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Mix Equality Events at Paisley Arts Centre

Mix – A New Series of Equalities Work at Paisley Arts Centre

A series of performances has been programmed at Paisley Arts centre as part of Mix – a new season of equalities work, presented by Outspoken Arts Scotland for LGBT History Month.

At A Stretch, is a wordless visual theatre production from Jordan and Skinner aimed at children and families with comedy, exciting choreography and breathtaking physical theatre. This show will be performed on Sat 17 February and follows two women as they become increasingly tied together and learn to negotiate the tricky world of close relationships.

Jumpers for Goalposts is a heart-warming tale about the Leith Gay and Lesbian five a side tournament where fitness, friendships and fabulous Moroccan cuisine are put to the test.

And finally Paisley Arts Centre welcomes back Paisley’s own Carol Laula, who will be performing alongside local musicians Lisa Kowalski, Marie Collins and Linzi Clark with an evening of music and spoken words to mark International Women’s Day.

Morag Macpherson, Head of Cultural Services at Renfrewshire Leisure states ‘We are delighted to be part of LGBT History Month once again and to work in partnership with Outspoken Arts with these three very different, but equally entertaining performances.’

Steven Thomson, of Outspoken Arts states ‘The Mix event is a new boutique season of work spanning LGBT History month and International Women’s Day. We are really excited that this has given us the opportunity to bring these inclusive cultural events to Paisley.’

Notes

At A Stretch is on Sat 17 Feb at 2pm. Tickets are £5 (£4 conc) + bkg fee

Jumpers for Goalposts is on Wed 28 Feb at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 (£5 conc) + bkg fee

Wicked Women: Carol Laula and Friends is on Thursday 8 March at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 (£8 conc) + bkg fee

All tickets can be purchased online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com or by phone 0300 300 1210.

Please note that £1 transaction fee is applicable on all tickets booked online.

For more information, or to arrange an interview please contact Carolyn Thom on 0141 618 5109 or carolyn.thom@renfrewshire.gov.uk

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Book a fun time in your local library

LEISURE boss Joyce McKellar wants to put the fun into going to local community libraries.
The chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure says she aims to dispel the myth that libraries are dull and staff are continually telling people: “Shhh…keep quiet.”


Joyce was speaking after two libraries in Paisley – Foxbar and Glenburn – re-opened after a £65,000 refurbishment, which is part of a Renfrewshire Council £3 million capital investment in community facilities.

She said: “We’re creating libraries that are much more than just a place where you borrow books and then head out again.

“We’ve made libraries a brighter, vibrant, fun and exciting environment to come to and enjoy yourself.
“Renfrewshire is one if the few places in Scotland investing in our community libraries making them more modern and inviting.”

“It’s all about enjoying your local library as they provide something for everyone. We’ve created dedicated areas for people to have more privacy when they’re using our computers and other IT equipment and areas designed specifically for young people.”

The recent upgrade programme to the Foxbar and Glenburn libraries, which are operated by Renfrewshire Leisure, was delivered by the local authority.

The layout at Glenburn library has been reconfigured to create an improved space for children and young people as well as adult users.

The reception area has been renewed along with furniture, shelving and stands being replaced.  New seating areas have been created to allow library users to read or study in comfort within the new space.

At Foxbar Library, the layout has also been reconfigured with a complete fit-out of a new reception area, furniture, shelving and stands.

And new modern digital learning suites have been created at both Foxbar and Glenburn.
Joyce added: “Our libraries strive to inspire imagination, learning, creativity and social interaction.
“They offer a wide range of activities, including group sessions and individual IT support.

“These upgrades will enhance the services we are able to provide, including enclosed digital learning suites, which allow us to support training and activities such as Code Clubs, as well as a flexible study space for users.”

Renfrewshire Libraries sees around 800,000 users per year, with 32,000 children and adults attending Bookbug sessions and 138,000 individual digital support sessions.

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Pupils’ artwork inspires exhibition at Paisley Museum

A record number of pupils from nurseries, primary and secondary schools have entered Renfrewshire’s annual Inspired Art Competition.

21/01/18…
MUSEUM – PAISLEY.
Exhibittion showcasing local youngsters art
Joyce McKellar chief executive Renfrewshire leisure (red) Lisa Marie Hughes chair of Renfrewshire leisure (dark hair) with winners Nathan Shankland and Niamh McKniff (5)

Now 130 of almost 1000 entries – that include drawings, paintings and sculptures – will go on display in a free exhibition, at Paisley Museum, from January 20  to April 15.

Three talented pupils have had their artworks chosen to be turned into posters promoting the exhibition. They are Beth Gilkison, 15, from Castlehead High School; Nathan Shankland, 16, from Mary Russell School and Castlehead High, along with five-year-old Niamh McKniff, from St Fergus Primary.

The exhibition aims to showcase the development of young people’s art and design work from three and four year olds, to the more sophisticated pieces, which form a Fifth or Sixth Year pupils’ portfolios for national qualifications.

The competition is organised by Renfrewshire Leisure, whose chief executive, Joyce McKellar said: “The judges had a very difficult decision due to the extremely high quality of artwork entries this year.  The variety of artworks on display is fantastic and I would encourage everyone to come along to the museum and see for themselves.”

Organisers of the Inspired Exhibition are also working in partnership with The National Gallery of Scotland as after the exhibition closes, much of the work featured will be sent for consideration in their National Tesco Bank Art Competition.

And some of the youngsters’ artwork will also feature in the Renfrewshire Schools 2019 Calendar.

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Youngsters get sneak preview of iconic Monarch of the Glen painting

YOUNGSTERS yesterday (Thursday) got a sneak preview of one of Scotland’s most famous paintings before it goes on public display at Paisley Museum.

18/01/18…
PAISLEY MUSEUM..
Launch of Monarch of the Glen painting exhibition at paisley museum… local school kids from Arkleston Primary school, renfrew first to see the exhibition.

And their verdict was: “It’s stag-nificent!”
The pupils from Arkleston Primary, in Renfrew, were special guests at the launch of an exhibition of the painting The Monarch of the Glen (c.1851) by Sir Edwin Landseer.

The painting is an iconic image associated with Scotland and Paisley is only one of four venues in the country chosen by the National Galleries of Scotland for it to go on show.

People can view The Monarch of the Glen for free at Paisley Museum from tomorrow, Saturday, January 20 until March 11.

The painting was bought for the nation for £4 million from drinks giant Diageo last year, after a four-month fundraising campaign supported by the National Lottery, Art Fund, the Scottish Government, private trusts and public donations. Diageo had agreed to sell the famous painting for half the market value.

The image of a majestic red deer stag on a mist-covered Highland hilltop was painted in 1851 and has been used in modern times as an advertising tool on everything from beermats, biscuit tins to bottles of whisky.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, who operates Paisley Museum added: “Having this painting on view in Paisley is a huge coup for Renfrewshire and shows we are at the cultural centre of Scotland.

“Many people will have seen the image used in advertising, but may not have realised it is a painting by such a famous artist.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to come along to see the original version of The Monarch of the Glen and it certainly is, as the pupils have been telling me – stag-nificent!”

Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery said:
“We want this tour of The Monarch of the Glen to be seen as a huge thank you for the overwhelming support we received during the fundraising campaign and as a celebration that this amazing work of art now belongs to all the people of Scotland.

“We hope that many people will take the opportunity to come and admire this iconic and world-famous painting.”

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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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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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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.”