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Shopmobility Paisley and District is looking forward to playing a vital role in raising local awareness of the mental, physical and financial benefits of being smoke-free and the support that is available in Renfrewshire for those considering stopping smoking.

The organisation, which aims to tackle social exclusion caused by mobility problems, has signed Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation, which gives their employees and volunteers access to health charity ASH Scotland’s free expert advice, training and resources to increase their knowledge of smoking and tobacco issues.

The training delivered via e-learning modules and online sessions is helping staff and volunteers to become more confident in talking sensitively about quitting smoking with individuals who use the Shopmobility services and understand the tobacco industry’s tactics to manipulate people, especially youngsters, to take up smoking or use tobacco products.

As part of the Charter initiative, a small grant of £500 was awarded to the organisation to help towards creating a space to better facilitate conversations about giving up smoking with service users dropping into its premises at the Paisley Centre’s car park on Storie Street.

Karen Miller, Office Manager for Shopmobility Paisley and District, said: “We are pleased to sign Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation and pledge our commitment to supporting people using our services to look forward to a healthier future by stopping smoking.

“We have started displaying and sharing ASH Scotland’s resources about the harms caused by smoking and the benefits of being smoke-free, signposting people towards the local Quit Your Way service and encouraging our staff to take paid time-out from their work to attend smoking cessation appointments if they would like support to give up.

“With Scotland aiming to have a tobacco-free generation by 2034, we are keen to contribute our time and space to help individuals visiting us in Paisley and across Renfrewshire to take positive steps towards achieving their personal goals of a better life and creating a healthier society.”

Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said: “We are delighted that Shopmobility Paisley and District, an organisation embedded in Renfrewshire, has signed up to the Charter and will play a vital role in informing local people about the person-centred support that is proven to increase a person’s chances of success in quitting smoking.

“Our partnership working with committed community-based organisations like Shopmobility Paisley and District is vital in helping to reach more people with details about quick positive impacts such as improving mental health and halving the risk of coronary heart disease that can be delivered within a year of giving up smoking.”

ASH Scotland is encouraging other charities and community groups in Renfrewshire supporting people facing the most challenges to good health, including residents experiencing poverty, mental health problems, homelessness, young carers, or people who are care experienced, to sign the Charter. For details about how to apply for the tailored training and a small grant, go towww.ashscotland.org.uk/smallgrants or email: enquiries@ashscotland.org.uk before the Monday 29th August deadline.

Bob Gibson and Agnes Rowland from Renfrewshire’s Quit Your Way community service provide specialist, personalised one-to-one stop smoking support via telephone or video/virtual meetings, along with access to free stop smoking medication. For more information, call telephone: 0800 916 8858 or visit www.QuitYourWay.Scot