MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South Mhairi Black has warned that the Renfrewshire food bank are predicting a huge 30% increase in local people in Renfrewshire needing access to the service. This increase is due to the full rollout of Universal Credit that will be implemented in Renfrewshire in September.
The Trussell Trust’s predicted rise in people needing assistance from the food bank is due to similar rises in service users in other areas across the UK that have seen Universal Credit being rolled out in full.
Mhairi Black MP visited the Renfrewshire Foodbank on Lady Lane in Paisley recently. Volunteers and staff in the foodbank echoed these warnings to Mhairi.
Mhairi Black MP said:
“I had the chance to go and visit the volunteers at the Renfrewshire Foodbank last week. The rollout of Universal Credit across Renfrewshire is approaching and the food bank are predicting that we will see a massive 30% increase in residents needing help.
“The delays and errors that have been seen in other areas across Scotland will be inevitable in Renfrewshire unless the UK Government goes back to the drawing board regarding this particular benefit. Various reports, audits and experts have called for a halt in Universal Credit until it is properly fixed and this has been entirely ignored by this Tory government.
“The reality is that people are being left destitute and vulnerable due to this benefit and that is why we are seeing an increase in food bank usage across areas where Universal Credit has been rolled out. Renfrewshire will be no different so it is vital, now more than ever, that we support the food bank.
“The Renfrewshire Foodbank is already busy all year round due to mismanaged disability assessments, unfair sanctions, benefit delays, DWP administrative errors and many other issues that constituents visit my office looking for assistance with every single day.
“The Conservatives are not living in the real world and cannot relate with the fact that food poverty is increasing across Scotland due to idealistically driven Tory austerity.
“This will be a really busy time for the food bank and if you need support from the foodbank or you would like to help or volunteer, you can call them on 0300 102 2500 or email “

Without a doubt, jackpots are one of the most appealing features of online casinos. Winning huge jackpots and cash prizes is possible, and you can win a lot of money by playing a number of casino games, too. If you do not believe that winning big is possible at online casinos, you might want to think twice – the following lines reveal some of the biggest wins in the history of online casinos.


  • Biggest Mega Moolah Jackpot Wins


One of Microgaming’s most successful games, Mega Moolah is a progressive jackpot online slot game. Praised as one of the best slot games, Mega Moolah is incredibly popular among slot fans because of the huge jackpots it yields on a regular basis.


Mega Moolah has a rich jackpot history – large jackpot amounts were won just two years after the launch of the game. Back in 2008, a Finnish player won €4.4 million while playing Mega Moolah at the Blackjack Ballroom. Klaus E, as the man is known, did not play for much, too – his winning spin was worth just €0.50.


In 2009, Georgios M. hit a huge jackpot while playing Mega Moolah at River Belle Online Casino. The man’s passion for slots rewarded him with a jackpot of €6.3 million in cash. When he won the jackpot, Georgios was a 36-year-old business owner from Greece.


At that time, Georgios’s jackpot win was the biggest in Mega Moolah history. In 2012, however, that record was broken by a UK player – John Orchard from Lincolnshire – who won an amazing jackpot of  about €6.2 million while playing Mega Moolah online. Later, in May 2017, Mega Moolah rewarded another lucky player, this time with €3.72 million.


According to Casino Guardian in August 2016, an anonymous player won a jackpot of €7.9 million while playing Mega Moolah on their mobile device at the Zodiac Casino. Later, the casino revealed that the player won the money after signing up for one of the operator’s bonus offers called 80 Chances to Become a Millionaire. The great thing about this promotion was that it did not require a large deposit, and on top of all, players could make the deposit in several currencies. Whoever the lucky player was, they certainly made the most of the casino’s promotion.


Arguably the biggest progressive jackpot ever won on Mega Moolah was hit back in October 2015. The lucky gambler was British soldier Jonathon Heywood from Cheshire. Believe it or not, Mr. Heywood won a jackpot of €17,880,900 while playing for just 25p a spin. Later, the lucky gambler commented that he wanted to use the money for the treatment of his sick father.



  • Biggest Mega Fortune Jackpot Wins


Mega Fortune is one of the best progressive jackpot slot games ever created by NetEnt. With a luxurious theme and fancy reel symbols, Mega Fortune is well-designed and has a set of great bonus features. Of course, the progressive jackpot plays an essential role in the game’s popularity, too.


Over the years, Mega Fortune has paid out millions to lucky players worldwide. One of Mega Fortune’s first big jackpot wins happened in 2011. A Norwegian student who could not fall asleep decided to play some slots at, and oh what a good decision they made! By sunrise, the player had become €11.8 million richer. The outstanding win was enlisted in the Guinness Book of World Records, as it was the biggest jackpot payout ever won at the time.


Two years later, Mega Fortune rewarded another lucky gambler, this time a 47-year-old gentleman from Helsinki who has not revealed their name. The Finnish was playing for €0,25 per spin and won €17,861,813, thus becoming the largest progressive jackpot ever won on online slots. What is more, this win still holds the Guinness World Record for the biggest progressive jackpot payout.


In 2015, a Swedish gambler won Mega Fortune Touch’s jackpot while playing on their mobile. The jackpot amounted to €5.7 million.



  • Other Big Jackpot Wins


Mega Moolah might be Microgaming’s most famous progressive jackpot online slot, but it is far from the only one. Major Millions is a well-developed online slot with a progressive jackpot feature launched by Microgaming. This slot does not offer as staggering jackpots as Mega Moolah, but it is still worth a try, as it has already rewarded tens of players worldwide.


One of the largest Major Millions jackpot wins occurred back in 2012, when a gambler won €1.8 million while playing the online slot.


According to statistics, Major Millions yields a major win once every 10 weeks. What is more, the average payout amount floats around €400,000. Taking this into account, the game is really worth a try, in spite of the mediocre graphics and the lack of innovative bonus elements.

paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates have announced the re-signing of a number of players who took the club to an inch of the Scottish National League title last season before losing out on goal difference, with the bulk of the bench comprising players who took part in that campaign back for another season.

paisley pirates

Back in the squad,  and joining player/Head Coach Ian Turley and Player/Coach Adam Walker, are netminders Graeme Meechan, John Russell, and Callum Donaghy, with Chris Turley (defence) returning as captain alongside Alternate Captains Martyn Guy (defence) and Tom Johnston (forward). Other defenders back from last season are Dean Hamilton, Connor Spiers and Euan McLaughlin, while newcomer Struan Forbes, a former Paisley junior, bolsters the ranks at the back alongside Ben Walker, who has signed after a season with Edinburgh Capitals.

The forward lines will again comprise of Richard Thorp, Calum Henderson, Warren Crawford, Ryan Sarginson and Michael Dobson, with Jardine Wallace, another former Paisley junior, late of Kilmarnock Storm, and Ross Andreucci, who played in the Pirates’ league winning side in 2013, also coming into the ranks to enlarge the squad from the previous year.

West College Scotland has named Liz Connolly as its new Principal and Chief Executive.  

She succeeds Audrey Cumberford and will take up her new position on Monday (3 September).  Ms Connolly has been the College’s Vice-Principal Corporate Development since its formation in 2013.

Commenting on her appointment, Liz Connolly said:

“It is an enormous privilege and a huge honour for me to be appointed new Principal and Chief Executive of West College Scotland.

“Since merger, the College has developed into one of Scotland’s largest educational institutions and become an important partner to schools, businesses, local authorities and community groups across the region.

“We are an important part of the identity of Paisley and Renfrewshire and one of my priorities is to make sure we remain so.  We will do this by continuing to invest in our Renfrew Road estate and ensuring that what we teach fits the needs of a modern regional economy.

“West College Scotland faces many challenges but I know that as Principal I can rely on the goodwill and support of our outstanding staff in the years ahead.”

West College Scotland teaches 22,000 students, full-time, part-time and online.  It has 1,200 staff working at campuses in Clydebank, Greenock and Paisley, equivalent to about 1% of total regional employment, and has an annual turnover of £70 million.  

Keith McKellar, the Chair of the Board of Management, who appointed Ms Connolly, said:

“I am delighted Liz has agreed to become Principal of our College. She emerged from a very strong field of candidates but impressed the Board with her vision for the College’s future.

“West College Scotland is a large-scale organisation, a major influencer of the educational landscape across a huge swathe of Scotland.  Liz’s vision, allied to her record in education and business, convinced us that she is the right person to lead the College into the next stage of our development.”

Designed to help young people aged 16-25 get confident and motivated. A team of individuals, both employed and unemployed spend 12 weeks sharing fun, taking part in team-building activities, helping the community, the environment and people in need.

It’s fun, challenging and rewarding. What are you waiting for? APPLY NOW here ( or come along to our info day on 6 September at our Ferguslie Learning Centre

Barrowland Ballet is pleased to announce the forthcoming tour of Tiger, Tiger Tale and Playful Tiger in September and October this year.

Tiger: Barrowland Ballet

The productions of Tiger and Playful Tiger will be taking place at Johnstone Town Hall on 30th September (Tiger), 7pm and 1st October- Playful Tiger, at 11am. Tickets can be booked by phone on 0300 300 1210 or online (Tiger only) at

Thrilling and dynamic dance, music and theatre combine to create a moving, intimate performance of a dysfunctional family whose worlds are turned upside down when a tiger invades. A family suffocated by the relentlessness of their everyday routine have forgotten what it is that they love about each another.  It’s chaotic, it’s dangerous but brilliantly funny as the tiger reunites them as a loving family once again.

Up close to the action the audience embark on a sensory adventure as it is transformed from a sterile space into a shifting world of colour, scent and explosive movement. With the impressive set unleashing the chaos of the tiger in thrilling and unexpected ways.


Tiger (adults and young people 14+) When a tiger invades, a troubled family’s world is launched into chaos. This insightful story of family relationships is emotionally charged but brilliantly comic. The thrilling dancing, evocative live music and impressive set unleashes the tiger in exciting and unexpected ways.  


The new tiger to join the fold, Playful Tiger, is an adaptation of Tiger Tale, created specifically for children and young people who are profoundly autistic and mainly non-verbal.


Playful Tiger (7+) tells the story of the tiger’s visit to the rigid family home through the eyes of the child, with a focus on sensory engagement.  Playfulness within the work creates opportunities for the audience to interact and improvise with the performers, making each performance unique. The capacity for the show is 6 to 8 young people with their families and carers.


In collaboration with Ellie Griffiths and with funding from Paul Hamlyn Foundation,

Barrowland Ballet explored how improvisation and sensory approaches can provide an artistic collaboration with this audience. They developed methods of devising work informed by the children’s own impulses and responses as well as the artists’ observations.


This funding is also supporting the team to research and develop the most effective approaches to training and supporting venues to welcome and engage children and young people who are profoundly autistic and mainly non-verbal and their families.


Underpinned by an extensive research and audience development programme, including sensory auditing carried out at our venues by Ellie Griffiths and a young person on the autistic spectrum, the funding will also contribute to the creation of Venue and Audience Support packs and Visual Story resources to support venues and their audiences in preparation for the performances.


Natasha Gilmore says “I’m excited at the prospect of making work for this specific audience, dance as an art form seems a perfect fit. We started to research Playful Tiger at Isobel Mair school, it was brilliantly chaotic with moments of beautiful improvised duets occurring between the performers and the pupils, the dance artists expertly using their skills to engage and respond to the children’s lead. This production is aimed at children who do not currently have access to theatre because even a relaxed performance might not cater to their complex needs. I’m thrilled that these children and their families will have access to contemporary theatre and that they will have a visibility in our arts centres across Scotland.”


Ellie Griffiths says “Working with Barrowland Ballet and using dance to communicate with a mainly non-verbal audience has so far been a rich creative exploration. For me it has been really exciting to see sensory performance work for diverse audiences pushed to new levels of artistic quality. I have enjoyed the curiosity and rigour of approach that the whole team on this project has displayed. I personally can’t wait for young people with profound autism and their families to experience what I have no doubt will be a wild and beautiful theatrical adventure!”

Buddies will be able to re-live what was going on at Paisley’s Museum and Central Library in the 1960s.

Previously unseen film footage of people visiting the two well-known landmarks is being shown at a special free event being held in the Museum between 7pm and 9pm, on Friday, September 7.

Renowned local filmmaker, Falconer Houston used his movie camera to capture life in the Museum and Central Library in that bygone era. And now audiences are able to view his films during the family-friendly Museum Memories showing.

As well as the movies being shown, there will also be performances by local dance companies, Dirty Feet and Right2Dance, as well as arts and crafts activities for youngsters.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “This is a rare opportunity to view these fascinating films. And it’s especially relevant as the Museum closes later in September for a multi-million pound refurbishment.

“As well as enjoying a trip down memory lane for the adults, there is also lots of fun for youngsters on the night.”

Scotland’s new public service to make first social security payments.

Renfrewshire MSP Derek Mackay has welcomed the news that carers across Renfrewshire will receive the first payments of the new Carer’s Allowance Supplement from mid-September, back-dated to April.

This new benefit will be paid twice a year by Social Security Scotland, the first major new public service to be created since devolution.

Eligible carers will get a supplementary payment of £221, equivalent of an extra £8.50 per week, an increase of 13% on Carer’s Allowance from the Department of Work and Pensions.

The Carer’s Allowance Supplement is worth more than £30 million a year and will benefit 2,400 carers across Renfrewshire.

Carers will receive letters from Social Security Scotland from week beginning 10 September so that they know in advance to expect a payment.

SNP MSP Derek Mackay said:

“This roll out of the Carer’s Allowance Supplement marks the beginning of a bright new chapter in Scottish public service.

“The SNP is committed to delivering a fairer system for social security:  one that affords carers the dignity and respect they are due as a result of their selfless dedication.

“We appreciate the contribution carers make to our society and we have always advocated that Carer’s Allowance should be the same rate as Jobseeker’s Allowance.

“It follows that the new powers over social security mean that we can make this a reality and put more money into the pockets of carers as a thank you for their tireless efforts.”

paisley from drone

Now that the school summer holidays are drawing to a close, it can be strange to think that the kids will be going back to school and you will not be having the same amount of quality time together. However, there are still plenty of weekends left where there could well be good weather, and if you put in a little planning you can keep that summer feeling going for a little bit longer by having some cool days out or doing some good activities together on the weekends.

Naturally, this can end up being expensive if you do not think about how to have fun whilst saving money, and so here are some tips for planning fun weekends and day trips with your family and also spending less money doing so.

Check Out Free Attractions

There are actually lots of places that you can visit without spending any money at all. Museums and galleries are often free to attend, and there are also parks and other public spaces where you can have a pleasant time and enjoy each other’s company, without spending any money. You can find a good list of local places. Also, if you are visiting another city in the UK, it is always a good idea to take a look at what free attractions are available, for example, what museums there are that you can visit for free in Edinburgh or in London.

Remember that when planning your day out to a place that is free to visit, you will also save more by packing your own lunch rather than eating out while you are out for the day and looking for good deals on public transport or parking.

Find Out About Local Events

Another way to have entertaining things to do and places to visit is to check out blogs that tell you when there will be local fairs and other similar events on. Schools and clubs often put on these kinds of events in the summer and around Christmas, so you can probably find plenty of interesting things to visit that will not cost a lot of money and will be supporting a good organisation. Even something like a school fair or a car boot sale can be an entertaining day out if you make it that way it by having a good time with your family.

Get Discount Vouchers For Big Days Out

Another thing that you can do is organise stays at major attractions by checking out sites like Voucher Empire that give you discounts on all kinds of things, including visits to theme parks and other big days out. The big entertainment brands that run theme parks and things like aquariums around the UK often have special offers, and you can find these on voucher websites such as this. Keeping on top of what offers there are by subscribing to couponing and voucher websites is a great way to plan your more exciting days out and still make great savings for the whole family.

Take Up A Sport or Hobby Together

If you want to save a lot of money and still spend good times together every weekend, then a great way to do it can be to take up a hobby or sports such as cycling or hiking together. There are lots of things you could consider, and most of them only really require you to spend money on equipment at the start. Once you have your bike or your tennis rackets or whatever else you need for the activity you have chosen to do together, you’ll be able to simply go outdoors and have fun every weekend.

Other hobbies you might consider doing together as a family could include golf, fishing, bird watching, or dancing. You could also consider taking up classes in something such as martial arts or dance lessons and practicing together outside of those classes. This can be a great way to bond as a family and also to fill your time at the weekends with fun activities that you all enjoy doing with each other.

Play Games

Naturally, not every weekend will be good weather, and you may not want to do things outdoors. This doesn’t mean that you cannot spend time together as a family doing something fun. Rather than just doing things separately around the house, it can be fun to get together and play a game whether it is a board game, a card game, or even a video game. Even though you do not have to go outside or spend any money, you will still have a good excuse to enjoy some special time and some laughs together with your children.

You can choose traditional board games or puzzles, learn some card games such as poker together, or you can even invest in something like an Xbox One or a Nintendo Wii and play together using competitive games on one of those. It can be a lot more fun to do these things as a family than to do them on your own, and even if your kids seem reluctant at first to play video games with you they are likely to enjoy it in the end.

With some planning and in some cases some earlier investment, you can actually set yourself up to have a lot of good times together over the weekends when your kids are not at school and you are not at work. Don’t keep good family adventures just for the summer holidays. There is so much you can do just at the weekends and without spending a huge amount of money either.

Simply join some money saving voucher websites, think of some fun hobbies you can do together, and buy some games that you can play as a family. Soon, you will find that your weekends become a lot more full of fun and you will have plenty of chances to hear about what your kids are doing and talk to them.

Filmshow with live music this Saturday in Renfrew 2pm

Suitable entertainment if your taking your mum (or dad) out for the day!

The new state of the art shared school campus of Bargarran and St John Bosco Primary Schools in Erskine has been officially opened by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills unveiled a commemorative plaque at the campus, which also hosts the St John Bosco Early Learning and Childcare Class and a community learning space.

Pupils entertained invited guests, who also included MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, Gavin Newlands and MSP for Renfrewshire North and West and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Derek Mackay.

The children staged three short performances, including a joint song from some of the new primary one pupils who were at nursery together last year.

The two-storey building was designed by Renfrewshire Council, with Heron Bros constructing the double storey school as part of the local authority’s £16 million investment in the facility.

The new building has mirrored wings for the two schools over two levels, with flexible spaces which support independent learning.

On the ground floor, all classrooms lead out onto a playground area or courtyard for outside learning, while upstairs classes have access to a balcony area.  Toilets and cloakroom facilities link to the outside and the shared dining hall doubles up as an ‘after school’ area.

The playground area was designed in consultation with the pupils and will eventually include a performance space with canopy, trim trail, picnic benches, an eco-growing area, climbing wall, wobble board, spiral climbing net, an all-weather sport pitch and timber amphitheatre.

The new facility also features a sustainable ‘green roof’ where seeds from native species have been planted. Once the plants have fully grown, a permanent video link to classrooms will be installed which will allow pupils to view wildlife in real time.

St John Bosco is a denominational school and the original school was built in 1972, while Bargarran is a non-denominational school which opened in 1971.

Karen MacKechnie, Head Teacher, St John Bosco Primary School, said: “The opportunity for staff and pupils to be part of the design process with the project management team has resulted in an outstanding building for the children in our local community. It’s a building that is truly fit for 21st century learning.

“At the heart of our school is the Oratory which provides a calm, spiritual area for reflection, prayer and worship.

“The information and communications technology facilities are world-class and our children and staff are buzzing with excitement in their new indoor and outdoor learning environments.”

Staff, pupils and parents first entered the neAnchorw school building in April 2018 and Bargarran Head Teacher, Alistair Lyle said: “The new building provides a wonderful environment for both children to learn in and teachers to teach in.

“The informal and formal teaching areas and access to the outdoors in all classrooms means the children can experience a wide range of approaches to learning. Children across the school regularly talk about their excitement about the school’s design and their enthusiasm for learning in the new building.

“The playground and the wide range of play equipment is also another fantastic opportunity to promote the children’s health and wellbeing.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “It was a pleasure to be asked by Renfrewshire Council to officially open the new state of the art facilities at Bargarran and St John Bosco schools campus.

“We want all of our young people to have access to innovative and inspirational settings like this which parents, staff and learners can be proud of. The young people I have met today are making full use of this wonderful building and I wish them all the best for their future.”

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “We are committed to providing the best learning environments possible for our children and young people and this new shared campus is a wonderful example of that.
“I am sure it will play host to many years of exciting and engaging learning.”

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay is joining forces with the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and the British Heart Foundation to highlight the importance of ensuring defibrillators located in sports centres, schools, community halls and shops across Renfrewshire are registered with the emergency services.

Mr Mackay visited the Bishopton Community Centre to see their new defibrillator, purchased by fundraising earlier in the year.

A defibrillator is a life-saving machine that gives the heart an electric shock in some cases of cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is when the heart stops pumping blood around the body. When someone has a cardiac arrest, defibrillation needs to be prompt. For every minute that passes without defibrillation chances of survival decrease by 10 per cent. Research shows that applying a controlled shock within five minutes of collapse provides the best possible chances of survival

It is vitally important that they are registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service in order that during a cardiac arrest emergency call they can signpost the 999 caller to the nearest defibrillator.

At present, not including those located at Glasgow Airport, there are approximately 19 registered public accessible defibrillators with Renfrewshire. However, it is estimated that there is at least the same amount again which are not registered.

As well as calling on any group who has a defibrillator to ensure they are registered, Mr Mackay has also written to Renfrewshire Council and Renfrewshire Leisure to ask them to ensure any machines located in local schools or publicly-run leisure centres are registered.

Mr Mackay said:

“During a cardiac arrest every second counts and having a publicly accessible defibrillator located in our communities, particularly in rural areas, can save lives.

“While it is fantastic that so many Renfrewshire schools, community groups and shops have defibrillators, it is vitally important that they are registered in order that during a cardiac arrest the emergency services can signpost the 999 caller to the nearest machine. To put it simply – if they don’t know you have a defibrillator, they can’t make use of it in an emergency.

“If your business or community group has a defibrillator, check with the Scottish Ambulance Service that it is registered. It could make all the difference.”

David McColgan, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager, BHF Scotland says:

“The announcement of the new National Defibrillator Network is an exciting development in improving out of hospital cardiac arrest survival rates in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“We know that defibrillators play a crucial step in the chain of survival and when used alongside bystander CPR a person’s chance of survival increases greatly.

“Mapping these lifesaving machines will enable Ambulance call handlers to direct bystanders to the nearest device when appropriate. If someone is a guardian of or knows of a public access defibrillator in their area it can be registered through the Scottish Ambulance Service website and you can help play a part in this lifesaving project.”

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said:

“Having a defibrillator close to hand can mean the difference between life and death. The best way to ensure it can save a life is to ensure it is registered with us – that way our 999 call handlers can easily locate it and direct a caller to it in an emergency.

“Instructions on registering a device with us are provided on most defibrillators; however, it couldn’t be easier to register one in retrospect – simply go to the Scottish Ambulance PAD registration site online and provide details of the defibrillator’s location.”