Provosts Awards 76

Renfrewshire’s Provost Community Award winners celebrated at a special ceremony held in the Tweedie Hall, Linwood.

Five community heroes accepted awards by Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall and the sponsors for each category.

Provosts Awards 76

Almost 100 people and organisations were nominated for an award in the five award categories, which were revamped last year.

The award winners, their families and the people who nominated them were invited to the event.

This year’s winners were:

Employer of the Year award (sponsored by Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark MacMillan) – Lorna Bradley, Paisley

Sporting Achievement award (sponsored by Acre Industrial and Cleaning Services) – Ross Paterson, Paisley

Community Volunteer award (sponsored by Glasgow Airport Ltd) – Arlene Clark, Renfrew

Community Group award (sponsored by Piazza shopping centre, Paisley) – I Am Me, Renfrewshire

Carer’s award (sponsored by former Provost Nancy Allison) – Amanda Macdonald, Glenburn

Provost Hall said: “It is always important to recognise and honour the many dedicated people who do so much for others in the community, often without looking for anything in return. The huge number of nominations is a great indicator of the good that takes place daily within our communities, so deciding on five winners is always a hard thing to do.

“The five winners have dedicated much of their own personal time to helping others and are a true inspiration. As I listen to their stories, I am humbled and moved by how they have overcome adversity to make the lives of those around them better.

“I also honoured nine community stalwarts with a Distinction Certificate, who have helped to shape and transform our communities over the years. Their contributions have benefited many in the community.”

Provost Hall awarded Distinction Certificates to nine community champions to recognise the outstanding achievements and contributions they have made to Renfrewshire. The certificates were awarded to Maureen Brough, Lesley Compston, Jessie James, Robert Knox, Margaret Lavery, Elizabeth McLean, Alan Madden, Sheila Patterson and Doreen Polson.

Image captions:

Image 1: Lorna Bradley, manager of Stepping Stones nursery and winner of the Employer of the Year Award, with Renfrewshire Council’s Depute Leader Mike Holmes

Image 2: Ross Paterson, winner of the Sporting Achievement Award, with Ken Sinclair, Health and Safety Manager, Acre Industrial and Cleaning Services

Image 3: Arlene Clark, winner of the Community Volunteer Award, Glasgow Airport’s Communications Manager, Nicola Macnaughton.

Image 4: Carol Burt, founder of I Am Me project and winner of the Community Group Award, with Maureen Hill, Centre Manager of Paisley’s Piazza shopping centre.

Image 5: Amanda Macdonald, winner of the Carer’s Award, with former Provost Nancy Allison.

Image 6: Community Award winners Back l-r Ross Paterson, I Am Me team – Megan Milligan, Carol Burt and Fiona McIntyre, and Lorna Bradley. Front l-r Amanda Macdonald, Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall and Arlene Clark.

Image 7: Lesley Compston with her Distinction Certificate and Provost Anne Hall

Image 8: Jessie James with her Distinction Certificate and Provost Anne Hall

Image 9: Robert Knox with his Distinction Certificate and Provost Anne Hall

Image 10: Margaret Lavery with her Distinction Certificate and Provost Anne Hall

Image 11: Elizabeth McLean with her Distinction Certificate and Provost Anne Hall

Image 12: Alan Madden with her Distinction Certificate and Provost Anne Hall

Image 13: Sheila Patterson with her Distinction Certificate and Provost Anne Hall

Image 14: Doreen Polson with her Distinction Certificate and Provost Anne Hall

Image 15: Distinction Certificates Back l-r Robert Knox, Margaret Lavery, Lesley Compston and Elizabeth McLean. Front l-r Sheila Patterson, Doreen Polson, Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall, Jessie James and Alan Madden. Not pictured – Maureen Brough.

paisley 10k

Paisley’s number one sporting event returns this summer after record-breaking numbers took part last year.

Registration is now open for the Paisley 10K and Fun Run, sponsored once again by Hillington Park, which will take place on Sunday 30 August 2015.

Around 1,900 runners took part in last year’s event and organisers hope even more will take part this year.

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The 10K road race is open to all and aimed at both the serious runner and the first time competitor. Once again, the race will be on a flat, fast course taking runners to the west of the town after a loop around Paisley’s historic town centre.

The Fun Run covers approximately 3km and participants are encouraged to run, walk or stroll their way round the route and take in the sights, with enjoyment and an active lifestyle the aim of the day.

Each runner will receive a medal for their participation and there will be trophies awarded to the winner of each section of the 10K race.

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, said, “Paisley 10k and Fun Run has continued to grow over the years, making it a key event in the running calendar not just for Renfrewshire but across Scotland. The popular course makes it ideal for new and experienced runners and shows off some of the stunning heritage of Paisley.

“Last year was a record-breaking year but we want to see even more people signing up to take part this year.”

Louise O’Connell, Marketing Manager at Hillington Park, said, “The many hundreds of businesses located at Hillington Park make a major contribution to the Renfrewshire economy so we are delighted, for the fifth year in a row, to be the main sponsor of the Paisley 10K and Fun Run. Last year was a tremendous success and great fun so we hope this year will be even better.”

The chosen charity for this year’s event is Macmillan Cancer Support and runners already with a charity of choice are encouraged to donate when they sign up.

Runners can apply online at, download an application form from or request a paper form on 0141 889 1110.

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SHOPPERS were taken a step or two back in time when they spotted a couple of dancers doing The Charleston through the intu Braehead mall.

The shopping centre is sponsoring the popular Strictly Come Prancing fundraising night organised by St Vincent’s Hospice, Johnstone, tomorrow (Friday March 20)
The sell-out charity night is being held at The Normandy Hotel, Renfrew and is based on the Strictly Come Dancing TV show.

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The event features ten couples who have volunteered to put in hours of practice learning dance routines from a choreographers, Lisa Marie McLaughlin and Gordon Elliott.
And on Friday night they take to the floor in their different ballroom dance outfits provided by That Looks Good, costume hire based in Greenhill Road, Paisley, hoping to lift the Strictly Come Prancing title.

One couple taking part in the competition – Robert Martin and Jennifer Mahon, from Foxbar, in Paisley – got in some extra practice in front of a rather large audience when they took to the mall for some last minute practice.

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Jennifer, 23, a nursery nurse said: “This whole thing has been amazing for me. I’ve been watching Strictly Come Dancing on TV for years and I’ve always wanted to learn how to dance.”

Personal trainer, 22-year-old Robert added: “I know Jennifer from going to the same gym and she persuaded me to be her dance partner in the competition.
“I wouldn’t have agreed if it wasn’t to raise money for the St Vincent’s Hospice charity.
“Learning to dance is really taking me outside my comfort zone, but I’m enjoying it and getting along a lot better than I thought I would.”

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, Lydia Brown said: “The St Vincent’s Hospice do a fantastic job and we’re more than happy to help out by sponsoring their Strictly Come Prancing event.
“The dancers who will be competing have put in a lot of hard work practising and I’ve no doubt they will impress the audience with their new skills.”

Strictly pix 1: Strictly Come Prancing competitors, Jennifer Mahon and Robert Martin get a perfect 10 score from security supervisor, Gareth Gillies at the intu Braehead mall who are sponsoring the charity event.

Strictly pix 2-5: Strictly Come Prancing competitors, Robert Martin, Jennifer Mahon get in some last-minute practice at the intu Braehead mall who are sponsoring the charity event.

Strictly pic 6: Strictly Come Prancing competitors, Robert Martin, Jennifer Mahon and their choreographer Gordon Elliott get in some last-minute practice at the intu Braehead mall who are sponsoring the charity event.

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Dedicated dancers will be hot to trot and thrilled to tango when they take to the floor at this year’s Strictly Come Prancing competition to raise vital funds for St Vincent’s Hospice.

The big hearted fund raisers have stepped up to strut their stuff at the big event in the Normandy Hotel on Friday, March 20.

Ten couples, who are backing the charity by putting themselves up before a team of judges to battle it out for the coveted prize, have been working with their choreographers since November last year.


Now, training at the Pro-Life Fitness Centre in Paisley has been stepped up as the glitz and glamour evening draws closer.

The dancers are being put through their paces by last year’s winners Lisa Marie McLaughlin and Gordon Elliot – both dance teachers and qualified choreographers.

Having taken to the floor themselves the pair know exactly what the couples, who range in age from their mid 20’s to over 60, are facing.

Gordon, who celebrated his recent 30th birthday pairing up with the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing Russian professional Kristina Rihanoff for lessons, revealed there are a few nerves but excitement is mounting and he can’t wait to see the couples on the dance floor.

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He said:”Lisa Marie and I were absolutely thrilled to win last year. It was a tremendous evening with a wonderful atmosphere and we were ecstatic when our quick step routine wowed the judges.

“Then to be asked to do the choreography for the dancers for the 2015 showdown was such a privilege for us.

“This big night raises thousands of pounds for the hospice which does incredible work for the people of Renfrewshire so it’s wonderful that our couples volunteered to put themselves up for the training which takes time and dedication.

“They have all worked really hard on their routines and Lisa Marie and I are really proud of what they have achieved. It should be a great show and fantastic evening for everyone who comes along.

“I know the dancers are all working hard at getting sponsorship too and if anyone can help out with that they should contact the hospice. Pro-Life has given us such great support and Intu Braehead has come in with sponsorship for the event which is smashing.”

Last year St Vincent’s raised more than £25,000 and the year before, because it was over two nights, they raised an incredible £37,000 from the evenings with the money going to help provide care and support for those who have life-limiting illnesses and their families too.

Gordon, who also works as an administrative assistant at Renfrew High School, added: “Our amateur dancers will be tackling a number of dances including the Charleston, cha-cha-cha, Viennese Waltz, Quick Step and a couple of Foxtrots. I have no doubt the audience will be impressed by the performances.”

While Gordon and Lisa Marie will be supporting their new students from the sidelines they are also taking part too. They will open and end the show with their own new routines.

Gayle Brannigan, chief executive at Pro Life which is run by Renfrewshire Sports Charity, said: “Every pound profit we make goes to our hospices – both St Vincent’s and ACCORD so we are urging all our members to back Strictly Come Prancing.

“We are delighted to be able to help out by opening up our studio to the dancers for their training. We are all looking forward to the big night and another great fundraiser for St Vincent’s.

“Well done to everyone who has been working so hard on their performances.  I can’t wait to see them.”

The hospice say they are delighted with the support of the dancers, sponsors intu Braehead, the choreographers, Pro-Life and everyone who has helped pull it altogether.

“Each of the dancers has promised to raise £250 for the hospice so the big winners on the evening will be St Vincent’s,” a spokesperson said.

For more information, to sponsor any of the couples or donate a prize for the tombola call St Vincent’s on 01505 705635.


Every pound profit made at the Pro-Life Fitness Centre in Paisley is donated to St Vincent’s and ACCORD hospices.


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Lisa Marie and Alex Whelan Jnr from Pro Life with the couples who have stepped up their training schedules at the Paisley fitness centre.

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Last year’s Strictly Come Prancing winners Gordon Elliot and Lisa Marie McLaughlin who are choreographers for this year’s competitors.

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American footballers are celebrating their latest home win after bagging a new sponsorship deal with Pro-Life and Five on 5 in Paisley.

The West Coast Trojans, who boast a squad which includes amateur players from all over Renfrewshire, believe the partnership will make it easier for them to train and recruit new talent to the sport.

Trojans Head Coach Gary McNey said: “It’s great to have Pro-Life on board for another year. They are giving us a new set of game jerseys and a deal which is worth thousands of pounds to us and we can’t thank them enough.

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“The squad also get to use the gym and pitches and family and friends get special rates too.
“We know the gym is now being run by Renfrewshire Sports Charity and we’re delighted they saw fit to back us.

“The staff are unbelievable. They are happy to help us with specialised training, workouts and nutrition advice to make sure we’re getting the best expert help around. Nothing is too much trouble for any of them.

“With Five on 5 on board too we have a solid base to recruit and run our pre-season training. As well as training there twice a week when the weather ain’t that great it’s also a great venue for any events we wish to run including the 2015 Superbowl. Everyone has been awesome.”

Gary, who founded the Trojans in 2004 and is still playing at 47 after 29 years in the game, added: “One side of my family are from Salt Village, Illinois so there’s always been a keen interest in American Football in my house.

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“I go over to the States at least once a year and I’m still on a mission to get more people over here interested in taking up the sport.

“Our training sessions are open for anyone to come along, have a chat about how you can become a player, and to see what training is like and what’s expected. People have this image that you have to be huge and built like a tank – you don’t.
“We have big guys like Paddy Shields who is 6ft 5ins and 21 stone and smaller guys like Joshua Polson who is 5ft 10 and 15 stone and fast. You need power and strength but also speed in your team.”
Training is intense both indoors and outdoors and the squad is involved in sprint training, plyometrics exercises – a technique that uses explosive movements like jump squats or one-leg hops with some moves faster than others.
Every time players land from a jump their muscles get a stretch which gives their next jump even more power. The combination of stretching and contracting muscles whips them into shape.
Gary, from Erskine, who was signed to Rangers in his younger days, explained: “This workout uses maximum power to strengthen your muscles. The moves are quick and explosive, so you have to prepare to use a lot more energy than you do in a typical strength-training session.

“Our taster sessions are a great way to find out if the sport is for you. You need to have some level of fitness and a determination to increase that level with a regime of training which includes lifts, sprints, weights, strength training and speed training,

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“There’s also the one on one, two on two and three on three contact training, throwing and catching a football and a whole lot more. We have players ranging in age from 18 to our oldest Stewart Caldwell, or Soggy as we call him who is 48 and a great-grandfather. So there’s no age limit.”

The dad-of-four, a joiner who runs his own business when he’s not coaching, believes the sport will get bigger in this country and people will open their eyes to the game he is passionate about.

For now he has his own personal challenge to face after winning a five-week training camp with former pro-Life gym owner Alex Whelan senior.

Gary said: “Although Alex has retired he still does personal training at the gym. Last time I had a stint with him it almost killed me. I’m dreading it but know I will appreciate how good I will feel after it.

He quipped: “I’ve just had a chicken may sandwich and I’m heading for a curry after training as it’s the last treat I will have for weeks. Diet and nutrition as well as a hard time in the gym under Alex’s watchful eye and tough regime are what’s ahead for me.

“I think I was lucky to win. I’ll let you know in five weeks.”

Anyone who would like to know what the Trojans are all about and when the next taster session is can give Gary a call on 07429 137969. Alternatively drop into one of their training session at Pro-Life on a Tuesday evening from 7.30pm.


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The things a chief exec has to do –Gayle gets to find out what it is like in the huddle where players discuss strategy.

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Gayle, chief executive of Renfrewshire Sports Charity, is driving the charity and one of its aims to encourage sport by backing the Trojans for another year.

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Gayle catches up with head coach Gary McNey and Trojans Murray Hogg, Paddy Shields, Jason West and Joshua Polson on training night at Pro-Life as they celebrate the new sponsorship deal.