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Family and friends of loved ones who lost their lives to suicide will once again take to the pitch for an annual football tournament in Ferguslie.

Now in its fourth year, over 100 budding football enthusiasts are expected to take part in the 7-a-side competition No Substitute for Life on Sunday 28 June, 12pm-4pm.

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The memorial event will also host a wide variety of entertainment for children and adults of all ages including arts and crafts activities and a bouncy castle.

Later on there will be an opportunity for bereaved family and friends to write a message for a loved one on a purple heart and attach it to the Ferguslie Memorial Tree.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of the Shadow Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board, said: “No Substitute for Life is a very popular event and it is great to see residents get behind it each year. With over sixteen teams taking part, it promises to be a great day out for families with lots to keep the kids entertained.

“But the real message of the event is that talking about suicide can save lives. Preventing the stigma of suicide not only helps those who have been bereaved by suicide, but makes it easier for us all to talk about it with our family and friends, helping people to speak out and get the support they need.”

The tournament is part of a campaign to raise awareness of suicide among young men and provide an opportunity for survivors of bereavement by suicide to commemorate their loved ones.

The Football Tournament will be held in Ferguslie Park Sports Centre and the family activities will be held in the Tannahill Centre.

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 email elizabeth.aitken@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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.

Street Stuff football festival street stuff coaches

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Young footballers will get the chance to show their skills at the St Mirren first team training ground this Easter.

The award-winning Street Stuff programme will host a special Spring Break Football Camp at the club’s training base at Ralston from 6 April.

Young footballers will get the chance to show their skills at the St Mirren first team training ground this Easter.

The award-winning Street Stuff programme will host a special Spring Break Football Camp at the club’s training base at Ralston from 6 April.

Boys and girls aged 10-16 can sign up for the football camp and play for free.

Street Stuff is an award-winning programme diverting young people away from possible antisocial behaviour.

The programme is a partnership between Renfrewshire Council, St Mirren Football Club, Engage Renfrewshire, Police Scotland and Strathclyde Fire & Rescue.

Brian Caldwell, Chief Executive of St Mirren FC, said: “We are delighted to assist the Street Stuff programme with this new initiative, giving kids the chance to play and be coached at our training ground at Ralston, and I am sure it will be a big success.”

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “Street Stuff is getting bigger every season and just because it’s the school holidays, we don’t have to stop the Street Stuff fun.

“We had over 400 players at our festive football sessions in the airdome at St Mirren and I’m sure we’ll get lots of boys and girls signing up for the chance to play at the training ground during the Easter holidays.”

Sign-up forms are available to download at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/streetstuff or from Stevie Gallacher, Street Stuff Manager, on 07557 281581.

A full timetable of Street Stuff activities is available at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/streetstuff[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Streetstuff 0

An award-winning activity programme for young people in Renfrewshire is getting more girls involved thanks to the introduction of a new class.

Dance sessions at St Peter’s Primary in Glenburn are proving to be a great success.

The new sessions are attracting more than 40 youngsters a night – in addition to the regular high turnout for indoor football.

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Councillor Eddie Devine, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environmental Policy Board, said:

“It’s great to see such a good mix of boys and girls coming along to Street Stuff. While we do get some girls coming along to play football, the dance sessions have proved a bigger attraction.

“Our Street Stuff team has listened to the girls who were coming along to Street Stuff.

“They told us that dance sessions would be popular so we introduced them and they have gone really well.

“On some evenings, there are now more girls than boys.

“The important thing is that more and more boys and girls are choosing to get active and doing something positive with their time”.

Street Stuff was set up four years ago offering evening football sessions and ‘The Box’ – a mobile gaming and activity centre – for young people aged 10-18 in Renfrewshire.

Street Stuff is an award-winning programme diverting young people away from possible antisocial behaviour. The programme is a partnership between Renfrewshire Council, St Mirren Football Club, Engage Renfrewshire, Police Scotland and Strathclyde Fire & Rescue.

Since the programme was launched in 2009, reported incidents of youth disorder and antisocial behaviour in Renfrewshire have dropped by 75%.

A full programme of Street Stuff activities can be found at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

TPCLaunch2

A pioneering child poverty commission has called on the UK Government to re-think its benefit sanctions system and trial a new approach in Scotland as part of a 24-strong list of recommendations announced today.

The direct challenge to the UK government to set up a pilot in Renfrewshire marks a unique approach to tackling poverty.

Renfrewshire’s Tackling Poverty Commission – the first of its kind in Scotland to look specifically at child poverty at a local level – reports its findings with a call to action to Renfrewshire and beyond to step up the fight against child poverty.

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It is calling for more to be done to lift families off the breadline and curb the sharp rise in the working poor throughout Renfrewshire – an area that’s home to pockets of the most deprived zones in Scotland.

The Commission wants to change the fact that one in five Renfrewshire children live in poverty with a range of measures including a stronger focus on closing the attainment gap between pupils from high and low income families and making sure nurseries offer more flexible childcare.

It also wants more people to be paid at least the Living Wage of £7.85; more resources targeted to improve the health of babies who live in poverty; a new approach to neighbourhood regeneration; a review of the cost of the school day, and for deprivation levels to be linked explicitly to the way Scottish education resources are allocated.

The Commission’s key recommendations include:
-Halve the number of workers in Renfrewshire paid below the Living Wage.
-Ensure nurseries offer flexible, quality childcare that’s used by low-income families.
-Tackle the ‘poverty premium’ that sees low income consumers paying higher prices. -Explore the scope to offer free transport to help people get to a new job.
-Ensure local people are at the heart of community regeneration.
-Target more resources to health visiting and projects like the Family Nurse Partnership to improve the health of babies and their mothers who live in poverty
-Link deprivation levels with the way Scottish education resources are allocated.
-Re-think benefit sanctions and trial a new work incentive approach in Renfrewshire.
-Bring primary care providers together with advice providers and co-locate where possible.
-Roll out the successful Healthier, Wealthier Children (financial support programme for new mums) across all primary care and community services in Renfrewshire.
-Establish new approaches and expand successful interventions in schools to reduce the attainment gap, with a focus on reading and writing, and closer family involvement.
-Reduce the cost of the school day
-Improve data sharing of children’s language development reviews.
-Develop innovative and creative partnerships and increase resources for neighbourhood regeneration

Councillor Mike Holmes, Chair of the Commission, said: “It’s a sad fact that in 2015, one in five Renfrewshire children live in poverty. No one should have to skip meals to feed their children – but that’s what’s happening here. We have the third busiest foodbank in the country, and enough is enough. We cannot leave behind another generation because of the inequalities poverty brings.

“Child poverty across the country is predicted to rise, and we want to buck that trend in Renfrewshire. The council brought together experts and front-line workers to form the Commission – to be a critical friend to the council, its partners and to the wider public sector. This fight to break the poverty cycle is everyone’s responsibility.

“We gathered a significant amount of evidence. And we know that while there are still areas in Renfrewshire facing high deprivation levels, the face of poverty is changing with more households living in poverty now working than not. We also heard evidence that the welfare system no longer provides a safety net for the people it’s supposed to support and is actually pushing them into crisis.

“Benefit cuts will take £58m a year away from Renfrewshire with Paisley North West set to be one of the hardest hit areas in Scotland, and Paisley Job Centre has the third highest number of benefit sanctions in Scotland.

“Research makes a clear link between sanctions and foodbanks, so when you reach the point that children go hungry because a so-called work incentive removes their parent’s only income – something has gone very wrong. That’s why we’re asking the UK Government to produce and trial a new approach to benefit sanctions and work incentives in Renfrewshire.”

Jim McCormick, Scotland Adviser to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), was part of the Commission. He said: “Poverty is costly, wasteful and risky, and Renfrewshire cannot afford poverty. Unfortunately, the gap between how well children from low and high income households will do in life, starts at a young age – and that’s why we must make closing the gap an absolute top priority.

“More households need to have access not just to work – but to work that provides an acceptable standard of living and opportunities for progression. Too many people are at the mercy of low pay and insecure contracts. We need more people to be paid the Living Wage, wider access to in-work training and quality childcare that helps parents into work.

“This week, JRF published findings that show while the job of reducing poverty continues to be done against a backdrop of tightening austerity – areas with high levels of deprivation are being hit hardest by spending cuts. While Renfrewshire is no different in facing tough financial decisions, it’s leading the way in its approach.”

The Commission was initiated by Renfrewshire Council in April 2014 to bring a fresh and independent approach to consider how best to break the poverty cycle by leaving a legacy of recommendations that could shape a local partnership movement against deprivation, and which also have the potential to influence national policy.

Today, the Commission formally asks the Renfrewshire Community Planning Partnership to take on progression of its report and recommendations.

It also recommends organisations change how they work to address stigma, involve people, make services easier to access, use evidence to focus resources on what’s proven to work, and to combine resources to target inequality.

On 23 March, Renfrewshire Council will meet to discuss the report’s recommendations and consider the council’s immediate and longer term actions.

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CASE STUDY

JOBSEEKER SANCTION ‘FELT LIKE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE’

The rate of Jobseekers Allowance sanctions has more than doubled since 2010 and Paisley Jobcentre has the highest number of sanctions in the West of Scotland.

Here, one Paisley woman tells her experience of being sanctioned for being a few minutes late for an appointment, comparing the feeling to her experience of being a victim of domestic violence….

The woman, in her 40s, had been receiving JSA and looking for work for just over two years after ending a long-term relationship, when she received a letter in 2012 from the DWP, telling her she’d been sanctioned because she was late for an appointment at Paisley Jobcentre.

She then lost her JSA payment of £120 a fortnight, for six weeks. She was only a few minutes late for her appointment but was kept waiting so the appointment started ten minutes late.

She said: “When you go to the Jobcentre, they make you feel like they’re giving money out of their own pocket. And if you’ve not looked enough for jobs that week, or if you’re late, they tell you ‘we can stop your money’. When I was late there was a big hum and haw about it.

“The personal adviser had to get her supervisor and I had to write and sign and date why I was late and there had to be a reason. They spoke about me as if I wasn’t there, saying ‘has she been late before?’ and said it had to go to a decision-maker. So they told me my money could be cut and I would be told by letter.

“I had to go home and wait…then I did get a letter telling me I had been sanctioned because I had been late and I didn’t have a good enough reason. So you have no money to live on. Even though its £120 a fortnight, they’ve got control over your life.

“I went through domestic violence and it’s the exact same feeling you get. You’ve got to act a certain way – say ‘oh I’m really sorry I was late…you’re right…I’ll never do it again’. You leave there feeling rotten. You can’t be assertive because they’ve got your money and you need it to live on.”

When the woman was sanctioned she barely ate, didn’t heat her home, relied on friends for help and borrowed from door-to-door lenders. She is now in work and has been since 2013. Even though her hours are irregular, she said she would rather go hungry than sign back on for benefits.

jordan half timers

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Renfrewshire Environmental And Restoration Group (R.E.R.G) and members of the Community are battling to save one of Paisley’s Historic Buildings – The Ferguslie Mills Half Time School, A building which is B Listed and in its day was one of the most impressive pieces of architecture in the World but now lays with scaffolding holding it up.

jordan half timers

This Building has been left to decay and rot since a fire savaged through the Building in 1997, before this it was a Gem in Paisley’s Crown of Historic Building with many uses over the years from Education the Mill Lassies, A canteen for the Mill Workers to most recently a Social Club. It’s Fine architecture and style was created by Woodhouse and Morley, Who also designed the No 1 Spinning Mill, In 1983 the Half Time School was described by the Organisation ‘Save Britain’s Heritage’ Their Best Work surviving though this is no longer the case !  Many Developers have promised to Develop the site but these promises have never came true and its time we step in and take action to Save our Heritage before it’s lost forever – These  Buildings cannot be replaced once they have gone.

The Organisation is proposing a Buy Out of the site to restore the Building back to its former glory and giving it a new uses, in order to Save what is one of the few remaining Buildings left of the Ferguslie Mills Site. This Building has been part of a Long Saga of false promises by Developers and those promising action which has never been forthcoming and now the building lies in a State of ruins with no restoration insight from these Developers.

jordan half timers

Project Manager Jordan McPhail told the Paisley.org.uk website: “This B Listed building has been allowed to decay for 17 years ago and we want to save it before it’s too late and there’s nothing left to save.

“Many developers have said they’ll do something positive with the site but nothing has happened and it’s now time for the community to step in and take action.

“We must save our heritage before it’s lost forever.

“Buildings like the Half-Time School can’t be replaced once they are gone, this is one of only a handful of examples in Scotland. It is believed to be the only purpose built Half Time School

“What we are proposing is to raise enough money to buy the building and the land and then return it to its former glory, with new uses.”

The Buy Out  will secure the Buildings future and be a real boost the Local Area, Creating Jobs and Apprenticeships. The Building will be Multi Use and Will be a great asset to the People of Paisley and Renfrewshire once restored. Currently we urgently need support from the People Of Paisley to carry out such a task and save it – As it may not last another winter being exposed to the elements. If you are interested in getting involved please contact us via Facebook or email us at enquiries@rerg.co.uk [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

fair trade group

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Hundreds were sweet for the Fairtrade Bake Off as they packed into Paisley Town Hall to watch Helen McLaughlin, from Paisley crowned the competition winner.

The winning cake, a peanut butter cake, was made using Fair Trade peanut butter, bananas, caster sugar and dark, white and milk chocolate.

fair trade group

Judging the Bake Off was Guatemalan Fairtrade coffee and honey farmer Ismael Diaz Rivas, Councillor Jim Sharkey, Chair of the Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Board and Ken Clark, Owner of Redss.

The winning criteria was based on creativity, appearance, taste and the number of Fairtrade ingredients used in the bake.

At the Bake Off, Councillor Sharkey said: “It is great to see so many people take part in the Bake Off and get to know that Fairtrade ingredients are available right on their doorstep. Even changing one product we buy to a Fairtrade product can make a huge difference to the lives of farmers in poorer areas of the world.

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“I would like to thank Ismael for coming all the way from Guatemala to share his life story with us, showing us firsthand how Fairtrade is making a difference to his community.

“Meeting someone like Ismael who is making cooperation work is a great way to spread the real message of Fairtrade that everyone benefits when we treat each other fairly and cooperate across the world.

“Fairtrade helps farmers by giving them a fairer deal. Farmers are then able to give their children an education, use better crop growing techniques and help their communities to grow and prosper.”

Helen McLaughlin said: “I was really surprised but pleased to win the Renfrewshire Fairtrade Bake Off. There was a wide variety of entries in the competition, so I wasn’t sure how my cake was going to do.

“I took part in the Bake Off to show my support for Fairtrade, but it was also a lot of fun as well.”

Rainbow Turtle also hosted a Traidcraft Big Brew at the event offering Fair Trade tea, coffee and cakes to raise money for the Traidcraft Exchange.

For more information, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/fairtrade.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

RAMH hi-res logo

RAMH enables people to recover from mental ill health, and to build independent, fulfilled lives.

RAMH hi-res logo

How?

We do this in 6 ways:
• by providing immediate support in crisis situations
• by supporting people in their own homes with individualised care and practical support
• by providing day services including social and educational groups, drop-in facilities, and supporting recovery and continued well-being
• by providing counselling to young people within their schools, and to adults in the community
• by supporting carers, family and friends through education and information
• by raising awareness to overcome misconceptions around mental health

Why/How?

Did you know?
• 1 in 4 people in Scotland will experience a mental health problem this year
• RAMH provides 250,000 hours of face to face support, in local communities, every year
• RAMH provides support for mental health diagnosis from depression to self-harm, bipolar disorder to anxiety issues.
• RAMH provides 83,601 interventions every year; that is 229 per day, 7 days per week
• RAMH directly supports 4,000 local people per year, and estimates it has a positive impact on 12,000 people per year
• RAMH was founded in 1978 to offer support and to campaign for support for those experiencing mental health problems
• Since 1990 RAMH has provided professional care and services to those affected by mental ill health
• RAMH spends over 90 pence in every pound directly on care and services

Culture Club

The Culture Club is a new social club for people interested in cultural events and sharing the experience with others.

culture-club

For more information please visit RAMH.org or visit their Facebook Page or follow on Twitter.

Provosts Awards 78

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]People who live or work in Renfrewshire have begun to nominate those special people in our communities for a Provost’s Community Award.

The awards, which opened to nominations on Monday 27 October, are a chance to recognise those people who devote much of their time to others for little or nothing in return.

Taking the time to nominate someone for an award is what Gillian McGrane and Alison Hutchison did last year.

Provosts Awards 78

Gillian and Alison, who work for Cairellot Nursery and Learning Centre, took just a few minutes out of their busy day to nominate their employer, Rosemary Elliot, for an award.

Little did they know then that Rosemary would go onto win the Employer of the Year award.

Gillian said “Nominating Rosie for the Employer of the Year Award was an easy decision.

“Rosie is a local mum and grandmother who has worked tirelessly for the provision of quality childcare in the village of Bishopton as well as being an advocate for the whole childcare sector.

“Most of us know someone who deserves a thank you and appreciation for what they do, day in day out without the want or wish for reward or recognition but unfortunately we are all guilty of sometimes being too busy to do something about it.

“When the leaflet advertising the Provost Awards popped through our door, we could think of no better accolade than a community award for someone who had dedicated her life to supporting the families around her.

“Rosie was thrilled and overwhelmed when our staff team told her of her nomination and win and we would encourage anyone to take a moment out of their day to say thank you to someone who has made a difference in your life or the life of your community.”

Nomination forms can be filled in online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards. Printed forms are also available at Council offices and facilities.

The closing date for nominations is 31 January 2015.

Winning candidates will be invited to the Provost’s Community Awards ceremony in March 2015.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

SEconf

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Renfrewshire Council has dedicated £100k to its Social Enterprise Fund, offering grants to help local social enterprises to grow, deliver more products and services, and bring even more benefits to their communities.

Social enterprises are businesses that reinvest any profits back into their communities. They face similar challenges to any other business but they are not driven by the need to deliver profits to owners or shareholders.

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Last year the council announced its intention to commit £500,000 of its Invest in Renfrewshire budget to the social economy. On Thursday, the council kept its promise and announced that £100,000 would be ring-fenced as grants of up to £5,000 to help as many as 20 smaller social enterprises grow.

It has also appointed a new Development Officer to coordinate the wider range of practical and financial support open to these businesses.

At a conference of social enterprises and sector experts in Paisley’s Abercorn Centre on Thursday, Mark MacMillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council praised the work of this sector. “These organisations are inspiring examples of local people meeting local needs and improving local lives.

“They create jobs, bring money into the area, and have the potential to grow and innovate. However, they can find it difficult to access or apply for the funding they need.

“The Social Enterprise Grant Fund will help to bridge that funding gap and support business growth.”

Iain Reynolds, of Johnstone Community Sports Complex knows how a grant could help to improve his business. ‘Social Enterprise Grants are good news for The McMaster Centre and good news for other businesses like ours ’

The council’s commitment to social enterprises is part of its wider economic strategy. This includes the Invest in Renfrewshire business support and job creation programme, huge infrastructure projects as part of the City Deal and Paisley’s heritage based regeneration strategy.

Applications for Social Enterprise Grants are welcome at any time and more information can be found at investinrenfrewshire.com/socialenterprises.

Image (Left to Right)
Alan McNiven, Engage Renfrewshire
Iain Reynolds, Johnstone Community Sports Complex
Lesley Compston, KLAS Care, Nursery and Childcare, Linwood
Ian Williams, Environmental Training Team, Paisley[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]