Our school holiday activity camps are becoming more popular every year and we try to bring lots of fun into the activities.

“Our staff spend a lot of time coming up with new ideas for activities for the kids to enjoy.”

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Hat-trick of wins for Kilbarchan AAC in annual sports awards

COACHES from Kilbarchan Amateur Athletic Club ran out with a hat-trick of wins at the annual Renfrewshire Sports Awards.
Arthur Smith won both the Community Coach of the Year and Dedication to Sport awards along with John Rodger, who lifted the Event Volunteer of 2017 award.

Arthur has been a member of Kilbarchan AAC for more than 50 years and has been coaching young athletes for three decades, including Scottish internationalist, Laura Stark and GB runner, Jemma Reekie.
John has been involved with the club for more than 20 years and has been instrumental in the development of athletics – cross-country, road race and track and field events in Renfrewshire’s schools. He is also heavily involved in organising the popular annual Paisley 10k Race and Fun Run.

Other winners presented with awards at the event,organised by Renfrewshire Lerisure and held at a ceremony in Johnstone Town Hall, were – Development Coach of the Year, Susan Wright, who is head coach of Clyde Judo Club; Young Coach of the Year, Claire Scougall, who coaches Paisley Juniors Netball Club and Volunteer of the Year was won by Joanne McDowall, who has developed sporting activity at Barsail Primary, in Erskine.
Young Volunteer of the Year went to Lusia Steele, who delivers school health days at Barsail Primary and volunteers at the Johnstone Jets cycling club; Disability Coach of the Year is Rachel Killens, who is a disabled athlete herself and coaches swimmers with additional support needs.

And Jack Thomson, a referee at the Basketball Paisley Friday Night Superleague, West Regional Development League and other Scottish League games, won the Technical Official of the Year award.
The Honour Our School Sports Award was given to one student from every local secondary school who has shown commitment to sport. The winners were –
Alan Rice, Linwood High; Amy McCann, Renfrew High; Craig Kennedy, Park Mains High; Eilidh Murphy, Gleniffer High; Franca Paterson, St Andrew’s Academy; Gemma Whyte, St Benedict’s High; John Martin, Johnstone High; Mario Girasoli, Trinity High and Rebecca Telford, from Gryffe High.

A Level Six Award in Higher Sports Leadership was presented to Alan Rice, Calum Findlay, Emma Driver, Heather Fawcett and Laura-Rose Reid.
The special guest at the awards ceremony was Corinne Hutton, from Lochwinnoch who has defied the odds after having had both her hands and legs amputated when she suffered acute pneumonia and septicemia.
Since losing her limbs, Corinne has gone on to set three world records including becoming the first female quadruple amputee to climb Ben Nevis. She has also set up a charity called Finding Your Feet to support families affected by amputation, or limb differences through a range of sporting and social inclusion initiatives.

Corinne took to the stage for a Question and Answer Session with the event host, broadcaster Lorraine Herbison.

Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa Marie Hughes said: “These awards showcase the talent, dedication and commitment of individuals in our community.

“With Paisley’s bid to become UK city of Culture 2021, sport plays a large role in the culture of our community. We have a vibrant and exciting sports network in Renfrewshire, which adds energy and passion to the overall bid.”
The successful event was sponsored by Renfrewshire Council, West College Scotland, Renfrewshire Sports Network, and SportScotland.

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Basketball Paisley

Basketball Paisley are the biggest and most successful basketball club in Scotland and are looking out for new talent to join their community clubs being held all across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

Over 150 young people across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire attended basketballpaisley Community Clubs during the Autumn term and have been competing in our Friday Night Superleague.

Booking for our Winter Term is now open to new and returning players. Whether you have played before or are a beginner visit the link below to book the complete term or a 1-week trial: https://basketballpaisley.class4kids.co.uk/

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Brand-new play area opens as part of £1million investment in Robertson Park Renfrew

A state-of-the-art play area has been unveiled in Robertson Park as part of a multi-million pound investment in Renfrewshire’s parks and green spaces.

Leading playground equipment supplier KOMPAN were commissioned to create the new play area with the aim of improving children’s health, learning and social inclusion in a fun, enjoyable environment.

Young people will be able to play on the only castle structure of its kind in the world as the latest element of the £1million upgrade of Robertson Park was officially opened.

The unique three-towered castle has a rappelling wall, rung ladder, hand over hand monkey bars, vertical climbing net and two separate styles of rope traverse.

The first chance to test out the new equipment went to children from local schools Kirklandneuk Primary and St James Primary, who were able to try out the new castle as well as a five way swing, crawling pyramid, lazy hammock and balance testing supernova.

A track ride tower, giant swing, climbing tower and woodland finger maze are just some of the other exciting pieces of equipment Renfrewshire kids are set to benefit from.

The new play area comes as part of a £2.25million investment to improve the facilities and quality of attractions in Renfrewshire’s parks.

A total of £1million will be invested in Robertson Park and Barshaw Park respectively, with £250,000 being made available for five neighbourhood parks in Renfrewshire.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “The new equipment in Robertson Park is fantastic and I’m sure will prove extremely popular with young people and families.

“We’ve made a significant investment in our parks as we recognise the significance they play in our communities and we are committed to ensuring they are an attractive place to visit and spend time in.

“The £2.25million investment will ensure that our parks are an exciting place for families to visit, both now and for future generations to come.”

The new play area is one of many innovative projects being undertaken in Renfrewshire and the Council has incorporated a community benefits initiative to its procurement process to ensure local communities gain directly from the work.

As part of the contract awarded to KOMPAN, Renfrew Development Trust received a cheque for £1,000 which will provide seating planters and a rest stop for people touring heritage sites throughout Renfrew, starting and finishing in Robertson Park.

Colin Griffin, Commercial Director of KOMPAN Scotland Ltd, said: “We wanted to give children an inspirational play park, very different to more traditional playgrounds by providing our large themed Robinia units.

“Our Robinia wood castles are based on Scottish Castles so it only seemed fitting that Scotland should be the first to experience these castles, making this is a rather special play area.”

For further information on parks in Renfrewshire visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/parksandgardens

For more information on Kompan visit: www.kompan.co.uk.

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Delight as Paisley Museum secures £4.9m National Lottery funding boost

museum-library-w

Ambitious plans to transform Paisley Museum into a world-class destination based around the town’s unique heritage and textile story are in line for a £4.9m National Lottery grant.

library

Renfrewshire Council this year set aside £24.1m towards the proposed £42m revamp – and the news the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) have now earmarked funding is a massive boost allowing the project to move forward.

The museum plans are taking place as part of a wider drive to transform Paisley’s future through investment in heritage and culture, which includes a bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, due to be submitted to the UK Government on Friday.

They aim to reconnect the globally-recognised Paisley Pattern with the town that gave it its name, while creating a tourist attraction of national importance, driving footfall into the town centre.

The revamped museum – operated by Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd – is forecast to attract 125,000 visits a year – almost four times current numbers – and create a £72m economic boost over 30 years.

It is also expected to support 138 jobs during the construction phase, and the equivalent of 42 new permanent jobs after that through increased visitor spend.

The plans are for an extension to the current Victorian-era building housing a cafe and shop, improvements to all four museum buildings including the Coats Observatory, changes to physical access, and an internal redesign which will double the number of objects on public display.

The museum plans are part of a wider investment in Paisley’s cultural infrastructure already under way with a publicly-accessible museum store to open later this year in a vacant basement on the town’s High Street, and a new learning and cultural hub to be built close by.

Council bosses have already had positive discussions with a number of other funders about meeting the rest of the cost. Today’s news means staff recruitment can start and the appointment of architects and exhibition design teams can take place next year.

The £4.9m funding will be confirmed once a successful stage two application is lodged with HLF. The new museum is expected to open in 2022, but it is planned the project will play a part in any UK City of Culture 2021 year.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “This is a wonderful piece of news from HLF and couldn’t have come at a better time, with our bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 being lodged this week.

“The museum plans are central to our wider vision to transform the town’s future by harnessing the power of Paisley’s internationally-significant heritage and cultural story.

“We know the town centre has its challenges but the way people shop has changed forever – so we have to create new life and new footfall by finding new ways to bring people into the town.

“Paisley can do that by making the most of the unique selling point that is our heritage and textile story – and the museum revamp, along with the museum store due to open this year and the new library will drive new footfall to our high street.

“The town has some amazing items in its collection – but the current building needs revamped in order to get them out on display and to fully tell the story of how this town was once at the centre of a global industry.

“These projects are all part of a wider vision with the UK City of Culture bid at its heart – should we be announced at the winner of that title in December it will take the work we are doing to a totally new level.”

Seona Reid, deputy chair of HLF and chair of the Scotland Committee, said: “I know how much this project means to Paisley and its people. It’s vital to the great strides that are being made in revitalising the town, using its history and industrial heritage as the building blocks.

“I am delighted that thanks to players of the National Lottery, we are able to give our initial support to a project which will transform the museum and give Paisley’s internationally-important textiles and other collections the prominence they deserve.”

Paisley is the only Scottish place on the UK City of Culture shortlist and is joined by Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea, with the winner to be announced in December.

For more information on Paisley’s bid, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Keeping fit is child’s play

KEEPING fit is child’s play especially when you can take your baby with you to a fitness class.
For the first time, Renfrewshire Leisure is staging classes where mums can take their children along with them while they work out. KEEPING fit is child’s play especially when you can take your baby with you to a fitness class.

For the first time, Renfrewshire Leisure is staging classes where mums can take their children along with them while they work out.

RL Mum and baby Metafit 8.9.17

It’s part of the sport and leisure organisation’s newly-launched fitness timetable and the first two child-friendly classes are Baby Friendly Metafit and Buggy Spin, held at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre.

One mum, Kim O’Connor travels all the way from Pollok, in Glasgow to attend the Baby Friendly Metafit class, in Paisley with her one-year-old daughter, Melanie.

Kim, 30, said: “Everyone who can help with looking after Melanie works full time, so I wouldn’t be able to attend a fitness class during the day.

“The baby friendly classes are like a breath if fresh air for me and it’s good to know you’re getting back in shape. It also lets me do something like keeping fit at a time that suits me.

“I really look forward to going along to my fitness classes with Melanie every week. And even though she’s only one, I’m setting an example to Melanie that health and fitness is important.”

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “It can be difficult getting back to your normal fitness routine after having a baby and you can lose the sense of who you are because of the demands on your time looking after a child.

“You can’t always find a babysitter when your favourite fitness class is being held especially during the day when family and friends are working. So, we’re giving mums the option of bringing their babies along with them.

“Although, you don’t need to bring a baby along to join the classes, as everyone is welcome!”
The new Renfrewshire Leisure timetable offers a variety of classes and workouts including a wide range of aerobic fitness sessions, along with ballroom dancing, spin, Zumba, kettlebells, Pilates, Tai Chi, yoga, outdoor and indoor boot camps and meditation and guided relaxation.

They are held at Paisley’s Lagoon Centre, The ON-X, Linwood, Erskine Sports Centre, Renfrew Leisure Centre and Johnstone Sports Hub. Log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com  for more information.