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Award-winning theatre maker premieres new show in Paisley


Paisley is set for a unique Halloween spectacular as multi-award-winning visual theatre maker Al Seed holds the world premiere of his latest solo show The Tapping as part of the town’s winter festivities.


The show – a gothic-horror melodrama based upon Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven – is part of the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid and taking place during its Halloween festival, in Paisley Town Hall from 26 to 27 October.

Al – a former artist in residence at Glasgow’s The Arches – is a critically-acclaimed performer who designed his latest performance based upon a long-term fascination with the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, and elements from Greek myths.


The show is one of the first to be funded through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund – a five-year £500k programme to transform the town’s creative scene and build up cultural capacity during the Paisley 2021 bid.

Paisley 2021 Project Director Jean Cameron said: “For an artist as well respected as Al Seed to premiere his new show here is a major coup for Paisley ahead of the bid going in next year – and it just highlights our growing reputation as one of Scotland’s key cultural destinations.

“We are delighted the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund has enabled Al to create this original piece of work and I would recommend you book early for what is sure to be a fantastic spectacle in one of Paisley’s iconic venues.”

The Tapping is described as ‘drawing upon the myth of Orpheus’ descent into the underworld’ and will ‘take its audience down a hallucinatory spiral of madness’ within the stunning backdrop of Paisley Town Hall.

The show relies heavily upon strong visual and design elements, original music, and the space in which it is set, while drawing upon the history and conventions of gothic-horror literature and art, and related genres.

Al Seed added: “I am delighted to be presenting the debut of The Tapping at Paisley Town Hall and in support of the Paisley 2021 bid.

“This past year it has been wonderful to receive so much support in the making of the show; especially from the staff at Paisley Arts Centre, Johnstone Town Hall, and Paisley Town Hall itself. I am now really looking forward to sharing the finished results.”

The Tapping will be at Paisley Town Hall from 26 to 27 October. Tickets – costing £10 and £6 – are available now at www.renfrewshireleisure.com or by calling 0300 300 1210.

The show is being produced by FERAL Arts in association with Renfrewshire Leisure. Supported by Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Events and Heritage Fund as part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021

Paisley’s Halloween festival is free to attend and runs from Friday 28 until Saturday 29 October and will feature a spectacular lantern-lit parade through the town and a fire garden of flame-breathing sculptures. More information at www.paisley2021.co.uk

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New savings website helps give residents some credit

Frances McCann (Scotwest); Margaret Bryce (Johnstone Credit Union); Heather Kay (Engage Renfrewshire); Provost Anne Hall; Stacey Mathieson (Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union); Sean Sandland (White Cart Credit Union); Cathy Mitchell (White Cart Credit Union); Bill Ingles (Gleniffer Credit Union); Paula Ferrier (My Credit Union Renfrewshire); Alan McNiven (Engage Renfrewshire).

Renfrewshire’s five credit unions have teamed up to offer a one-stop-shop website aimed at covering the savings and loan needs of everybody in the area.

Frances McCann (Scotwest); Margaret Bryce (Johnstone Credit Union); Heather Kay (Engage Renfrewshire); Provost Anne Hall; Stacey Mathieson (Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union); Sean Sandland (White Cart Credit Union); Cathy Mitchell (White Cart Credit Union); Bill Ingles (Gleniffer Credit Union); Paula Ferrier (My Credit Union Renfrewshire); Alan McNiven (Engage Renfrewshire).

Frances McCann (Scotwest); Margaret Bryce (Johnstone Credit Union); Heather Kay (Engage Renfrewshire); Provost Anne Hall; Stacey Mathieson (Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union); Sean Sandland (White Cart Credit Union); Cathy Mitchell (White Cart Credit Union); Bill Ingles (Gleniffer Credit Union); Paula Ferrier (My Credit Union Renfrewshire); Alan McNiven (Engage Renfrewshire).

The new site at  www.mycreditunionrenfrewshire.co.uk has just been launched and brings together Gleniffer, Johnstone, Renfrewshire-Wide, Scotwest and White Cart credit unions.

It means the various services offered by the five organisations are available in one place – allowing visitors to find whatever savings and borrowing plan suits them and link through to the credit union website.

children from Hillview Nursery with Paula Ferrier of My Credit Union Renfrewshire

children from Hillview Nursery with Paula Ferrier of My Credit Union Renfrewshire

The website was funded through Renfrewshire Council’s Tackling Poverty Programme – a two-year £6m scheme covering 50 projects aimed at taking on the causes of deprivation.

Staff from local third-sector group Engage Renfrewshire also played a key role in co-ordinating the project.

nursery child Robbie McGlynn

nursery child Robbie McGlynn

And representatives of all five credit unions were joined by councillors in Paisley’s Piazza to promote the scheme to lunchtime shoppers.

They were joined by kids from Childcare First’s Hillview Nursery in Ferguslie Park – one of the first organisations to make use of the new website.

Paula Ferrier, marketing officer for  www.mycreditunionrenfrewshire.com, said: “The website signposts the users to a credit union which suits their needs.

“The five credit unions all offer different things but whatever the user is looking for – savings, a mortgage, a car loan, a funeral loan – it’s all there.

“We aren’t like the banks in that we aren’t in competition – we all work together and support each other.

“We are not-for-profit organisations and our members are the shareholders so by saving with us people are giving back to the community.”

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall was there to help launch the scheme and she added: “The website is a great idea and really easy to use – I would recommend anybody who is thinking about borrowing any money have a look at it.

“We are delighted to have funded this scheme through the council’s Tackling Poverty programme – by helping the credit unions market what they offer we are putting money back into the pockets of people who need it most.

“Since the programme started in 2015 it has helped create more than 600 new credit union members across Renfrewshire, and saved local people a total of £84,000 on interest payments compare to high street banks.”

You can see the new website now at www.mycreditunionrenfrewshire.co.uk

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Families First serves up a treat during school holidays

Families First Johnstone Campus

Hundreds of pupils across Renfrewshire managed to get their free school meal this week – even though the schools were off for the October week.

Families First Johnstone Campus

Families First Johnstone Campus

The popular activity clubs run by the council’s Families First early-years scheme were run over the October holidays at 12 local venues.

Youngsters from Primary 1 to 4 in receipt of a school clothing grant were invited along for a healthy lunch and some sporty and arts activity for each of the five days.

Families First Johnstone Campus

Families First Johnstone Campus

The programme was recently extended to include P4 pupils for the first time.

The clubs were run at Brediland, Castlehead, Gallowhill, Glencoats, Langcraigs, Paisley Grammar and Todholm schools in Paisley, as well as Linwood High, St Benedict’s, Rashilea in Erskine, St David’s in Johnstone and St James in Renfrew.

Council catering staff were on hand to serve up the meals, while council and Renfrewshire Leisure ran sport and craft classes to keep the kids active.

The activity clubs were funded through Families First – the council’s pioneering early-years programme – which runs all year round in five of Renfrewshire’s most deprived locations and offers intensive support to parents with young children.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, the council’s education convener, popped into the activity club at the St David’s/Cochrane Castle shared campus in Johnstone to see how the kids were getting on.

And she said: “The activity clubs are a much-needed and well-used service and you could hear from the noise in the room the kids were enjoying it!

“The ongoing evaluation of the Families First programme has been able to detail the significant impact which the strategy is having across Renfrewshire and the difference to the lives of children in the areas where it operates.

“We are proud to be making such a positive impact on the lives of children across Renfrewshire.”

Active Schools officer Danny Johnstone was co-ordinating the club and added: “The clubs are a great way of guaranteeing the kids get a healthy meal – we encourage them to go up for seconds and thirds if they want to.

“It also gives them an opportunity to try different things – while the sport helps keep them active.”

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Monte Carlo Rally 2017

Driver Andrew Goodfellow and co-driver Derek Coghill in their 1930 Austin Seven Ulster 2-seater sports with Paisley Abbey in background

The town of Paisley has once again been confirmed as the sole UK start point for the 2017 historic rally run to Monte Carlo.

Driver Andrew Goodfellow and co-driver Derek Coghill in their 1930 Austin Seven Ulster 2-seater sports with Paisley Abbey in background

Driver Andrew Goodfellow and co-driver Derek Coghill in their 1930 Austin Seven Ulster 2-seater sports with Paisley Abbey in background

It’ll be the fourth time the town – which is bidding to be the 2021 UK City of Culture – will be the only British start point out of seven European cities for a range of historic cars to make the 1300 mile trip to the South of France.

(left to right) Paisley start organiser Douglas Anderson; Andrew Goodfellow; Derek Coghill; Renfrewshire Council Provost Anne Hall

(left to right) Paisley start organiser Douglas Anderson; Andrew Goodfellow; Derek Coghill; Renfrewshire Council Provost Anne Hall

Close to a hundred cars are expected to leave the start ramp outside Paisley Abbey at 6pm on Wednesday January 25th in three separate categories.

The Historique class is being run for the 20th year and is restricted to car models which competed in the Monte Carlo Rallies between 1955 and 1980. It will run over eight days on open public roads with the cars and crews having undertaken a series of fourteen demanding test stages in the mountains of southern France.

Driver Andrew Goodfellow and co-driver Derek Coghill

Driver Andrew Goodfellow and co-driver Derek Coghill

The Classique event is for older cars from as early as 1911 to 1980 and follows the same route to Monte Carlo but does not include any test stages, the goal simply being to finish in Monte Carlo after checking in at a series of control points on the way.

Once again the event will feature the popular Monte Heritage Runs which will follow on from the full-scale events and will take in a series of short classic routes in Scotland.

In January this year a crowd of more than 10,000 gathered in the centre of Paisley with the magnificent backdrop of the Abbey to wave off the crews in a party atmosphere with lights, music, street food and fireworks…..and working with staff from Renfrewshire Council and volunteers from many motorsport clubs in Scotland the organisers are confident of making the start even bigger and better next year.

The event was officially launched this morning by Douglas Anderson, the UK co-ordinator and the man responsible for bringing the Monte back to Scotland in 2011.

He believes the 2017 start will be the best yet.

He said: “The Paisley Abbey Start will flash round the world on the evening of 25th January 2017.  It is universally acknowledged as the best start in Europe and with the help of the good folk of Paisley who come out in their thousands to cheer the competitors on their way, we will keep it that way.”

Also there was one of the entrants in the 2017 event, Andrew Goodfellow from Dundee and co-driver, his brother-in-law Derek Coghill and their 1930 Austin 7 Ulster 2-seater sports which will – hopefully – complete the drive to Monte Carlo.

Said Andrew: “What a fantastic opportunity this is to take part in this historic event and were both totally confident that we and the car will make the 1300 miles. We’ve been prepping the car over the past month with still lots more to do to it to ensure everything is in top condition before we set off. The only concern is the very strong likelihood of snow while driving through the Alps.”

Their drive will also raise funds for SAMH, the Scottish Association of Mental Health.

The event is being supported by Renfrewshire Council. Leader Mark Macmillan said: “We are delighted to be hosting the only UK start leg of the Monte Carlo Classic Rally here in Paisley again in 2017, for the fourth year in row.

“Next year we will be submitting the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, and to have this prestigious and truly international event  in the town centre just helps cement Paisley’s status as a key destination on Scotland’s map of major events.

“The people of Renfrewshire and beyond have always turned out in huge numbers to wave the cars off against the striking historic backdrop of Paisley Town Hall and Abbey, and I am sure they will be as excited as we are to welcome the event back.”

Giving his backing to the event is Scotland’s latest motorsport champion, Gordon Shedden, who won the British Touring Car Championship for the third time earlier this month.

He said: “Scotland has such a proud history in motorsport and it’s great to see Paisley as the only UK start point for this classic event. The Honda Civic Type R in which I compete is the latest example of car technology but I love getting behind the wheel of something from the past. I wish everyone taking part the very best of success…..and an enjoyable and safe drive to Monte Carlo.”

More information can be found at  www.monte.scot

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Radio show comes live from Johnstone Library

Janice Forsyth, who will present her live radio show from Johnstone Library

BOOK fans will be able to attend a live broadcast of BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth Show, at Johnstone Library.

Janice Forsyth, who will present her live radio show from Johnstone Library

Janice Forsyth, who will present her live radio show from Johnstone Library

Producers chose the library to host the popular arts and culture show – between 2pm and 4pm on Wednesday, November 2 – after it had been recommended by the Scottish Library and Information Council.

Johnstone Library will remain open throughout the broadcast and people are being encouraged to come along and make up the audience.

The show is being held at the library as part of the BBC’s Love to Read campaign, which encourages people to read books.

Presenter Janice Forsyth will interview library staff, a youngster from the local Children’s Book Group and members of the public, as well as featuring Renfrewshire Leisure’s award-winning Skoobmobile mobile library and activity space.

She will also chat with authors, including romantic comedy fiction writer, Jenny Colgan, who will visit Johnstone library to take part in the show.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, which runs the local libraries service, Joyce McKellar said:
“Everyone who is interested in books and reading is invited to come along to the library to watch and hear the show being broadcast.
“It’s a feather in the cap of the staff who run our libraries that a Renfrewshire library was recommended as a good place to host a live radio show like this.”

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Paisley Buddie to play it right in Manhattan


A Paisley playwright is set to deliver performances of her play in New York as part of an international theatre exchange after receiving support from the Renfrewshire Culture, Heritage and Events Fund (CHEF).


Karen Herbison at Glasgow Airport departures on her way to New York

Karen Herbison, who operates as H-arts, will put on performances of ‘Say You Love Me’ just a stone’s throw from the famous Broadway theatre district later this month. The play has previously been a success at the world renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

H-arts was one of the first recipients of support from CHEF which is a key component of Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021. The £500,000 fund was created with the aim of unlocking Renfrewshire’s creative potential by helping the region’s cultural community run its own events and projects in the build up to the bid.

‘Say You Love Me’ will be produced by Mind The Gap Theatre- who boast revered actresses Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Judi Dench on their board of advisors. The production company are well known for taking the best of British theatre to New York every year- with productions ranging from short plays to full length features.

Karen and the team from her production company, Punch Productions, will put on three performances at the distinguished Duplex venue, known as an international destination for arts and entertainment. While in New York, Karen will also attend a number of theatrical workshops and meetings with the local cultural community to help generate interest in and support for Paisley 2021.

Upon her return from the USA, Karen aims to take ‘Say You Love Me’ on a tour of Renfrewshire’s high schools. She will also deliver creative workshops, covering many aspects of the writing process, to pupils studying Higher and Advanced Higher English.

‘Say You Love Me’ offers the audience a unique experience as it’s a theatrical performance which can take place in any public setting. Since writing the play in 2008, Karen has staged performances with the help and support of her Punch Production colleagues, Cheri Smith and Jon Cuthbertson, in a wide variety of venues, including most recently Bernie’s Café in Bridge of Weir.

Taking place in a restaurant setting, this current run of the play is designed to let the audience get close and listen in to what is happening at an adjacent table where the cast are playing out the story.

Critics have described ‘Say You Love Me’ as intimate, funny, explosive and poignant.

Karen Herbison said: “I’m incredibly excited about taking my play to New York and giving audiences there an experience of culture which has been created in Paisley. Since writing the play, it has always been a dream of mine to have it performed off Broadway and the support from CHEF has made that possible.

“I would encourage any Renfrewshire-based groups with ambitions of getting local people actively involved in cultural activities to apply to the Culture, Heritage and Events and Fund. It is a great initiative which is helping to make culture more accessible across Renfrewshire.”

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 Bid Director, said: “We’ve had an amazing response to our Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, showing that there is a real appetite to get involved in culture across Renfrewshire.  Karen and H-arts is a prime example of that and I wish her all the best in New York and upon her return when she takes ‘Say You Love Me’ on a tour of our schools in Renfrewshire.”

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is taking place as part of a wider push to transform the town’s future using its unique cultural and heritage offering as the home of the Paisley Pattern and the one-time centre of the global textile industry.

Bids are expected to be lodged with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport in spring 2017.

For more information on Paisley 2021, visit  www.paisley2021.co.uk, like /Paisley2021 on Facebook or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.

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Council leader says child asylum process ‘should have been quicker’

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Renfrewshire remains willing to help offer a new home to unaccompanied refugee children – but its council leader says the area could have done more by now if not for government red tape.

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Currently, around 1,000 unaccompanied asylum-seekers aged under 16 are housed in Kent – with hundreds more arriving in Britain this week from the refugee camp in Calais, soon to be closed by French authorities.

Renfrewshire Council agreed in September to start the work to put in place support arrangements for a small number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

But bosses weren’t able to fully progress those plans at the time as the UK Government’s national transfer scheme UK Government to relocate those children doesn’t apply in Scotland due to the separate legal system.

While that matter remains unresolved, the Home Office is now asking if local authorities in Scotland are willing to take in any of the new arrivals from Calais, outwith the terms of the national scheme.

And while Councillor Mark Macmillan says Renfrewshire is willing to help if it can, he feels more could have been done by now if there had been progress on the national scheme.

He said: “I believe everyone has a duty to help those fleeing persecution and am pleased my fellow councillors in Renfrewshire agreed this year to do our share.

“Renfrewshire Council is already leading the way within Scotland on its work to resettle vulnerable people fleeing the Syrian conflict – the 81 refugees accepted by the area since last year is the second-highest of any local authority in the UK.

“And we would like to build on that further by offering safety and shelter to a small number of the children arriving in the UK without anyone to support them through what must be an incredibly upsetting experience at such a young age.

“I welcome the decision made by the Home Office this week to ask for help from Scottish councils, and we will stay in touch with them to find out what is required.

“But I am frustrated at knowing we could have done more by now had the government not dragged their heels on the legal process around the national transfer scheme over recent months.”

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Scouting for Girls to headline Paisley festive extravaganza


Paisley is getting set for a winter festival extravaganza – with triple-platinum-selling popsters Scouting for Girls to headline the town’s annual Christmas lights show.


The Londoners – known for top-10 hits including This Ain’t a Love Song and She’s So Lovely – will play to a crowd of tens of thousands in the town centre on Saturday 12 November before the big switch-on.

The afternoon-long event will also see main-stage slots for two up-and-coming bands from Paisley – the Vegan Leather and Dogtooth.

The fun will get under way at noon with the traditional reindeer parade around the town, led by Santa himself, with a full programme of children’s entertainment during the day before the lights go on at 6pm.

And the big Christmas date is just one of three installments of family festive fun coming up over consecutive weekends.

The town centre will also host a two-day spooktacular when the Paisley Halloween Festival returns for a third year at the end of the month.

That will see a lantern-lit parade through the town centre on the evening of Friday 28 October, with a day of activities, including a spectacular fire garden, on the Saturday.

And Saturday 5 November will see the town’s annual fireworks display, which will this year feature music from the 1960s and 70s as part of a decade-by-decade countdown to 2021 – the year Paisley hopes to be named UK City of Culture.

There will be live music from bands from local groups Brick Lane Studios and Create Paisley on the main stage in Gauze Street from 2pm, before the fireworks display itself at 7pm.

Scouting for Girls said: “We love Christmas, and what better way to get in the spirit than with the good folks of Paisley!

“We are very excited for the lights switch-on and hope to see as many people as possible there on November 12.”

The three festive events are being run by Renfrewshire Council as part of the area’s ever-expanding major events programme. Sponsorship from local organisations is contributing towards the cost of the performers.

And council leader Mark Macmillan said: “Renfrewshire’s major events programme brings tens of thousands of people into our town centres every year, many of them visitors from outside the area.

“Not only does that show off everything Paisley has to offer but it brings an economic boost to town centre traders too.

“This year’s events are particularly important given they are the last set before the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is lodged early next year and the Christmas Lights event marks a year since the bid was launched.

“And the bill reflects that – the Christmas Lights show will put the spotlight on two talented young local bands, while the fireworks display will also have a 2021 theme.”

November will be a busy month for major events, with Johnstone’s Christmas lights switch-on due for Saturday 19 November and Renfrew’s a week later.

At the same time, Renfrewshire will also host top-class sporting action when the European Curling Championships comes to Braehead from 19 to 26 November.

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(L-R) Yvette Hutcheson and Dr Karen Blyth.

Cancer survivor Yvette Hutcheson and Scientist Dr Karen Blyth at the Beatson Institute, Glasgow.

Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) campaig. SU2C is an annual joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 to fund cancer research. This year’s campaign will culminate on Friday 21 October with a night of live TV entertainment on Channel 4.

All money payable:-
Mark Anderson
Flat 2/2
G41 3HG

A GLASGOW breast cancer survivor has joined forces with a city scientist to Stand Up To Cancer and highlight that one in two people will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives.

(L-R) Yvette Hutcheson and Dr Karen Blyth. Cancer survivor Yvette Hutcheson and Scientist Dr Karen Blyth at the Beatson Institute, Glasgow. Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) campaig. SU2C is an annual joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 to fund cancer research. This year’s campaign will culminate on Friday 21 October with a night of live TV entertainment on Channel 4. All money payable:- Mark Anderson Flat 2/2 Glasgow G41 3HG

(L-R) Yvette Hutcheson and Dr Karen Blyth.
Cancer survivor Yvette Hutcheson and Scientist Dr Karen Blyth Pics by Mark Anderson

Cancer scientist Dr Karen Blyth, of the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute in Glasgow, took Yvette Hutcheson on a special tour of her lab ahead of Friday’s Stand Up To Cancer television fundraiser on Channel 4.

Yvette, who was diagnosed with cancer when she was just 28-years-old, saw first-hand how scientists in Scotland are working hard to beat cancer sooner.

In support of Stand Up To Cancer, Karen and Yvette also posed with a placard emblazoned with the words ‘1 in 2’, as one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.

Stand Up To Cancer is a joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 which aims to help save more lives, more quickly.

The campaign, which is supported by celebrities including Davina McCall and Alan Carr, culminates this Friday October 21 with a night of live TV on Channel 4 led by the brightest stars in film, TV and music.

Money raised funds translational research, which takes developments in the lab and transforms them into brand new tests and treatments for cancer patients.

Karen and Yvette are urging all Scots to show their support and join the rebellion against cancer.

Scientist Karen and her team at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute are studying a family of genes called RUNX genes to try and understand the role they play in breast cancer – in particular triple negative breast cancer which is more difficult to treat than other breast cancers. They hope that this information could help develop new and better treatments for the disease.

She said: “In forty years we’ve gone from a situation where women diagnosed with breast cancer had only a fifty-fifty chance of survival, to today, where almost 90 per cent of women survive breast cancer to five years after their diagnosis. That’s amazing, but we need to keep fighting on in the lab to make even more progress.

“It was an honour to meet Yvette and hear about her brave battle against cancer. I’m proud to stand together with her today and join her call for people in Glasgow to do what they can to support Stand Up To Cancer this year.”

Yvette knows only too well just how crucial new discoveries and breakthroughs are to help people like her survive. She was diagnosed with breast cancer on July 24 2015 after discovering a lump in her right breast.

Yvette said: “It was a major shock when I was told I had cancer as I was still so young with no family history of the disease. I remember looking at my dad who was with me and we were both just stunned.”

“The doctors explained I’d have to wait a week before the biopsies could 100 per cent confirm I had cancer but they thought it was. I don’t even remember leaving the hospital that day. We got to the car and were in bits. It took us ten minutes to gather ourselves together before we could even drive home.”

A week later, tests confirmed that Yvette had HER2 positive breast cancer. But – following six lots of chemotherapy, surgery to remove the breast lump and 20 sessions of radiotherapy – brave Yvette completed her treatment this spring.

Now she gets an injection of the breast cancer drug, Herceptin once every three weeks. She will receive 18 in total and her final injection is scheduled for November 25.

Cancer Research UK scientists played a crucial part in the early development of Herceptin by helping to establish the link between some breast cancers and ‘growth factor receptor’ proteins on the surface of cells.

Yvette said: “I’m standing up to cancer because my story shows the real power of research and why it’s so important to keep raising money to fund the vital work scientists like Karen are doing every day to beat cancer.

“I know what it’s like to go through cancer. I had the full bhuna of treatment – I had chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery and I’m still getting hormone therapy and immunotherapy. But hopefully, through money raised by Stand Up To Cancer, people won’t need to do the full shebang in the future and treatment will be easier for them.

“That’s why I want to encourage as many people as possible to join with Karen and me and stand up to this devastating disease.” 

Every day, 85 people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland.* By joining Stand Up To Cancer, supporters in Glasgow will be uniting with doctors, nurses, scientists and celebrities to generate funds, raise awareness and help accelerate progress in life-saving cancer research.

There are many ways to Stand Up To Cancer and show support. Cancer Research UK is calling on Scots to take a stand and do something to help raise money at work, school or at home – from fancy dress days and sponsored silences to bake sales and open mic nights. The charity is urging people in the city to get started right now and sign up for their free fundraising pack which includes everything supporters need to spark creative ideas and help beat cancer sooner.

Victoria Steven, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for Scotland said: “We’d like to thank Yvette and Karen for standing up to cancer with us.

“Yvette’s experience brings home the fact that one in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. Whether it’s you or someone you know, it leaves its mark on us all.

“So the time to act is now. We’re on the brink of a revolution in cancer research – thanks to new treatments, screening and earlier diagnosis,more people are surviving the disease than ever before. But we can’t afford to stand still. It’s time to rebel against cancer, raise money and save lives. Research is our weapon against this terrible disease and we’re calling on an army of supporters in Glasgow to stand up to cancer and show their support.”

People across the city can also show their support for the campaign in style as a fun range of clothing and accessories for men, women and children is available online at standuptocancer.org.uk

The range includes special edition Henry Holland designed t-shirts (£9.99) hoodies (£25) pin badges (£1) wristbands (£0.99) digital watches (£2.49) and umbrellas (£2.99).

For more information and to get involved visit standuptocancer.org.uk

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Blind people should be able to use buses too” says Gavin Newlands


Gavin Newlands MP heard about the importance of audio-visual announcements on buses at the SNP Party Conference this week.


He heard about the experiences of a guide dog owner who had missed their stop and been left stranded on a bus because they were unable to know where on the route they were.

Sadly, this is not an isolated experience: 7 in 10 passengers with sight loss have been forgotten on a bus. Talking buses, which provide audio-visual “next stop” and “final destination” announcements, are essential for people with sight loss to live independently. Worryingly, only one fifth of the UK’s buses are talking buses, 97% of which are in London. For a sighted person, missing a stop is an annoyance, but for someone with sight loss, it is potentially dangerous.

The MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North supports Guide Dogs’ proposal to make buses accessible for everyone. Earlier this year the SNP called on the UK government to make sure all new buses are talking buses, calling it a “life-changing” move. As a result of Guide Dogs’ campaign, the UK government has acted to include this proposal into the Bus Services Bill.

Gavin Newlands MP commented:

“I was shocked to learn when speaking with the charity Guide Dogs how often blind people miss their stop because they do not know where they are. The Bus Services Bill is the biggest reform of buses since the 1980s so it is a unique opportunity to make sure that blind people can use buses safely too. I’m delighted that the UK government has listened and included talking buses in the bill”

James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, commented:

“Talking buses give independence to people with sight loss, enabling them to travel on their own and reducing stress and anxiety. They also help other travellers including tourists and infrequent bus users to reach their destination safely.

“The UK government have now recognised the need to roll out talking buses nationwide. We are asking politicians like Gavin Newlands to ensure they follow through and commit to making talking buses the norm across the UK.”