West Nursery pupils on a litter pick
Jordan Stewart
Open Day Artwork

PACE is re-developing a disused town centre building as a unique venue for children and young people, and aims to create a vibrant arts hub for use by all of the community. But we want to hear your ideas!

Open Day Artwork

Exchange-ing Ideas: A Community Open Day

Sat 9 Oct, 11am – 3pm
Exchange Theatre, Old Sneddon Street, Paisley

(formerly Mannequins)

Exchange will provide a low-cost venue for performances by community groups, a free interactive creative play area for younger children and their families, and a much needed mid-size venue for Renfrewshire.  It’s planned flexible-use spaces will also allow for a host of creative learning opportunities, increased community engagement and will support artist development locally. It’s anticipated that Exchange will also bring more people to Paisley and help promote the area as a cultural visitor destination, providing a boost for local restaurants and businesses, increasing employment and contributing to regeneration.


– Come along to meet our team and see the space
– Find out about our plans and how they could benefit you
– Have your say about what you think a space like this can offer
Children/young people are welcome but please be aware that the building is still under construction. Access is currently via several stairs and there is uneven flooring.

Pop in anytime between 11am and 3pm.

The Discover Africa trail launches in Paisley town centre on Friday, 1st October.

In conjunction with the School of African Cultures, Pachedu and Action for Cultures and Ethics, the trail will showcase 11 African countries represented by communities living in and around Paisley with displays in a number of our town centre businesses.

Learn more about the history and cultures of countries such as Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi to name but a few.
The trail was the brainchild of Johannes Gonani from Pachedu, Samuel Yerokun of Action for Cultures and Ethics and Regine Bews from the School of African Cultures.

“We want to thank Paisley First, the business circle in Renfrewshire and in particular all the businesses which are hosting the “Discover Africa” exhibition in their premises,” said Johannes.

“This to us is a celebration and an acknowledgement and recognition of the presence of the African community in Renfrewshire,” added Samuel. “It is also helping to change the tainted narrative of the mother land, as the continent of Africa is affectionately known.”

Regine also added: “We hope communities in Renfrewshire and beyond will find these trail activities enjoyable and educative.”

Trail leaflets are available from our leaflet racks at the Piazza Shopping Centre Paisley and The Paisley Centre or you can download your own leaflet from the Paisley First website www.paisleyfirst.com .

The trail runs throughout October – complete the trail and quiz on the leaflet and post in the postbox in the Piazza Shopping Centre for your chance to win a prize!

Renfrewshire Bereavement Network

The Renfrewshire Bereavement Network, comprising local hospices ACCORD and St Vincent’s, as well as the Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership (HSCP), Renfrewshire Council and RAMH, has recently launched a new grief and bereavement service for families in Renfrewshire.

The Network aims to provide support to people in the Renfrewshire area who are experiencing loss or dealing with grief – by offering access to the most appropriate advice, guidance and counselling available – all from a single point of access. 

Renfrewshire Bereavement Network

People who need support will be able to self-refer by contacting a new helpline where they can discuss the help they need. After an assessment, staff who have been trained to manage calls, will aim to make sure they receive the most appropriate support for their individual circumstances.


The service is available to adults in the Renfrewshire area, regardless of their gender, social group or location. 


If you know of anyone who needs to get in touch with the Renfrewshire Bereavement Network, they can do so by calling 0800 038 6020 or by emailing: support@renfbn.org.uk.


For more information visit: www.renfbn.org.uk

Becky Sikasa

Musician to host cultural conversations as legacy of abolitionist campaigner’s inspiring words during visits to Paisley are highlighted in new attraction

Renfrewshire’s rich cultures will be celebrated in a series of events to inspire, inform and transform stereotypes as part of Black History Month.

Matt Hickman

Musicians and historians are among those supporting a packed programme during October, aimed at forging stronger cultural connections across the region.

An alliance of organisations – working with Renfrewshire Leisure – is spearheading the work, with events for all ages.

Building on the success of becoming involved in the awareness-raising month for the first time last year, the majority of events will be broadcast via Renfrewshire Leisure’s RenTV channel, Jambo! Radio and social media.

Among the events planned are a service of cultural conversations between musician Matt Hickman, from the indie-rock band Brownbear, and special guests including songwriter Becky Sikasa, singer-songwriter and Jambo! founder George Tah Meh. They will focus on the importance of music and culture for the black, indiginous and other people of colour (BPOC) communities and how race can affect their role within the industry.

There will also be the launch of the Frederick Douglas Google Map walking tour in Paisley. 

Becky Sikasa

The 3km loop is the first in a series of walking tours to be unveiled over the next year as part of the Heritage on Your Doorstep Project, funded by Museums Galleries Scotland. It includes five locations where Frederick Douglass, the influential abolitionist campaigner, gave speeches in Paisley, heavily influencing public opinion.

Black History Month events in Renfrewshire are being organised by The Ethnic Communities Cultural Steering Group, an alliance which co-produces, programmes, and curates work relevant to the region’s ethnic community. Among those involved are School of African Cultures, Inspiring Families, Jambo! Radio, Action For Culture and Ethics, Kairos+, University of the West of Scotland, Engage Renfrewshire, Sewing2gether All Nations and Renfrewshire Leisure’s Cultural Services team.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “Our programme of events to mark Black History Month will be both inspiring and informative. We are extremely proud of what the steering group is achieving.

“We believe strongly that the rich cultures which make up the communities of modern Renfrewshire should be celebrated. There is no place for ignorance, inequality or racism in our communities. These events highlight that, showing how our region is a better place because of the diversity of our communities, while also shining a spotlight on some of the issues that people face.

“This will be an enlightening programme that I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved with. Our thanks to all who have committed to it already.”

Other events planned included:

  • The launch of a podcast series by students at the University of the West of Scotland, focusing on the power of stories and storytelling to disrupt stereotypes to advance equality. This is based on a ‘Human Library’ approach focusing on the theme ‘Proud to Be’.
  • Sunday Continental: A brunchtime boogie for people of all ages with tunes from some great Scottish musicians.
  • The presentation of highlights from the Pen Pals project, which has forged connections between children of African heritage and those from Syrian migrant families.
  • A Black History Month-themed book display in Paisley Central Library and a promotion of influential authors on the Renfrewshire Libraries website.
  • The promotion of partner programmes, including Kairos Women+, who are producing a Kairos Chronicle Black History Month Special in October 2021 with articles celebrating black lives in Renfrewshire and beyond.

The programme is funded by support from Future Paisley and Engage Renfrewshire.

Alan McNiven, Chief Executive of Engage Renfrewshire, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Renfrewshire’s Black History Month programme, which is a great example of what can be achieved through collaboration.

“We know that diversity enriches communities. The Ethnic Cultural Steering Group is an inspiring alliance, bringing people of all cultures and backgrounds together in the same way that the events planned over the next month will.

“The pandemic has shown us how important it is to work together, and at Engage we will continue to support community partnerships and collaborative working, because this is what makes communities stronger. We’re very excited to be supporting the Black History Month programme – it reflects our commitment to championing equality, diversity and inclusivity in our local communities.”

For full details about the Black History Month programme of events in Renfrewshire, go to https://www.renfrewshireleisure.com/renfrewshires-black-history-month-cultural-programme-2021/


Councillors in Renfrewshire have agreed to install GPS signage along the banks of the River Gryffe as part of a drive to improve water safety.

Seven new signs will be placed at six potentially dangerous areas along the river and will have a designated code which allows emergency responders to know exactly where a distress call is coming from.


It is one of the first actions of the Renfrewshire Water Safety Working Group which brings together Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire Leisure, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service and Open Water Rescue, and formalises the ongoing work to improve water safety in Renfrewshire.

The enhanced safety measures at the River Gryffe follow the tragic death of a young boy earlier this year at this location and the new measures have been implemented following discussions with his family, local community members and Community Councils.

With assistance from the Glasgow Humane Society, temporary life belts, poles and throw ropes have already been located on the riverbanks and these are regularly checked by the community and have been replaced by the society when any issues have arisen.

The new GPS signs will add to this equipment and new permanent life belts, throw ropes and ‘Danger – Deep Water’ signs will also be installed by the Council.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “It’s important that young people know how dangerous open water swimming can be and the tragic accident this summer was a harrowing reminder to avoid swimming in locations like these.

“We want to make sure though that these areas are as safe as they can be if people ignore this advice and the new GPS signage will mean the emergency services can respond as quickly as possible should they be needed.

“It’s an important first step for our new working group and I’m pleased that we’ve created this partnership approach to ensure that we can give as much information to young people as possible and equip them with the knowledge to stay safe and out of the water.”

Where the equipment is located on land not in Council ownership, liaison will take place with landowner wherever possible, and the Council has committed to working with the community and landowner to assist with any damage to the life-saving equipment.

The Renfrewshire Water Safety Working Group will also continue to work closely as a partnership to educate young people about the dangers of open water swimming and will deliver presentations to schools, as well as in-person talks with local young people at known spots for open water swimming.

paisley from drone

The UK is home to some of the best betting sites in the world. Still, to be clear, bookies vary significantly in their odds, bet types, payment methods and bonuses. What’s more, they differ in how they treat their customers.

Here, we take a look at some of the best-rated sportsbooks in the UK. We’ve highlighted every bookmaker based on what punters love the most about it.

1:   Bet365

Bet365 is one of the best betting sites UK according to multiple review websites. According to bettors on forum sites, it’s the undisputed king of betting sites in the UK. It’s easy to see why.

A beautiful website, loads of betting markets, bonuses, quick payments—the site offers everything a punter wants to see. The best part: it ranks highly in every category. Let’s say you love bookies that payout quickly.

Maybe you like betting sites with competitive odds. Or you pay weight to bookmakers with plenty of freebies. Bet365 checks all these categories. All you need is to create a free account. If you’re up for it, you can make a deposit and grab a welcome bonus worth a maximum of £100.

2:   888 Sport

Many betting sites come and go, but 888 Sport has remained a top-tier bookmaker since it launched in 2008. To be clear, the 888 Gambling brand started in 1997 but it didn’t create a betting arm until a decade later.

888 Sport has been a popular betting site since its launch. The reason it’s still famous in 2021 is because it’s constantly changing. When criticized about its odds, it improves them. If players complain about its website, it designs a new one.

In other words, 888 Sports is a brand that operates with its customers in mind. It understands bettors love a comprehensive list of betting markets. And it meets this expectation by supporting football, horse racing, tennis, basketball and all other sports out there.

It knows punters love competitive odds and quick payouts. In turn, 888 Sport offers some of the best odds in every betting category. It also processes payouts quickly, regardless of your chosen payment option.

3:   BetVictor

Launched in 2000, BetVictor is one of the oldest betting sites in the UK. And if you add its in-person betting business, BetVictor has been around since 1946. Of course, the average punter doesn’t care about a bookie’s history.

They are interested in the betting website’s products presently. Does it offer great odds? Can you bet on minor sports like MMA and eSports? How fast does the company process payouts? Fortunately, BetVictor belongs in this list because it treats its customers right.

In all fairness, BetVictor wouldn’t exist today if it didn’t provide consistently reliable services over the years. It provides its great services through a beautiful website, hundreds of daily markets and an efficient customer service department. And if you love bonuses, the company has a small albeit sweet bet £5 get £30 welcome free bet.

4:   Mansion Bet

Mansion Bet launched in 2018. But it grew popular so quickly partly because it’s owned by an established brand. To be clear, Mansion Bet is the betting arm of the Mansion Group Ltd—the property management firm that previously sponsored Manchester City, AFC Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur.

Upon its launch in 2018, Mansion Bet did what its parent company is known for—partnering with football clubs. It partnered with Bristol and Millwall, a few years of signed deals with City, Bournemouth and Spurs.

Being a big brand doesn’t always mean a bookmaker is reliable. But Mansion Bet is indeed a respected company. It welcomes new customers with a £20 bonus if you can deposit and spend £20 on its games.

You can use your bonus to bet on football, basketball, horse racing, golf, hockey, cricket or boxing. The free bet is for all. And there are plenty more freebies on the site for loyal punters.

 5: 1XBet

1Xbet might come as a surprise to some. That’s because it wasn’t known until a couple of years ago, when it began partnering with sports teams all over Europe. The company struck a deal with Chelsea and Liverpool in 2019 to be their betting partners.

The Russia-based bookmaker has a professionally-designed website that organizes sports events based on their scheduled time. Precisely, it doesn’t prioritize football or horse racing.

It focuses on upcoming matches, regardless of whether it’s tennis in Russia, basketball in Manila or ice hockey in Canada. 1Xbet also features live betting, meaning you can wager on matches even after they’ve begun.

When it comes to bonuses, the standard reward is a 100% bonus worth up to £100. The site has a variety of more freebies, but you need to be a high roller or a regular punter.

6:   William Hill

If you live in the UK and love sports, you know William Hill. It’s one of the biggest bookmakers out there. The company’s online journey started in 1998 and included offering both casino games and sports betting.

Like many of its competitors, William Hill has invested tremendously in providing quality betting markets. Its mobile-friendly website lets you wager on virtually any professional sport, from football to boxing.

Punters often accuse big brands of providing poor odds. But William Hill is an exception. It ranks highly alongside Bet365 for offering high-value odds. Also, it’s a generous bookmaker with a bet £10 get £40 welcome bonus.

7:   Unibet

Unibet is one of the pioneers of online betting in the UK. It operates like many betting websites. The homepage features upcoming games from a variety of sports. On the left, you can navigate through a list of multiple sports and leagues, from the EPL to MLS.

Unibet has a beautiful website. But the best part is that the site runs smoothly on mobile devices even during peak hours. It supports in-play betting and lets you stream certain matches through its app. When it comes freebies, you need to spend £10 at the site to claim £40.


The Bungalow has brought Flash, one of the finest Queen tribute bands in the UK here to Paisley. Flash has been performing concerts all over Europe and the Far East for the past 15 years and have been lucky enough during this time to perform at some of the world’s most prestigious venues and events and tonight they are back in town. They were also chosen by the BBC to perform live to a primetime television audience of millions. Doors open at 7 pm and tickets are £12.50


Tomorrow afternoon one of Paisley’s well known and loved talents, Tom Urie will be at the piano from 2pm. Alan McEwan of The Bungalow said “I am delighted to welcome Tom back after such a long time for a fun-filled afternoon of music. I know many of our regulars have been waiting a long time for this, so it’s not to be missed” He is one of the best entertainers around and good to see him back in his old town. Doors at 1pm and tickets are £5.

Tomorrow night the nostalgic event Area 21 is back. It is a night of 90’s dance anthems provided by original Area resident DJs Stephen Lee & Jamie Mitchell. There were some memorable nights in the old Area in the mid to late 90’s and this is a time to relive those moments and catch up with old friends. John Lyon the Area 21 promoter said “You’re all invited to AREA21 to once again help bring the spirit of the Area alive and celebrate the best of 90s house music” Doors are 7pm and tickets are £8. 

On Thursday The Bungalow have a fantastic band to kick off Spree for All which is like the Fringe of Renfrewshire Council’s Spree, The Marley Experience. A spokesman for the band said “We have one aim, and that is to rekindle to fire, magic, vibe and blessing that the king of Reggae gave to his audiences” Special guests for the evening are Scotland’s UB40 tribute One in Ten. The doors are 7pm and the tickets are £12. 

Tonight at The Cave has something a little different and a big bit riotous. Lola Fierce a drag queen and singer will be in the house from 9.30pm for a night of fun, laughs, dancing and singing. Tomorrow at 9pm it is Bob’s Boiler Room and on Sunday Jim Keilt is back with his talented Jam Session for all to join in or sit and watch. From 6pm. 

The Old Swan has Liam Doyle in tonight from 5pm. The very popular Dead Flowers will be playing tomorrow from 4pm in ‘The Shopper’s Slot’. On Sunday Kirk Strachan performs from 4pm on Sunday then on Monday at 4pm The Casual Swans are back for some more late afternoon music and laughter. 

One of the longest-running bands on the circuit, Blind Panik are back in Paisley and they will be playing at The Anchor on Sunday from 4.30pm. Harvies have a cracking band in tomorrow night from 9pm, Mod Life Crisis. One of the band posted “Folks, we couldn’t make the last one because of illness, but….We are back with a bang”. Zambretto posted “Come and join us this weekend from 8pm to enjoy our live music with Charlene Gordon (Friday) and Charlie Gorman (Saturday)” The place to go for a wee night of nice food and music. 

The Keg has Deep Shining Sea in tonight. Trevor Mills told me “We are excited to have a night from one of Paisleys best up and coming bands with support by Ciaran Whyte. It all kicks off at 8:15pm and ends with a DJ set by their very own Steven Hillcoat with all your indie rock favourites”

The Paisley Open Mic sessions are: On Monday Dunky Hunter will be the host at The Abbey from 8.30pm. On Tuesday it is Stevie D at Gantry starting at 9pm, The Keg on Wednesday with Johnny Barr celebrating 5 years of Open Mic Madness. 


Renfrewshire Council’s green credentials have been further boosted by the introduction of 14 new electric vans and two electric buses to its fleet.

The new zero-emission vehicles can cover up to 200 miles per charge, have reduced maintenance costs and can be linked to existing technology within the fleet which monitors their performance.

As part of Renfrewshire’s climate change commitments, the vehicles will replace diesel versions as the Council aims to transform a fleet that now contains 119 fully electric vehicles – almost one-third of the entire fleet.

Ultra-low carbon fuel is currently used in all vehicles and alternative fuels, including hydrogen, are also being proactively explored to identify their benefits and viability for inclusion in the future replacement programmes.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Climate change is a key priority of this Council and is considered in every decision that we make now and in the future.

“Transforming our fleet into one that creates zero-emissions will take time, but I’m delighted that almost one-third is now fully electric and these new vehicles are a great step in the right direction.”

The new electric vans will be used to support the Building Services teams as they carry out upgrades and repairs across the area, while the buses are already supporting the Social Transport service.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “It’s important that, wherever we can, we try to reduce our emissions and replacing diesel vehicles with electric is something that we’re committed to doing wherever possible.

“The new vehicles have a great range to allow our teams to travel across Renfrewshire while not negatively affecting the environment and I look forward to seeing them out on the roads helping our teams carry out key public services.”

In 2019, Renfrewshire Council declared a climate emergency in Renfrewshire and a working group was set up with members of all political parties to make recommendations on how to make Renfrewshire carbon neutral by 2030.

The Climate Change Action Fund has been created to support innovative projects and initiatives being developed by Council services in response to the climate emergency.

The Council has committed £1million to the fund, with the electric vehicle replacement programme receiving £258,000 to purchase the new zero-emission vans.

For more information on the Council’s work to tackle climate change in Renfrewshire, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/climatechange.

mirren house
Boxtober Photo

Charity highlights how sponsorship makes a difference as individuals and businesses are urged to sponsor boxes which carry lifeline shopping deliveries to older people in their homes in Glasgow

Boxtober Photo

Food Train has declared the coming month BOXtober – launching a sponsorship drive to boost its work to ensure older people across Glasgow do not go without lifeline shopping supplies.

The charity has launched a fundraising campaign, through which people can sponsor the boxes which carry essential groceries delivered to those who would otherwise struggle with shopping for just £10 each.

And, as part of the fundraising push throughout October, it is demonstrating how the support makes a difference to its shopping service volunteers’ work to ensure older people across the city do not go without vital supplies and life-enhancing social contact.

Emma Black, Food Train’s National Fundraising and Marketing Manager, said: “To sponsor a box may seem a simple act but it is one that genuinely makes a difference to our work, helping older people in Glasgow to live healthier and better lives in their own homes.

“Our volunteers have never met more demand than they have in the past couple of years. The ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the lives of older people has highlighted the very real need for what we do – and how sponsoring our work makes a real difference.

“BOXtober has become a valuable part of our work to ensure we are best equipped to meet the demands we face.”

Last year’s fundraiser exceeded expectations with just over 600 boxes across Scotland sponsored. The charity hopes for even more this time around.

Each sponsored box, which will stay in the region where the pledge is made, will be labelled to recognise the donation for a year. Companies can also have their logos included.

As part of its social media drive supporting BOXtober, Food Train is highlighting the facts that:

  • £10 will provide one new shopping delivery box

  • £20 will buy a volunteer’s uniform

  • £30 will buy a range of equipment valuable to ensuring deliveries are made

  • £50 will provide enough fuel for 175 grocery deliveries.

The BOXtober campaign comes as Food Train also seeks more volunteers. People can support its work by completing shopping lists in supermarkets or delivering them.

To support the BOXtober campaign – or for more details – go to www.thefoodtrain.co.uk/sponsor-a-box.