Stewart Houston speaker P&D u3a

The prospect of real life tales from a courtroom may lure extra viewers to Paisley & District’s monthly zoom meeting on Thursday 1 July.   Between 2-3pm, retired procurator fiscal, Stewart Houston reveals an interesting range of cases from his time served in the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.  Members will be able to question him and then enjoy a ‘Call my bluff’ fun quiz to end this final session before a short summer recess.   

Stewart Houston speaker P&D u3a

Said u3a chair, Kathy O’Donnell: “We are a nation of crime fans.  Many enjoy watching TV soaps from Rumpole of the Bailey to the real life stories in Judge Rinder’s courtroom.  It will be fascinating to hear Stewart Houston describe various aspects of cases that came before the bench in different courts.  I’m sure it’ll prove to be an insightful glimpse into the legal world.  He also brings our session to a close with a witty ‘truth or lie’ quiz.

“Our monthly meetings will restart on Thursday 7 October.  We hope to run a hybrid model where members can either get together in a public venue, if regulations permit, or they can still participate on zoom.  Several of our groups and activities will continue over the summer, with full details on our website:”

Stewart Houston remarked: “I joined the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service as I was committed to acting in the public interest in the prosecution of crime and to the investigation of sudden and suspicious deaths. It was a fascinating job and one which I enjoyed immensely for thirty four years.”

Miller homes

Paisley Site Manager John Mitchell, from Miller Homes’ popular Hawkhead development in the town, is celebrating after receiving a Quality Award in this year’s NHBC Pride in the Job Awards.

Miller homes

Miller homes

The annual awards recognise the commitment and dedication of development site managers in attaining consistently high standards in the delivery of new homes. They are among the most prestigious awards for site managers in the housebuilding industry, where more than 10,000 candidates from across the UK are assessed across six key areas for up to 12 months against the NHBC’s stringent standards.

Miller Homes’ team in Paisley demonstrated best practice in the field, and Site Manager John Mitchell took delight in achieving the Pride in the Job Award while facing stiff competition from the best in the country.

John, a Paisley local, is passionate about bringing quality homes to his hometown and has proven a popular fixture with residents of the Hawkhead development, where he is known for his can-do attitude and commitment to ensuring that the neighbourhood becomes a key part of Paisley’s thriving community.

John’s win is his second Quality Award after he continued to show outstanding service and ensured that his team delivered consistently in creating homes of the highest standards for Paisley residents.

John Mitchell, Site Manager at Miller Homes Hawkhead, said: “It’s a huge honour to have won the Quality Award at this year’s NHBC Pride in the Job Awards. I’m so proud to have stood out to the judges among such strong competition from so many brilliant candidates, including several of my colleagues at Miller Homes.

“This year had been a difficult one for the housebuilding community, and we’ve faced many unprecedented challenges. I’m thrilled we’ve managed to keep up our high standards through a particularly demanding period and deliver beautiful homes for our customers here in Paisley.

“I’d like to say thanks to my brilliant site team, who work so hard, as well as our wider team at Miller Homes and our excellent suppliers for all of their support, and of course, our wonderful residents of Hawkhead. I’d also like to thank my partner, friends and family – especially my mum and dad, Anne and Jim, who have been cheering me on the whole way.”

John explains how he got into construction: “I grew up in South Park Drive and attended St Charles Primary School and St Andrew’s Academy. From there, I joined the TIGERS training scheme, which enabled me to gain an apprenticeship as a joiner with a local business David Barclay Joiners. After gaining valuable experience, I wanted to take the next step in my career. I wanted to progress into a managerial role, so I studied Construction Management at North Glasgow College.

“I’d like to encourage school leavers to give the construction industry a go. My job brings me lots of joy and satisfaction, and I truly love every minute of it. It feels really special to be building homes in the town where I grew up.”

Greig Anderson, Regional Production Director for Miller Homes Scotland West, commented: “Everyone at Miller Homes is incredibly proud of John for winning this award. It’s a fantastic achievement for our site managers to be recognised among their peers in the industry and shows John’s dedication to his role. He has gone above and beyond to ensure that our customers in the West of Scotland enjoy homes of the highest standard, and we’d like to send him our warmest congratulations from everyone across the business.”

Following on from the Quality Awards are the NHBC’s Seal of Excellence and Regional Awards, which will be announced in Autumn.

For buyers interested in the Hawkhead development, there are a series of four and five-bedroom homes soon to be available to reserve. Interested buyers can find out more by visiting

This weekend will see Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations go digital for a second year as a series of online events are planned to mark this important date in the town’s calendar.

The online event will take place this Saturday 3 July – the time when the weavers and their families would traditionally take their holidays.

Last year’s digital Sma’ Shot Day was a huge success and this year looks set to be even better with a diverse programme of online performances and features planned to commemorate the historic victory of local weavers.

The move to take the event online for 2021 is in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure celebrations can still take place in adherence with national guidance.

The traditional Sma’ Shot holiday in Paisley takes its name from a famous dispute between the local shawl weavers and manufacturers in the 19th century. In 1856, following a long dispute, the manufacturers backed down and an agreement was reached to pay for the Sma’ Shot, the invisible stitch which bound the Paisley shawls, with a new table of prices published on 1 July 1856.

The Burning of the Cork – the centrepiece of Sma’ Shot Day celebrations is back for 2021. People can tune in to watch the premiere spectacle of the burning effigy and enjoy an exciting an expressive telling of the ‘cork’ and ‘weavers’ story captured on film featuring captivating performances led by aerial performance company, All or Nothing, in partnership with PACE, Right2Dance and Jennifer Scott Dancers.

Other programme highlights include The Charleston Drum Rally film, funded by Renfrewshire Council’s TH.CARS2 programme. The Charleston Drum: Past & Present explores the story of Paisley’s Charleston Drum – it’s historical significance and its meaning to locals today as a symbol of the town.

Loud n Proud will be showcasing a short film version of their production, ‘Sma’ Shot, the Musical’ in the evening on the Bungalow Facebook page. This mini musical compilation will give people a flavour of the full feature musical movie to be released later in the year telling the story of the Paisley weavers fight against the power of the establishment.

The Makers Market is also back and online for 2021. Delivered in partnership with Incube – people will be able to browse and buy a range of quality handmade items by local makers including Josef McFadden, Art with Heart and The Canny Squirrel.

For those who want to participate in the day they can follow a demonstration from local maker Rosie Little of Knitting on Cloud Nine on how to create a Woolly Weave Wall Hanging. Suitable for complete beginners the weaving tutorial guides participants step-by-step through some basic weaving techniques.

Also launching on the day is the Paisley Radicals: Catalysts for Change walking tour app, acknowledging Paisley’s role in the Scottish Radical War. Part audio play, part mindfulness app and part walking tour the app, produced by Civil Disobedience with app development support from Inner Ear, will address the events leading up to and including the Radical War of 1820. Funded by Future Paisley and the Paisley TH.CARS2 programme, which is jointly funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council, the ‘Paisley Radicals’ project is a joint production between Renfrewshire Council, with support from the 1820 Society and Paisley & District University of the Third Age (U3A); and the Museums team.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron, said: “Sma’ Shot Day is such a popular date in the town’s calendar and it’s excellent that we can celebrate it this year through a fantastic programme of online activities. The return of the signature Burning of the Cork will surely prove to be the true spectacle of the festival and I can’t wait to tune in and see the film in all its glory.

“The digital programme will offer people plenty of opportunities to have fun and learn more about this important part in the town’s history.”

For all the latest information on this event please visit:

paisley from drone

The concept of food traceability might be new to you, but you surely benefit from it every day. According to the FDA, food traceability is about tracking every step of food production. It includes the ingredients and their origins, the preparation method, and the security measures taken along the way.

In this article, you’ll have a broader picture of the concept and its importance to the food and beverage industries.

Popping Up the Champagne

The first attempt of tracing the ingredients of a product back to its origins dates from the 1930s. It’s about proving that the bottle of French champagne was indeed made from Champagne grapes. The attempt was successful, but soon after World War II came, people suddenly had to worry about greater problems.

After the war, traceability started gaining importance in the food industry. Nowadays, it’s a crucial part of food production in the global market. In Europe, for instance, companies must be able to provide documentation about the previous and the next step in the food supply chain.

Thanks to technology, this information can be delivered within a few hours. However, failing to do so can have disastrous consequences for the company trying to approve the product.


Food for Nightmares

Nowadays, no one questions how important food traceability is. It can prevent or minimize damages with food poisoning and other contaminants. Thanks to it, problems in the food chain can be pinpointed to specific batches that can be promptly taken out from the shelves.

It hasn’t always been like that, though. Read some of the worst scandals of the food industry that will make you love traceability.

The Embalmed Beef Scandal

This gut-wrenching scandal happened during the Spanish-American War in 1898. The American government signed contracts with the biggest meatpacking companies at the time. Armour & Co., Morris & Co., and Swift & Co shipped tons of canned and refrigerated meat to the Army in Cuba.

Turns out the product was so severely degraded that it caused the death of many soldiers by dysentery and food poisoning. Worst of all, the awfully prepared beef contributed to malnutrition in the troops. It opened the doors to diseases like yellow fever and malaria.


Tainted Beer

Over 6,000 people in England suffered the consequences of arsenic contamination in beer. It has also caused the death of more than 70 patients. The source of the contamination was the sugar used in the drink. It was contaminated with sulphuric acid. Initially, the illness was diagnosed as alcohol neuropathy, which worsened the contamination.

After a thorough investigation, it was found that beer was being contaminated by arsenic for decades already. The investigation also found the culprits: Bostock & Co. and Garston. Once again, the point was to cut costs.

For such, they replaced high-quality barley with cheaper options with increased sugar. This sugar was made of starch boiled with sulphuric acid to form glucose. As if it wasn’t bad enough, the sulphuric acid contained arsenic, ultimately reaching the taps.


Typhoid Beef

In 1964, there was a typhoid outbreak in Scotland in the city of Aberdeen. More than 400 people were contaminated and quarantined at local hospitals. Canned beef was once again to blame. The origin of the outbreak was traced back to canned corned beef, imported from Rosario, Argentina. Contamination in the local river crept in poorly sealed packages. The product was bought and distributed by the Scottish grocery chain Willian Low. There, it has contaminated meat slicers, spreading the disease even further.

The recent advancements in traceability has led to a world where these scandals and catastrophes are much, much less likely to happen. The technology enables a more proactive role in detecting and avoiding issues before they materialize, rather than having to be reactive.

paisley from drone

Several people intend to lose weight for varying reasons. While some are keen on doing so to help them manage a certain medical condition, others aim to shed off some pounds to get in better form. To help them achieve their goals though, some people rely on the use of appetite suppressant pills. This article lists down some of the most popular ingredients that you can find in these pills.

Chromium Picolinate

One of the most common ingredients found in appetite suppressant pills is chromium picolinate that is a highly absorbable form of chromium. Chromium is usually found in blood control medications, as well as in pills and supplements that reduce appetite because it can impact the neurotransmitters in your brain involved in regulating your eating behavior and your mood. Based on scientific records, obese people that supplemented up to 1000mg of chromium daily for eight to 26 weeks resulted in a reduction of half a kilogram in their body weight.

However, some of the potential side effects that may be related to the ingestion of chromium picolinate include loose stools, as well as vertigo, and dizziness. This is quite common in weight loss pills particularly during the first few weeks of use because your body is still getting used to consuming less food. Nevertheless, in case you experience severe side effects, then you should discontinue the use of these appetite suppressants or get in touch with your doctor immediately.


Another common ingredient found in appetite suppressants is glucomannan that is one of the most popular soluble fibers most effective for weight loss. After all, increasing your fiber intake has a significant impact on your weight loss efforts. Glucomannan can absorb water and transform it into a gel that can then bypass digestion. From there, you will already have a feeling of being full immediately even if you have only consumed a little portion of food.

Glucomannan can also delay the emptying of your stomach, which further aids in helping you reduce your food intake, fostering your weight loss. Studies show that people who consumed at least three grams of glucomannan together with 300 mg of calcium carbonate for a couple of months have a noticeable reduction in their body weight. For this reason, many believe that glucomannan is one of the most effective ingredients in weight loss supplements.

Glucomannan is also great in absorbing proteins and fats, as well as in feeding the friendly bacteria in your gut. Alongside this, glucomannan can also aid in regulating your sugar levels as well as in reducing the total cholesterol level in your body. Rest assured that it is generally considered safe and well-tolerated by various body types.

Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia cambogia is a natural ingredient in weight loss supplements that come from a fruit of the same name. The peel of this fruit also contains high concentrations of hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Many studies reveal that even HCA has weight loss properties. Apart from reducing appetite, garcinia Cambogia can also block fat production, effectively decreasing body weight.

This same ingredient in appetite suppressants can also raise serotonin levels that act upon your brain receptors. This is the reason why you feel full instantly after eating only a meager amount of food. However, it remains that results may vary per individual. Ideally, you should take it at least half an hour before your meals. When taken within the safe dosage of up to 2800mg a day, you may not experience side effects such as headaches or skin rashes.

Green Tea Extract

Finally, there is also green tea extract which is another popular ingredient in some of the most effective appetite suppressants. Apart from weight loss though, green tea extract also has various other health benefits. It is found to be effective in weight loss because it contains caffeine and catechins. Caffeine is a stimulant that can enhance the fat-burning process while catechins can boost your metabolism. With both of these compounds found in green tea extract, your weight loss goals will be supported.

The catechins present in green tea extract is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) can also reduce the presence of fat. Studies show that people who consumed weight loss supplements with green tea extract showed up to a four percent increase in the calories they have burned. A safe dose of green tea extract is up to 800mg but be wary of higher doses amounting up to 1200mg because this can result in nausea.

Other Ingredients

The top four appetite suppressant ingredients listed above are often used in conjunction with other ingredients that likewise foster weight loss. For instance, you may also find fenugreek as a common ingredient in your appetite suppressant. This is an herb from the legume family, with its seeds consisting of 45% insoluble and soluble fiber. Apart from weight loss properties, fenugreek also has various other health benefits such as cholesterol reduction and blood sugar regulation. Just make sure to take the recommended dosage to ensure that you don’t suffer from its side effects.

Guarana is another ingredient that is usually found in appetite suppressants along with the top four ingredients listed above. It is a plant that contains more caffeine than any other plant in the world. Thus, it can stimulate your nervous system and decrease your appetite. It can also boost your metabolism effectively. However, because of its caffeine concentration, it can also cause insomnia, headaches, anxiety, as well as an increased heart rate, particularly when guarana is taken in excessively high doses.

The ingredients listed above are only some of the ones that you can find in the most effective appetite suppressant pills. Some of the other ingredients that you may find include conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and bitter orange (synephrine), as well as hoodia Gordonii and green coffee bean extract. Just remember that appetite suppressant pills are only meant to jump-start your weight loss but if you only rely on them entirely to lose weight without exerting the effort to change your lifestyle habits, then the initial weight loss you achieve may not be as sustainable as you hope it would be.


paisley from drone

Step One: Location

To find the source of the leak, dry the radiator with an old towel or kitchen paper. You will need to observe the body of the radiator, the valves, the pipework, and any nuts. The area that becomes wet first is the most likely root of the leak.


Step Two: Protection

Use old tea towels, plastic bowls, or dishes to catch and soak up the leaking water. This will protect your carpet or tiles from further damage. Make sure to do this before you begin further investigations as you may accidentally create a sudden deluge. Also ensure you know where to turn off your mains water supply.


Step Three: Check the Valve

The most common cause of radiator leaks is a faulty gland nut connection in the valve. You may see a patch of water on the floor at the bottom of the pipe that leads up to the rubber topped valve. This is most likely to have run down the valve pipe from the nut inside the valve.

Unscrew the screw holding on the rubber cover and remove both. If there is a square stop on the spindle remove this. Remove the nut with a spanner. If the valve has been leaking you will see that these areas are wet.

You will now need to repack under the nut with a rolled-up piece of PTFE tape. Rip off an inch or two of the tape and let it roll into a string. Wrap this around the spindle and push it down below the thread.

Replace the nut, tightening it as it was before. Replace the square stop, the rubber cover, and the screw. You should be able to turn the rubber stopper without too much resistance or too much ease.

Observe to see if the leak continues. You may need to add more PTFE tape packing to stop the leak. Repeat the above steps to do this.


Step Four: Check the Main Body

Sometimes a pinhole can appear in the main panel of the radiator. This can be resolved in the short term but, eventually, you will need to replace the radiator. Make sure you use a reputable radiator supplier, such as Stelrad, and select a radiator which allows you to use the current pipework configuration.

A plastic resin sealant can be added to the system as a temporary solution. However, you need to know whether you have an open or closed heating system to assess which sealants are suitable. Again, this is only a temporary solution.


Step Five: Check the Radiator Coupling

The coupling is where the pipe from the radiator connects with the valve. It may be that the nut simply needs tightening. Use a spanner to tighten the nut but be sure not to overtighten. If this does not stop the leak in this area, the next step is to remove the olive (small ring) inside the coupling and pack with PFET tape. Unfortunately, this requires a full drainage of the system. At this point you will need to watch a video about the processes involved to decide if you are confident enough at DIY or would prefer to call a plumber.









paisley from drone

President Biden recently left Cornwall, concluding the first stop on his debut international trip as President of the United States of America. Serving the US Government for almost 50 years, he is a veteran of US politics and appears to emanate the qualities of a world leader; a stark contrast to his predecessor. The return to a normality appears to be a breath of fresh air for his counterparts across the democratic nations of the World.

The G7 at a Glance

With the short and powerful message “America is back”, Biden wasted no time and immediately began talks with leaders from varies countries, including the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, the Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau, France’s PM, Emmanuel Macron, and the newly appointed Japanese PM, Yoshihide Suga. The mood among the world leaders at the G7 appeared cautiously optimistic as they agreed to work together to tackle the biggest challenges currently facing the global community, such as COVID-19, climate change and the growing threat from autocracies such as Russia and China.

Let’s have a look at some of the key takeaways from the G7 Summit:

  1. An agreed-upon global minimum tax and democratic ideals
  2. G7 leaders reaffirm commitment to the Paris Agreement, pledging to collectively reach net zero by 2050 and half emissions by 2030
  3. The promise of over 1 billion vaccines for developing countries
  4. The G7 will end the funding of new coal generation in developing countries and offer up to £2bn in aid to stop using the fuel
  5. A unified stance against autocratic nations and their violations of human rights


What does the future hold?

Now what does this mean moving forward? It can be described in one word: stability. World leaders no longer have to worry about the erratic behaviour of the former President of the United States and can therefore rely on a functional and mutually beneficial relationship with one of the biggest economies on the planet. Markets are renowned for favouring a stable global economy and the renewed relationship between the USA and EU paves a clear road for a strong democratic stronghold against rising threats.

The relationship between the USA and the EU will likely have a significant impact on the forex markets. The US dollar and the Euro are the two most-traded currencies in the world and new relations between the two countries will most likely strengthen each currency. Traders often analyse political events and how they impact the forex markets and support that with tools such as the mt4 trading platform to ensure their trades are as profitable as possible.

We aren’t out of the woods yet, Biden still has a several stops on his trip, including a stop in Brussels and a highly anticipated meeting with Vladimir Putin in Geneva, the outcome is yet to be seen. However, It’s clear that after a difficult 12 months, things are starting to look a lot more positive and that the challenges we face as democratic nations, will be faced together.


paisley from drone

As things start to return to pre-pandemic levels many of us won’t have ventured further than the shops over the last year and a half. Because of this, it will take us a little while to get back into the swing of things.

Today we will be looking at some of the things that you can do this year in London to get back into the feeling of being out and about and enjoying life again.

London Eye

Being stuck at home is no one’s idea of having fun so with our newfound freedom you may want to get out there and see all the best views of London. If you want to look out over London and take in the glorious views then the London Eye is a great place to start.

Situated by the River Thames the London Eye offers 360-degree views of London in which you can see many of the main attractions.  

If you do plan on going on the London Eye be sure to book your tickets well in advance from their official website as tickets sell out fast and because of COVID19 they are operating at a limited capacity.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, home of Queen Elizabeth II, is one attraction you really have to visit when in London. When taking a tour of the palace you will be able to look at some of the most beautiful designed rooms you will ever lay your eyes on. The tour takes you around the 19 staterooms and you can even stop for a picnic on the lawns.

Once again due to COVID19, the Palace is operating at limited numbers so booking in advance is always recommended. If you are looking for somewhere to take the children while on a budget this is also a good choice as children under 5 go free.

Madame Tussauds 

Madame Tussauds is known worldwide so they don’t need much of an introduction. But if you are looking for something a little different to do this summer then the Madame Tussauds in London has over 250 different wax models that you can take a picture with. They also have new 4D attractions and at this time of writing if you have children who love their superheroes then take them to see the 4D Marvel experience here as they will love it.

Before booking tickets it’s worth looking at the options available as families or multiple bookings to other locations can save you money. Sometimes they run offers where you can get access to Madame Tussauds along with the Tower of London for a discounted price.

Harry Potter Tour of London

Although the Harry Potter film series ended many years ago, fans are still loving the work of J.K Rowling and this isn’t something you will want to miss if you are a fan. The Harry Potter Tour of London will take you through the real-life filming locations from the movies.

Everywhere from Platform 9 and 3/4 to London Bridge and Diagon Alley can be explored on the Harry Potter Tour. You can book your Harry Potter Tour tickets from the official Warner Brothers website and depending on your family size it can either work out as a cheap day out or it can become expensive quickly, but overall for the value and the fun you will get on this tour it’s worth it.

Kew Gardens

If you don’t want to go indoors and interact with others yet and would rather be as far apart from people as possible then Kew Gardens is a great choice for a day out for you and your family.

Kew Gardens also known as the Royal Botanic Gardens has over 500 acres of fields for you to explore, so more than enough room to keep socially distancing. With over 50,000 plants to explore Kew gardens will keep you and your little ones busy for the entire day.

Kew Gardens is also budget-friendly so if you are working on a budget it’s an excellent place to visit. Annual passes at Kew gardens can be cheaper than one time passes at other attractions elsewhere in London.

Getting around London

In normal times or pre-pandemic times getting around London to these attractions would be as simple as catching the tube, but if you are worried about catching COVID and don’t want to be on a packed tube with other people then you would be better off either driving to these locations or hiring a private taxi where you won’t be sharing your breathing space with 100’s of others.

If driving or a private taxi is out of the question for you then you can always use Uber.


Being locked down for months on end is difficult, but with everyone getting vaccinated hopefully we can return to normal as quickly as possible while keeping people safe. Above is a list of some of the most budget and family-friendly options of things to do in London, but there are many more that I haven’t included. If you have any suggestions of attractions to add to this list please share them with us on social media.


Paisley-First-Animal-Paradise (2)

Our BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise adventure is now underway in Paisley town centre! 

Running every day of the school holidays, this stunning trail features hand-built brick  endangered animal models. 

Paisley-First-Animal-Paradise (2)

What will your intrepid voyagers find first – the Bengal Tiger, the African Lion, the  Penguin, Dolphin or the giant Panda? 

Find all 15 models for your chance to enter our free prize draw! 

Blue Fin Tuna

And for those feeling extra adventurous, why not search for our hidden animal,  Ginger the Giraffe, who will be touring the town centre throughout the trail – check  our social media and website – – for clues as to where Ginger  may be hiding! 


Plus don’t forget to send us your selfies from the two selfie zones and you could make  our Wall of Fame! 


Trail leaflets will be available from the leaflet racks in both of the Piazza Shopping  Centre and also the Paisley Centre as well as town centre businesses. 

Head in hole selfie

Once you’ve had fun with our trail, we have a wide range of great shops and an  abundance of fantastic food and drink venues, catering to every taste and budget,  where you can have a well-earned rest! 


Plus, Paisley is Paw Friendly so no need to leave your four-legged friend at home! 

Looking for a fun free day out for all the family this summer, Paisley town centre is the  place to be!


First Responders at Braehead Shopping Centre have been recognised for the role they are playing during the Covid 19 pandemic.

The seven-strong team from the centre’s security staff have been specially trained by the Scottish Ambulance Service to deal with certain kinds of medical emergencies until paramedics arrive.


Now they have been presented with special commemorative coins for their expertise, dedication and care to visitors to Braehead – particularly during the difficulties faced due to coronavirus in the past 18 months.

The Scottish Ambulance Service West Region Community Resilience Facilitator, Susan Gardner, visited Braehead to meet some of the centre’s First Responders and present them with their commemorative coins.

The Braehead First Responders have been trained to deal with medical emergencies ranging from strokes, heart attacks, falls, epileptic fits, to various types of trauma injuries, including car crashes, when they are first on the scene of any incident.

Susan Gardner, Community Resilience Facilitator (West), Scottish Ambulance Service said:

“Community First Responders are volunteers who are trained by the ambulance service to attend certain types of emergency calls in the area where they live or work.

“Their aim is to reach potential life-threatening emergencies in the first vital minutes before the ambulance crew arrives.

“Their role is to help stabilise the patient and provide the appropriate care until a highly skilled ambulance crew arrives on scene to take over the treatment.

“Myself and Anne Harrison, West Region Community Resilience Paramedic Team Leader, were delighted to present all the Community First Responders at Braehead with COVID Coins as a thank you from the Scottish Ambulance Service for all their dedicated work throughout this pandemic.”

Peter Beagley, Braehead centre director said: “Having our own fully-trained First Responders skilled in life-saving techniques means a seriously ill patient can receive early intervention while the professional ambulance crew is on the way to Braehead.

“The first few minutes of a life-threatening medical emergency are vital the chances of survival.

“Braehead is a much safer place thanks to our First Responders and also that we have two defibrillators in the centre that can be used in a medical emergency.

“The commemorative medals from the Scottish Ambulance Service are a welcome recognition of the skills and dedication of our First Responder staff during the Covid crisis.”

paisley from drone

Ensuring your kids maintain a healthy diet is vital because they need the right amount of nutrition to keep themselves healthy while they’re growing. With the current global threat brought by the virus that is wreaking havoc, all parents are doing their best to ensure that they are given what they need for their nourishment. Nutrition is worth a look. To grow up healthy and strong, your children require appropriate nutrition. Children’s food can also help build the foundation for healthy eating habits and dietary awareness that can last a lifetime. 

Choosing nutritious foods for children is an easy approach to ensure they get the nutrients they need, but the challenge is how you will have them eat organic and healthy foods; most kids look at these foods as unappetizing and boring. Poultry, beans, shellfish, nuts, and seeds are all excellent sources of lean protein, but always make sure that you’re choosing food for your kids with the guidance of a pediatrician. 

If you want to look for a healthier alternative for a specific ingredient, let’s say, for example, an alternative for custard powder, you can click this to learn more here. But if you want to know more healthy alternative food in making a kid’s meal, you can continue reading this article. 

1. Yogurt

Kids love ice cream, and they won’t notice it if you serve them with yogurt instead of a scoop of ice cream! Don’t buy flavored yogurts in the grocery because they’re packed with lots of sugar; sugar is not healthy! What you can do is you can buy plain yogurt and use natural honey as a sweetener, and top it with colorful berries or their favorite fruits. Yogurt is filled with good bacteria. This can help the immune system by balancing the growth of bacteria in the stomach and promoting better digestion, especially for the growing kids.

2. Fruit Pops

A regular ice pop in the store contains many sugar and chemicals as preservatives; you don’t need these things in your kids’ snacks. A great substitute is making natural fruit ice pops for them. Using a food processor, blender, or juicer, emulsify the fruits and honey to sweeten before pouring them into a frozen mold. Kids will truly enjoy these treats, especially during the summer season.

3. Fruits and Veggie Smoothies

Do you find it extra challenging to feed your kids with vegetables? What you can do is you can mix vegetables in their smoothies; that way, you’re nourishing them with the vitamins and minerals from vegetables without them knowing it. That’s going to be less of a hassle for sure! A good choice of vegetables would be spinach, carrots, beetroot, celery, and all other vegetables that don’t have an overpowering taste.

4. Boiled Eggs

Eggs have protein and good cholesterol. Instead of serving them plain fried or boiled eggs for breakfast, you can make your kids some egg sandwiches. Mash the hard-boiled eggs with organic vegetarian mayonnaise and a small amount of salt to taste. You can spread a freshly mashed avocado on one side and the egg spread on the other side on wheat bread for an appetizing sandwich.

5. Wheat Bread

Nothing can be mouthwatering than the smell of freshly baked bread, but instead of buying regular white bread, you may want to go for brown wheat bread. Wheat bread has less sugar from starch, and they are rich in fiber which is good for digestion.

Growing children are usually hungry all the time. Many processed foods for kids, on the other hand, are quite unhealthy. Usually, they are made with processed sugar and flavor enhancers and colorings. Snack time is an ideal time to introduce new nutrients into your daily diet. Fill your child’s tummy with healthy foods that can provide energy and nourishment instead of overly processed snacks.

Christine Laverty


Christine Laverty, currently Head of Mental Health, Addictions and Learning Disabilities Services for Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP), has been appointed as the HSCP’s Interim Chief Officer.

Christine Laverty

Christine has worked in the health and social care field for thirty years and has held a number of key management roles in integrated public health services since 2002.

She will replace Shiona Strachan, who has been acting as Interim Chief Officer for Renfrewshire HSCP since December 2020.

Renfrewshire HSCP is responsible for delivering all adult social care services and all community health services for adults and children in the area.

Renfrewshire Council Chief Executive, Sandra Black, said: “I would like to thank Shiona for the leadership and support she has provided over the past six months in her role as both Chief Officer of Renfrewshire HSCP and as a member of the council’s corporate management team.

“Shiona’s experience has been invaluable in steering the important work of the HSCP as we continue to manage the current pandemic.

“I’m delighted to welcome Christine to the new role and look forward to working with her over the coming months.”

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Chief Executive, Jane Grant, said: “Shiona has made a significant contribution to Renfrewshire HSCP and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde during a period of extreme challenges.

“I thank her for her commitment and wish her well in her retirement and I look forward to working closely with Christine to continue the excellent work of the HSCP as we plan for the future.”