paisley from drone

MORAY TYPHOONS   5       PAISLEY PIRATES   4     Pirates slumped to a shock defeat in Elgin, the result of which seriously damages any aspirations of glory in the Scottish National League this season.   They got off to the best possible start as Henderson opened the scoring after only 30 seconds, but a controversial equaliser by Durkacz after seven minutes, with Pirates’ protest that Meechan’s goal was off its moorings falling on deaf ears, and while Cowan restored the visitors’ lead a minute later, they were level again at the halfway point of the session, as Ferguson beat Pirates’ teenage …

Paisley Pirates have received a massive boost with the news that a well known local organisation will be commemorating the club’s landmark 70th birthday in the Spring. Coach Ian Turley explained:

“Paisley Pirates were formed in 1946, so this year we will be celebrating the formation of the club which, we like to think, is very much part of the local community throughout Renfrewshire in general, and the Paisley area in particular. What we hadn’t banked on was other people knowing about it at this early stage, so we were very much surprised, but absolutely delighted, when the good folk from the local Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) approached us recently and asked if we’d mind allowing them to adopt our forthcoming birthday as the theme for this year’s local CAMRA festival, which will be held in Paisley Town Hall from 20-23 April.”



“Mind? We were over the moon,” he went on.” We are, first and foremost, a local community organisation with its roots and branches in the area, and to receive this kind of recognition by another well known, and indeed, well respected, local group is, for us, about as good as it gets. The good folk of CAMRA have designed a Festival logo showing a Pirate wearing a hat depicting our current logo on it, and this will be the brand which will be shown on all the merchandise which will be on sale during the four days of the Festival. Like ourselves, CAMRA recommcamra.ppimageend “Responsible Drinking”, which is a perfect fit with our own ethos, and I’m sure Pirates’ fans and, indeed, players, will be able to support the event in sizeable numbers.”

He continued, “CAMRA have the choice of a great many themes every year to adopt for their annual Festival, which this year will be their 29th, so we’re very honoured that they have chosen our birthday as the focal point for this year’s event, as we’re very proud of our place within the local community, and this is something akin to recognition of the fact. We’re looking forward very much to working with the Festival committee to help ensure that this year’s event, which we understand to be the biggest beer festival in Scotland, is another outstanding success.”

Christmas: a time for giving, receiving (and posting unwanted gifts online). A day, where the ‘present face’ appears in living rooms of almost every home in the country. If you’re not familiar with this term, you will most likely be familiar with the action; it’s the awkward smile and overflow of insincere compliments that follows from opening unwanted presents.


But don’t fret – there are many ways you can make the most of receiving ghastly gifts as this helpful infographic explains.

The subject of selling on gifts, you have received, may be taboo, but it is a great way to save money and potentially get yourself out of debt. It means that instead of it going to waste, someone who really ‘wants’ it can enjoy it and you get the benefit from an extra few bob in your pocket.

On a more serious note however, if you are struggling after the Christmas excesses and want some advice on how to get out of debt, visit the Money Advice Service which offers free support managing your finances and tips and tools on how to budget.

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Renfrewshire Council has created 2,000 super savers thanks to its iSave initiative that’s now into year two of offering S1 pupils a credit union account complete with a £10 deposit from the council.

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More than half of Renfrewshire’s current first years – 1,100 – have signed up for iSave since starting high school in August – with 900 S2s also iSave members having joined last year.

iSave was launched in summer 2014 as part of an overall drive by Renfrewshire Council to curb the rise of payday lenders and boost awareness of saving and budgeting among young people.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener for Education and Children, said: “We’re now well into the second school year of our worthwhile iSave Credit Union Initiative where we offer S1 pupils the chance to open a credit union account, complete with a £10 deposit from the council. And I’m delighted that we have now created 2,000 young savers as a result.

“We want to encourage young people to take a responsible approach to money issues and this initiative is a worthwhile investment to equip pupils with the right skills and attitudes to deal with finances and that will hopefully stay with them into adulthood.

“Credit unions have such an important role to play in our community by encouraging saving and ensuring access to affordable credit rates. Getting young people involved with credit unions can mean that later in life, they have a reasonable and dependable alternative to payday lenders if they need to borrow money.”

Four credit unions are working with the council to offer accounts through iSave: Johnstone Credit Union, Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union, ScotWest Credit Union and White Cart Credit Union. Every secondary school has been matched with one of these.

Councillor Henry added: “A key part of this initiative is the on-going financial education in S1 and throughout secondary school to teach our pupils about the benefits of saving and budgeting. No amount is too big or small to save with pupils adding anything from 20p to £20 at collections. I’m delighted that iSave is delivering benefits for our pupils with 55% of our S2s and 60% of our S1s now members.”

Parents and pupils looking for more information about iSave should or call 0141 618 2527.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledged his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people.

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Wednesday 27th January marked the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

In the weeks leading up to and after Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“Holocaust Memorial Day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau – and is an important opportunity to remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and make sure they are not forgotten.

‘Don’t Stand By’ is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 and it urges the public to never remain silent when it comes to hate crime.

We should never remain silent when acts of hatred are committed on another person or group. In honour of those that lost their lives we should always challenge racism and prejudice in whatever form it takes.

I encourage all constituents to mark the day and to join members of my community in the fight against prejudice and intolerance.”

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

“We are proud that Gavin is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day. As we mark the 71st anniversary of the end of the Holocaust and the liberation of the concentration camps, it is vitally important that we both continue to remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust – as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge antisemitism and all forms of bigotry.”


Meal Makers, the project that connects communities through food, has arrived in Renfrewshire and they are on the lookout for new volunteers.

The community food sharing project was launched as a pilot project in Dundee in August 2014 and proved to be an instant hit across the city. It has since been launched in Glasgow, Perth and Kinross and now it being rolled out across Renfrewshire. The idea behind Meal Makers is really simple – they connect people who love cooking and want to be active in their community (‘Cooks’), with older (55+) neighbours (‘Diners’), who would appreciate home cooked food delivered to them every now and again.

So how does this work in practice? Well, when a Meal Makers cook is preparing their evening meal for themselves and their family, they will prepare one extra portion of their home cooking and take it round to an older neighbour at a time which suits both parties. Not only does the project provide a way for older adults to enjoy freshly prepared nutritious home cooking (particularly older adults who might find it difficult to enjoy home cooking otherwise), but it also helps bring communities together and combats the social isolation experienced by many members of the older population. How often meals are shared, and when they are shared is left entirely up to the Cook and Diner to decide between themselves. Meals are most commonly shared on a weekly basis, but they can occur fortnightly, monthly or just now and again.

Since launching the project over 140 Cook and Diner matches have been made, and over 1250 meals have been shared with older people through the project. Diners really enjoy participating in the project as they get to meet friendly neighbours, and get to enjoy their lovely home cooking. Cooks, on the other hand, really enjoy the flexibility the project allows – they like the way Meal Makers turns an everyday activity like cooking into a volunteering opportunity that they can do in their local community, and at a time in which they can fit around their busy schedule.

The Meal Makers team are really excited about rolling the project out to Renfrewshire and they are looking for volunteers now! If you want to do something great with an extra plate, or if you are interested in finding out a bit more about the project please visit Alternatively you can phone Meal Makers on 0800 783 7770, or email them at


Here are what some of their Cooks and Diners say about the project:

Grace (Diner)

“Russell went over and beyond my expectations, the meal was delicious and it was the first meal in ages I actually finished every last bit. I can’t believe that someone could be so kind.”

Lois (Cook)

“Anne made some really sweet comments about Meal Makers such as she looks forward to it all week and it’s the only time she eats green vegetables! We had a great blether – I love Anne’s sense of humour!”

Andrew (Diner)

Andrew on being paired with Mary: ‘I’m incredibly appreciative of Meal Makers and being paired up with Mary. I really enjoy the meals but it is the company that makes the biggest difference’

Pauline (Cook)

“We ate afternoon tea together. Betty remarked that it’s nice to eat in company and it occurred to me that she eats nearly all her meals alone. I introduced her to “youtube” via my mobile phone and I said I can find anything she wants on there. She asked me to show her Susan Boyle first audition, which I did, and she was delighted as she is a fan and has always wanted to see it again.”

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Do you want to do something on the ILA?
Becoming a registered Skills Development Scotland Learning Provider means we can accept ILA funding (Individual Learning Account).

There are many residents in Scotland who are eligible to claim this. The funding can be used in full or in part towards a course or learning.

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The following is from the SDS website :

Am I eligible?


Use our eligibility checklist to find out. To apply, you must be:

a British citizen;


a national of a member state of the European Economic Area who has utilised their ‘right of residence’;


settled within the United Kingdom within the meaning of section 33(2A) of the Immigration Act 1971. You are only eligible for support if you are ‘settled within the UK’. If you are in Scotland on a temporary student or work visa then you are not entitled to SDS Individual Learning Account funding


You must be ordinarily resident* in Scotland.Aged 16 years or overHave an income of £22,000 or less, or be in receipt of a qualifying benefitNot hold a UK degree or postgraduate qualification or overseas equivalentNot enrolled in any form of secondary, further or higher educationYou are considered to be in secondary education until the date you leave schoolYou are considered to be in further or higher education from the date you enrol on your courseYou can’t use ILA to fund any part-time course that is already funded by the part-time fee grant If you’re participating in training through the Employability Fund or Modern Apprenticeship, or participating on the Community Jobs Scotland programme you’re not eligible for ILA.

Please note: If your application for ILA funding is successful, you will be unable to apply for a Student Awards Agency For Scotland (SAAS) Part-Time Fee Grant for the duration of your ILA learner year.

If you have previously opened an Individual Learning Account and wish to renew it, we will need to confirm your continued eligibility. To find out more contact us on 0800 917 8000.

How do I apply?

Fill in your details on the website below for an application pack.

Or call the helpline on 0800 917 8000 FREE FREE FREE

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Photographs of the Monte Carlo Classic Rally which took place in Paisley last night (Wednesday 27th January) Thousand of people turned up on a freezing cold night to wave on the drivers who are starting out on the 2,688km trek over the Alps to Monte Carlo as part of the official Rally Monte Carlo Historique, while others were heading off on shorter heritage runs to Balmaha and Dumfries.


Paisley bid for City of Culture in 2021 was evident everywhere last night with the crowd waving flags and banners displaying the logo, as well as a specially modified cars livery featuring the Paisley2021 logo which is part of the Classic Car Rally.

With only a few days to go, Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall is urging people to put their nominations in for this year’s Provost’s Community Awards ahead of the deadline of Sunday 31 January.

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The awards honour those who devote their time to helping others in the Renfrewshire community or who are an inspiration to others people’s lives.

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Last year Vikki Swan, of Stepping Stones Nursery in Johnstone, took the time to nominate her employer, Lorna Bradley, for the Employer of the Year award.

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Vikki said: “As a nursery we are always busy but Lorna makes time for everyone and is extremely appreciative of the work that we do.

“She is very flexible, taking into consideration the needs of her staff’s changing circumstances and often takes us out for team lunches to show her appreciation for our efforts.

“She was overcome with emotion when she found out about her nomination and subsequent win. We all feel the same way about Lorna and were delighted to put her forward.

“I would definitely encourage everyone to nominate their employer after seeing how Lorna reacted.”
Lorna received her award at a special ceremony held at Tweedie Hall in Linwood. This year’s awards will be presented at Paisley Town Hall on Friday 11 March.

Lorna said: “I was completely overwhelmed and surprised when I found out about the award. I didn’t expect it all and I’m extremely grateful to my team for nominating me.

“It really is a team effort here and I try to provide strong management to help our team.

“Being self employed is difficult and the award gives good feedback to an employer and lets them know they are doing a good job.”

The award is sponsored by Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, who said: “Renfrewshire has many thriving businesses, both large and small, which provide a terrific working environment for their staff. This award is a chance for those outstanding employers to be recognised.

“If your employer makes your job easier and more enjoyable through their actions then nominate them now.”

There are five categories for the awards: Community Group, Community Volunteer, Sporting Achievement, Carers Award and Employer of the Year.

Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall said: “There are only a few days to go to nominate that deserving person or group and give them the recognition that they deserve.

“You can fill out a nomination form online at or pick up a printed form at Council offices and facilities.”