A charity which works at keeping Buddies fit and healthy while raising money for Renfrewshire’s two hospices is making sure Mum’s don’t miss out on Sunday.


They are giving hundreds of members of Pro-Life Fitness Centre, which is run by Renfrewshire Sports Charity, the chance to train with their mother for free in a bid to encourage them to keep fit.

Mums can also get treated to a free spa in the centre at New Sneddon Street in Paisley where the team is ready and waiting to make sure different generations can work out together.

Gayle Brannigan, chief executive at RSC, said: “People who come along here have already taken the first step to getting fit and staying healthy. But we want them to encourage their mums to come along too and train together.

“So as a special treat for Mother’s Day they can come along and see what we are all about, train with their sons or daughters and enjoy a spa free.

“We work closely with St Vincent’s and ACCORD hospices with all the profits going to help them with their fantastic work for the people of Renfrewshire. We know how important it is to stay healthy and take steps to make sure you are as fit as you possibly can be.

“Working out is good for mind and body and we are here to offer support to anyone who would like to become part of our family and at the same time know that they are helping our hospices.”

There’s also lots of prizes up for grabs as the team celebrate Mother’s Day in style.

With pic of Ken Mathie, from ACCORD and Lesley Miller, from St Vincent’s with youngsters in the pool showing how much money was raised.

CHARITY fundraisers have literally been splashing the cash in swimming pools and sports centres all over Renfrewshire.

charity cash

The annual Renfrewshire Leisure Charity Fundraising Week raised more than £10,000 to be split between two local hospices – St Vincent’s and ACCORD.

The money was raised through various sponsored events with the most popular being the Swimathon held in the five local pools at The ON-X, Linwood; Johnstone Sports Hub; The Lagoon, in Paisley; Victory Baths, in Renfrew and Erskine Swimming Pool.

Representatives of the two local hospices visited the pool at The ON-X to be presented with their cheques and to see youngsters showing exactly how much was raised – £10,243 – with the figure pasted on to swimming floats.

Charlie McDougall, senior facilities manager at the ON-X, who organised the charity fundraising said:
“This is the 13th year we have organised the big charity event for Renfrewshire Leisure staff and customers to get involved in and it’s the most we have ever raised.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took part in raising such a fantastic sum of money for two great causes.

“During this year’s event we had a lot of people saying they want to get even more involved in the fundraising next time, so I hope we’ll be handing over even bigger cheques to the hospices this time next year.”

A caring Paisley dad has teamed up with Renfrewshire Sports Charity to stage a second fight night in Paisley to raise thousands of pounds to hit back at cancer.


Buddie James Murphy, 49, is hoping to beat the whopping £13,000 he donated to the Beatson Cancer Unit after a similar event last year in the town.


This time round the money will split between RSC, which is run by Pro-Life Fitness Centre to raise funds for ACCORD and St Vincent’s hospices  and  Mitchell’s Fun Rooms – a campaign set up to help create more for kids to do at the Schiehallion children’s cancer ward  at the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow.

Young Paisley schoolboy Mitchell Connell was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma, an aggressive form of blood cancer, in June last year and since then his family has worked tirelessly to raise thousands of pounds to fund the fun rooms which give kids a place to get together during long months of treatment.

Kick boxer James isn’t pulling any punches when he says: “We need Buddies to get behind this event just as they did the last time. It was an incredible night and fingers crossed we can do even better this year. The support I’ve been getting from fellow sportsmen has been incredible.

“I’ve been a member at Pro-Life for years and they and their members are backing me all the way in helping to organise and collect auction and raffle prizes as well as selling tickets. I’ve known Charlie and Kirsteen Connell a long time too and since Mitchell was diagnosed they have been unbelievable.

“As well as coping with the shock and devastation of Mitchell’s diagnosis they have taken it upon themselves to raise thousands for the ward so that kids Connell’s age have somewhere to meet, chat and play computer games or whatever they are interested in during their stay there.”

The Fight Cancer Fight night promises to be a high-octane event with a bill that includes seven-time world champion Lex Easdon, Paisley’s two times British Junior Muay Thai Champion John Paul Gallacher.

Well known 5th Dan Matt McLachlan, head trainer at the MMA Academy in Paisley is also providing fighters and will be judging on the night.

Members of Linwood and Paisley BCs will be also be represented on the night with the full card still to be named.

Spectators are in for a feast of entertainment with Muay Thai, Tae Kwon-Do, Kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu and much more,

James wants to make it a family fun day too so children will get in free with loads of entertainment lined up to keep them amused.

Ringside seats for the event at the Lagoon Leisure Centre on Sunday, April 10 are £25, which includes food and table service. Balcony seats are £15 for adults with kids, who are accompanied by an adult getting in free,

James is also looking for donations for the auction and raffle which can be handed in to Pro-Life on 98 New Sneddon Street.

Gayle Brannigan, chief executive at Renfrewshire Sports Charity, said: “James and Charlie Connell have been members of Pro Life for a long time and we are happy to be backing this amazing fund raiser which will bring in much needed cash for our two Renfrewshire hospices and also for young Mitchell’s Fun Rooms campaign.

“The family have been inspiring in how they are dealing with Mitchell’s illness and James has been remarkable in raising so much money to help fight cancer. We will do anything we can to help boost the funds for these two great causes.

“Many of the boxers who are fighting on the night train here and are happy to be taking part and hitting back at cancer with Renfrewshire Sports Charity and Mitchells’ Fun Rooms. The people of Paisley are well known for their generosity and they are in for a treat if they come along and join us on the day.”

Tickets can be booked by contacting James on 07776 471111 or 07549 297724.

He ended: “Can I just thank Benny McSwegan of Paisley Kickboxing Club for backing this too and providing fighters as well as giving all of them the chance to gain ring experience in the gym for free. I am amazed at how everyone has rallied round to help. It’s awesome.”

The Connell family have already been able to raise a staggering amount though Mitchell’s appeal with A Just Giving crowdfunding page in honour of the schoolboy bringing in more than £8,000 in just 30 days and thousands more being collected through various events.

IT was definitely a case of hair today, gone tomorrow for Scott Falconer when he decided to raise money for a Paisley charity.
Friends and family sponsored the 22-year-old to have his head shaved with all the money raised going to help boost funds for Renfrewshire Sports Charity.

The charity runs Pro-Life Fitness Centre, in Paisley and donates its profits to the two Renfrewshire hospices – St Vincent’s and ACCORD.
Scott is an enthusiastic fundraiser for good causes and in the past has walked the West Highland Way, gone on sponsored runs and even jumped out of an aeroplane to skydive and then parachute his way to the ground.

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The mental health support worker explains why he decided to have the shoulder-length hair shaved by hairdresser, Claire McMahon in the middle of the busy Pro-Life gym with dozens of members looking on.

“I wanted to do something different for Pro-Life Fitness Centre now it’s a charity and it was a spur of the moment idea,” he says.
Scott from Kilbarchan added: “I’ve had long hair since I was a teenager and no doubt, I’ll get a bit of a ribbing from my friends when they see my bald head. But it’s raising money for a very good cause so it was worth it.

“I’ve seen people shave their heads for charity before and I always thought good on them. Now I’ve felt their pain as well!”
Scott’s 18-year-old girlfriend Caitlin Lochhead wasn’t too keen on him having his head shaved when he told her about his plans.

“I thought he was kidding me on at first and I didn’t want him to have all his hair shaved off. I even suggested he did another skydive, instead.

“But he’s done it now and his head feels like velvet when you touch it and I think he looks much younger too.

“It’s really OK that he’s done it because it’s for a good cause and his hair will soon grow back in again.”
Gayle Brannigan, chief executive of Renfrewshire Sports Charity, said: “Well done to Scott for going though with the head shave. It’s quite a big deal when you have had long hair for so long.

“He’s been a member at Pro-Life for four years and we knew all about his rather adventurous charity stunts like skydiving so we are delighted he is backing us this time round.

“This one was definitely the most hair-raising or should we say hair-falling.”

Scott is still collecting in the sponsorship cash but is hoping to raise hundreds for the charity


A team of unwavering big-hearted fundraisers are facing their biggest challenge of the year as they bid to lift Scotland’s famous last passenger paddle steamer – The Waverley.

A squad of resolute men and women are determined to succeed in the massive test of strength and fitness in an attempt to pull in a pile of cash for Renfrewshire’s s two hospices ACCORD and St Vincent’s.


The “Lift the Waverley” event on Wednesday, December 16, is being organised by Renfrewshire Sports Charity which is run by Paisley’s Pro-Life Fitness Centre with every penny profit from the gym going to help the local community.

Members and their friends are queuing up to take part in the challenge which is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

From 4am in the morning until 10.30 pm the contestants will work on shifts in six areas to complete bench presses, deadlifts and squats until all together they have lifted the full weight of the Waverley which is a colossal 670,000 kg.

Gayle Brannigan, chief executive at the charity, said: “This is a massive challenge and the response we have had from Pro-Life members, their family and friends has been incredible.

“Everyone taking part realises the enormity of the task at hand but we are all preparing well and up for this mammoth 18 hour plus challenge because we know that the money we raise through sponsorship is going to such worthy causes.”

Gayle added: “No-one believes it will be easy, every lift will be observed and recorded by Army staff so that we know when we have managed to lift the Waverley. So many people have got on board I am confident that by working together we will achieve our goal and make a few waves ourselves.

We are super excited about this challenge and are really looking forward to the day. We will be providing plenty of refreshments to keep all those taking part re-fuelled as some hop to do two or three different sessions throughout the day.

“If there’s anyone out there who would like to join us as we steam ahead we would be delighted to see them. You don’t have to be a member here to join this challenge just simply be happy to raise some money for the charity.”

The lift weights are as follows: Male – Bench Press – Option 1 – 50KG, Option 2 – 70KG;Male – Squat – Option 1 – 60KG, Option 2 – 80KG; Male – Deadlift – Option 1 – 80KG, Option 2 – 100KG; Female – Bench Press – Option 1 – 25KG, Option 2 – 35KG; Female – Squat – Option 1 – 30KG, Option 2 – 50KG; Female – Deadlift – Option 1 – 40KG, Option 2 – 60KG.

PS Waverley is the last seagoing passenger-carrying paddle-steamer in the world. Built in 1946, she now operates passenger excursions around the British coast. Since 2003 Waverley has been listed in the National Historic Fleet by National Historic Ships UK as “a vessel of pre-eminent national importance”. She appeared in the 2011 film Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

If you would like to back the challenge to raise money for the hospices but would rather just use your fingers to make a difference then you can donate by going to the special just giving page which has been set up. https://www.justgiving.com and search for Lift the Waverley.

We are super excited about this challenge and are really looking forward to the day. We will be providing plenty of refreshments to keep all participants re-fuelled as many wish to do 2 or 3 different sessions throughout the day. The Bench Press, Deadlift & Squat stations will be used throughout the entire day for the challenge only.


Four local charities will be boosted this Christmas as money raised for Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall’s charity fundraising scheme passes the £25,000 milestone.

Over £11,000 has been raised through the charity scheme this year with almost £6,000 alone raised by a team of charity daredevils who took part in the Provost’s skydive stunt during the summer.

Provosts Charities 05

Other charity fundraising activities include two working challenges in Kwik Fit Paisley and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, the Provost’s raffle, two large donations from Donna Haveron of the Slug in a Bottle Market and raffle winner Fraser Carlin, and tickets to Kevin Bridges donated by Lambert Contracts, which raised over £5,000 in total.

The money will be shared equally amongst the Provost’s four chosen charities – Renfrewshire Carers’ Centre, RAMH (Recovery Across Mental Health) and two hospices – Accord and St Vincent’s.

Provost Hall said: “I am delighted at the total I have managed to raise so far and extremely grateful to the people and workplaces of Renfrewshire for their generosity.

“My four chosen charities complete incredible work in Renfrewshire and the money raised helps to make a real difference within our communities.

“Passing £25,000 raised is terrific and I am determined to raise as much as possible during my term as Provost. After this year’s skydive I am already thinking of my next big challenge to take on.”

Previous fundraising activities include a Hollywood-themed Charity Ball (raising almost £12,000), a charity abseil from the roof of Renfrewshire House (raising almost £5,000) and a number of working charity challenges with local businesses – Piazza Shopping Centre, Phoenix car dealership, Bridge of Weir Leather and Glasgow Airport (raising £1400).

Renfrewshire Carers’ Centre Manager, Diane Goodman, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by the Provost and will greatly benefit carers in Renfrewshire. We are extremely thankful for her continued fundraising which allows us to support carers in their role and provide them with opportunities to have a life outside of caring through a range of high quality services”

Stephen McClellan, Chief Executive of RAMH, said: “We are deeply grateful to Provost Hall for including RAMH as one of her chosen Charities. Not only will all the money she has generated help us to deliver our services, but she has raised the profile of mental illness through her commitment and dedication. We’re not sure what challenges she has up her sleeve next, but we are looking forward to finding out!’’

Kenneth Mathie, Fundraising Manager at Accord Hospice, said: “‘We at ACCORD are absolutely thrilled to be one of the beneficiaries of the Provost’s on-going charity work, and to have the opportunity of working with three other worthy local causes. We would also like to thank everyone who continues to support this project as their support really makes a difference to our patients and their families.’

Kate Lennon, Chief Executive of St Vincent’s Hospice said, “The Provost has become an invaluable source of support for St Vincent’s Hospice. Not only has she made this wonderful contribution to our funds but she is also very generous in offering her personal support and encouragement for so many of our own fundraising and other activities. Provost Hall’s determination to help local charities like ours is truly remarkable. We send her our congratulations on her fantastic fundraising achievement – and our sincere thanks.”

FITNESS fans are being urged to swim, run, row and cycle to raise money for charity.

Two local hospices – St Vincent’s and ACCORD – will benefit from a fundraising week of activities being organised by Renfrewshire Leisure in the sports centres, swimming pools and gyms the organisation operates.


It’s hoped as much as £10,000 could be raised with people being sponsored to take part in a host of sporting activities taking place between November 30 and December 6.
Swimmers can choose a distance to swim over as many pool sessions as they want during the fundraising week and when they have reached their target, a member of staff will sign off that they have completed their distance.

In the gym you can run, or walk 10k, a half-marathon, or a full marathon over the week on the treadmill, or get on the rowing machine and row the 24.2-miles distance that is the length of Loch Lomond.

Those taking part can also cycle the equivalent 55.3 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh, or if you want to put the fun into the fundraising, you can make a donation to take part in an aerobics class dressed to a different theme over five days. The themes are Movies, Pyjamas, 80s Style, Glam and Neon.

And also by making a minimum £10 donation to the charity event, people can take part in a five-hour fitness challenge, which includes eight different classes between 9.15am and 2.45pm on

Wednesday, December 2 at The Lagoon, in Paisley and Friday, December 4, at the ON-X, in Linwood.

Sports clubs who use the Renfrewshire Leisure facilities are also being encouraged to organise a special fundraising game or training session.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said:

“This is all about fundraising, fitness and fun and I hope as many people as possible take part. You can do the fundraising sessions on your own, or make up a team with family and friends and also turn it into a social event.

“The money raised will be going to two very worthy causes.”

CO2 Design was established in Paisley 13 years ago by husband and wife David and Colette Atkinson producing all things promotional from brands and business cards to websites. Now a team of 7 with offices at 33 Glasgow Road, Paisley business has never been better, employing local talent and servicing businesses across the Renfrewshire area, Glasgow. This digital era enables us to work with clients from Glasgow to Dublin and across the world. David Atkinson qualified as a Graphic Designer in 1985, worked in several agencies in London before settling in at Sebastian Conran PID; initially running the design department with four designers and then gaining promotion to Associate Director. In 1993 he moved to Glasgow working in a few agencies before starting CO2 Design in 2003.


David has always embraced technology as avenues for new income streams. He started before Apple Mac’s were mainstream, using magic markers and drawing boards. So, when the Internet and emails surpassed fax machines David embraced this new mode of communication, enhancing his knowledge and CO2 Design. There’s one constant in this ever changing world – creativity and ideas. CO2 breathe life into creative ideas. Proud to be based in Paisley, it was a milestone for CO2 to design and oversee the new Accord Hospice brand.

The Accord Hospice has been caring in the community for over 30 years and is a respected organisation that has helped many families through difficult times. Discussions, ideas and concepts for the re-brand started as far back as 2012; there were so many considerations. Like all companies the Accord needed to change with the times, the old brand had changed little since day one, but so much has changed in 30 years with the advent of computing, the internet, CDs, DVDs, memory sticks – I could go on.   Research – first things first, we research the old brand/logo and look into the charity market in the 21st century. The Accord Hospice should be mentioned in the same breath as leading Scottish and UK charities.


A team consisting of board members, employees and CO2 discussed the possibility of a new brand –it was far from a certainty that the project would ever get off the ground. We started by creating sketches, nothing is discarded at this stage and everyone’s ideas are considered. After months of discussions and exploration of creative ideas the new brand starts to take shape, we present every stage of this process to the Client, in this case Accord Hospice. At every stage budgets are also discussed with the idea of a ‘soft launch’ –meaning the new brand would replace the old brand naturally, so when shops needed refurbished the new brand would be used, when new vans were ordered the new brand would be applied. Almost 4 years later the brand is launched, here we are today:


So what do CO2 do?
We meet, talk, advise and swap creative ideas helping you produce better, professional, more cost-effective marketing and promotional material than your competitors. We make it easy and fun, so if you want to sit down with David for a coffee and a chat, have a look at our website www.co2design.co.uk and give
us a call on 0141 404 1199.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall donned her overalls to spend a day in a local garage as part of her latest charity working challenge.

Kwik Fit Paisley is the latest company to invite the Provost to experience a day working in their industry; a challenge she took up immediately.

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The Provost took on a range of tasks throughout the day including basic car maintenance, mot servicing, reception duties and customer care.

During her visit Provost Hall was impressed to hear Kwik Fit are holding ‘Ladies in the Driving Seat’ car care evenings which aim to provide essential knowledge on car maintenance to ensure more women feel comfortable with their vehicles.

Provost Hall has raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity through previous fundraising events, including numerous previous working challenges for which she is paid the living wage.

Kiwk Fit donated £500 to the Provost’s charity fundraising scheme, which will be shared equally among her four chosen charities – Renfrewshire Carers’ Centre, RAMH (Recovery Across Mental Health) and two hospices – Accord and St Vincent’s.

Provost Hall said: “I was delighted when Kwik Fit invited me to spend a day working with them at their outlet in Paisley. The working challenges are a great opportunity to experience a different working environment and they certainly put me through my paces on the day.

“The ‘Ladies in the Driving Seat’ evenings are a terrific concept and will help female motorists feel at ease with their car should they have to take it to their local garage.

“All the money raised will be split between my four chosen charities allowing them to continue their vital work in the community. I am determined to raise as much as possible and any donations are always welcome.”

Paisley Kwik Fit Centre Manager Alan Fisher added: “The working day is a great initiative and Kwik Fit was delighted that Provost Hall chose to spend the day with the Paisley branch. We made sure the Provost received a true to life experience of working at Kwik Fit and we highlighted the importance of preventative maintenance to help keep our roads safe.”

For further information on the Provost’s fundraising, including previous working challenges, visitwww.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostcharity.

Provost Awards 02

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall is searching for nominations of local unsung heroes for the forthcoming Provost Community Awards.

Nominations are now open providing a chance to recognise people who devote their time to helping others in the community but expect nothing in return.

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There are five categories under which people can be nominated; Community Group, Community Volunteer, Sporting Achievement, Carers’ Award and Employer of the Year.

Provost Hall said: “Every year we uncover new people who work tirelessly for the community for nothing more than the satisfaction that they are making a difference. These awards are an excellent opportunity to thank those whose efforts go under the radar.

“Nominations are increasing each year which is terrific and deciding on the winners is proving more and more difficult.

“I would encourage everyone to take the time to nominate as we must reward those individuals and groups who continually go that extra mile.”

Three categories are sponsored by local companies- Community Volunteer by Glasgow Airport Ltd; Community Group by the Piazza Shopping Centre; and Sporting Achievement by Acre Industrial and Cleaning Services.

Provost Awards 02

Nicola MacNaughton, Glasgow Airport Communications and Public Affairs Manager, said: “Communities are founded on the time and effort put in by the people who live within them. These volunteers deserve recognition for their efforts and we are proud to honour them through this award.”

Piazza Centre Manager, Maureen Hill said: “There are many community groups across Renfrewshire which undertake vital work with little acknowledgement of their efforts. This award takes the time to thank them for their work and the impact they make in our communities.”

Acre Industrial Services Ltd Managing Director, Jim Price said: “Sport is an important part of local communities across all age groups and is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. We are delighted that we can continue to reward those who take their commitment to the next level and beyond.”

The Employer of the Year award is sponsored by Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark MacMIllan and encourages employees to nominate employers who have provided a positive working environment which provides training and development opportunities to its workforce.

Former Renfrewshire Provost Nancy Allison donates the Carers’ Award which rewards anyone who cares for a relative, friend or neighbour.

Anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire can be nominated for an award.

Nominations can be submitted online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards.

Printed forms are available at Council offices and facilities.

The closing date for nominations is 31 January 2016.

Winning candidates will be invited to the Provost’s Community Awards ceremony in March 2016.