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Your home is your palace and the place where you should feel comfortable and secure.

However, thinking of ways to keep your home looking and feeling tip top and terrific can be challenging.

So here are 10 tips for making your house more homely.

1. Use soft furnishings

Soft furnishing such as throws and cushions make excellent additions to most rooms in your home and can seriously enhance the look and feel of key furniture pieces such as your sofa.

2. Hang some mirrors

No home is complete without a mirror hanging on the wall.They make a great focal point for any room, brighten up dark spaces and can make small space seem larger.  So whether you’re looking for something decorative or minimalist, they’re a great investment.

3. Get a living room rug

A rug is a must-have item for a non-carpeted living room because it adds texture and softness. Rugs also make a great centre piece for a room and make the floor a more welcoming

Place – check out a rug store such as Benuta to find your perfect product.

4. Get dimmer switches

Dimmer switches allow you to use lighting to maximum effect by playing around with lighting levels, so that each room in your house can benefit from its own distinctive atmosphere.

5. Use lamps

Lamps help create a cosy atmosphere within the home because they offer lower lighting than ceiling lights and can produce beautiful lighting patterns on your walls (depending on the shade you choose). If your looking to make a bold statement floor lamps are a great option – they stand out, fill bare spaces and can complement your furniture and chosen colour scheme.

6. Decorate with wall art

Putting up photos of family and friends, sayings you love or an artwork that has caught your eye immediately adds personality to a room, prevents your walls from looking bare and the rooms in your home appearing empty.

7. Use storage furniture

If you’re struggling to find space for your household clutter, multifunctional furniture pieces such as a storage footstool are a brilliant investment because they serve as practical furniture items whilst keeping messy bits and bobs nicely out of sight.

8. Be fragrant

A homely household doesn’t just look and feel great, it should smell nice too. So stock up on some diffusers, candles, fragrance plugs (whatever your preference) and let thosebeautiful scents flow through your home.

9. Get a door mat

A doormat helps make your house a warm and inviting space from the moment you step foot inside. It’s one of the first items that your guests will see, so it needs to look the part – for high-quality options head to an online mat store such as Kleen-Tex.

10.  Re-arrange your furniture

Re-arranging your furniture is a fun and cost-effective way to breathe new life into your home.

Follow these tips and your house will be transformed into a super homely, cosy and comfortable space that you just can’t get enough of.  

cloud

FAMILIES can be scientists for a day when they come along to the intriguing activities being held in Soar at intu during the February mid-term break.

lava lamp

Demonstrations that everyone can get involved with include – how to make a cloud, a lava lamp, a hot air balloon, how to create electricity and how to make a volcano.

The free fun science-inspired events – from Saturday, February 8 till Tuesday, February 11 between noon and 5pm – will astound youngsters and grown-ups alike.Presenters will give easy-to-understand explanations of the science behind each of these experiments.

Those taking part are asked to bring an empty plastic bottle so they can make their lava lamp, which they can take home.

cloud

Places on the activities will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. And there’s a special treat exclusively for intu Family Club members, who are invited to come along each day from 11am till 11.30am to find out how to make slime.

The intu family club in partnership with Playmobil is free to join and members receive exclusive offers and discounts, a child’s gift, a membership pack, a magazine and more.

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, David Lyon said: “We’ve got some amazing science demonstrations lined up that are not just interesting and informative, but they’re great fun as well.

“This is something all the family can get involved in and everyone will be amazed when they see the results of their scientific experiments.”

David added: “We own and manage the most popular destinations and our aim is to create compelling experiences for our visitors.”

Go to www.intu.co.uk/braehead for more details and to sign up for the intu Family Club.

lauren

PARENTS and carers now have an even bigger choice of fitness classes they can bring their babies along to while they work out.

Renfrewshire Leisure has recently decided to make many of their regular fitness classes buggy friendly and that means those attending can take their babies along and have them by their side.

lauren

The sports and leisure trust has increased more than tenfold – from six to 68 – their buggy friendly classes within their new fitness class schedule. It’s the first time in Scotland these types of sessions have been incorporated into a regular fitness programme.

One mum, Lauren Maynard who takes her one-year-son, Spencer to her classes reckons people looking after babies should keep going to their favourite fitness sessions – for the sake of their sanity.

Lauren, 28, from Inchinnan, in Renfrewshire, who aims to attend up to four fitness classes a week, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for new mums like me.

lauren

“Spencer comes with me to classes so I can work out as normal while he is sitting next to me in his buggy and I know he’s safe.

“New mums need to keep active and get out of the house and mix with people, as that’s very important for their mental health.

“After a fitness class you feel much happier, less stressed and generally it lifts your mood.”

Lauren added: “Some new mums may feel trapped or isolated if they are stuck in the house after their baby is born.

“Their husband or partner goes off to work and gets to mix with their work colleagues, but a new mum can lose contact with their circle of friends.

lauren

“So, it’s very important for a mum’s well-being to have a social contact with other people and mix with their friends. These buggy friendly fitness classes are ideal for that.

“Not everyone has family members they can rely on for baby-sitting duties during the day as they might be at work, but the buggy friendly classes can let you do this.”

Lauren continued: “What Renfrewshire Leisure has done is fantastic and a Godsend to mums with babies. They have given us a huge variety of classes you can attend with your baby.

“Some of their sports centres also have swimming pools where you can take your baby for free if they are under one year old.

“When I attend these buggy friendly classes it’s great to meet new people. Everyone is really friendly. Spencer is no bother and doesn’t make much noise, but if he does, everyone makes me feel really welcome even though I have a baby with me in the class.

“The babies seem to enjoy it as well and there is always plenty going on around them to keep them interested.”

Renfrewshire Leisure chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “We are the only local authority or leisure trust in Scotland to have opened up an existing fitness class programme to new parents who want to bring their babies in buggies along with them to a fitness session.

“We took this ground-breaking step after one of the mums who came to one of our previous buggy-friendly spin classes asked us if we could extend the idea to other types of fitness classes, so we decided to take a radical approach.

“We have gone from having six, mainly spin classes that were buggy-friendly to 68 fitness activities for parents and their babies covering most types of classes.

“We wanted to make it as easy as possible for new mums to get the benefit both physically and psychologically of taking part in fitness classes.”

The Renfrewshire Leisure buggy friendly fitness classes are held at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre; ON-X Linwood; Erskine Sports Centre; Renfrew Leisure Centre; Johnstone Sports Hub and Ralston Community Sports Centre.

Classes include Body Pump, Attack and Combat; Zumba; Sosa Fitness; Yoga and Pilates; Spin Cycle; Metafit and even Ballroom Fitness.

Visit www.renfrewshireleisure.com for more information on the buggy friendly classes.

3. Cllr Nicolson with Mary Russell pupils

Renfrewshire’s top schools for the promotion of fair trade have been announced, with Mary Russell and Bargarran Primary taking home the glory for 2019.

The awards aim to recognise the outstanding work carried out by local schools to promote fair trade in Renfrewshire and ensure young people have the opportunity to learn about how they can make a difference to the world.

3. Cllr Nicolson with Mary Russell pupils

First-time winners of the John McDowell Award, which is named after the former Provost of Renfrewshire who established the campaign for fair trade in the area, are Bargarran Primary School.

They’ve established a Fair Trade Parliament consisting of 25 pupils from Primary 2-7, outlined their own fair trade policy for the school, run tuck shops and coffee mornings to promote the issue, and held whole school assemblies to talk about fair trade.

2. Bargarran Primary pupils with their award

The school also renewed its FairAchiever status in 2019 with the Fairtrade Foundation – the highest award that a school can receive.

Liz Mackenzie, Depute Head Teacher at Bargarran Primary, said: “All our pupils are delighted to receive this year’s John McDowell Award for their commitment to Fair Trade.

“Having successfully renewed our FairAchiever Status in May 2019, the pupils from this year’s Fairtrade Parliament are continuing to promote Fairtrade by raising awareness within the school and local community.“

Mary Russell Primary were highly commended for their commitment to the campaign.

Their peers in Mary Russell Secondary though have taken home the Renfrewshire Secondary Schools award for the first time after their committed group achieved FairAchiever status from the Fairtrade Foundation.

Their monthly group hosted regular coffee mornings and events, including the visit of a Rwandan coffee producer, worked with fair trade organisations including the Scottish Fair Trade Forum and Rainbow Turtle, have embedded the issue into the school curriculum with all pupils having the chance to learn about fair trade in class and at school assemblies.

Julie McCallum, Mary Russell Head Teacher, said: “Our school is firmly committed to promoting the fair trade and sustainability agenda and we are delighted that this year the work we have been undertaking in Mary Russell has been recognised.

“Our Fairtrade committee led by our principal teacher Susan Hamill have worked hard to ensure that we continue to raise the profile of Fairtrade across our school and within our partnerships.”

Previous winners Gryffe High were highly commended for their fantastic ongoing work.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson presented the awards to both schools and praised their commitment to the cause.

Councillor Nicolson said: “It’s fantastic to see our young pupils learning about the importance of fair trade and both schools have done so much throughout the year to deserve their awards.

“Their work within their school is ensuring that our younger generation recognise the difference that can be made by supporting fair trade and they’ve raised awareness in the local community too by hosting regular events.

“As a council, we are committed to promoting fair trade having become the first in Scotland to sign up to the International Fair Trade Charter in May last year and we will continue to support it wherever possible as we move forward.”

The Renfrewshire Fair Trade Steering Group meets regularly to discuss the issue of fair trade and outline how it can be supported within the council and more widely in Renfrewshire, and new members are always welcome.

For more information, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/fairtrade.

Entrance to Glen Cinema

Two artists have been commissioned to create a public artwork to remember the victims and survivors of Paisley’s Glen Cinema disaster of 1929.

Artists Kerry Stewart, originally from Johnstone, and Rachel Lowther, who were appointed in the 90th year of the tragedy, have been chosen to work with community groups to develop a tribute to the disaster as a reminder of its lasting impact on the town.

Entrance to Glen Cinema

The Glen Cinema tragedy took place on 31 December 1929 when a smoking film canister caused a panic during a packed children’s matinee where more than 600 children were present. The main exit doors had a metal gate that had been pulled shut stopping it from opening leading to a crush where 71 children died, and more than 30 children were injured.

Commenting on the commission Rachel said: “As a mother, I was immediately moved by the terrible story of what unfolded at Glen Cinema on Hogmanay 1929. From silent film to the town’s stunned silence, the lack of any memorial beyond that in the cemetery tells of a pain and loss so great it could barely be spoken.

“As an artist, I am drawn to this project because it is both potent and sensitive. It is a challenge to make a work of art that can speak to this event, that can carry the sadness but also transform it.”

Kerry added: “It is possible to mark great loss in a way that is meaningful and particular to those lost and those affected. I hope that together Rachel and I can achieve such a monument.”

This appointment is Kerry and Rachel’s first public commission as a partnership. Both women studied at the prestigious Chelsea College of Art in London with Kerry’s background being in sculpture, performance and Fine Art and History of Art while Rachel’s focus is largely in sculpture. They have also both worked with Glasgow School of Art on separate projects.

They will shortly begin to reach out and engage with local community groups about the project with the ambition that the artwork would be unveiled by the end of 2020.

The artists said: “We are keen to create work within communities, that speaks directly to human experience. We intend to start the project by holding a series of workshops with different groups in Paisley, young and old; to try to understand the impacts of the disaster on the town, as it moved through time, transforming Paisley.

“We also intend to start conversations about what makes a good memorial and how tragedy can be marked with love, dignity and spirit. We have several ideas that we intend to put to the community for scrutiny and discussion, until a project emerges that we hope will have the support of the people of Paisley.

“We are extremely grateful for this opportunity and look forward to getting to know the people of Paisley.”

The project is supported by Future Paisley – a radical and wide-ranging programme of events, activity and investment which uses the town’s unique and internationally-significant cultural story to transform its future.

Paisley Partnership Strategic Lead on Cultural Regeneration for Renfrewshire Council, Leonie Bell, said: “The Glen Cinema disaster is such a tragic part of Paisley’s history. The 90th anniversary at the end of last year was a major milestone and it’s important that it continues to remain in the public consciousness in Paisley and beyond.

“We’re delighted to have artists of Kerry and Rachel’s calibre onboard to engage with survivors, their families and community groups to create a truly collaborative, sensitive and lasting commemoration of a tragedy which had such devastating and lasting impacts both locally and globally.”

The artists were commissioned at the end of 2019 as part of a wider programme of events to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Glen Cinema disaster.

Snow Flake

Were you caught out by the Black Ice that coated the roads and pavements of Paisley on Sunday a couple of weekends ago? Lisa Taylor, Marketing Executive from Salt and Grit Solutions Ltd shares her thoughts on Black Ice, including how to identify and deal with it. 

Black Ice is one of the most dangerous threats to drivers during the winter months. Unlike frost, its is not visible to the naked eye and often drivers don’t adjust their driving accordingly for the weather conditions. The danger of black ice doesn’t stop at drivers – pedestrian and cyclists are also at risk. 

Close-up Ice Pattern on a Black Car Roof

What is Black Ice?

Black ice a thin coat of ice on the surface of the ground. You can’t really see black ice. Often Black Ice make it look like the ground is wet as it is clear, and you can see the ground surface through it. Black Ice generally forms when there is a sharp dip in temperature after wet conditions. According to AccuWeather, Black Ice is most likely to form when it is raining, and the air is at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Be vigilant after bouts of snow as the melting snow can often cause Black Ice if the temperature drops.

Snow Flake

Where will Black Ice form?

Black Ice can form on any outside surface, but extra care must be taken on streets and roads that do not get much sunshine. Even later in the day when the sun has been up for some time these areas will still have Black Ice. It if often complacency from road users and pedestrians that causes accidents.

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How do you treat Black Ice?

Thankfully we have local authorities and winter maintenance companies throughout the UK who monitor the road and weather conditions 24/7. They use their expertise to identify weather conditions that are likely to cause black ice and head out with their ‘gritting’ machinery to spread de-icing salt on the road. Some companies do add sand or grit to help with traction, but de-icing rock salt really is the main star. It helps to prevent the ice form forming and melts areas that have already started to freeze. Unfortunately, the gritters are often limited to main arterial routes like highways and town centres but householders and businesses can buy bags of de-icing salt and help keep their own pathways and pavements free from black ice, making it safe.

What to Do if you Hit Black Ice in the Car?

Hitting Black Ice can be a little bit scary if you are not expecting it. The best thing to do is stay calm and not make any sudden or sharp manoeuvres. Keep the steering wheel straight and try to brake as little as possible.  If you feel the car turning to the left or right, make a very gentle turn of your steering wheel in the same direction. This may feel counter intuitive, but it avoids skids and spinning out. If your car has ABS, you will want to apply the brakes firmly and the car will pump the brakes lightly; if not you will need to pump the brakes *lightly* yourself. Black Ice often forms in patches and the idea is for you to pass or slide over the area with as much control as possible.

If you notice any road users up ahead sliding or making any unusual manoeuvres be aware that they may have encountered black ice. Ensure you have a sufficient stopping distance between you (don’t tailgate!) and travel slowly. It is always important to keep your windscreen free of dirt, ice and snow. You don’t want anything to prevent you from seeing properly.

Salt and Grit Solutions Ltd are based on Arkleston Farm in Paisley and offer de-icing salt in various pack sizes to keep your roads and pavements clear and free of ice.  www.saltandgritsolutions.co.uk

Karen and Oliver - Spateston

Parents are urged to apply now for a nursery placement with 1140 hours of fully-funded early learning and childcare (ELC).

Johnstone mum, Karen Lafferty, says that longer days at nursery has helped her son, Oliver, 4, develop close friendships after receiving 1140 hours at Spateston Early Learning and Childcare Centre (ELCC).

Karen and Oliver - Spateston

She said: “Oliver going to nursery has changed everything for me. When I saw what Oliver got out of going to nursery and what the staff could do for him, it made me quit my job and retrain as a nursery support worker.

“Changing careers was a massive step for me. I used to work in a high-pressured job as a manger for a fast food franchise. It involved long hours and I was often stressed. Since changing careers just a few short months ago, I’ve felt much happier at work and at home.

“It’s a rewarding career and I’m already reaping the benefits, but it has also been amazing for Oliver. Since getting 1140 hours of early learning and childcare (ELC) in September 2019, he has gone from morning-only sessions to full-day sessions. It’s meant Oliver has been able to develop friendships much more quickly and he comes home talking about what his friends at nursery did and said that day.

“It’s also given Oliver a taste of eating together with other kids at lunchtime and I’m glad he got to have that experience at nursery as it will prepare him for going to school.

“There are also many more activities that Oliver can take part in as he can pop over to another corner of the nursery and try something else. I think having more time to develop his self-confidence is helping Oliver to explore more within the centre.

“Spateston Early Learning and Childcare Centre (ELCC) is a lovely nursery and I would love to work there once Oliver has moved onto primary. The staff are really caring and very supportive of the parents as well.

“It’s a fantastic nursery and I recommend going to your local nursery, meeting the staff and seeing the environment for yourself.”

Parents of children due to attend nursery from August 2020 are urged to complete an application form and return it to their local nursery as soon as possible.

Parents who have children that will return to nursery after August 2020 will be contacted by their nursery to discuss their options for 1140 hours of ELC.

To apply for a nursery place, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/1140ELC.

FPF 10-Year 2

Glasgow Airport’s FlightPath Fund will award £10,000 each to four environmental projects to mark a decade of supporting local communities  

Glasgow Airport’s FlightPath Fund has today (Thursday 30 January) pledged £40,000 to support four local sustainability-themed projects. 

FPF 10-Year 2

To celebrate 10 years of the FlightPath, the Fund’s committee is urging local groups, charities and organisations to submit applications to support sustainability-themed projects aimed at improving the environment in the communities neighbouring Glasgow Airport and beyond. 

A £10,000 award grant will be made available to projects based in each of the four local authority areas – Renfrewshire, Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire – supported by the FlightPath Fund during the last decade.  

Glasgow Airport’s Sustainability Assurance Manager Kirsty Webster has joined the FlightPath Fund’s committee this year to help identify award submissions that best demonstrate a positive environmental impact.

Chair of the FlightPath Fund Archie Hunter said: “Supporting sustainability-themed projects and engaging with local community groups and organisations that focus their efforts on improving the environment has been a core value of the FlightPath Fund for the last 10 years. 

“During this time, the FlightPath Fund has supported a number of environmentally-focused projects and organisations. These include the purchase of an electric vehicle for a car club, buying polytunnels for growing groups and support for community gardens and the preservation of local greenspaces.

“For several years now the FlightPath Fund has also made it possible for hundreds of school pupils to take part in the Clyde River Foundation’s tremendous Flying Fish programme, which teaches young children about the health and biodiversity of their local waterways. 

“To mark our 10-year anniversary, we wanted to go further by making £10,000 available to a group, club or charity from each of the four areas working on a sustainability-focused project that shows their dedication and commitment to the improving or enhancing the local environment.

 “The FlightPath Fund will continue to support and champion the many wide-ranging and diverse groups and projects it was set up to support in 2010, and I would encourage them to keep the applications coming.”

 

The FlightPath Fund was established in 2010 and since then more than 600 groups have been awarded over £1.6m with three key areas  of focus – education, employment and the environment.

Mark Johnston, Glasgow Airport’s Managing Director, said: “The Fund was set up in 2010 to help support our neighbouring communities so that they could share in our success. It remains a source of great pride to myself and my colleagues that during the last decade Glasgow Airport has played an active and positive role our local communities.

“The FlightPath Fund committee’s decision to introduce a £40,000 Sustainable Communities Challenge is to be commended and supports Glasgow Airport’s continued commitment to balance the clear social and economic we bring as one of the region’s biggest employers with our climate change responsibilities.”  

If you are a local club, charity or community group applying for the Sustainable Communities Challenge, your project should meet the following criteria.

 

To be considered a project must:

 

  • Create a significant and sustainable benefit to the community or local environment 

 

  • Benefit a significant number of people

 

Applications must:

 

  • Provide clear evidence that the project will fulfil a local need

 

  • Provide clear evidence of the financial viability of the project

 

To find out more about applying for funding support, visit: www.glasgowairport.com/community and download the application form. 

engage-renfrewshire

Funding from The National Lottery Community Fund means Renfrewshire can help people from minority ethnic groups become more involved in their communities.

engage-renfrewshire

A New Buddies Network Officer will support more people to access health services, education, and employment, plus social and cultural activities.

Alan McNiven, chief executive at Engage Renfrewshire said “this is great news for our minority ethnic groups who may be unaware of what Renfrewshire has to offer, or how to access it.”

“We want people to feel a better sense of belonging, and to feel genuinely connected to their communities. We know that connectedness leads to improved wellbeing and community engagement. It’s important that everyone living in Renfrewshire has an opportunity to access the opportunities that are available to them. “

Recruitment for a New Buddies Network Officer has begun and information is available at www.engagerenfrewshire.com/contact-us/vacancies The closing date is Wednesday 12 Feb, 2020. For more information contact info@engagerenfrewshire.com

squadrick

A Paisley lad and pupil of Trinity High School, who is part of the team Dancepoint are looking for local support to not just cheer them on for the live finals but to vote too when the show is on, they are a fantastic young group with tons of potential and crucially talent. You can see Dancepoint on the Greatest Dancer on BBC1 this weekend…