Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall soared through the skies as she jumped out of a plane for her first-ever charity skydive.

The daring Provost has taken up a mission to raise thousands of pounds for four charities based in Renfrewshire – Accord and St Vincent’s hospices, Recovery Across Mental Health and Renfrewshire Carers Centre.

Renfrewshire provost anne hall on her tandem parachute jump with Chris Dickie of St Andrews Skydive See copy Jennifer Connolly..28 Aug 15

Renfrewshire provost anne hall on her tandem parachute jump with Chris Dickie of St Andrews Skydive See copy Jennifer Connolly..28 Aug 15

Provost Hall was joined by a team of charity-focused daredevils, who snapped up the chance to experience 30 seconds of free-fall at 120 mph from a drop of 10,000 ft.

Provost Hall said: “Many people have said a skydive is not something you expect every Provost to do, but when you listen to the inspirational stories of the many people my four chosen charities have helped, you realise you need to do something big, and this is big.

“The skydive was thrilling and I was lucky enough to experience it with a dedicated team of daredevils just as keen on charity as I am.

“My goal is to raise thousands of pounds for four charities based in Renfrewshire. They do fantastic work in the community and it is vital we give them something back for the hard work and dedication they give to others.”

Previously, Provost Hall has taken part in a charity wing-walk to raise money for Help for Heroes and a charity abseil from the roof of Renfrewshire Council HQ, Cotton Street in Paisley. Both events raised almost £13,000.

In total, the Provost’s charity fundraising scheme has raised over £18,000.

Skydive participants are hoping to raise a minimum of £500 each. All money raised will be shared equally among the four charities – Recovery Across Mental Health, Renfrewshire Carers Centre and two hospices – Accord and St Vincent’s.

The skydive was organised by Skydive St Andrews.

For more information, visit

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Thousands of residents from Renfrewshire and beyond were getting into buildings at the weekend during the area’s annual Doors Open Days.

Saturday and Sunday saw more than 60 venues across Renfrewshire throw open their doors to give people a look inside.

Doors Open Day 01

Buildings old and new took part, from historic gems such as Paisley Abbey through to recent additions such as Johnstone Town Hall.

This year, highlights included the first-anniversary party for the re-opening of the ornate 19th-century Grand Fountain in Paisley’s Fountain Gardens, which was restored to its former glory last year.

Elsewhere, visitors could travel in style with a limousine tour of local landmarks led by Paisley firm JW Goudie.

And there was also the chance to drop in on a live archaeological dig at the Great Drain outside Paisley Abbey, run by Renfrewshire Local History Forum.

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The Doors Open Day event was organised by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Civic Trust, which runs the national event.

The council produced a special kids’ programme allowing youngsters to collect stamps at each venue visited, with prizes for those getting five or more.

They also had the chance to meet event mascots – Culture Vultures Victor and Vera, named in honour of Paisley’s upcoming bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall was out and about over the weekend and said: “Once again, Renfrewshire Doors Open Day was a well-attended event.

“Sometimes it’s easy to walk past buildings without stopping to appreciate the quality of what we have here on our doorsteps.

“But the great thing about Doors Open Day is that it encourages people to be tourists in their own towns and appreciate our outstanding built heritage.

“Here in Renfrewshire we are fortunate to have some great buildings, from our collection of churches right up to new additions such as Johnstone Town Hall, which was taking part in its first Doors Open Day this year.”

For more information on local events, visit


New ROCCO awards this year sponsored by the Paisley Daily Express – Renfrewshire’s Favourite Business.

Know a business that gives great service, welcomes you with a smile or you just love going there? Nominate them for Renfrewshire’s Favourite Business ROCCO Award.

To nominate your favourite business in Renfrewshire please email by the 22nd September. Please include ROCCO AWARD in the subject header. In the body of the e mail please include the name of the business you wish to nominate and why in <100 words and include your own name, address & phone number. A shortlist of six will be announced on the 29th September with online voting open for 1 month after that.  The winner will be announced at the ROCCO ceremony on the 20th Nov at the Normandy hosted by Fred MacAulay




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THE race is on to take part in this weekend’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run.

There has been a late surge in entries for the popular event this week, but the deadline for signing up to be involved in the race is noon tomorrow. (Friday August 28)

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Thousands of people of all ages will pound the streets of Paisley in the Hillington Park-sponsored 10k race and shorter distance 3k Fun Run, on Sunday, August 30 with many raising money for charities and good causes.

Anyone who wants to take part should log on to for more information and an application form before tomorrow’s noon deadline.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure who are one of the Paisley 10k race organisers said: “There’s still time for people to register to take part in the Paisley 10k and Fun Run.

“The event has been as popular as ever this year and if anyone is considering taking part they should get themselves registered before it’s too late.”

Joyce added: “In years past I’ve heard people saying they wish they had taken part in the event because their friends or family have told them how much fun it is and how they raised lots of money for their favourite charity.

“So, don’t be disappointed by being too late to register.”



With pic. Caption:  Running out of time – Karen McDougall, who works for Renfrewshire Leisure at Paisley’s Lagoon centre lets people know that they have until noon tomorrow to sign up for the Paisley 10k and fun run.

Bereaved relatives and friends turn out in their hundreds to a special memorial football tournament in Ferguslie.

Over 700 people attended the popular community event No Substitute for Life to commemorate those who have lost their lives to suicide.


Twelve teams took part in the seven-a-side football tournament with Lucy’s Angels winning the match for a second year in a row.

Football wasn’t the only thing on offer – friends and family were able to get information and meet representatives from a range of local and national agencies that are working together to help prevent suicide in Scotland.


People also had the opportunity to write a message on a purple heart and put it on the SOBS memorial tree in the Tannahill Centre.

The event was attended by Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall, who opened the event, and Paul Cardona, whose personal experiences led him to develop the event for the community.


At the end of the event a hundred balloons were released into the air in remembrance for those who had lost their lives to suicide.

Provost Hall said: “No Substitute for Life is a treasured event for the community given so many people an opportunity to talk about their loss with others. Breaking this isolation is key for anyone affected by suicide, but it also helps to prevent people taking their own lives.


“Men are still twice as likely to lose their lives to suicide, so a game of football is a great way to get together and help spread awareness that talking about suicide does help save lives.”

The Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) support group meets on the last Tuesday of every month in the Charleston Centre between 7pm and 9pm.

No Substitute for Life is organised by community volunteers in partnership with Choose Life, Recovery Across Mental Health (RAMH) and Engage Renfrewshire.

The national helpline Breathing Space can be reached on 0800 83 85 87, and the number for The Samaritans is 08457 90 90 90.

Recovery Across Mental Health (RAMH) First Crisis can be contacted on 0141 848 9090.

For more information on suicide prevention, call 0141 849 2200, or


Time is running out for big-hearted and courageous people to sign up to a sky-high charity feat – a skydive – and help raise vital funds for four local charities.

Those who sign up will face the exhilaration of jumping from a plane at 10,000 ft with a qualified instructor to experience 30 seconds of free-fall at around 120mph before the parachute is deployed at 5,000 ft – all in the name of charity.


It is all part of a special mission Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall has set herself to raise thousands of pounds for her chosen charities – Renfrewshire Carers’ Centre, RAMH (Recovery Across Mental Health) and two hospices – Accord and St Vincent’s – and she’s looking for as many brave and charity-focused people as possible to join her.

Provost Hall said: “The skydive promises to be a thrilling once-in-a-lifetime event that will also raise much needed funds for four local charities who do fantastic work in our community. I would urge anyone who is thinking about taking part to call 0141 618 6794 and find out more.

“These charities give so much to local people, so it is vital we give them something back and that is what I hope to do with the skydive. I hope as many people as possible will join me.”

The money raised will be shared equally among the four charities. Participants are asked to raise a minimum of £500 in sponsorship to take part and must be aged 18 or over.

The event will take place on Friday 28 August and is being organised by Skydive St Andrews.

To register for the skydive or to sponsor the charity event, call 0141 618 6794.

For more information, visit

The Renfrewshire Employability Awards brought local movers and shakers out in force to recognise and celebrate the hard work, talent and commitment that so clearly characterises Renfrewshire’s employers and employees. Guests at the glittering ceremony in Renfrew’s Normandy Hotel were entertained by TV and Radio presenter, Des McLean.

Progression in Work award winner, Beth Leitch with Des McLean and

In the three years since its foundation, the Invest in Renfrewshire partnership has created 882 new work opportunities. ‘Invest’ has also helped 400 local businesses with their growth plans. The Awards recognise the work and cooperation that built this success.

Top Intern, Caroline Guthrie Tate of Kuka Studios with Bob Grant, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce

Councillor MacMillan said: “All the finalists are an inspiration. It’s important that we appreciate how hard people are working and how ready they are to learn, innovate and share their success. The Awards process finds people and businesses who are building better futures for themselves, their organisations and for all of Renfrewshire’s communities.”

Winning Entrepreneur Ross McGaffney, Commando X-fit with Gordon Hunt, UWS

All the finalists were recognised as having made excellent contributions to their workplaces and the night’s winners were chosen as examples of Renfrewshire’s excellence.

The winners were:

  • Top Intern, Caroline Guthrie-Tate of Kuka Studios
  • Best Trainee, Lesley Ann McKellar of Hugh Smiley Nursery
  • CV Builder, Ewan Thomson, Gleniffer High School
  • Most Promising New Employee, Rhiannon McMillan, Bray Controls UK Ltd
  • Most Promising New Entrepreneur, Ross McGaffney, Commando -X-Fit
  • Progression in Work, Beth Leitch, Paisley Autocare Ltd
  • Renfrewshire Apprentice of the Year, Steven McFadyen, Thermofisher Scientific
  • Achiever of the Year Award, Sean Folger, Paisley South Housing Association

The Awards event took place a week ahead of the official opening of Invest in Renfrewshire’s new business incubator, the InCube. Thirteen young enterprises have each won a year’s place in the newly refurbished premises at 127 High Street, Paisley. There, they will benefit from business support, training and from being part of a community of entrepreneurs. InCube’s winners, who impressed judges with their innovation, commitment and enterprise, were announced as:

Best Trainee Lesley Ann McKellar with Shona Mitchell of Skills Development Scotland, Des McLean, Sean Folger, Special Achievemet Award Winner, & Best Trai

Bella Brilla, Ltd; Nina Mare; Pea Cooper Millinery; Guitar Slide, Ltd; Vonnie Print Designs; Subsafe Audio Ltd; Tatty Rose Ltd; Pop Up! Scotland; D.O.M. Art, Ltd; Treetops Boutique; Amy McGregor; Knit Knax and RAMH.

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce was given a Special Recognition Award in appreciation of its unerring support for the principles and practical work of the Invest partnership.

A&D Logistics, of Johnstone also received a special Recognition Award for its work with schools and in developing an innovative traineeship to build careers and develop the skills needed in the logistics industry.

A third Special Recognition Award went to Paisley Autocare. This company has taken on four apprentice mechanics, employed a further trainee in administration and welcomed three young people on work experience placements.

In summing up the evening, Councillor Mark Macmillan said: “Occasions like this give us a flavour of the work and cooperation that’s happening throughout Renfrewshire. We can all be proud of the achievements we celebrated tonight. We can also be certain that as Renfrewshire’s economy continues to grow, our talent and drive will create even more success throughout our communities.”

Thousands of Renfrewshire residents had fun in the sun at the weekend during the ever-popular Barshaw Gala Day.

People young and old descended on the popular park in the town’s east end for the annual family festivity.

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Attractions include live music on the main stage provided by young musicians from the Erskine Music and Media Studio.

Elsewhere in the park there was the chance to enjoy fairground rides and to meet face painters and childrens’ entertainers.

Foodies had the opportunity to grab a slice of the action at pizza-making workshops, while there was also a selection of stalls from various local groups.

Visitors could also enjoy other attractions in the park such as Pets’ Corner, the Rowantree Café and the boating pond.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “Barshaw Park is now more than 100 years old and is still looking as good as ever.

“It’s always great to get out and about on days like today and to see so many families out having fun.”

Other big family events coming up in Renfrewshire include Sma’ Shot Day, which will be in its usual place in the town centre on Saturday 4 July.

For more information on events in Renfrewshire, visit


Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall is calling on local businesses to get big-hearted for her four local charities.

Businesses have been invited to a special Masquerade charity ball, which will be held on the 11 September in the Normandy Hotel, Renfrew.


The ball, which features live music, great entertainment and a live auction, will raise vital funds for Renfrewshire Carers’ Centre, RAMH (Recovery Across Mental Health) and two hospices – Accord and St Vincent’s – chosen by Provost Hall to feature in a special charity giving scheme during her term as Provost.

Tickets cost £600 for a table of ten and include a pre-dinner drinks reception, a three course dinner and a bottle of wine per couple. All money raised will be split equally between the four charities.

Provost Hall said: “Businesses in Renfrewshire have been really supportive of my charity fundraising scheme and I hope they will continue to support me in my aim to raise much needed funds for my chosen charities.

“Last year’s charity ball was one to remember with great entertainment and I’m aiming to make this one just as memorable.

“The theme this year is Masquerade and we’ll have a group of talented mask-makers at the event so no one needs miss out on the fun.

“The entertainment will be just as strong, with live music from the Pulse Show Band and the popular live and silent auctions.

“I would encourage businesses to get in touch to find out how they can support four fantastic local charities.”

A grand prize raffle will support the charity ball, with tickets selling for £1 at charity events throughout the summer. Top prizes on offer include £1,000 cash, £500 art voucher and a Lenovo laptop.

Ball and raffle tickets can be purchased by calling the Provost’s office on 0141 618 7102.

For more information, visit or call 0141 618 6794.

Nicky McDonald (3)

A two-day music festival in Renfrewshire this weekend is set to give a cash boost to the Nordoff-Robbins music charity.

It’s hoped thousands of pounds will be raised to provide music therapy to vulnerable children, young people and adults during the Everyone’s Invited event being held at two venues at the intu Braehead shopping and leisure destination.

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Nordoff-Robbins Scotland is the free festival’s official charity partner and the event features a host of pop and rock bands along with solo performers on stages being built in the shopping mall’s Curling Arena and at her nearby Soar at intu Braehead.

Hosted by Clyde 1 presenter Cassi, Everyone’s Invited kicks off at 1pm on Saturday, June 27, at the intu Braehead Curling Arena and top-of-the-bill during the four-hour music extravaganza is electro pop girl band, Neon Jungle.

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The London-based four-piece group features Scots singer, Shereen Cutkelvin, from Lanark and the band’s second single, Braveheart peaked at Number 4 in the UK charts, last year. Their debut album, also released in 2014 entered the UK album charts at number 8.

Also on the bill are X Factor finalist, Nicholas McDonald; Scots boy band, Rewind; rock band November Lights; singer-songwriter, Rebekah Kirk; singing duo, Mitchell and Boyd; singer, Liam Doyle; and girl band, Echo.

Day Two of Everyone’s Invited takes place on the live music stage in Soar at intu Braehead, on Sunday June 28, between 1pm and 4pm.

Topping the bill is last year’s X Factor finalists, Only the Young with support acts including Scots singer, Kloe; boy band, Rewind; singer-songwriters, Kevin McGuire and Robbi McFaulds and Scots band Rubicon, which features teenage triplets, Joe, Erin and Ciara McNair.

As well as music during the day there will also be a display of BMX bike stunt riding at the entrance to Soar at intu Braehead at noon, 1.30pm and 3pm.

On both Saturday and Sunday the shopping mall will feature a Summer Garden with free food sampling and arts and craft activities for kids. And on Saturday at Soar at intu Braehead, ice hockey fans will get the chance to meet Braehead Clan players between noon and 3pm.

Nicky McDonald (3)

Nordoff-Robbins fundraiser, Andrew Sinclair said: “Being involved with Everyone’s Invited gives us a great opportunity to reach out to the tens of thousands of people who will visit intu Braehead during the festival weekend.

“It’s important for us to let people know how great the need is for music therapy in Scotland and to raise money to fund the vital work we do.”

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, Lydia Brown said: “We’ve a fabulous line-up of acts for this year’s Everyone’s Invited. And with there being no ice at the curling rink during the summer, we’ve been able to create a brand new music venue.

“Not only can people come along and enjoy the music they can find out about the great work Nordoff-Robbins does and donate to this worthy cause.

“We’ll be doing our bit for the fundraising as our cleaning and customer services staff will be dressed as pop stars during the festival and collecting money for the charity.”