Paisley and Renfrewshire Newsletter

SOBS Memorial tree

Renfrewshire’s annual memorial service to commemorate those who have lost their lives to suicide will be held in Paisley later this month.

A short service will take place on Thursday 23 January at Renfrewshire House, hosted by support group Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS).

SOBS Memorial tree

SOBS Memorial tree 25.1.18

The service is open to all and anyone who has been affected by suicide is invited to meet in the Marriage Suite from 3:10pm to collect a commemorative purple heart on which they can write a message to a loved one, if desired.

At 3:30pm there will be a short set of readings followed by a procession to the memorial tree where Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will light the tree.

After the service, all those in attendance are invited to join the Provost, the local SOBS support group and the Choose Life team for light refreshments in Paisley Abbey.

The memorial tree was first dedicated in 2010 as a permanent memorial to those who have died through suicide and is believed to have been the first of its kind in Scotland.

SOBS Memorial tree

SOBS Memorial tree 25.1.18

The service aims to provide an opportunity to remember those who have been lost while providing an arm of support to the survivors. It is an opportunity to connect with others who have faced similar situations.

Provost Cameron, who helped establish the tree, said: “Over the past ten years this service has become extremely important to members of the local community and I’m honoured to be involved.

“Suicide is still very much a taboo subject, but the Choose Life and SOBS team will be available after the service to provide any support you, or a friend or family member, may need, and I would encourage anyone who has been affected by suicide in any manner to come along.

“If you’re unable to make it along, please get in touch with the team to talk about how you are feeling or what support you need. Someone is always there to listen.”

Anyone unable to attend the service who wishes a message to be placed onto the tree can get in touch in advance or can visit the council reception at any time following the service to collect a commemorative heart.

If you are feeling suicidal, or you know someone that might be then please call one of the helpline numbers: Samaritan’s 116 123, Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87, RAMH First Crisis 0141 849 90 90 or 0500 829 093

For more information contact the Choose Life Team on 0141 849 2200 or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/sobs.

nursery

Parents can now apply for nursery placements with 1140 hours of fully-funded early learning and childcare (ELC) from August 2020.

Renfrew mum, Sarah Kelly, says she has seen Charlotte, aged 4, become more confident after receiving 1140 ELC at 3 Bears Nursery.

nursery

She said: “Charlotte started getting 1140 hours of ELC last August and is in nursery four days a week. Since she started getting extra hours, I’ve seen a big change in her. She is much more sociable and has gained a lot of confidence.

“I think it is important that children get their own independence and can self-lead their own learning. Charlotte used to go to nursery just for the morning, but it can take a while for kids to warm up to being in nursery. Having the whole day has made a big difference.

“What it has meant for me is that I have been able to pick up an extra day at work, giving me more money in my pocket. I also don’t feel guilty about Charlotte spending extra time at nursery because she loves it so much and we make more time to do something exciting when we are all together.

“There are many nurseries in Renfrewshire, but I decided on 3 Bears Nursery in Renfrew because it has a good reputation and one of my friends also recommended it. You can visit the nursery you want your child to go to before you apply and see the learning experiences that go on in there.

“I believe nursery is an important part of growing up and helps children get ready for school. These increased hours are a big part of that preparation.

“Charlotte also enjoys being a helper at nursery now that she is older, and this has also improved her interaction skills. I can’t praise 1140 ELC enough.”

Parents of children due to attend nursery from August 2020 must complete an application form and return it to their local nursery by Friday 31 January 2020.

Parents who have children that will return to nursery after August 2020 will be contacted by their nursery to discuss their options for 1140 hours of ELC.

To apply for a nursery place, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/1140ELC.

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!”

Emirates_1

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.

Emirates_1

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.

Emirates_1

“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.

Paisley-First-Three-for-FREE-1920x1080px-05-11-19

Paisley First is calling on members of the public to show their backing for their Free for Three campaign in an effort to have it rolled out across the town! 

Paisley-First-Three-for-FREE-1920x1080px-05-11-19

The Paisley town centre Business Improvement District launched a campaign calling on Renfrewshire Council to offer free parking for three hours within Paisley town centre Mondays to Fridays, at the end of 2018. 

As a result, a Free for Three pilot project is in place in six car parks – Hunter Street Upper, Hunter Street Lower, Oakshaw, Orchard Street, School Wynd and Weighhouse Close. 

Chair of Paisley First, Colette Cardosi, said:” The pilot scheme is scheduled to run until the end of January 2020 and feedback will be crucial to our campaign to have Free for Three rolled out across the town centre on a permanent basis. 

“If we can achieve this, then visitors to the town will be entitled to three hours free parking Monday – Saturday in all council owned car parks, which will also help to put town centre businesses on a level playing field with places like Braehead and the Wallneuk Retail Park who both offer free parking. 

“With visitor attractions such as Paisley Museum and Paisley Town Hall also now closed for a number of years for refurbishment, it is crucial that the negative impacts felt by local businesses are mitigated against. 

“Feedback from both visitors and local businesses alike has shown that time-limited free parking can make a difference in encouraging more people into Paisley town centre. 

“If we can have it rolled out throughout the town centre on a permanent basis, this could be a real game-changer for Paisley.” 

Whilst not part of Paisley First’s Free for Three Campaign, Renfrewshire Council decided to reintroduce charges on Saturdays in all council-owned car parks, apart from the six pilot car parks which still offer the first three hours free, as analysis has shown a lack of availability of spaces in the town centre with many people using it as a park and ride facility. 

The on-street parking areas that were free on Saturdays are still free, you can also get three hours free in the pilot scheme car parks, and the large car park at the council’s HQ is still free all day on a Saturday too. 

Members of the public can complete a short paper survey inside many of the town’s businesses, or complete an online version of the feedback survey via the Paisley First website www.paisleyfirst.com.

Globe

 

  • 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. 

Globe

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.”

Globe

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: glasgowairport.com/flightpath-fund/

St John Bosco Nursery Cycling

Renfrewshire Council is recruiting for dozens of senior and entry-level jobs in nurseries across the area.

Moira Hope is a Senior Early Learning and Childcare Officer (ELCO) at West Johnstone Early Learning and Childcare Centre (ELCC) and says taking on a role of speech champion helped her learn essential leadership skills.

St John Bosco Nursery Cycling

St John Bosco Nursery Cycling

She said: “I started working at West Johnstone ELCC about 18 years ago and I love it. Our centre takes children from six weeks to six years-old, so there is quite a variety of learning experiences and care needed to support the young children and their families who attend.

“When I was newly-qualified and first started my job, the role was known as nursery nurse, so I’ve seen how the role has evolved and the changes in the profession since those days. I love that you can make a positive impact on the lives of our children and their families and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

“Since becoming a Senior ELCO, I see myself as a role-model for staff to support children’s learning and have leadership responsibilities to support my managers in the day-to-day running of the centre. I help staff to share their skills with their colleagues and organise training in the centre.

“I think taking on leadership responsibility before I applied for a promoted post helped me develop my skills and learn more about supporting staff. I took on a role of communication champion a few years back that focused on improving speech, language and communication development and upskilling staff within my centre. Along with my colleagues, we worked hard to ensure our environment was rich in speech and language opportunities.

“We also offer Forest Kindergarten, with children spending a day in the woods for six weeks at a time. They learn about nature, how to be safe outside and develop and improve upon skills, but more importantly it gives children time to express themselves and develop their speech and language in a different environment.

“Every day is different in our centre and since we began piloting 1140 hours of early learning and childcare, we’ve seen a positive impact on children’s learning. We’ve made sure there is plenty of meaningful and interactive play, opportunities to be sociable as well as quiet spaces for when kids just want to rest and chill out. Every child is different and it’s important we have the right environment to support everyone.

“Engaging with families and our local community is essential for us. Our families are involved in planning their child’s learning as well as having time to come in and just talk with someone if they need to. It’s about being there for the whole family so that we can support the child.

“I recently started doing my degree, BA in Childhood Practice, at Glasgow University and I’m supported both financially and in terms of getting time off to attend lectures and courses. Training on-the-job is a significant benefit of being in this sector of work and essential to my professional development.

“If you have an interest in growing young minds and want to get into this field, you can learn on-the-job like I did and build up your qualifications as you go.”

To apply for a Senior Early Learning and Childcare Officer role and other positions, visit www.myjobscotland.gov.uk.

Paisley Halloween Festival

Paisley’s popular Halloween and Spree 2019 festivals delivered a £1.2million economic boost to Renfrewshire.

That’s according to the findings of independent assessments into the two October events, which also showed record numbers of people attended the festivals in 2019.

Paisley Halloween Festival

One of the largest events of its kind in the UK, the Dark Circus themed Paisley Halloween Festival attracted 41,000 people across the two-days – up 17% on 2018. The event was delivered alongside internationally-acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou.

More than 350 costumed performers and community groups took part in the Mardi Gras style parade, the centrepiece of the festival, which wound its way through the town centre. The parade also featured fantastic, giant lion and elephant floats, ferocious fire performers, creepy clowns and curious creatures, to delight the gathered crowds.

Gerry Rafferty Song Book

Twenty six percent of attendees to the Halloween festival were from outside Renfrewshire demonstrating the popularity and stellar programme of the free, family-friendly activities on offer.

The Paisley Halloween Festival was awarded £16,950 of National Programme funding from EventScotland for the 2019 event.

Brickz4kids

The festival delivered £824,250 to the local economy with local businesses benefiting from the high number of visitors in the town that weekend.

Paisley Halloween Festival scooped the Best Cultural Event or Festival at the 2019/20 Scottish Thistle Awards West Scotland regional finals and will now go on to compete in the prestigious national final on March 5, 2020.

Glasvagas

The Spree also delivered impressive results for the area. More than 12,000 festival-goers turned out to enjoy the diverse range of acts in the stunning Salon Perdu Spiegeltent in Paisley’s County Square – allowing for more people to enjoy the performances.

The numbers also add up, with a £411,000 total economic boost from the 10-day music, arts and cultural festival.

Paisley Halloween Festival

The Spree 2019 saw record ticket sales with music and comedy fans being treated to sell-out shows from Hue and Cry, Glasvegas, The Snuts, Jerry Sadowitz and spectacular performances from Soul legend PP Arnold, Hayseed Dixie, Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys, Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook and two Friday comedy nights compered by Fred MacAulay and Scott Gibson.

The festival was programmed by Regular Music and sponsored by Tennent’s Lager.

There was also a packed Wee Spree programme for kids during the school holidays with 2,822 people heading along to enjoy the events – the highest number of attendees on record for the event.

The festival also provided a boost to local traders with many festival-goers choosing to Spend Local and sample the great bars, restaurants and cafes in the area.

Jacqueline McCaig, owner of The Old Swan Inn which hosted the Spree Festival Club of daily events during the festival, said: “We absolutely loved hosting the Spree Festival Club at The Old Swan – it was a fantastic week of live music. The pub was really busy with a great atmosphere and a great mix of customers old and new, who came to see what the Festival Club was all about and enjoy the variety of talent we had on show.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “It was phenomenal to see such great numbers coming along to Paisley’s Halloween Festival and to Spree and now this report shows the positive impact these major events have on the local economy and local businesses.

“We’re continuing to work with partners to offer a fantastic calendar of events to attract residents and visitors from across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“Renfrewshire has so much to offer and major events are an important part of our plans to use our culture and heritage to drive footfall and cement our status as one of Scotland’s top visitor destination.”

advice works

Residents who have splurged the cash at Christmas are being urged to seek confidential money advice ahead of the January bills coming in.

advice works

Renfrewshire Council launch Universal Credit advice in Johnstone and Ferguslie 18.9.18

Advice Works is a free, confidential and independent service funded by Renfrewshire Council that gives residents advice in a straightforward manner.

They run a drop-in service during office hours on Mondays through to Fridays at Johnstone Town Hall and at the customer service centre at Renfrewshire House.

Further drop-in sessions are also available at Renfrew Health Centre on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 8.45am and 11.00am.

The team can help with a wide range of money and debt advice issues including budgeting, negotiating with creditors, bankruptcy, mortgage and rent arrears, checking you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to, help with forms, and lots more.

Appointments can also be made to speak to an adviser about welfare rights, benefits or debts by calling 0300 300 1238 during office hours.

Finance and Resources Convener, Councillor John Shaw, said: “Getting advice ahead of January bills coming in is vital and I encourage all residents who feel they may struggle to pay the bills when they come in to get advice now.

“Advice Works, Advice Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau can all help residents who need money advice right now.

“Residents should avoid high-cost and pay-day loans as they only lose more money in the high-cost interest they need to pay back. Cheaper credit, such as a loan from a credit union, is a much more affordable way to manage your money.”

Advice Renfrewshire is a one-stop-shop website that links residents with the appropriate organisation to help with their issues. Their dedicated freephone helpline – 0808 164 2922 – is managed by Renfrewshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

To find out more about credit unions in Renfrewshire, visit http://mycreditunionrenfrewshire.co.uk.

To contact Advice Works, phone 0300 300 1238 or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/adviceworks.

For the Advice Renfrewshire website, visit http://advicerenfrewshire.org.

Advice Works

Advice Works is open Monday to Thursday between 8.45am and 4.45pm and Friday between 8.45am and 3.55pm.

The drop-in service is available at:

Advice Works, Johnstone Town Hall, 25 Church Street, Johnstone -Monday – Thursday: 8.45am – 4.45pm, and Friday 8.45am – 3.55pm

Customer Service Centre, Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley – Monday – Thursday: 8.45am – 4.45pm, and Friday 8.45am – 3.55pm

Renfrew Health Centre, 10 Ferry Road, Renfrew – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 8.45am – 11.00am

Entrance to Glen Cinema

“I remember I didn’t want to go that day,” said Emily Brown (95) – one of hundreds of children who attended Paisley’s Glen Cinema 90 years ago today for a packed matinee performance that ended in tragedy – forever remembered by survivors as Paisley’s ‘Black Hogmanay’.

Entrance to Glen Cinema

The Glen Cinema tragedy took place on 31 December 1929 when a smoking film canister caused a panic during a packed children’s matinee where more than 600 children were present. The main exit doors had a metal gate that had been pulled shut stopping it from opening leading to a crush where 71 children died, and more than 30 children were injured.

Survivors Robert Pope and Emily Brown at 90th anniversary service 7 Dec

Robert Pope (97), had got up that morning and asked his mother for some jars to exchange for money so he could go to the pictures with seven of his friends.

Like so many children at the time, Robert and Emily were sent out the house to the cinema on Hogmanay to allow their parents to get the house cleaned and ready for the new year. They took their seats in the crowded theatre, sang their song and settled down to watch the new cowboy movie Dude Desperado.

During the picture a film cannister was placed on a heated surface and started to smoke up – leading to the panic and stampede which followed.

Boys Brigade march past picture house at funeral

“I was there with my older sister Jean (10) and younger sister May (3) – we heard someone shout ‘fire’ and started to head for the exit. There was screaming and shouting, and people were pushing and trampling you and you were trampling on others trying to get out.”

“I remember some people jumped over the balcony or onto the stage to try to get out. I was separated from my sisters in the panic – I remember someone smashed a window and a fireman helped get me out.”

Emily’s aunt later found her wandering down Glasgow Road and took her home to her mother in Hunter Street. Her sisters Jean and May were already there and had managed to stay together during the chaos.

“I think my mother gave us all an extra cuddle that night,” said Emily.

“I don’t remember much about it,” said Robert. “I think my guardian angel watched out for me that day.

“When the panic started, I just remember something came over me and I stayed in my seat and didn’t move. I don’t remember much else until later when a fireman was clearing the hall, he asked me what I was doing. I told him I was waiting for the picture to come back on and he told me to head home to my mother and that the film wouldn’t be coming back on.

“My friends saw that I never came out and had told my mother I was still there, and she was getting ready to go up to the hospital to try and find me. As she opened the door, I was walking up the stairs and I remember the look of relief on her face. I think that saved her from the traumatic experience of seeing the children who had been killed and injured in the cinema at the hospital.”

Robert’s friend, William Spiers, who had sat beside him and fled during the panic did not survive the crush that day.

When news of the disaster spread through the town the entire community went to the Glen Cinema to try and help get the children out. Emily’s mother was one of those who pulled children from the cinema and loaded the injured onto trams for the hospital – not knowing if her children were safe or injured or worse. Emily’s mother was the only resident from Hunter Street who didn’t lose someone that day.

The funerals of all 71 children took place in early January of 1930. The town came to a standstill to pay their respects to those who died – everyone turned out including the hospital staff who treated victims and survivors and the Boys Brigade – who walked in the funeral procession. The children were laid to rest in Hawkhead Cemetery where a memorial still stands to remember all the victims of the Glen Cinema disaster.

News of the disaster was far-reaching with letters of condolence being sent to the town from people across the globe. The impacts were global as well – as the Cinematograph Act 1909 was then amended to ensure all cinemas had more exits, that doors opened outwards and were fitted with push bars. A limitation was also placed on the capacity of cinemas and a requirement for an appropriate number of adult attendants to be present to ensure the safety of children.

The Glen Cinema survivors and their families continue to commemorate the disaster every Hogmanay alongside members of the local community. They gather at 11am at the Cenotaph in Paisley town centre where they lay a wreath for those who lost their lives that day.

The Glen Cinema disaster of 1929 is considered one of Scotland’s worst human tragedies.