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Paisley confirmed as host of Royal National Mòd in 2022

Royal National Mòd torchlight parade

Paisley will host the Royal National Mòd – the world’s largest celebration of Gaelic language and culture – in 2022, it was confirmed this evening.

Royal National Mòd torchlight parade

The announcement – made by organisers An Comunn Gàidhealach at their AGM in Inverness – will see the Mòd come to Paisley for only the second time, after a memorable debut in 2013 – held up as one of the best Mòds of recent years.

It has been confirmed last year that one of Paisley and Perth would host in 2021 and one in 2022, but the decision over which was delayed until now.

The news comes shortly after the launch of Paisley Is – the new destination brand and website for Paisley and Renfrewshire – which aims to sell the town as one of Scotland’s key destinations for visitors and events.

The Mòd 2022 will now form part of the expanded programme of events and festivals being rolled out across Renfrewshire over the next few years as part of the legacy of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron – who sits on the local organising committee – said: “We are delighted the Royal National Mòd is coming back to Paisley in 2022.

“Paisley people are known as Buddies for a reason – a warm welcome for Gaels from across Scotland and beyond is guaranteed.

“The event’s one previous visit to Paisley – in 2013 – was the second-largest in its history, with 8,000 people over nine days, a £1.4m economic impact for the area, and a tremendous festival atmosphere around the town.

“Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 raised our profile as a key destination within Scotland. One of the ways we will build on that is by growing our already-successful events and festivals programme over the next few years – and the return of the Mòd will be a key date within that.”

John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach said: “We were in a unique position last year as to who would host the 2021 and 2022 Royal National Mòds.

“Both applications were extremely impressive, so the decision was made that each would become a host city, however we would wait until the City of Culture announcement had been made before choosing which city would host which year.

“Paisley’s 2013 Royal National Mòd was widely perceived as one of the best in recent years by Mòd regulars, staff and competitors, so to be returning a second time will be fantastic.”

The Royal National Mòd 2018 begins on October 12 in Dunoon, running through to October 20, celebrating the best of Gaelic literature, music, singing, language and art, with competitions for all ages and abilities.

You can find out more about what’s on in Paisley via www.paisley.is

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Renfrewshire’s communities called on to undertake a Big Spring Clean

Every Renfrewshire community is being challenged to carry out a clean up of their area as Renfrewshire’s Big Spring Clean was launched today.

Launch of anti litter Initiative at Erskine Beach 16.3.18

Taking place across the weekend of 20-22 April, Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign is aiming to host a clean up within every community to further enhance the environmental improvements which have taken place since the launch of the campaign.

Launch of anti litter Initiative at Erskine Beach 16.3.18

The initiative received renewed backing by Councillors when setting their budget recently as £2.5million was set aside for investment across the next five years – doubling the original £250,000 investment.

More than 50 community clean ups have taken place since the campaign launched with community groups across the area getting behind the initiative.

Launch of anti litter Initiative at Erskine Beach 16.3.18

The investment has also seen an increase in mechanical road sweeping to every two months, an improved programme of gully maintenance, an enhanced Rapid Response Team and six new litter pickers allocated across Renfrewshire.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, joined members of Erskine Community Garden and Renfrew White Cart River Bank Nature Spot to help launch the initiative.

Councillor McEwan said: “Since the Team Up to Clean Up campaign was launched, more than 50 community clean ups have taken place across Renfrew, Paisley, Erskine, Houston and many other areas including the villages.

“The community have shown a real willingness to come together and the Big Spring Clean will be our biggest event yet as we look to generate a real sense of togetherness within Renfrewshire as we tackle littering and fly tipping together.

“We are determined to improve the cleanliness of our streets which is why we have committed to investing an additional £500,000 every year for the next five years.

“This will allow the increased gully cleaning, road sweeping and litter picking to continue, while also allowing us to support the community in doing their bit to make their area a more attractive place to live.

“If you can arrange a clean up on the Friday, Saturday or Sunday then please do so and we’ll do all we can to help you. Otherwise, keep an eye on our website and Facebook page and join in with one of the others arranged over the weekend.”

Schools, businesses and community groups are all encouraged to organise a clean up in their area and the Team Up to Clean Up team will provide litter pickers, bags and tabards, as well as arranging to collect the gathered rubbish after the event is over.

The launch took place at Erskine Beach where Erskine Community Garden are set to follow up their Big Spring Clean activity with a beach clean up on 9 June.

Volunteer Heather Clisset said: “At Erskine Community Garden, we are delighted to be involved with the Team Up to Clean Up Big Spring Clean.

“Litter picks in our communities help us to make our towns and villages better places for ourselves, our neighbours and our wildlife. We would encourage anyone to get involved in a litter pick or spring clean activity as the end result is something to take pride in and get a feeling of accomplishment, seeing an area full of litter being transformed in a short time.

“Litter picks are a fantastic way to get outdoors, work as a team and make a difference. We always caution first time litter pickers, once you’ve done one litter pick; you will notice every single piece of litter everywhere else!

“So don’t leave it to someone else, join a team, or set up your own litter pick and support the Big Spring Clean.”

If you are arranging a clean up, please contact wardens.es@renfrewshire.gov.uk or 0300 300 1375 and we will assist you as much as possible.

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and how to get involved, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup or like the Team Up to Clean Up Facebook page.

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Mirren Business Centres – Offices To let

MIRREN BUSINESS CENTRES – 119 – 123 Renfrew Road, Paisley

1. Office 150 sqft – Monthly All Inclusive Rental – £185 pcm + VAT

2. Office 275 sqft – Monthly All Inclusive Rental – £330 pcm + VAT

3. Office 340 sqft – Monthly All Inclusive Rental – £395 pcm + VAT

4. Office 815 sqft – Monthly All Inclusive Rental – £910 pcm + VAT

Call 0141 843 4211 to get more details. 

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Library books could be delivered to housebound

A new initiative could see library books and services being delivered to the homes of people who are housebound and isolated.

Renfrewshire Leisure hopes to introduce a new service after consultation has taken place with organisations that provide supportive care to people who are unable to get out of their homes.
Tablets could be used to access the thousands of titles available in local libraries and books could be delivered by those who make regular home visits to the housebound.

This new service would be financed from the re-investment of the resources made through Renfrewshire’s mobile library service being taken off the road from April 27th.

The decline in people using the mobile library service, the aging fleet and rising costs does not present value for money and new technology can help a wider group of people who are housebound and can’t access either a local or mobile library due to a lack of disability access.

The number of visits to the mobile library has dropped by 65% per cent in the past 5 years from 9,344 to 3,277.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure – which operates the local library service – Joyce McKellar said: “Along with Renfrewshire Council we have been investing heavily in our library service and we want to make sure the benefits of this investment are available to everyone – even if they can’t get out of their homes to visit a library.

“The mobile library service no longer makes best use of the money and resources and if we can re-invest the money from the current service to bring books and other library services to the housebound, then that is a better use.

“We’re committed to our libraries and we’re providing people with a modern and up-to-date service that includes not just borrowing books, but things like community spaces, access to computers and the internet along with digital learning suites.”

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Don’t miss final chance to submit 2017/2018 student funding applications

Don’t miss final chance to submit 2017/2018 student funding applications

Renfrewshire MSP Derek Mackay has joined Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) to remind any students who have not yet submitted their 2017/2018 funding application, to do so before the 31st March deadline.

With just a week to go until SAAS closes for this academic session there are still a number of students who have yet to apply.  If these students do not submit their applications and supporting evidence by 31 March 2018 they risk receiving no funding.

SNP MSP Derek Mackay said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting students throughout their education.

“I would not want anyone to miss out on the funding and support they are entitled to. Therefore, anyone who has not applied for their 2017/2018 funding or tuition fees should do so now.”

SAAS Chief Executive, Paul Lowe, said:

“At SAAS we want to make sure that all students receive the funding and tuition fees that they’re entitled to.  I urge students to visit our website www.saas.gov.uk to submit their applications and supporting evidence as soon as possible. It is vital that fully completed applications for 2017-2018 are received by 31 March 2018, to ensure that all funding is paid.”

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Credit event a good investment

Paisley’s Tannahill Centre was a hub of affordable credit advice today (23 March) at an event held to benefit people who work with Renfrewshire residents who may be at risk of borrowing from high cost lenders.

The event was hosted by Renfrewshire’s Affordable Credit Group.

The Group came together in 2017 to work to improve the financial wellbeing of local residents by increasing access to, and spreading the word about, lower cost credit options.

Attendees came from organisations that offer financial advice to the community, such as housing associations, community organisations and charities.

Finance, Resources and Customer Services Convener, Councillor John Shaw said: “This event is all about raising awareness of the affordable credit options that are available across Renfrewshire.

“By encouraging practitioners to attend, we’ve effectively reached people who speak directly to residents in need of financial assistance.

“Attendees now have the latest insights into the many affordable credit options available, and can pass this information on to their clients to help them better manage their finances.

“I congratulate the Affordable Credit Group for hosting events like these as they really do go a long way to helping Renfrewshire citizens gain access to affordable credit and prevent financial crisis.”

The information event included stalls from organisations promoting affordable credit options, and sessions including ‘Bank Account Myth Busting’, ‘Understanding Credit Unions’ and ‘Explaining Rental Exchange’.

Further information:


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Golden Ticket competition to celebrate launch of new Paisley town centre Loyalty App

Visitors to Paisley are being encouraged to Shop Local with the launch of a new loyalty app which will offer Love Paisley deals, discounts and special promotions in a wide range of town centre businesses all year round!

Paisley First has teamed up with LoyalFree – the digital loyalty app – to help promote local Paisley businesses. And to celebrate the launch this Easter, a Golden Ticket prize draw will see six lucky winners each winning £250 worth of Paisley town centre gift vouchers.

Visitors to Paisley will benefit from the app 365 days a year with a wide range of special promotions offered by local retail businesses, as well as food and drink, and health, hair and beauty outlets. The Golden Ticket Competition will run from Thursday 29th March until Monday 16th April with a large number of Paisley First BID businesses participating in the special Easter holiday competition.

Customers will be given a Golden Ticket with their receipt in participating outlets; all they have to do is complete the ticket with their contact details and post in one of our Golden mailboxes located within the Paisley Centre and the Piazza Shopping Centre.

Two lucky winners will be chosen during each draw on Tuesday 3rd April, 10th April and 17th April, each winning £250 of vouchers to be spent within town centre businesses. Each winner then gets to choose where in the town centre they wish to spend their vouchers!

Paisley First Chairman, Ian Henderson, said: “This is a great initiative to promote our fantastic businesses within Paisley town centre. When people shop and socialise locally they really are making a huge difference to their local community.

“Not only will people benefit from great offers every week but they also have the chance to win £250 worth of gift vouchers. Why go anywhere else?” For all your Love Paisley offers, download The LoyalFree app for free at www.loyalfree.co.uk/download or for more information on the Paisley First Golden Ticket Competition head to www.paisleyfirst.com

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Innovative schools partnership sets young people on the right path

Young people in Paisley are looking to the future as part of an innovative schools partnership which outlines prospective career options and learning pathways.

Five Paisley primary schools – Lochfield, St Charles, St John Ogilvie, Todholm and Williamsburgh – have adopted the partnership approach which has seen the schools host a series of workshops for pupils examining further career paths.

Pupils are informed of the expectations of teachers, parents and employers in a number of fields including digital, healthcare, construction and events to ensure they can fully consider the skills and approach needed to succeed in that industry.

The initiative forms part of Renfrewshire’s commitment to the Career Education Standard (CES) 3-18, published in support of the Scottish Government’s strategy to tackle youth unemployment – Developing the Young Workforce.

CES 3-18 offers children and young people the opportunity to experience a curriculum through which they can learn about the world of work and develop career management skills.

Each school decided to host a session for a particular sector or theme and allowed pupils to select which one they would like to visit.

The sessions included:

Lochfield – IT, Digital and Social Media
St Charles – Early Learning & Childcare, Healthcare and Education
St John Ogilvie – Construction, Engineering and Science
Todholm – Customer Service, Hospitality, Retail and Sport/Leisure
Williamsburgh – Arts, Culture and Events

Councillor Jim Paterson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, said: “We’re determined to give our young people the best start in life and ensure they have the foundations to pursue a successful career when they complete their education.

“Recent statistics show that more than 90 per cent of our school leavers are going into higher or further education, employment or training, and this stems from providing them with the right opportunities from a young age.

“This pilot is giving primary school children the chance to examine a range of careers and see which sector is best suited for their interests and talents, even ones which they may not have thought were for them.

“It’s fantastic to see our schools working together to ensure their pupils have every opportunity to find the right pathway and I look forward to seeing the aims of the pilot come to fruition.”

Pupils will be able to reflect on their learning by engaging in further career research through peer review and outlets including Skills Development Scotland’s My World of Work.

Claire Macgregor Duncan, Lochfield Primary Head Teacher, said: “This has been a very successful pilot and all the pupils have gained a real insight into the world of work and future careers.

“Their eyes have been opened to new possibilities for careers. It is lovely to have a partnership with our local schools and hopefully this is something we can build on in the future.”

Lochfield Primary pupil Calum Hunter, said:  “I thought it was interesting as I didn’t realise there were so many jobs that were related to technology. All of these jobs seem really fascinating.”

Classmate, Abby Hutchison, said: “I found learning about the nurseries exciting as I would like to do that. However, I didn’t realise all the things you need to do to be able to have that sort of job.”

Pupil, Alex McEwan, said “I thought it was really instructive and you got lots of information about what we need to do to get a job in the care and education sector.”

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Commonwealth Games basketball star says kids will have hoops of fun

Commonwealth Games basketball player Chris Cleary knows exactly how kids can have hoops of fun during the Easter school holidays.

They’ll have a ball at one of several Spring Activity Camps being run by Renfrewshire Leisure.
There’s a wide range of activities throughout Renfrewshire including sports, fun and games at camps being held in The Lagoon, in Paisley; ON-X, Linwood; Johnstone Community Sports Hub; Renfrew Sports Centre and Parkmains High School, in Erskine.

Then there are outdoor activity camps with activities like kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing and gorge walking, with groups leaving from King George V Pavilion, Renfrew. There are also football camps with qualified SFA coaches at Parkmains High School, King George V Parks, Renfrew and Ralston Sports Centre.

Chris, who works for Renfrewshire Leisure as an Active Schools and Community Club Officer, has been picked to play for the Scotland basketball team competing in the Commonwealth Games, in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4 to 15.

He said: “There’s something for everyone in our Spring Activity Camps during the school holidays.
“All the camps are run by highly trained, enthusiastic staff who have experience in working with young children.

“The camps are great value for money with reduced rates for concessions and multi-child bookings from the same family.

“And as well as giving youngsters something to do during the school holidays, the camps keep them fit and healthy and best of all, give them lots of fun.”

Log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/activitycamps for more information and details of how to book a place.

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Scottish netball stars are going for gold in the Commonwealth Games cheered on by brave Amy who beat cancer

SCOTTISH netball stars are going for gold in the Commonwealth Games cheered on by one of their bravest fans.

Nine-year-old Amy Reid who lost a kidney to cancer was treated to a VIP tour of the Emirates Arena Stadium in Glasgow by the Scottish Thistles national netball team. The players who will begin the 10,000 mile trip to Australia on Friday (March 23) to compete at Gold Coast 2018 gave Amy a signed netball, tshirt, pen and free tickets to an upcoming UWS Sirens game (Scotland’s semi-pro franchise for whom most of the Thistles play) where she has also been invited to be the Captain’s mascot on their return from the Commonwealth Games. The visit was organised to boost awareness of Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life events this spring which raise millions of pounds to fund crucial research. Every hour, four people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland*. Now, to help beat cancer sooner, members of Netball Scotland have pledged to pull on their trainers and take part in Race for Life Glasgow on May 20 at Glasgow Green and are urging other women and girls across Scotland to sign up too.

Amy who is 4ft 7in chatted to netball stars including the tallest member of the Scottish Thistles, goalkeeper Ella Gibbons, 23, who is 6ft 3in, as well as team captain, Claire Brownie. In February they were part of the team which saw Scotland qualify for the 2019 World Cup. At the Commonweatlh Games on the Gold Coast which starts on April 4, they are in pool B so will take on 2014 silver medallists New Zealand. They’ll also play England, Wales, Malawi and Uganda.

Claire, 29, said: “We were all moved and inspired by Amy’s courage and bravery.

“Amy will be the team’s lucky charm in Australia. It’s great to have the chance to meet Amy and tell her a bit more about netball. It’s a really important part of our job to inspire girls to get active and be into sport. All you need is for kids to dream but for that to happen, they need to see what’s possible. We’re so excited and proud to represent Scotland in the Commonwealth Games. When we’re out there it will be brilliant to know that people back home like Amy are cheering us on.”

Amy of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, who endured a life saving stem cell transplant knows exactly how tough it can be going through cancer. Her family have raised vital funds for Cancer Research UK by taking part in the 5K at Race for Life Glasgow every year since Amy was diagnosed with the disease in September 2012. This year, as Amy takes her place on the start line along with her mum Laura, 39, and sister Sophie, two, she’ll also be cheered on by her dad Robert, 41, and brother, Gary, 19.

Amy’s proud mum, Laura said: “Amy really is our superhero.

“Amy has kept us strong through it all. At the time we couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. We thought Amy was never going to get through this. It was frightening. Now looking at her, I can’t believe she was ever so ill. Her recovery has been amazing.

“Amy did her first Race for Life 5K event while still going through treatment for cancer and it’s been a really important part of our lives ever since. If Amy’s story can help other families going through cancer right now then we’ll have made a difference.

“We’d like to thank all the Scottish Thistles who helped give Amy such a special day. Amy really likes sport now. She loves swimming, cricket and football at school. When we watch the Commonwealth Games on tv we’ll be looking out for the netball girls and saying, ‘We’ve met them.’ It’s great to see Amy being so active again and enjoying life.”

Amy was only three when she first became ill with a high temperature just hours after her mum and dad’s wedding day on September 21 2012. The family were set to jet off on holiday to Spain after the marriage at St James Chapel, Coatbridge. Instead they ended up at Wishaw General Hospital and then Yorkhill Children’s Hospital after Amy’s condition deteriorated. Scans showed a tumour on Amy’s left kidney was stopping it from working properly. Amy was diagnosed with a Wilms tumour and endured a six hour operation to remove the kidney.

Amy’s mum, Laura said: “As I took Amy down to the operating theatre I was trying to stop myself crying to keep Amy calm so she would be okay.

“I knew Amy was getting the best care possible but seeing your child like that is so difficult. If I could have taken Amy’s place then I would have. I paced around outside until she came out of surgery and I knew she was fine. Now she tells everyone that the scar where they took her kidney out is a big snake.”

Amy started on chemotherapy but it was a hammerblow when tests revealed there was also a tumour on her lung. It meant a second operation to remove the tumour followed by a year of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Amy lost her hair and became a regular at the Schiehallion ward at Yorkhill.

By October 2013, doctors explained that Amy’s best chance of survival was a stem cell transplant, to help her body make new healthy blood cells after her own had been destroyed by the disease. It meant two weeks in an isolation ward to reduce the risk of infection. By Christmas that year the family got the best present of all when doctors explained the cancer had gone. Amy who is now a primary five pupil at St Timothy’s Primary school in Coatbridge is loving life.

Cancer Research UK Race for Life organisers are appealing for women and girls to stride out to beat cancer sooner this spring with Scotland’s first Race for Life 5K of the year kicking off in Stirling and South Queensferry on May 13, closely followed by 5K, 10K and Pretty Muddy 5K events across the country, everywhere from Glasgow to Aberdeen, Fife to Falkirk, Dundee to Irvine. Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring women-only series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy, half marathon and hiking events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer sooner by funding crucial research.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman in Scotland, said: “We are very grateful to Netball Scotland and to Amy’s family for their support

“By signing up to Race for Life, women across Scotland can make a real difference in the fight against cancer. Money raised will help Cancer Research UK scientists and doctors find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease, helping save more lives.

“Race for Life is a hugely moving experience – full of emotion, courage, tears and laughter – as people come together to remember loved ones lost to cancer, celebrate the lives of those dear to them who have survived or support those going through treatment. By joining like-minded ladies committed to the cause, women can unite against a disease that affects us all in some way.

“Every day, 87 people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland. That’s why we need women across Scotland to sign up to Race for Life this January and join mothers, daughters, sisters and friends at the start line when events kick off this summer.

“Money raised through Race for Life is helping to drive research to help beat over 200 different types of cancer – that’s why every step, every person and every penny raised counts.”

One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies on the public’s support. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity was able to spend more than £34 million last year in Scotland on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research – helping more men, women and children survive the disease.


To enter Race for Life today visit raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.