laugh 1

VISITORS to a shopping centre were yesterday (Monday, January 20) given an unusual antidote to Blue Monday – the chance to take part in laughter yoga sessions.

laugh 1

The team at intu Braehead organised the laughter yoga in a bid to help people feel good in a day that is described as the most depressing of the year.

The relatively new concept in mind and body exercise teaches people how to laugh without relying on jokes or humour.

It was developed in Mumbai, India by a Dr Madan Kataria, in the mid-1990s and laughter yoga provides similar physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughing.

The special laughter yoga sessions are part of a unique programme of activities at intu Braehead aimed at getting folks smiling again during the January – which can be a time when some people feel down after the festive celebrations.

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, David Lyon said: “Everyone likes a good laugh and it’s a great way to lift your spirits.

“We decided to bring in some laughter yoga instructors and I’m sure people taking part will leave intu Braehead with a smile on their face.”

Along with the laughter yoga sessions, David has listed other things to do at the shopping centre and in Soar at intu Braehead to beat the January blues.

They include ice skating; trampolining; indoor adventure golf; having a go on the Big Slide – the UK’s tallest helter-skelter; catching a movie at the Odeon cinema; ten-pin bowling; watching a Glasgow Clan ice hockey match; indulge yourself in The Little Dessert Shop, or simply spend quality time with family and friends in one of their many cafes, restaurants and bars.

Partners at the Bargeddie plant

A unique new contract will see a minimum of 90% of Renfrewshire’s waste transformed into energy as the area meets the Scottish Government’s landfill ban.

Partners at the Bargeddie plant

The £700 million, 25-year Clyde Valley Residual Waste Project between East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Council and Viridor is now underway and will serve almost one-sixth of Scotland’s population.

It will see up to 190,000 tonnes of general waste diverted from landfill and converted to low-carbon energy and is expected provide a net saving of almost 50,000 tonnes of CO2e every year.

It will also deliver a guaranteed minimum increase in recycling for Renfrewshire, further enhancing the area’s growing environmental prospects having seen its recycling rate improve every quarter since December 2018.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “A key priority of the council is tackling climate change and this project will make a significant difference to the level of C02 we produce by improving the way we deal with our waste.

“Anything that cannot be recycled will now no longer go to landfill and will be transformed into energy instead, making a real difference to our environment and taking our commitment to recycling to a new level.

“Our teams have been working hard over the last decade to make this a reality and we’re looking forward to working with our partnership authorities to ensure that the project achieves the environmental aims it sets out.”

This is the first partnership of its kind in Scotland and will see household waste taken from Renfrewshire and the other local authorities to a Materials Recovery Facility, where it will be further separated to remove recyclable materials before it is treated to produce a refuse derived fuel.

Then, at the brand-new Energy Recover Facility at Dunbar, it is burned at high temperatures, under carefully controlled conditions to produce 258GWh of low-carbon electricity for the national grid – enough to power more than 70,000 homes.

Steven Don, Viridor’s Head of Local Authority Contracts Scotland, said: “The Bargeddie Hub is now receiving waste as part of this contract just in time for the very busy post-festive season period.

“The Clyde Valley Partnership is an excellent example of how local authorities can work together to deliver effective waste management and contribute to a circular economy in Scotland.

“The sophisticated technology at Bargeddie improves recycling and non-recyclable waste treatment, maximising the opportunities to recycle while putting non-recyclable waste to work to generate electricity.”

The contract will also see Viridor deliver a number of community benefits, including annual apprenticeships, educational school visits and training workshops for businesses.

For more information on Renfrewshire’s approach to waste and recycling, visit

laughing yoga

AN AMAZING antidote to beat the January Blues has been introduced at a popular shopping centre – laughing yoga sessions.

laughing yoga

Shoppers will be encouraged to try laughing yoga as part of a unique programme of activities to get folks smiling again during the first month of the New Year, which can be a time when some people feel down after the festive celebrations.

Laughing Yoga is a relatively new concept in mind and body exercise teaching people how to laugh without relying on jokes or humour.

It was developed in Mumbai, India by a Dr Madan Kataria, in the mid-1990s and Laughing Yoga provides similar physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughing.

The team at the intu Braehead retail and leisure destination launched their campaign to get folks having fun with family and friends and beating the January Blues – thought to be caused by the month’s short daylight hours, cold and damp weather and the anti-climax of Christmas being over.

According to intu Braehead’s marketing manager, David Lyon, the best way to make yourself feel good and motivated again is to get out the house and enjoy yourself.

Along with the Laughing Yoga sessions, David has listed another ten things to do at the centre and in Soar at intu Braehead including – ice skating; trampolining; indoor adventure golf; having a go on the Big Slide – the UK’s tallest helter-skelter; catching a movie at the Odeon cinema; ten-pin bowling; watching a Glasgow Clan ice hockey match; spending time at a special Relaxation Station in the mall; indulge yourself in The Little Dessert Shop, or simply spend quality time with family and friends in one of their many cafes, restaurants and bars.

The free Laughing Yoga sessions are being held in the lower mall between 10am and 11.15am outside the Boots and New Look stores during Blue Monday, January 20, which is said to be the year’s most depressing day.

David said: “Sometimes January can be a bit of a downer, so we brought together our team of blues busters to come up with a programme of activities with something for everyone to enjoy.

“There’s nothing better to lift the spirits than to have a good laugh, so we’re bringing in some Laughing Yoga instructors to help shoppers have just that.

“As well as a bit of retail therapy, we’ve got lots different of leisure activities at intu Braehead. We’ve got things that will get you physically active, that will entertain you, give yourself a treat and most importantly, give you lots of fun.

“If anyone feels like they’ve got the January Blues, then they should come along and pay us a visit and we’ll help them turn glum into glee!”


Iconic Airbus A380 to return in 2020


Airline partner Emirates has confirmed that the world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft will return to Glasgow in 2020.


The huge double-decker aircraft, which has a wingspan of almost 80 meters and can carry over 500 passengers, will return to the airline’s popular Glasgow-Dubai route from March.

Emirates plan to operate the iconic A380 on a year-round basis on the double daily service, Scotland’s busiest long-haul route. One of the airline’s Boeing 777 aircraft fleet will continue to be used on the route.

Mark Johnston, Managing Director at Glasgow Airport, said: “Emirates’ decision to operate a year-round daily service using the Airbus A380 is tremendous news and underlines the airline’s continued commitment to Glasgow Airport and its passengers.

“We invested significantly in our international pier infrastructure to vastly improve the experience for our long-haul carriers and passengers last year. This included the building of Scotland’s first and only triple airbridge, which not only supports a wide range of aircraft types but is perfect for servicing the A380.


“The decision to make such a significant investment was a bold one, however, the return of this iconic aircraft to daily service underlines our continued ambition and is testament to the Dubai route’s enduring popularity with our customers.

“This decision marks yet another milestone in a relationship with Emirates that dates back to 2004, when the first ever route between Scotland and the Middle East was launched at Glasgow Airport.

“Our Dubai double daily is Scotland’s leading long-haul route, so it’s fitting that the world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft will play a part in the unique customer experience offered to Emirates’ passengers at Glasgow Airport.”

An Emirates spokesperson said: “Emirates can confirm that it plans to operate a year round daily Airbus A380 service between Glasgow and Dubai, beginning end of March 2020.”

Since the introduction of the Glasgow-Dubai service in 2004, over 4.8 million passengers have travelled between the two cities and further afield through Emirates’ network of 158 destinations.

Thousands of people gathered at the airport to see the enormous aircraft make a special appearance on April 11 2014 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Emirates route at Glasgow. The aircraft returned on April 16 last year and made Scottish aviation history when it entered into regular service for the first time on the Glasgow route.

The A380 flying between Glasgow and Dubai has a three-class configuration, with 14 private suites in First-Class, 76 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 399 spacious seats in Economy Class.

In addition to transporting passengers, Emirates’ SkyCargo on the A380 will continue to carry key Glaswegian exports across the world, including Scottish whisky, salmon, cheese, chocolate and oil well equipment. The most popular destinations for Scottish salmon, shellfish and oysters include China and Hong Kong, while Scottish Whisky is most frequently exported to South Africa, Singapore, Sydney and Korea.



  • Currency collection globes raised a record amount for FlightPath Fund 



Glasgow passengers raised a staggering £20,000 for the airport’s FlightPath Fund in 2019.

The record amount was collected through the six FlightPath Fund collection globes positioned across the airport in which passengers can donate any left-over currency. 


All monies raised through the globes are added to the £140,000 annual total donated by Glasgow Airport to the FlightPath Fund, which supports a diverse range of local groups, charities and organisations across the Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East and West Dunbartonshire local authority areas. 

The total amount for the year came from 115 different global currencies including Brunei and Jamaican Dollars, Sudanese Pounds, Kenyan Shillings, Chilean Pesos, Sri Lankan Rupees and Cambodian Riel. 

The top five currencies collected were: 


  • UK Pound
  • The Euro
  • US Dollars 
  • UAE Dirhams
  • Swiss Francs


Out with the weird and wonderful currencies of the world, several old coins were collected including pre-1947 Shillings, which have a 50% silver content, and a Half Sovereign 22-carat coin valued at £101. One very generous passenger also deposited a £50 note into one of the globes. 

Glasgow Airport’s Managing Director Mark Johnston said: “Our FlightPath Fund collection globes normally raise anything between £12,000 and £15,000 a year, so to collect over £20,000 is fantastic news. 

“A big thank you must go to our very generous passengers. Their generosity this year and in previous years is absolutely vital in ensuring the FlightPath Fund continues to support the hundreds of community groups, clubs and charities that neighbour the airport.”


Set up in 2010, the FlightPath Fund has awarded more than £1.6 million in support to over 600 local charities, clubs and organisations. In 2019 alone, over 70 community-based organisations received over £110,000 in financial support. 

This included a £14,000 award to the Ocean Youth Trust to support four voyages for youth groups in each of the local authority areas served. The Fund also provided £8000 to support the Flying Fish eco-learning primary school project run by the Clyde River Foundation.

To find out more about the FlightPath Fund, or to apply for funding support, visited:

Glasgow Airport exterior


  • More than 260,000 passengers expected to travel through the airport during the festive period 



Glasgow Airport is preparing for a busy festive period as hundreds of thousands of travellers take to the skies over the Christmas holidays.

Glasgow Airport exterior

More than 260,000 people are expected to pass through the airport over the next two weeks (Friday, December 20 – Friday, January 3) with many heading for some winter sun to destinations including the Canary Islands, Dubai, Malaga and Alicante, or city and ski breaks to Dublin, London, Frankfurt, Geneva and Grenoble.


Many passengers who live and work elsewhere in the UK or overseas will also make their way home to celebrate Christmas and New Year with friends and relatives.


Today is expected to be the busiest with more than 20,000 passengers travelling through the airport. On Christmas Day almost 2500 passengers will travel on 14 flights between Glasgow and Amsterdam, London and Dubai. 


In the run up to the busy festive getaway, Glasgow Airport would like to reminding travellers to pack their Christmas gifts carefully, and to place them in their hold luggage rather than carry them as hand luggage where possible. Passengers should also check with their airlines if they are permitted to take Christmas crackers, which if being carried as hand luggage must remain in their original packing.


Mark Johnston, Managing Director at Glasgow Airport, said: “Christmas and New Year is always special and there’s certainly a feel-good atmosphere in the terminal as thousands of passengers travel through the airport to be with their loved ones. 

“It’s also a particularly busy time in the terminal for our staff, airlines partners, caterers, retailers and baggage handlers, who are all gearing up to welcome thousands of passengers keen to get home for the holidays.   


“Our advice to everyone – whether they are travelling home or jetting off for a winter break – is to double check that all liquids carried in hand luggage are within the 100ml limit. This includes presents such as toiletries and alcohol.

“To be on the safe side, and to help reduce waiting times at security, we recommend that all of our passengers pack their gifts in their hold luggage where possible. If carrying gifts in hand luggage, we would ask passengers not to wrap them until they have reached their destination as our security procedures may require that they be searched. 


“On behalf of everyone at Glasgow Airport, I would like to wish our passengers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year when it comes.”

Drink driving

Road users in Renfrewshire are being warned of the dangers of driving while under the influence during the festive party season.

Drink driving

With new laws coming into force in October, motorists can now face roadside drugs tests as well as a breathalyser test for alcohol – with a zero-tolerance approach to eight drugs including cannabis, heroin and cocaine.

Anyone caught drug or drink-driving can face penalties such as the loss of their licence or jail time.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “It’s important that motorists recognise the criminal and personal consequences of being caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“It puts not only the driver, but any passengers and other road users at risk and the advice to any motorist would be not to risk it.

“You may think that you won’t be over the limit but don’t run the risk of causing a crash, losing your licence and even jail time.”

In the first four weeks of roadside drug testing being in place, 96 people provided positive tests and were arrested pending further enquiries.

This year is the first festive campaign that roadside drug testing is in place and police are carrying out dedicated patrols.

Chief Inspector Douglas Falconer, Local Area Commander for Paisley, said: “We know the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs and there really is no excuse for it. The consequences of doing so can be life-changing.

“Local officers and road policing colleagues will continue to proactively enforce the drink-drive limit and use the new drug-drive laws and roadside testing kits to help keep Renfrewshire’s roads safe.”

For more information, visit

BEAR Scotland visting the SBMC factory
  • Over 1,340 road signs have been produced since January by Armed Forces veterans for trunk road network in north of Scotland
  • Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (SMBC) employs veterans from the Armed Forces and others with disabilities in Scotland who may need support adjusting to life after service
  • Trunk road operator BEAR Scotland was one of the first commercial companies to purchase the road signs one year ago

BEAR Scotland visting the SBMC factory

A team from BEAR Scotland visited a veterans’ manufacturing company in Erskine on Friday to mark a year of trading between the two organisations and to meet the ex-forces team members manufacturing the road signs installed by BEAR across the north of Scotland.

Based in Erskine, Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (SMBC) employs veterans from the Armed Forces and others with disabilities in Scotland who may need support adjusting to life after service. SMBC manufactures commercial signage and printing services, including high-quality road signs.

BEAR Scotland was one of the first commercial companies to purchase road signs from Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, now just over a year old. Since January, SMBC has produced over 1,340 signs for BEAR Scotland – more than a quarter of all the signs the initiative has produced in the past year – which have since been erected across the trunk road network throughout the north of Scotland.

These signs have included directional signage on the A9, M90 & A82 as well as warning signs, tourist signs and larger bespoke signage for road safety projects.

On Friday’s visit, BEAR Scotland saw first-hand the dedication, quality and precision behind the work SMBC does in producing road signs for the trunk road network.

Iain Murray, Managing Director for BEAR Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to visit the dedicated team at Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company and meet those involved in producing such a high-quality product for us since January this year.

“BEAR Scotland has long supported employment opportunities for ex-forces members and it is so inspiring to come to the depot and meet those producing the signs we use across our network in the north of Scotland and hear their stories.

“We’re so pleased with the quality, skill and dedication behind this initiative and we’re delighted that working with Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company not only supplies us with a high-quality product but also provides essential employment opportunities for our brave veterans.  We look forward to developing further opportunities and ways to work together to support this great initiative in 2020.”

Michelle Ferguson, Director of Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, said: “Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company was established for one simple reason: to offer greater opportunities to those veterans and others with disabilities.

“The vast majority of veterans have an easy transition and are able to move into the civilian workforce relatively smoothly. However, for too many, they face great challenges – and that’s who we’re here for.

“The business that BEAR has placed with us in the last year has helped our organisation grow immensely, allowing us to employ more military spouses, veterans and others with disabilities giving them valuable transferable skills. Gary Jamieson, one of our veteran’s, sums it up perfectly – ‘when BEAR places an order with us they aren’t just buying a sign, they are changing the lives of veterans’.

“We are incredibly thankful to BEAR Scotland for the trust they have put in our team and for their continued backing. We are looking forward to further collaboration in the coming years and to seeing the signs we make across the Scottish road network.”

Pupils pictured with James McAllister- group-2

Renfrewshire school pupils donned their hard hats and high-vis jackets as they were treated to a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a major project transforming the Clyde waterfront in Renfrew.

The £90.7million Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project is jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments through the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Pupils pictured with James McAllister-group-1

Construction is scheduled to start next year on the project, which includes the first opening road bridge over the River Clyde, improving access to work, education, hospitals and leisure for communities on both sides of the river.

Advance clearance works are being led by contractor Daltons Demolitions who presented the career opportunities in demolition to a group of S5 and S6 pupils preparing for life in the construction sector.

Pupils pictured with James McAllister- group-2

Together with a helpful talk on what the job entails, 20 pupils were taken round the site, sat inside an excavator and even tested their skills in a special demolition plant simulator, courtesy of the National Demolition Training Group (NDTG).

James McAllister, Commercial Manager at Daltons Demolition, said: “It was great to welcome the young people on site and give them hands-on experience of what’s involved in working in demolition. I’m sure many of them were surprised to learn that a career in demolition requires special skills and can also pay very well.

“Every job is different with demolition and it can be very interesting as there’s no two buildings the same. We’re the first stage of any redevelopment, the first stage of the rebuilding process.

“My advice to any young person considering demolition or any other part of the construction sector would be to gain the necessary certificates and qualifications, and once you have your foot in the door, turn up on time every day, work hard, show enthusiasm and you’ll go far.”

The pupils are completing the 10-month My Future Pathway Construction programme which aims to ready them for a career in the construction sector.

Activities include a range of taster days, site visits, mock interviews and a two-week work placement as well as the chance to gain the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card and health and safety certificates.

On successful completion of the programme, the pupils will complete an interview for a Modern Apprenticeship.

Liam Donnelly, 16, an S5 pupil at Gryffe High School said: “I was thinking about doing construction and this course has given me the chance to learn more about what’s involved. I really enjoyed the visit, especially doing the virtual reality simulator, which was difficult to handle, and learning about all the different machines. I’ve a brother who lives in Australia and I’d like to go out there to work in construction with him.”

Darren Young, 17, in S6 at Johnstone High, said: “The simulator was quite hard at first, but once you got the hang of it, I was fine. I planned to do joinery, but after seeing this I’d be keen to learn more. It was interesting seeing how you transform a site and get it ready for a new project. I want to do an apprenticeship so this programme is helping me towards that.”

The Daltons event and all visits and placements on the programme are delivered through community benefits, which are commitments from companies who secure a Council contract to provide educational and community-focused opportunities.

Councillor John Shaw is Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board, which oversees contract awards.

He said: “Community benefits are a vital part of all council contracts and we have a dedicated team working hard to identify the opportunities that will bring the greatest benefit to Renfrewshire residents, consulting closely with the local business community. Education is a hugely important focus for us and I’m sure the pupils learned a lot from such a unique experience that Daltons provided.

“The Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project will bring lots of construction companies to the area, with plenty of jobs to build the bridge and the surrounding roads and I’d encourage school leavers to contact our Invest in Renfrewshire team to find out more about how they can get ready to gain employment.”

I AM ME - Keep Safe Kids App - Renfrew High - Group shot - 16 December 2019 (2)

Pupils from six schools in Renfrewshire have collaborated with an award-winning charity to develop a new app that promotes mental wellbeing.

I Am Me Scotland have been working with children and young people in Renfrew High, Paisley Grammar, Castlehead High, Kirklandeuk Primary, St James Primary and Arkleston Primary schools to design their innovative new phone app, Keep Safe Kids.

I AM ME - Keep Safe Kids App - Renfrew High - Group shot - 16 December 2019 (2)

The app will give pupils access to online information about issues affecting young people, such as mental health, bullying and online abuse.

It will also allow young people to report incidents of harassment and bullying discreetly to their school without having to approach a teacher.

Research suggests that young people across Scotland do not report bullying behaviour for fear of being called a ‘grass’.

Aimee, 16, said: “Some people really struggle to report bullying, but the app can help and build people’s confidence to help other people.”

Reports made on the app will go directly to teachers at the pupil’s school and incidents will be addressed in line with Renfrewshire and the school’s anti-bullying policies.

Pupils involved in the app’s development have said how keen they are to support their peers and help those who witness or are subject to bullying behaviours.

Brodie, 14, said: “It’s easy to access the app, and it has been designed so that anyone can use it. It covers a variety of issues and problems that teens face and gives multiple solutions that benefit everyone.”

Matthew, 13, added: “Working together to make the app better and more accessible for anyone to use has been great fun. I can’t wait to see the app’s launch.”

The app will be tested with the pilot schools over the coming months, with a full launch expected in the new school year, August 2020.

I Am Me Scotland have also been working with national anti-bullying charity RespectMe and other national organisations who will feature on the app.

Eileen MacLean, chair of I Am Me Scotland, said: “We are designing the new exciting app, with young people, to provide support and enable them to report bullying. The app will be a first-of-its-kind in Scotland and an example of the Charity’s innovative approach to working in collaboration with partners. It also highlights Renfrewshire’s continued commitment to making people feel safe in their communities.”

Communities, Housing and Planning Convener, Councillor Marie McGurk, said: “We know harassment and name-calling can escalate for adults experiencing such incidents, so it important we help children and young people to report incidents using a channel they are already familiar with.”

Education and Children’s Services Convener and Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Jim Paterson, added: “Ensuring the wellbeing of all our pupils is a priority for every school, and schools have robust measures in place to support children and young people who have reported harassment by their peers. I hope this app will help those pupils who do not feel able to speak to a teacher directly.”

For more information about the Keep Safe Kids app or I Am Me Scotland initiatives, email