Thousands of people turned out in Johnstone on Saturday to see fire engines, past and present, showcased in the town centre.

The day kicked off with emergency vehicles from across the years parading from Johnstone Fire Station into Houston Square, where they remained for the afternoon, giving everyone the chance to climb on board and learn how firefighting has advanced through the years.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service undertook several demonstrations throughout the day, showing people what the impact can be when a chip pan bursts in to flames.

The event was hosted by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Heritage Trust.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “The Fire Engine Rally is always a highlight of our events calendar and a firm favourite for the people of Johnstone.

“Events like this really benefit the local communities as they bring visitors in to the town and increase footfall to local traders.

Renfrewshire’s packed events schedule continues for the rest of the year, so make sure you check out what’s coming up next!”

For upcoming events in Renfrewshire visit www.paisley.is or www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events.

SHOPPERS must have thought they had walked through the doors of the intu Braehead mall on Saturday and landed in a galaxy far, far away.

They were met with the sight of characters from all kinds of films, TV shows and comics having a look round the shops.

Thousands of sci-fi fans turned out for the Film and Comic Con event being held in The Arena at intu Braehead.

Many fans were dressed in the costumes of their favourite sci-fi characters and they certainly caught the attention of shoppers in and around the malls.

They also flocked to hundreds of stalls set up in The Arena to snap up movie memorabilia and sought-after rare comics.

The event continues tomorrow (Sunday) when even more fans are expected to come along.

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, David Lyon said: “Where else but intu Braehead would Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Spiderman and Superman come for a weekend’s shopping when they visit planet Earth?

“This Film and Comic Con is one of the most eye-catching events we have at intu Braehead and we look forward to it every year.

“Shoppers just love to see the fans dressed in their amazing costumes and you just never know who you’re going to bump into!”

Calling all Paisley fashionistas! Following the success of their huge Ripped Up Fashion Show in Paisley in March, ReMode Renfrewshire are delighted to announce the opening of their brand new shop in Storie Street, Paisley, at the UWS Sustainability Hub.

Selling cherry-picked vintage fashions, and clothing that has been redesigned or upcycled in their community workshop in the nearby village of Lochwinnoch, the ReMode Shop will also run practical workshops on upcycling, mending and adapting clothes, and offer practical advice on climate action and sustainability.

The shop launches with one of ReMode’s very popular Swish (or clothes swap) events on Friday 31 August – members of the public are invited to drop off their unwanted clothes in exchange for tokens, and come along for a fun evening where you can pick up a whole new wardrobe for free!

Part of ReMode’s mission is to raise awareness of the environmental impact of the fashion industry, and highlight simple, positive actions we can all take, through the clothing we choose, to ease that.

COMMENT

ReMode director Gillian Steel said:

“We’re really excited to be opening our new shop in Paisley after two years based in Lochwinnoch. It represents a big step forward for us, and we’re looking forward to getting our beautiful vintage clothes and brilliant re-made pieces into the hands of a much wider audience! What a lot of people don’t realise is that, after oil and gas, the textile and clothing manufacture is the biggest global polluter – and it’s cheap, disposable fashion that contributes to that.  Simple actions such as extending the life of clothing by altering or upcycling it, and reducing the quantity of brand-new clothes we buy in favour of vintage pieces, can help to reduce the environmental footprint of clothing by 20 – 30%”

LISTINGS

  • The ReMode Shop will be open at the Sustainability Hub, UWS, Storie Street in Paisley, Thursday – Friday 10-4pm and Saturday 11-4pm, from Saturday 1 September.

 

 

  • Launch event and Swish: Friday 31 August, 7pm.  Donations of clothes can be exchanged for Swish tokens at the Sustainability Hub in Storie Street, Paisley on Fridays from 10 – 4 or at ReMode’s MakeSpace in Lochwinnoch High Street (Saturdays 12 – 5) – or just bring them along with you on the night! Further details and free tickets for the launch event are available via www.facebook.com/remodeyouth/ or website https://remodeyouth.org/  

 

 

  • The ReMode MakeSpace is still open every Saturday, 12-5pm, at 39 High Street, Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire and also runs regular workshops in sustainability and fashion design, for young people and the wider community.

Hundreds of children across Renfrewshire have enjoyed a summer of fun attending Families First holiday clubs.

Families First Johnstone Campus
L-R Hayley McGuire, Newlyn Harris and Kai Lynch

Running at 10 school venues, children have taken part in sporting activities and arts and crafts, as well as being served a healthy, nutritious lunch.

Around 6,000 two course hot meals have been served over the six week programme.

Families First Johnstone Campus
Miaya Docherty

Pupils from primary one to primary four who are in receipt of a school clothing grant were invited to attend the free camp, while older siblings in primary five to seven at the same school were also welcomed when accompanied by their brother or sister.

Families First Johnstone Campus

Children enjoyed the three hour daily clubs the West Johnstone shared campus, St James, St Fergus, Gallowhill, Heriot, Langcraigs and Todholm Primary Schools and Paisley Grammar, Linwood and Castlehead High Schools.

The mobile library service, the Skoobmobile was also part of the programme, with four of the venues hosting a weekly visit to encourage children to sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge, while the remaining six venues enjoyed at least one visit.

Families First Johnstone Campus

The clubs ensure that as many kids as possible get physical activity and have a tasty and nutritious meal every day, as well as encouraging them to try a wider range of foods than they may not otherwise eat. They can also provide valuable social interaction for children.

Education and Children’s Services convener, Cllr Jim Paterson said: “It’s great to have had so many children coming along to socialise with their peers and enjoy sporting activities which can help them stay healthy and active.

“By providing free school meals outside of term time we can also take some of the pressure off the family food budget and ensure that all children can get a nutritious meal.

“We are committed to ensuring that every child in Renfrewshire is given the best chance in life to reach their full potential and supporting families is essential to raising attainment for all and closing the poverty-related attainment gap.”

The Families First holiday clubs started in 2013 and run across most school holidays.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has met with a local energy efficiency agency to find out more about the latest work they’re doing to help people in Renfrewshire who are living in fuel poverty.

Local Energy Action Plan (LEAP) operate across Renfrewshire and offer a range of services to local people to help them reduce their energy use and also to help lift them out of fuel poverty.

The Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire North also spoke to them about the hundreds of households in the constituency who were mis-sold energy efficiency measures by the discredited HELMS.

HELMS have now gone into liquidation. They were an approved Green Deal installer, with the Green Deal programme being the flagship policy of the UK Government.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“It was great to catch up with Scott from LEAP today to find out more about their latest work across Renfrewshire to help households reduce their energy use.

“LEAP plays an important role in helping to lift people out of fuel poverty, and they’re one of the reasons why the fuel poverty rating in Renfrewshire is lower than the national average.

“I also appreciated speaking to LEAP about HELMS’ mis-selling, this is an issue which I have been working on over the past couple of months. Hundreds of people from across Renfrewshire have been thrown into debt due to the scandalous behaviour of HELMS. HELMS may now be out of business, but they were an accredited Green Deal company, and as such, the UK Government has a responsibility for helping those in Renfrewshire who were exploited by this discredited company.

“However, in the meantime, LEAP can offer a range of excellent energy advice to households across Renfrewshire. They have a solid track record of being able to help people and I would encourage all local constituents to get in touch with them to find out how you can reduce your energy use and help save on your fuel bills.

Scott Duncan, Project Manager from LEAP, said:

“It was great to be able to catch-up with Gavin Newlands MP to highlight the important work that we’re doing in the area. Our staff and volunteers work hard to help lift people out of fuel poverty and to assist households to minimise their energy use. We work in a number of the towns and villages in Renfrewshire and happy to provide a range of energy advice to local households.”

West College Scotland’s Ferguslie Learning Centre provides certificated learning opportunities at beginner’s levels within a friendly, community environment.

The courses on offer have been designed to assist adult learners who have little or no formal qualifications, which will help them increase their confidence and personal wellbeing, employability skills and career opportunities!

If you are not sure what to study then please pop into the Centre between 10am-2pm on 22-24 August, and have a chat over a cup of tea or coffee. Our Communities Team will be able to help you decide which programme would suit you best. For more information on our courses click here (link to: http://www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk/communities-and-outreach/ferguslie-learning-centre/)

Courses available include:

  • Building Learning Opportunities in our Communities
  • Working in Early Education and Childcare
  • Furniture Upholstery Application
  • Care: Values and Principles
  • Preparing for Employment
  • Developing Further in IT
  • Getting Started in IT
  • IT Office Skills
  • Gardening

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has welcomed new statistics which show that a record number of students from Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas have successfully gained a place at university.

The UCAS figures show the number of prospective students from the 20% most deprived areas – SIMD 20 – successfully getting a place at a UK university has risen by 5% to a new record level for all ages and by 9% for 18 year olds, taking the increase for 18 year olds to 21% since 2016. This comes alongside UCAS reporting a 3.1% fall in the total number of 18-year-olds in the overall population of Scotland.

This year the total number of Scottish students getting a place at a Scottish university has also hit a new record high of 28,970, up 4%.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“University should be an option for everyone regardless of their background or their circumstances. We still have a road to travel to ensure that everyone has an equal chance of accessing a university education. However, these figures show that Scotland is making good progress on widening access with the number of students from Scotland’s most deprived areas accepted into university increasing to a record high for the third year in a row.

“Universities could learn a lot on this from our local university, the University of the West of Scotland, which is leading the sector in recruiting students from some of the most deprived backgrounds.

“We still have work to do on this, but progress is being made and we’re on the right track. Good luck to all those new students who are about to start their studies in September.

As exam results were released across Scotland, Renfrewshire school pupils who attended a leadership programme have revealed how the skills they gained helped them achieve success.

Pupils from Linwood High School who attended an ‘Aspiration Course’ at the Outdoor Education Centre on the isle of Arran returned with an increased sense of self belief and improved problem-solving skills according to head teacher, Gillian Macartney.

One student even found the trip so motivating that it gave her the confidence to put herself forward to become the school’s Head Girl.

Hannah Sloan, who gained four Highers in English, Music, Biology and Chemistry, said: “I am really pleased with my exam results, especially in English where I’ve always lacked confidence and was full of self-doubt.

“Being on the course really helped with that and actually sitting in the exam hall this year I felt much more confident and knew I had the knowledge and skills to achieve what I did.”

The 17-year-old added: “It also gave me the confidence to apply and become Head Girl in S6.”

Fellow pupil Beth Compston, 15, said: “I got six National 5s this year and I’m proud of myself.  I learned how to be far more positive when I was in Arran and deal with things better. I definitely think it helped me to go to my exams believing that if I try my best and work hard, I can do well.”

The trip was funded by the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge and 24 senior pupils were helped to develop their leadership skills and build resilience through a mix of classroom and outdoor tasks.

The course also aims to enable young adults to realise their own potential as well as raising attainment.

The head teacher said: “There’s a massive legacy from their time on Arran which can be seen in the school.

“Since we came back I’ve heard a number of pupils saying the course has actually changed their whole outlook.  Many of those who were on the course are the ones now vying for leadership roles within the school.

“If they were tackling something tricky in class they would now think about how they could achieve it.”

The young people, who were a mixture of fourth and fifth year pupils aged from 14-16, initially worked on ‘ice breaker’ tasks. They also worked in teams on problem solving tasks.

Many of the activities at the centre are designed to reinforce a positive mindset, with outdoor activities including an orienteering challenge, building tasks including a rope maze and paddling a canoe while blindfolded.

Another task during the trip last November was moving their team by using only oil drums and planks of wood on land they were told to believe was mine infested.

Gillian Macartney added: “Some got frustrated and some wanted to give up, but you’d be letting your team down so there was that element of responsibility.

“It’s about having the self-belief and the ability to work with others to problem solve and to ensure they are setting themselves aspirational goals.

“Many found the abseiling task the most challenging but some were so chuffed when they got the bottom they burst into tears at achieving something they thought they could never do.

“I’m very proud of them all and it was great to see how the experience helped spur them onto achieving their full potential with this week’s exam results.”

Renfrewshire is one of the nine Scottish Government Attainment Challenge authorities to share a £750m national pot for projects designed to help improve the results of pupils from less-affluent backgrounds.

Since becoming a challenge authority in June 2016, data gathered indicates that the gap between the most and least deprived pupils has been reducing in listening, talking, reading and writing, and numeracy measurements.

Johnstone Fire Engine Rally is set to attract huge crowds in the town centre when it returns on Saturday 11 August.

fire engine rally at jonstone12.8.17

Fire engines from throughout the years will parade from Johnstone Fire Station at 11am into the town centre, ending in Houston Square where there will be a host of activities on offer for all the family until 4pm.

The event is being hosted by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Heritage Trust.

Fire engine rally at johnstone 12.8.17

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will undertake a variety of dramatic demonstrations to give an insight to how they respond to emergencies.

fire engine rally at jonstone12.8.17

Visitors to the event will also benefit from free internet access, with free public wifi rolled out in Johnstone’s town centre earlier this year.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will be in attendance and will welcome all to the event.

Provost Cameron said: “The Fire Engine Rally is a family favourite in Johnstone and I can’t wait to take part again this year.

Fire engine rally at johnstone 12.8.17

“The fire engine parade is always a spectacular sight and I’m looking forward to seeing the wide range of historic vehicles as they drive through the town.

“This event provides a fantastic opportunity to see how far technology has advanced in the past few decades, as well as having an educational purpose with the safety demonstrations from The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“It’s an enjoyable day out for all the family and I’d encourage everyone to come down and get involved.”

For further information visit www.paisley.is

paisley pirates

It might be a few weeks until Paisley Pirates fans have the chance to see their favourites back on the ice, but that’s not stopping them from getting right behind the team as the Supporters Club continues to use the close season to raise vital funds to help keep the Pirates on the ice.

paisley pirates

Supporters Club Chairwoman Marie Cadenhead explained, “Over the close season the club committee has been streamlined, but that hasn’t stopped us from pushing ahead with the fundraising which nowadays is as essential for keeping the main club on the ice as any other activity.”

 

“We know as well how important it is too for the Pirates to be seen in the community which they’re very much part of. We took part in the Barshaw Gala Day towards the end of June, organized a bag pack in Morrison’s at the beginning of July which raised a lot of money, we’ve got a stall at the Ferguslie Open Day on Saturday 11 August, and we’ve got a bunch of supporters taking part in the annual Fun Run organized by the local council on Sunday 19 August.”

 

“There’s none of us will ever be described as athletes, but we’ve had a lot of fun taking part in it in previous years, as well as raising a bucketful of cash for the club funds, and we’re hoping to do the same this year. We’ve set up a JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/paisley-pirates for anyone able and willing to support those folk who will maybe not be running, the whole distance (3k) on the day, but will certainly be attempting a fast stroll around the town centre on the day. We’re hoping supporters will feel able to take part in the Fun Run, there’s still time to register. It is certainly a lot of fun, as the title suggests, and from our perspective it gives us another opportunity to take part in a community activity and raise money at the same time.”

 

“It’s not too long now until the main event for us, namely, seeing the Pirates back on the ice, gets underway, and we know it makes a big difference to the club management and players to know the supporters are backing us by bringing in much needed cash. It costs more than people maybe think to keep the show on the road, when you consider costly items like booking buses for far away road trips, so contributors to the cause, either in donations to the page, or by taking part in the event, know that every penny raised goes to help the Pirates, Renfrewshire’s only senior ice hockey team.”