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Tiny Revolutions Renfrewshire is now in week 14 and we would like your help in promoting yet another fantastic activity enabling anyone across Renfrewshire to take part and be creative.

Big thank you to Erskine Arts for coming up with this week’s activity and for a ‘how to’ video to run along with it – it’s a good yin! Tune in to watch the ‘how to’ video here.

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Please find attached (Facebook/Twitter and Instagram) promotion for week 14 activity for Tiny Revolutions Renfrewshire. More information on the creative project and the new activity can be downloaded every Friday by following this link – https://bit.ly/TinyRevRen (All previous activities are available here to!).

We would be grateful if you will support us in sharing with you communities, groups and networks? Participants are asked to share their creativity via social media using #TinyRevolutionsRen

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We have posts on the project coming out at various time through the week on our Facebook and Twitter pages for Paisley Arts Centre should it be easier for you to share information that way.

FUN PALACES – We are taking part in this year’s Fun Palaces on the weekend 3rd/4th October, for more information and to hear how you can take part click here.

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A MUM devastated by the sudden death of her teenage son from a hidden medical condition has launched a petition calling on the Scottish Government to offer full body scans for newborn babies.

The move by Sameena Javed is to make sure rare and hidden medical conditions are detected early.

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The mum is also petitioning for introduce bereavement lessons in schools.

Unknown to anyone, Sameena’s 13-year-old son, Ahmar had Ateriovenous Malformation (AVM), which caused him to suddenly develop a bleed on the brain in 2017.

The lad’s mum and dad, Sameena and Javed, (correct) from Elderslie, in Renfrewshire had to take the agonising decision to turn off his life support machine ten days after Ahmar suffered the bleed while at a karate class.

The 40-year-old mum, from Paisley, who is urging people to sign her two petitions said: “I don’t want other families to go through the heartbreak my family felt.

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“The condition Ahmar had was totally asymptomatic and no one had any idea. We only discovered it after he had a brain bleed and by then it was too late to treat or save him.

“I’m calling on the Scottish Government to offer brain and body scans to all neonates in our hospitals. I appreciate not every parent will want their baby to be scanned, but surely it’s worth it if a hidden or rare condition can be detected and treated.

“If my son had been offered a brain scan at birth his condition could have been detected, potentially treated and he would still be with us now.”

ahmar 1

Sameena, added: “Ahmar’s sudden death had a terrible effect on many of his fellow pupils at Castlehead High School, in Paisley. The shock hit Ahmar’s young relatives and friends very hard.

“If young people in schools are taught about bereavement and death, then it might be ever so slightly easier for them to understand and cope with the grief that follows losing someone they know and is close to them.”

After Ahmar died, Sameena launched a charity called, Another Star In The Sky to raise money in her son’s name.

Sameena says there is not enough research into early diagnosis and treatment of AVM – which affects just one in 10,000 people.

The charity has raised more than £13,000 with half the money being donated to the Office for Rare Conditions Glasgow at the Royal Hospital for Children and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, to help fund research into rare illnesses like (AVM) that killed Ahmar.

The other part of fundraising goes to the Child Bereavement UK charity’s Glasgow centre that offers support to bereaved children and families.

Ahmar’s school pals at Castlehead High had been given a statue of the Oor Wullie cartoon character to paint by intu Braehead and then put on display in the centre as part of the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail.

And the pupils decided they would paint the statue in Ahmar’s honour and write messages to him on Oor Wullie’s arm.

Go to http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/bereavementeducation and http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/detectionofhiddenandrareconditions to find out more and sign Sameena’s petitions.

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Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron set sail across the River Clyde this week to carry out the traditional act of casting the nets to maintain Renfrew’s fishing rights on the river.

Due to current Scottish Government guidelines, Provost Cameron was unable to be joined by Renfrew residents for the traditional boat trip down the Clyde and instead headed across the river solo on the Renfrew Ferry.

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Provost Cameron said: “The symbolic act of casting the nets is a key part of Renfrew’s history, dating back hundreds of years, and it was important to myself and to the local community that the fishing rights continue to be preserved, even when so much is disrupted just now.

“Thank you to the Renfrew Ferry who were happy to take me across the river so the tradition could be upheld and to Howwood Fisheries for their kind donation of the salmon net.

“It is disappointing that I couldn’t invite Renfrew residents along this year, but I hope that in three years time the event will be able to go ahead in all its usual glory.”

King Robert III granted a charter to the community of Renfrew detailing the right to fish the River Clyde as far back as 1396, with a subsequent charter, confirming the rights, granted by Queen Anne in 1703.

However Renfrew Town Council failed to keep the rights on parts of the river owned by Sir Michael Stewart because they hadn’t fished those areas for some years.

Since the rights were restored, it has become practice to maintain them by having the Provost cast the nets and haul them in every three years.

A commemorative video is being produced to showcase the casting of the nets by local filmmaker Paul Mothersole, featuring historic footage and interviews with members of the local community. The video will be released in the coming months.

Jessica Cushley, 30, with friend 31-year-old Victoria Smith, both from Erskine Renfrewshire enjoy a game of adventure golf in Soar at intu Braehead.

PALS Jessica Cushley and Victoria Smith got back in the swing of things yesterday when they were first to play a fun game of adventure golf in Soar at intu Braehead, after the government’s coronavirus restrictions were eased.

Jessica Cushley, 30, with friend 31-year-old Victoria Smith, both from Erskine Renfrewshire enjoy a game of adventure golf in Soar at intu Braehead.

The Paradise Island Adventure Golf attraction at the popular leisure destination re-opened its doors to the public after lockdown, which began at the end of March.

Jessica, 30 and Victoria, 31 both from Erskine, Renfrewshire enjoyed playing a few holes of adventure golf before heading to Frankie and Benny’s restaurant in Soar, for a bite of lunch.

Jessica said: “We’ve certainly missed going out with friends and having some fun during lockdown.”

Craig Nichol, marketing manager for Paradise Island Adventure Golf at Soar said: “It’s fantastic to be open again. It’s been a tough few months for everyone as leisure activities have been one of the things people haven’t been able to do and it’s a big thing in our lives.

“Our bookings have been very strong since we announced we were re-opening and people are happy that they are able to get out and about and have some fun with their families.

“Knowing they can enjoy leisure activities again also makes them more relaxed and accepting of the restrictions that have been put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.”

Paradise Island Adventure Golf has introduced a series of measures to keep everyone safe while they play golf at the attraction.

An online booking system has been introduced, although people can still turn up and pay to play on the day.

Directional signage is in place to show the one-way system around the two 18-hole courses and hand sanitisers are available for visitors.

Other leisure attractions at Soar that have re-opened recently include the Odeon cinema, tenpin bowling, Funstation and Prizestation amusement arcades, along with various restaurants and bars. The team at Soar has introduced new measures and procedures to stop the spread of coronavirus, including social distancing and hygiene procedures, such as hand sanitisers for visitors use. It includes a raft of other measures with floor stickers indicating a one-way system for visitors and staff training to ensure visitors stay socially distanced.

Visitors are also required to wear face coverings in line with Scottish government instructions.

David Lyon, marketing manager for intu Braehead said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Soar at intu Braehead and everything is being done to make sure it’s a safe place to visit and work.

“Due to the measures we have put in place to protect everyone from coronavirus, the visitor’s experience at Soar may be slightly different from usual, but one thing’s for sure they will get the same warm welcome they’ve come to expect from us.”

Corona virus fund

A new package of support for Renfrewshire businesses to tackle the immediate impact of Coronavirus is now open for applications.

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The £1.3million Renfrewshire Coronavirus Business Support Fund offers local businesses, including people self-employed, the opportunity to apply for:

  • An interest free Business Restart Loan between £1,000 to £5,000 repayable up to three years to assist with short-term cashflow
  • A 50% match-funded Business Resilience Grant from £1,000 to £10,000 to help businesses meet changed objectives and plan for growth
  • A Business Adaptation Grant providing match-funding from £1,000 to £2500 for businesses adapting their premises to meet physical distancing requirements, open for retrospective applications.

Details of each fund, eligibility information and the online application is available now at Renfrewshire Council’s business support page.

Applicants will also receive a call from one of the Council’s Business Gateway advisers to discuss their application and provide tailored advice to meet their specific needs.

This fund has been created following detailed discussion with 500 local companies to determine what they feel can make the biggest difference in the short-term.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “I am acutely aware from regular dialogue with our business community throughout the pandemic of the economic harm Coronavirus is causing in Renfrewshire and we know we must be ready to help tackle this now, and in the months ahead.

“We have awarded more than 2600 government grants totalling £27.5million to help local businesses address the immediate impact and have now established this fund, listening to what businesses tell us will help them most.

“I recognise we are on a long and difficult journey, but we have a strong local economy and a business community that supports one another. We also have an excellent track record of tackling unemployment and helping people find work and together with immediate assistance, we are working with business, enterprise and education partners locally to prepare Renfrewshire’s long-term roadmap to recovery.”

The Council is also offering barriers for cafes using outdoor spaces and Business PPE packs to local businesses, having secured funding from the Scottish Government’s Towns and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) Resilience and Recovery Fund, which is run by Scotland’s Towns Partnerships.

Businesses may also benefit from up to two days of fully funded consultancy support from experts across a range of topics including: finance, IT, Legal, Property and HR. The team can be contacted on 0141 530 2406 or by email to renfrewshire@bgateway.com.

Business adviser Robert Kinniburgh said: “We know how stressful a time this is for Renfrewshire businesses and are here to help however we can. It might be you want to discuss your business plan or need assistance with moving into the digital market. Whatever support is needed, I would encourage people to call us and also look out for the different webinars being run regularly on different specialist subjects.”

Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce said: “We warmly welcome the additional support package which offers targeted support to those companies that need it most. Based on feedback drawn from a survey of over 500 companies this new funding is a positive step to support our business community.”

Hisashi Kuboyama, Federation of Small Businesses’ Development Manager for Renfrewshire, said: “With small businesses in Renfrewshire going through extremely challenging times, we need to do absolutely everything we can to help them stay open and protect and create jobs. Many local FSB members told us that access to finance has been one of the problems, so we welcome the Renfrewshire Coronavirus Business Support Fund and urge our members and the wider small business community to have a look and see how it can help them.”

Mark Newlands, Head of Partnerships at Scottish Enterprise, said: “We know the economic impact of COVID-19 on businesses is severe. This additional tailored funding from Renfrewshire Council will be welcomed by local businesses as they face continuing economic uncertainty. Working with our partners, we’ll continue to do all we can to support companies through this time of unprecedented challenge and play our part in resetting, restarting and recovering the country’s economy.”

Many of the restaurants, bars and cafes at the shopping destination and Soar at intu Braehead are taking part in the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Visitors will receive a 50 per cent discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, when dining-in at participating eateries on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from August 3 to August 31. Diners can take advantage of the money-off meal deals as many times as they want.

The discount is available for food and non-alcoholic beverages, but does not include takeaway purchases. Visitors will not need a voucher, as participating establishments will simply discount their bill.

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, David Lyon said: “Many of our cafes, bars and restaurants are now open and have signed up to the Eat Out Help Out scheme.

“This is a fantastic incentive for people to treat themselves with a meal out after months of lockdown. A family of four that would normally pay, say £80 for their meal will only be charged £40 thanks to the initiative and the eateries at intu Braehead taking part.

“We’re seeing more and more visitors returning every day, so we’re confident that plenty of people will be taking advantage of the fantastic Eat Out to Help Out scheme and will enjoy a delicious meal together.

“Of course, we’ll be continuing to do everything we can to make sure intu Braehead is a safe place to visit and work.”

The cafes, bars and restaurants participating in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme will be regularly updated at intu.co.uk/braehead, but they currently include:

Five Guys; Lord of the Isles; McDonalds; Nando’s; Pizza Express; Pizza Hut; Prezzo; TGI Fridays; Yo! Sushi; Frankie & Benny’s – open August 10 and Harvester, which is opening soon.

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It was a full house when drive-in movies came to the boardwalk at intu Braehead for the first time last night. (Wednesday, July 29)

Grease was the first film shown and it was the one that everyone seemed to want as 150 cars packed with movie fans turned up to watch the iconic film featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

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And as a thank you for their work on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic, anyone who works for the NHS was given free entry to the first screening.

Later during the second show, which was family favourite, Back to the Future a similar amount of cars were parked up in the boardwalk in front of a giant screen.

The Arena at intu Braehead has teamed up with the Catherine McEwan Foundation charity to help raise much-needed funds to help people living with Crohn’s and Colitis get better care, treatment and quality of life.

There will be two films shown on a giant screen every night and four movies this weekend, with the audio broadcast via a frequency that car radios can be tuned to.

Tickets are still on sale for the drive movie screenings that go on until Sunday, August 2 and the movies being shown are Grease, Jurassic Park, Mama Mia, Goonies, Finding Nemo, Lion King, The Lost Boys, Back to the Future and Dirty Dancing.

Refreshments are provided on site by the UK’s top street food operator, The Big Feed.

Derek McEwan, who launched the Catherine McEwan Foundation after his mother, Catherine passed away after years of suffering from Crohn’s Disease said: “It’s great to be at the iconic Braehead Boardwalk raising funds to help children and adults battling Crohn’s and Colitis.

“Our first night has been great and the fact that we could give a little back to our NHS superheroes tonight made it a bit special.”

Scott Martin, intu Braehead Leisure general manager added: “People seemed to move like greased lightning to snap up the tickets when they went on sale.

“It’s a novel way to have a good night out with the family and there are still a few tickets left for some of the drive-in movie showings during the rest of the week.”

Tickets costing £35 per car plus booking fee are on sale from www.lockdowndrivein.com.

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Safety the priority as Renfrewshire Leisure has to wait for “green light” on leisure service, including gyms and pools.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today (Thursday, 30th July) confirmed a further delay before gyms and swimming pools can reopen, with opening now identified as likely to be allowed on 14th September. That timeline is dependent on maintaining low levels of virus in the community as well as ensuring that all social distancing and hygiene protocols are followed, although the First Minister held out the prospect of particularly favourable conditions perhaps permitting an opening date at the end of August.

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Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa Marie Hughes said: “We really do value the support of our members and the wider public and know how much people in Renfrewshire have missed these services. These centres are important parts of our communities, playing important roles in helping our health and wellbeing. We are looking forward to welcoming people back and working with them to ensure their return is both safe and enjoyable.” 

 

Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We know how eagerly the community is waiting for news on a date for reopening our leisure facilities, not least of all because of the vital part they play in ensuring we can get everyone active again after a long period of closure during lockdown. 

 

“With reopening now no earlier than the end of August, and perhaps not until mid September, we will continue to use the time before then to refine our procedures – continuing to reflect that our first priority for opening will be the safety of our customers and staff.”

 

Renfrewshire Leisure will also be working with Renfrewshire Council’s education department towards the recommencement of its Active Schools programmes from the start of the new school term, as well as working with local sports clubs and teams to make earliest possible use of courts and pitches after confirmation that these can commence from specified dates in August.

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An innovative package of support to help Renfrewshire businesses recover from the effects of lockdown has been given the green light by councillors.

And the £1.3m funding boost agreed today by members of Renfrewshire Council’s Emergencies Board has also been welcomed by some of the area’s key economic leaders.

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The proposals were developed as a result of an in-depth survey which saw staff from the council and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce speak to more than 500 businesses – around 10% of Renfrewshire’s total – about the issues coronavirus has caused for them.

The council then used the results of that to develop a new package of short-term funding which will now be open for local firms to apply for from mid-August. It includes:

– £500k for zero-interest business restart loans of up to £5,000 to help small-and-medium-sized business with short-term cashflow;

– £400k for grants of up to £10,000 to help sustain businesses and plan for growth in the medium term;

– £250k for grants of up to £2,500 to help businesses adapt their premises to allow for physical distancing;

– £150k to help fund expert advice to businesses in crisis and self-employed people over training and access to funding;

The money is coming from within existing council budgets for business support and is expected to be the first stage of a longer-term economic recovery plan.

And the package of support has been backed by members of the Renfrewshire Economic Leadership Panel.

Bob Grant, chief executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The survey exercise in partnership with Renfrewshire Council has been the largest ever of the business community in Renfrewshire and we warmly welcome the innovative package of funding as a direct response to the key issues highlighted.

“In addition to these measures Renfrewshire Chamber will fund two initiatives launching at the end of July: Development of a peer-to-peer business mentoring service and a unique Transform training program which will help companies to innovate, re-design and develop new strategies to mitigate the impacts of Covid and identify future opportunities.”

Grant Edmondson, Hillington Park commercial director for Frasers Property UK – the majority owner of Scotland’s biggest business park, home to around 500 organisations – also welcomed the news.

He said: “We are happy to see the majority of Hillington Park businesses are now back open and operating, albeit significantly below capacity.

“We’re aware however many are concerned about the speed of pick-up in demand for their products and services over the next few months, with impact on cashflow as government support tapers off.

“The new business support package being announced by Renfrewshire Council is therefore extremely welcome at this point and we would encourage local businesses to get in touch with the council and apply for the support when applications open.”

Lydia Brown, Community Development Manager for intu Braehead said: “Businesses have been going through unprecedented times recently and only now, as lockdown restrictions are easing, do they have the opportunity to start the process of economic recovery.

“Many businesses still need support to help them kick-start their revival and this assistance from Renfrewshire Council can play a vital role in this.

“If any businesses – large or small – can benefit from this extra funding they should certainly apply to find out if they qualify for the assistance.

“The people running businesses in Renfrewshire are very creative and resilient and thankfully, we can see light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve no doubt we will get there and the Renfrewshire economy will come back as strong as ever.”

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson added: “I am pleased this package of business support was backed by councillors today. We have prioritised this investment as we are determined to do all we can to support the local economy and protect local jobs through what will be a tough period ahead.

“We wanted to make sure the support we are offering was based on what businesses need – and the extensive work we and the Chamber did to establish what that was has been hugely valuable to us in terms of understanding the challenges facing our businesses.”

Louise Drennan, Renfrewshire Leisure

Renfrewshire Leisure highlights success of services online as all 12 of its libraries prepare to launch click and collect service from Monday

Bookworms have borrowed more than 24,000 ebooks and emagazines from Renfrewshire’s libraries during lockdown.

Louise Drennan, Renfrewshire Leisure

The remarkable figure – representing an 80 per cent rise on this time last year – is among a string of successes secured by library staff as they’ve met massive demand for services online during the coronavirus crisis.

Renfrewshire Leisure will begin the gradual restart of physical operations at its libraries on Monday (July 20) as part of the latest phase of the community’s route map out of the pandemic, starting with a click and collect service.

But libraries staff will continue to develop their online offering in tandem with in-library services after experiencing huge demand for activities including quizzes, games, storytimes and writing workshops.

Between March 18 and July 13, Renfrewshire Leisure recorded 24,000 eloans – 16,963 ebooks and audiobooks and 7,096 emagazines. That compares to 9,267 ebooks and audiobooks and 4,096 emagazines – a 13,363 total – between the same dates last year

Joyce Higgins, Digital and Library Development Manager at Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “While we may not have physically had people visiting our libraries in the past few months, our online engagement has gone through the roof. We have been blown away by the engagement in the services and activities we have been running online and via social media.

“Our team have done a tremendous job in the way they have innovated, reimagined some of our services for online and ensured that – despite our physical buildings having been closed – we have continued to work with huge numbers of people across Renfrewshire to support their health and wellbeing during lockdown.

“We are excited about continuing to develop our online offering.”

Other online successes include the Bookbug sessions, which have been led by Kirstie Burns, a volunteer at Renfrew Library. She started her sessions from the first week of lockdown, broadcasting them on YouTube. She has produced 15 sessions which have had about 80,000 video views.

A series of Libraries Live Lunchtime Quizzes – broadcast via Facebook Live – have also been viewed more than 10,000 times.

The Skoobmobile team have been keeping in-touch with families through storytimes on RENTV channel including readings of “Oi Frog!” by Kes Gray and “Whiffy Wilson the Wolf who wouldn’t wash” by Caryl Hart and Leonie Lord.

Meanwhile, The Reading Agency and Renfrewshire Libraries are excited to introduce Silly Squad, Summer Reading Challenge 2020. The Silly Squad is a team of animal friends who love to go on adventures and read all kinds of funny books. More than 200 children have already signed up to take part in the challenge, which is digital this year. Visit www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk for more details.

All 12 of the libraries operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will be open for returns and for borrowing on a click and collect basis, as part of measures being put in place to ensure the safety of staff and library users. Books can be reserved online at

www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk or by telephone on 0300 300 1188. Access to buildings will be on a one in, one out basis. Each one will have a simple drop-off point for returns.

On top of this, staff will continue with the Libraries Direct service they have been operating throughout lockdown. This has seen them work with volunteers and Renfrewshire Council to deliver books and make wellbeing phone calls to people who have been shielding in their homes throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Morag Macpherson, Head of Cultural Services at Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “Our libraries team can be really proud of the work they have done during lockdown. I’m delighted with what we have achieved and look forward to developing our online services further, in tandem with what we offer in our library buildings as our services restart there.”

Opening arrangements for each library will be available at www.renfrewshire leisure.com. As well as the click and collect service, people will be able to phone library staff for recommendations and will contact them when their book is ready to collect. Computers in the libraries are not yet available for public use.

Social distancing and hygiene requirements will be clearly displayed at each building.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s libraries are at: Bishopton; Bridge of Weir; Erskine; Ferguslie; Foxbar; Glenburn; Johnstone; Lochwinnoch; Linwood; Paisley Central Library; Ralston and Renfrew.

Renfrewshire Leisure continues to await further guidance from the Scottish Government on the reopening of leisure services.