social security scotland

People will be able to apply for disability assistance in person across Renfrewshire.

People will be able to apply for the Scottish Government’s new disability benefits in the way that is best for them.

Options will include returning a paper form by post, applying over the phone, filling in an online form or getting help from a member of staff based in their local community.

Social Security Scotland, the agency which will administer these benefits on behalf of the Scottish Government, is continuing work to set up this local service.

There will be in excess of 400 local delivery staff providing face to face support across Scotland. This is a substantial increase on the existing Department for Work and Pensions offer, which has under 100 visiting officers for the whole of Scotland.

So far, Social Security Scotland employs four staff in Renfrewshire and has secured space in one location. This will grow as more benefits are introduced and demand increases.

Locations have been identified based on feedback from experience panels and through working alongside community partners including voluntary sector. This will help to identify venues that are easily accessed and many of  our clients already make use of.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said:

“Making sure that people are able to apply for benefits in the way that is right for them is one of the absolute fundamentals to ensuring that everyone gets the money that they are entitled to.

“The world is changing and things like the ongoing pandemic are changing the way people access services, with more and more of us looking to do so online. However, we don’t want a service that only works for the majority, it needs to work for everyone. We need to make sure that no one is left behind.

“This is why we are designing a system that gives people choices and makes sure that we take into consideration different accessibility needs – particularly for those looking to apply for disability assistance.

“People will have a range of ways in which they can apply for the disability benefits we will introduce. This includes applying online and also the option to apply in person with one of our specially trained staff located in communities in every council area.

“In setting up this service, we are taking a truly tailored approach. We want to understand the unique needs of local communities. We will continue to work with others to gain this understanding and to make sure that we have people available in the right places and at the right times across Renfrewshire.”

Indoor fitness classes to remain suspended following updated Scottish Government advice

People across Renfrewshire are being urged to continue taking advantage of outdoor and online fitness classes in light of the Scottish Government’s latest Covid-19 guidance.

Indoor fitness sessions for over-18s remain suspended as part of continued measures to manage the spread of the pandemic.

Renfrewshire Leisure is operating extra outdoor and online fitness sessions, both of which have proven popular and attracted a strong following.

Mark Tokeley, Head of Leisure and Community Services at Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We have a fantastic programme of socially-distanced outdoor exercise classes which has been tremendously well received and which we would encourage people to attend as an alternative. We have some brilliant fitness class videos online too and are continuing to build this content in response to customer feedback.

“We are also ready to support people to try something new – perhaps using the gym or going swimming. Switching up your usual routines can be a great way to boost fitness. Our team is on-hand to help in any way we can.”

Outdoor contact sports for the over-18s are also currently suspended as part of the same Covid-19 mitigation measures.

Details about the outdoor and online fitness classes – along with all other Renfrewshire Leisure services and the safety measures in place at this time – can be found at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/coronavirus

Voting has opened for this year’s Celebrating Renfrewshire Fund as young people get the chance to pick up a share of £150,000.

Applications have been submitted by young people aged 12-25, or by groups who work with this age group, which aim to make life better and more exciting for young people in Renfrewshire.

These have ranged from creative arts and drama programmes to sports equipment and online resources to tackle bullying and provide mental health support.

Now, young people across Renfrewshire can choose what they believe will make the biggest difference to their lives and communities by casting up to three votes in the Local Partnership area they live.

Voting will take place until 30 October via the Young Scot platform and school pupils will able to vote via their school email accounts.

Community groups can request voting packs from Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Services Team, where they will be provided with temporary numbers to allow young people in their group to cast their votes.

Councillor Michelle Campbell, Renfrewshire Council’s Young Persons Champion, said: “I was delighted to see the range of applications submitted by young people in Renfrewshire as this is a real chance for them to make a positive difference to their own, and their friends, lives.

“Young people are at the heart of this fund at every step and this allows activities and programmes to be chosen and shaped by them – rather than imposed on them by those who think they know best.

“There are so many fantastic applications and I can’t wait to see which projects are chosen as the winners, so please encourage all young people aged 12-25 to cast their votes before the deadline of 30 October.”

For more information, including how to vote, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/CelebratingRenfrewshire.

Exercise classes in the great outdoors

Renfrewshire Leisure expands outdoor and online programme while indoor classes suspended

An expanded outdoor exercise programme has launched to help Renfrewshire residents stay fit and healthy amid the latest Covid-19 restrictions.

One of Renfrewshire Leisure’s socially-distanced outdoor exercise classes at ON-X, Linwood

Renfrewshire Leisure has suspended all of its indoor exercise classes for over-18s until October 26 to comply with Scottish Government guidelines to slow the spread of the pandemic.

As part of efforts to continue supporting members and customers’ wellbeing during this time, the independent charity is temporarily stepping up its outdoor fitness session programme.

Nineteen extra outdoor events will be staged this week and next, with people able to exercise safely and socially distanced in line with all public health guidelines.

They will be held on track and artificial sports surface areas at the ON-X in Linwood.

An enhanced programme of fitness content for people to join in with is also being made available at www.renfrewshireleisure.com and via the RENTV channel.

Alan Cunningham, Indoor Leisure Services Manager at Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “Exercise is good for everyone’s physical and mental wellbeing, which is why we feel it’s so important we do all that we can to help people through these strange times.

“We have an established programme of outdoor exercise classes. Given their strong track record, we believe that temporarily expanding them is a positive way in which we can safely support people with their health and fitness. The safety of our customers and staff is our top priority.”

Bootcamp, HITT, attack, combat, metafit and circuit classes are included in the programme.

All sessions will comply with track and trace guidelines. Places are limited and must be booked in advance at www.renfrewshireleisure.com, where more details about the classes and safety measures that must be followed are available.

Meanwhile, filming is underway for a programme of exercise classes to be streamed online by Renfrewshire Leisure. These will range from relaxation to high intensity with sessions to suit ages and abilities. A broadcast schedule will be shared via social media once filming is complete.

Outdoor contact sports for the over-18s were suspended from 6pm on Friday as part of the Covid-19 protection measures governing Greater Glasgow.

Edward Reid

BRITAIN’S Got Talent singing star Edward Reid might have found himself a new theme song with Climb Every Mountain – because yesterday he was at intu Braehead doing just that!

Edward Reid

Edward joined shopping centre staff in a sponsored stair-climbing challenge to raise vital funds for leading mental health charity SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) as they took part in their own version of SAMH’s Virtual Stomp.

The team at intu Braehead took part in their self-organised fundraising challenge on the eve of World Mental Health Day (Saturday, October 10) and the staff raised more than £200 for the charity by climbing 16,380 stairs.

Edward Reid

The shopping centre is also running a series of short videos of Edward giving mental health and well-being advice and tips on their social media channels in the run-up to World Mental Health Day and will continue to do so throughout the rest of the month.

Edward said: “There definitely ain’t no mountain high enough for the big-hearted folks at intu Braehead.

“They put in a fantastic effort to climb all these steps and raise money for a very worthy cause.

And he quipped: “By the time I got to the top of the flight of steps for the umpteenth time, I thought I was on the stairway to heaven!”

Edward Reid

Lydia Brown, intu Braehead’s community development manager said: “It’s important everyone looks after their mental health in the same way we look after our physical health.

“SAMH do a fantastic job in supporting people with mental health problems and raising awareness across Scotland. Our team wanted to do everything we could to help support the charity with their fundraising and raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing.”

Harriet Key, Corporate Partnerships Fundraiser said “We’re living in difficult times so it’s never been more important to support Scotland’s mental health. These funds will help SAMH raise awareness, promote good mental health and support those who need it most.”

SAMH has put together a dedicated coronavirus mental health information hub for anyone looking for help or support during the pandemic, which can be found on its website – https://www.samh.org.uk/.

Paisley-First-October-Fiverfest

Save money and grab yourself a bargain in Paisley town centre with great £5 offers  from our local businesses as part of October FiverFest! 

Paisley-First-October-Fiverfest

Paisley is joining with hundreds of High Streets across the UK, and thousands of  independent businesses, to put on special £5 offers across two weeks in October, as  part of the Totally Locally FiverFest Fortnight! 

Paisley has a great mix of retail shops, food and drink venues, and health, hair and  beauty salons. 

Around 65p from every pound spent locally, stays local – so by picking up that  coffee, going for lunch or buying that gift, you can do your bit to support the local  community and its businesses. 

Colette Cardosi, Chair of Paisley First, said: “Local businesses need your support more  than ever this year, our independent shops and businesses are what helps to make  Paisley town centre special. 

“We appreciate it when our community support us, so these offers are to say thank  you for that support, and to show just what great value our local businesses are. 

“Spending just £5 a week in Paisley town centre can make a big difference to our  local businesses and helps keep our town centre alive!” 

So, come and show your local High Street some love and take advantage of our  great FiverFest offers! 

October FiverFest runs from Saturday 10th – Saturday 24th October 2020. 

Pick up a FiverFest leaflet from the Paisley First leaflet racks in the Paisley Centre or  the Piazza Shopping Centre or see the full deals online at www.paisleyfirst.com – keep checking as new deals are being added every day! 

Love Local, Love Paisley!  

More details on all Paisley First projects and events can be found at  www.paisleyfirst.com or follow Paisley First on social media @paisleyfirst

Original-Love-Local-with-Strapline

Paisley-First-Halloween-Trail-1920x1080FB-02-10-2020

There’s still plenty of Halloween fun to be had in Paisley town centre this October  with our Paisley Pumpkin Trail! 

Paisley-First-Halloween-Trail-1920x1080FB-02-10-2020

Just follow the trail around town and name all the pumpkins for your chance to be entered into our Spooky Spectacular Prize Draw! 

This COVID-19 friendly Halloween Trail will be running in the town centre from Friday  9th October until 31st October – just pick up a leaflet from the Paisley First leaflet racks inside the Piazza Shopping Centre or the Paisley Centre. 

Or if you prefer, you can download a copy of the leaflet from the Paisley First website at www.paisleyfirst.com 

Colette Cardosi, Chair of Paisley First, said: “This year’s Halloween Festival may be cancelled but that doesn’t mean there’s no Halloween fun in Paisley town centre! 

“All the pumpkins will be on display inside business windows so it’s the perfect activity  to help the kids have some fun whilst getting some fresh air in Paisley town centre.” 

Colette added: “Everyone is working hard to Keep Paisley Safe and families can be assured that whilst we can’t promise the sun will always be shining, we will do our best to make sure everyone has a great day out. 

“It’s been a tough year for everyone, especially our local businesses, so please  come and show our town your support this October.” 

More details on all Paisley First projects and events can be found at  www.paisleyfirst.com or follow Paisley First on social media @paisleyfirst

Renfrewshire-Leisure

Renfrewshire Leisure will suspend all of its indoor fitness classes for 16 days from 6pm on Friday (October 9) following the Scottish Government’s latest steps to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

Renfrewshire-Leisure

The independent leisure and culture charity is also suspending all outdoor contact sports for over-18s to comply with measures outlined by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Gyms and swimming pools will remain open, operating with safety as the priority and within all Government guidelines.

Staff will also offer as much content as possible digitally, at www.renfrewshireleisure.com via the RENTV channel and across the organisation’s social media platforms.

Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The safety of our staff and customers is our key focus. As an organisation, we are committed to doing everything possible to support our communities through this pandemic.

“We want to continue helping people with their health and wellbeing while they are unable to attend classes, which is why we will look to do all that we can online. We would also encourage anyone who normally enjoys our classes to try a session at our gyms or swimming pools, where we will be happy to welcome them in the safe environment we have created.”

Details of sessions available digitally will be shared via Renfrewshire Leisure’s social media channels and website, where information about all of the charity’s services and booking arrangements can also be found.

Bhead

THINGS have gone mall spooky for Halloween at the intu Braehead shopping centre.

Bhead

Thanks to some amazing hi-tech wizardry, shoppers can get astonishing photos of themselves standing next to a ghoulish ghost, scary skeleton and even a vampire surrounded by bats.

The shopping centre is launching its free augmented reality Halloween experience app on Friday, October 9.

All shoppers need to do for some Halloween fun is to download the intu Braehead app for their phone or tablet, scan special markers on the floor throughout the centre and the spooky figures appear as if by magic on their screens.

Then they can take photos of friends and family standing next to the virtual Halloween figures.”

Coffin

The Halloween images that appear with supernatural sorcery include a trap door with spiders, a skeleton, witch, ghost, vampire surrounded by bats and a cauldron.

The trigger markers can even be downloaded from the intu Braehead website, printed out and then used at home to make the figures appear when using the app, which will be active until November 4.

David Lyon, intu Braehead’s marketing manager said: “Talk about spooky! How weird is it going to be when you can get your photo taken beside a ghost, skeleton, witch or vampire and his bat friends in the middle of a shopping centre?

“Halloween is the traditional time of year when everyone has a bit of fun with spooky goings-on, but we’re bringing it right into the 21st century with some amazing augmented reality technology.

“It’ll be great fun for all the family and something they’ll be talking about for a long time.”

Go to www.intu.co.uk/braehead for more details, to download the app and the trigger marker graphics.

Clyde walkway after being tidied

Renfrewshire experienced a Spotless September as hundreds of volunteers joined the Team Up to Clean Up campaign once again, with the aim of making their community a little brighter.

Clyde walkway after being tidied

The now annual Spotless September event saw 1,233 bags of litter removed from the local environment as 225 litter picks were undertaken by dedicated volunteers and community groups – equating to more than seven litter picks every day throughout the month of September.

Volunteers took to the streets in almost every community in Renfrewshire, including Erskine, Renfrew, Paisley, Johnstone, Bishopton, Houston, Bridge of Weir Foxbar, Elderslie, Inchinnan, Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch – and some even took to the water to clean the River Cart in Paisley.

James McCabe James McCabe dressed up for his litter pickdressed up for his litter pick

Erskine volunteer Stephen Hughes said: “I really just wish people would stop dropping litter and take more pride in where they live, especially our school children.

“I would rather be doing something else with my time, but I really do value living in a clean and attractive neighbourhood and helping clean up keeps me busy and active.

“The Team Up to Clean Up Facebook community is also a pleasure to be part of, it’s great to see so many people making a difference.”

Working with the community, Renfrewshire Council provided volunteers with litter pickers, bibs, bags and any other safety equipment they required, and volunteers were provided with health and safety advice for carrying out litter picks, including group sizes and physical distancing.

The council’s StreetScene team took away the collected rubbish too and this took place alongside the council’s increased litter picking, gully clearing and road sweeping which forms a key part of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “What a month it has been and another fantastic Spotless September.

“While the current situation meant we couldn’t hold any large-scale events, it’s been heartening to see the desire of our Team Up to Clean community to continue making a difference.

“Hundreds of volunteers have headed out on their own or in small groups to clear hundreds of bags of litter from our communities and each with the same goal of making Renfrewshire a better place to live, work and visit.

“We’re working hard to change the mindset of those who think it’s acceptable to litter so please let’s keep working together to make Renfrewshire litter-free.”

The award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign has grown substantially since it was launched in 2017 and now boasts more than 1,500 members in its online Facebook community group.

The campaign brings the council and community together to help tackle littering, dog fouling and a range of other environmental issues and the joint approach continues to thrive in Renfrewshire.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.