Residents have their say at Ferguslie Park event

Community activists from Ferguslie Park got the chance to have their say on issues affecting the area at a special event run by council and police staff.

The event offered residents a platform to find out more about community safety work in the area, and speak to those delivering it.

Earlier this year, council staff joined forces with local police to conduct a series of interviews among Ferguslie Park residents, seeking their opinions on community safety in the area, and on what they wanted to see from the authorities.

Pic from event shows Divisional Commander Alan Speirs. Pic credit: Roy McKeag.

The event was used to feed back the results of that, with key findings being that residents want more visible patrols and better facilities for young people.

Speakers on the night included Alan McNiven, chief executive of Engage Renfrewshire, the area’s voluntary sector partnership, and police Divisional Commander Alan Speirs.

Topics covered included an overview on how the police and council anti-social behaviour staff work in partnership on community safety issues.

In total, 17 organisations were represented, including Victim Support, Fire and Rescue Scotland and the council’s trading standards and welfare reform advice teams.

Including partners, around 60 people attended the event, held in the hospitality suite at St Mirren Park.

Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “The issues affecting Ferguslie Park have been well publicised over the years.

“But something that comes across at events like this is the strong sense of community that exists in the area.

“We want to celebrate the work of those who are involved in that community and work with them to help make the best of the area.

“I would like to thank all who took part in what turned out to be an interesting discussion, and look forward to putting the suggestions they made into action.”

Inspector Kenny Morrison, based at Ferguslie Park police office, added: “We held this event to find out more about what people in the area want from us.

“What we plan to do now is work with them to put that into practice.

“The message I would send out to people is that we are here to help. But we can only do that if people are willing to get in touch to report issues to us.”

Residents can contact Police Scotland by calling 101, or Renfrewshire Council Community Safety Services on 0300 300 0380.

Environmental Training Team at Kersland School

On Monday 1st July the Environmental Training Team begins the huge task of overhauling the gardens at Kersland School.  The school on Ben Nevis Road in Paisley caters for children with additional support needs aged between 5 and 18 years old

Environmental Training Team at Kersland School

(Lorraine McKay Community Champion of Dobbies, Ian Williams of the Environmental Training Team and Robert Walker Community Champion of B&Q)

This fabulous project would not be possible without the generosity of Ian Williams (ETT Chief Executive) and Steve Savage (Deputy Chief Executive) who are providing the manpower and tools required

The project began as a one off offer of a garden tidy being offered as a raffle prize for Kersland School’s BBQ Fundraiser which was on Friday 21st June but soon developed into promises of a major overhaul of all the garden areas and continuing maintenance.

Tracey Clements Marketing and PR Manager for the Environmental Training Team had been in talks with the Community Champions at B&Q Paisley and Dobbies at Braehead regarding donation of plants & seeds etc to make this project a blooming success. On Tuesday 25th June 2013 Robert Walker of B&Q and Lorraine McKay of Dobbies came along to the school with kind donations of a variety of fruit trees, bulbs, seeds, soil, trays and bushes

B&Q are also helping out through their waste donation scheme providing pallets, paint, tiles and paving slabs which although unsellable will be usable in some way during the project.

Tracey Clements of the ETT said “The generosity of B&Q and Dobbies has been overwhelming. They have been so kind and we look forward to keeping in contact with them throughout the project to let them see how it is progressing”


Over 1,000 children take part in Renfrewshire’s Gateway to the Games Week

Over 1,000 children took part in Renfrewshire Council’s Gateway to the Games activity week which included the seventh annual Special Games for children with physical, sensory and learning disabilities.

Pupils from a total of 17 primary, secondary and special schools are took part representing: Bishopton, Castelhead High, Clippens, Corseford, Heriot, Houston, Johnston Hish, Kersland, Langcraigs, Lindwood High, Mary Russell, Mossvale, St Andrew’s Academy, St Anthony’s, St Benedict’s, St Paul’s and Trinity High.

The children enjoyed some of the following: athletics, boccia (a special type of indoor bowls), bowling, curling, football, golf, hockey, karate, rugby and tennis.

A range of partners have come together to make the games a success including volunteers and students from: Renfrewshire Council’s Active Schools Team, James Watt College, sports leaders from Parkmains High, Johnstone High, Glennifer High, students from the Renfrewshire School of Sport Education, St Mirren and Sports Development.

All Photographs taken for Paisley on the web by Tom Chittick.

council logo

New £675,000 strategy launched to care for Renfrewshire’s 22,000 carers

A £675,000 support package is being put in place to help Renfrewshire’s 22,600 carers look after their loved ones without sacrificing their own health and happiness.

Details of the new package are contained in the Renfrewshire Carers’ Strategy 2013 – 16. The document is being launched at the Renfrewshire Carers’ Centre annual general meeting on 10 June – the start of Carers’ Week.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work, Health and Wellbeing Policy Board, said, “The work carers do is becoming more and more important as our population gets older. Carers help people live in their own homes for longer; they reduce emergency hospital admissions and they help stop people getting stuck in hospital because there is no one to look after them at home.

“While people are living longer they aren’t necessarily enjoying a healthy old age. By 2035 a quarter of Renfrewshire’s population will be over 65. Many will need significant care. At the same time there will be a shrinking number of younger working people. In these circumstances our society will be even more dependent on the contribution made by carers than we are already.

“This is why it is vital that we provide carers with the support they need to cope with their responsibilities, while staying healthy themselves and having a life of their own.”

The Renfrewshire Carers’ Strategy 2013 – 16 is based on extensive consultations with carers. The document is designed to deliver on the issues that are most important to them – issues such as respite care, emotional support and early intervention to support carers before they reach crisis point.

The specific goals contained in the strategy are to:

* Improve the emotional and physical wellbeing of carers

* Increased carers’ confidence in managing the caring role

* Enable carers to combine their caring responsibilities with work, a social life, leisure time and learning opportunities – having a life outside of caring

* Ensure carers are not disadvantaged or discriminated against or suffering financial hardship as a result of caring

* Involve carers in planning and shaping the services needed for the person they care for and the support they need themselves.

Carers told to take a break by Renfrewshire Council

With Carers’ Week due to start on 10 June, carers in Renfrewshire are being reminded that Renfrewshire Council, and its partners in Reshaping Care for Older People, have set aside £200,000 to give them a chance to take a well earned break.

The Free Breaks for Carers Service is free and flexible. Qualified carers step in so their everyday carer can take some stress-free time off to recharge their batteries without having to worry about the person they look after.

carers weekThe service is open to anyone in Renfrewshire who cares for someone who is over 65 years old. The care doesn’t need to be delivered at home. The service can cater for trips and excursions if the person who is being cared for enjoys going out.

It’s estimated that there are over 22,000 carers in Renfrewshire with 57% of them either looking after a parent or grandparent.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work, Health and Wellbeing Policy Board, said, “Carers do an amazing job and our aim is to provide them with as much help and support as possible. Being a carer is a massive commitment and for many it’s more than a full time job.

“The council recognises someone has to care for the carers. The help and support we provide to older people in our communities, has to extend to the people who look after them. This includes addressing the impact that being a carer has on their jobs, education, health and leisure time.

“We asked carers what we could do to help and the new respite care at home service is what they came up with. It allows people to recharge their batteries and continue in their caring role.

“Supporting carers is critical so we’ve allocated £200,000. Now it’s there, we’re telling carers to take a break!”

The council is also encouraging anyone who regularly provides a substantial amount of care to someone else to have a carer’s assessment done. A carer’s assessment looks at:

* How being a carer affects the person

* How much care they can realistically provide without it adversely affecting their life beyond being a carer

* What help they may need.

More information about the service is available on 0141 207 7777 or 0300 300 1199.

More information about both home-based respite care and general help and advice for carers is available from the Renfrewshire Carers Centre on 0141 887 3643 and the council’s website

Respite care is also available to all carers who look after someone who is either over 16 years old, or who is a disabled child, and needs regular help with their personal and social care. There may be a charge in some cases.

Street Stuff football festival street stuff coaches

Hundreds turn out for Street Stuff football festival

Hundreds of youngsters from Renfrewshire’s award-winning Street Stuff youth diversionary project took to the turf of St Mirren Park for a festival of football.

Boys and girls aged from 10 to 18 from throughout Renfrewshire descended on the stadium to compete for glory during the annual end-of-season tournament.

Street Stuff is a partnership between various organisations, including Renfrewshire Council and St Mirren, which provides activities for young people at various locations in Renfrewshire.

The programme includes street football with coaching from St Mirren and mobile youth activities with computer games, and has helped reduce youth disorder in each of the areas where it operates.

Around 300 youngsters from 53 teams took part in the five-a-side football contest, with separate sections for the 10-12, 13-15 and 16-18 age groups.

Action took place on the pitch, as well as in the new indoor covered Dome behind the stadium, which was recently opened for business by St Mirren.

The event was funded by Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, who are also partners in the Street Stuff initiative.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Renfrewshire Council’s Street Stuff Champion was there on the night to present prizes to the winning teams.

He said: “Once again, the Street Stuff football festival was well attended and proved to be a great success.

“The scheme has rightly been recognised at a national level for the work it has done to reduce youth disorder by giving kids something positive to do in the evenings.

“I’m sure Street Stuff activities will continue to be popular over the summer holidays and I would urge any kids looking for something to keep them occupied to check out what is on offer in their area.”

St Mirren chief executive Brian Caldwell said: “We are a community club and it is important to us to be involved in schemes like this, and offer something to local youngsters.

“We were delighted the end of the first-team’s season allowed us to be able to open up our doors and give so many youngsters the chance to play on the pitch and in the dome at St Mirren Park.

“Going by the size of the crowd there on the night, we are sure they enjoyed the experience.”

Street Stuff is a partnership between Renfrewshire Council, St Mirren, Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Engage Renfrewshire, McGill’s Buses and Reid Kerr College.

The latest Street Stuff timetable can be viewed online at


Welfare Reform Act 2012


The UK Government is changing the benefits system. In Renfrewshire many people could be affected, if you are of working age and receive benefits. There may be a need for individuals to apply for a new type of benefit or people may receive less money than before. We know this could be worrying for your clients and customers.

Like us I’m sure you will feel it is important that as local service providers we all understand what could change and what we need to do to when planning services which may be influenced by these changes. Some of the changes to who the system of benefits work have already taken place but some of the most significant changes – the ones that affect local Council services – begin in April 2013.

This survey has been put together in a bid to capture local service delivery and will be used to inform the local third sector and local public bodies.  It will also be used to help identify the changing needs and demands being made on your service provision as a result of the implementation of the duties of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. In addition it will also hopefully provide a starting position for:

·         exchanging ideas on how to support existing services,

·         leading change where required and

·         sharing good practice.

We very much appreciate you taking the time to complete this survey – thanks!

Click Here to take the survey

Douglas van Henten

Quality and Resource Officer


Engage Renfrewshire

10 Falcon Crescent

Paisley PA3 1NS

Tel: 0141 887 7707

Fax: 0141 887 8808


Street Stuff thinks outside The Box

Youngsters involved in Renfrewshire’s highly-regarded Street Stuff initiative are boxing clever – thanks to four new mobile youth clubs.

The award-winning youth diversionary scheme offers a range of activities for young people around the area, including The Box – a moveable venue packed with computer-game equipment, and street football with coaching from St Mirren.

And thanks to a recent cash boost, Street Stuff bosses have been able to up the number of Boxes from one to five.

The Boxes come equipped with Xbox, Playstation and Wii computer games as well as karaoke machines.

They will be stationed in areas which don’t already have similar facilities, or which have above-average rates of anti-social behaviour.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Renfrewshire Council’s Street Stuff champion, met up with St Mirren player Marc McAusland at Skye Crescent in Glenburn to see the scheme in action.

And Marc provided an extra treat for the youngsters by bringing along the Scottish Communities League Cup, ahead of St Mirren’s Hampden showdown with Hearts later this month.

They were joined by Street Stuff staff, and representatives from Strathclyde Police and Renfrewshire wardens.

Councillor Devine said: “Street Stuff really is a superb project, and deserves the praise it has been getting.

“Recently, it was the subject of discussion in the Scottish Parliament, where a motion praising it received cross-party support.

“There have also been calls for the Scottish Government to look into extending the programme nationwide, which is a great tribute to all involved.

“I would like to thank the many people who make this programme happen – both the volunteers who give up their time to help, and staff from the various organisations behind it.

“Their energy, hard work and innovation have given Renfrewshire a programme to be proud of.”

Street Stuff is a partnership between St Mirren FC, Renfrewshire Council, Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, Engage Renfrewshire, McGills Buses and Reid Kerr College.

The programme attracts up to 20,000 young people a year and – working with police and council wardens – has helped reduce youth disorder by up to 40% in areas where it operates.

It also operates a Kick and Collect programme, where youngsters who take part in community clean-ups are rewarded with prizes such as tickets to sporting events.

The current Street Stuff timetable can viewed online at

The Scottish Communities League Cup has been on a nationwide tour, visiting community initiatives and promoting the three values of the cup: respect responsibility and tolerance to football fans and families across Scotland.


Cash boost for friendship service for older people

A scheme to help older people stay out of hospital, and live longer happier lives in their own homes, is to receive a £96,000 cash boost from Renfrewshire Council, bringing the total funding from the council and the Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership to over £250,000.

The money will help Reaching Older Adults in Renfrewshire (ROAR) to continue to deliver its range of volunteer-based services designed to counter the negative effects of loneliness and isolation.

Council Leader Mark Macmillan at the ROAR lunch club in HoustonROAR started as a pilot project in June 2007 and has gone from strength to strength since then. Currently 150 volunteers provide help to 300 older adults.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work, Health and Wellbeing Policy Board, said, ““The services provided by ROAR offer vital practical help to keep people in touch with the outside world, helping people to maintain their independence and improving their quality of life.”

“As people get older they can become isolated and lonely as their family grows up and moves on and friends and acquaintances pass away.

“This can affect a person’s mood and ultimately their health. Research shows that having friends and an active social life are key factors in staying healthy for longer. They also provide an important defence against dementia.”

ROAR’s services including; activity clubs, weekly health and wellbeing clubs, a befriending service for older adults and people who suffer from dementia, a pilot shopping service and support for older people who have become isolated.

The project helps three main groups:
* Older people who are housebound and experience social isolation
* Older people who may have lost confidence and need encouragement and help to get out and about and stay active
* People whose own support networks may not be adequate and where help would improve their independence and quality of life.

ROAR works with Active Communities Scotland (Ltd), Alzheimers Scotland, Linstone Housing Association, Renfrewshire Council and the Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership to deliver its services. Visit their website for more info..


All aboard as Street Stuff buses get back on road

Two buses used to help give the young people of Renfrewshire somewhere to go in the evenings are back on the road and coming to a venue near you.

The award-winning Street Stuff youth diversionary project runs a programme of activities – such as street football – at various sites in the area.

Street Stuff buses launchUntil last year, the Street Stuff timetable included a youth bus and gym bus, which went temporarily out of use when Arriva – which operated the vehicles – was taken over by McGill’s.

But the two buses have since been given a makeover by McGill’s and are now back on the road.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment and Infrastructure Policy Board, met up with Ralph Roberts, managing director of McGill’s, to help show off the revamped vehicles at St Mirren Park.

Councillor Devine said: “Over the last few years, Street Stuff has been doing fantastic work around Renfrewshire, with a clear trend showing a reduction in youth disorder in the areas where it operates.

“While many young people will enjoy taking part in the street football, it is important we offer a range of activities which will be of interest to everyone.

“The youth bus and gym bus have plenty which will help give those aged 10 to 18 something to do in the evenings and we are pleased they are back on the road.

“While Street Stuff has already won a series of awards, we are keen to build on its success, and the return of these buses will help us to do that.”

Ralph Roberts of McGill’s added: “McGill’s is delighted to support such a worthwhile initiative as the Street Stuff programme.

“The buses offer easy access to great facilities for teenagers across the McGill’s operating area and we were only too happy to get involved. We wish the team every success.”

The youth bus boasts Playstation and Xbox games consoles in its computer area, as well as musical equipment. The gym bus has six pieces of cardiovascular fitness equipment and Wii Fit computer games.

As well as street football with coaching from St Mirren, the Street Stuff timetable includes The Box, a multi-functional games area.

Street Stuff is a partnership between St Mirren FC, Renfrewshire Council, McGill’s, Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, Engage Renfrewshire and Reid Kerr College.

The programme attracts more than 20,000 young people a year and has led to youth disorder dropping between 18% and 40% in each area where it operates.

The current Street Stuff timetable can be viewed at