Paisley Photographs, official Paisley website containing Photographs of Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland with some superb videos of Paisley and the town.

Renfrewshire Leisure social distancing

Chief executive: Charity excited to safely welcome back members and customers to venues and facilities as Covd-19 restrictions ease

Renfrewshire Leisure’s gyms, swimming pools, libraries and heritage centre will reopen from Monday, April 26th.

The announcement comes after the Scottish Government today formally confirmed that the region will drop down to Covid-19 level three restrictions from that date.

Renfrewshire Leisure cleaning2

This means the gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise, in line with all public health guidelines. Outdoors, all organised activities except adult contact sport can also now take place. 

In addition to those facilities available before Christmas, Renfrew Victory Baths will reopen following maintenance work, with extended opening hours in place. Meanwhile, the gym at Johnstone Community Sports Hub will be open outside of school hours. The swimming pool at Johnstone remains closed pending maintenance work.

Gym facilities previously at Park Mains High School will be located at Erskine Sports Centre.

The rule-change also allows for capacity at Renfrewshire Leisure’s popular outdoor fitness classes – which restarted last month while indoor classes are not permitted – can be doubled to 30 people from Monday. That takes the number of weekly slots available to 570.

All 12 of the region’s libraries will reopen too – on a click-and-collect basis for items, with public access to computers also available at each venue.

Members of the public will also again be able to access the heritage centre in Paisley.

Renfrewshire Leisure social distancing

Hygiene and social distancing measures will be in place at the venues. All gym and swimming sessions must be pre-booked, as should visits to the heritage centre. Details about opening times and making a booking can be found at www.renfrewshireleisure.com. Bookings for gyms and swimming sessions will open on Wednesday, April 21st.

Monday will be the first time that the venues have been open to the public since lockdown restrictions came into force on December 26th, although online services have been operating throughout.

Renfrewshire Leisure cleaning1

Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We are excited to welcome back our loyal members and residents to our venues. We know how keen people are to return and enjoy more of our services. Our team stands ready to support them as best they can.

“In so many ways, the work we do has never been needed more. Encouraging and supporting better health and wellbeing is going to be vital for people as they recover from the impact of Covid-19 on their lives. 

“We are determined to play a key part in our region’s recovery from the pandemic, with the safety of our community and staff the utmost priority.”

The restart of individual exercise sessions at Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley and Renfrew Sports Centre will run in tandem with mass vaccinations centres being operated there at the request of Renfrewshire Council. These will have separate entrance and exit points.

Rules for the use of outdoor pitches have been shared with sports clubs.

Staff are also once again manning Barshaw Golf Club. Bowlers, meanwhile, were able to return to Lochfield Bowling Green, Paisley, and Robertson Park Bowling Green in Renfrew from April 1.

Direct debit payment for members – which have been suspended during the disruption to in-person services – will restart from May 7th. Those with annual memberships will have time reimbursed before re-opening.

Regular updates on all services – both in-person and digitally – will be posted via Renfrewshire Leisure’s website and social media.

leaders

Voters are being reassured that polling stations will be safe places to cast their vote ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary election on Thursday 6 May.

Polling stations in Renfrewshire have been adapted to ensure that all required health and safety measures are in place to reflect the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

leaders

Each polling station will have a one-way system in place, two-metre distancing at all times, Perspex screens, hand sanitiser will be available for every voter, disposable pens will be provided, and face coverings will be required to be worn when moving around the polling station – unless the person is exempt.

There will also be a designated cleaner for each polling station and supervisors will be in place to ensure that the safety measures are always followed.

Anyone with symptoms of Coronavirus on polling day should not attend their polling station and should contact the Electoral Registration Officer on 0300 300 0150 as early as possible to discuss their options.

Sandra Black, Returning Officer for Renfrewshire, said: “We recognise that this election is different to all others we will have taken part in and we want to do all we can to ease any reservations that voters may have about polling day.

“Your health and safety has been placed at the forefront of our election planning and the measures we are putting in place will ensure that all our polling stations will be safe places to cast your vote.

“It’s so important that you use your voice and vote in the Scottish Parliamentary election on so please feel confident in visiting our polling stations and have your say in May.”

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 6 May, with the count taking place at Braehead Arena on Friday 7 May and Saturday 8 May.

For more information, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SPElection2021.

Laura (right) and Chell 3

A PAISLEY cancer survivor is inspiring people to Race for Life at Home and carry on the fight against the disease as the nation looks beyond lockdown.

Laura Elliot, who recently completed treatment for thyroid cancer, is urging people to run, walk or jog 5K for Cancer Research UK.

The Project Co-ordinator will be cheering on thousands of people from across the UK who have vowed to Race for Life at Home this April either alone or in small, socially distanced groups to raise money for life-saving research.

People can visit raceforlife.orgto sign up to Race for Life at Home for £5* then receive a Race pack which includes a medal.  Money raised will help scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, helping to save more lives.

Cancer Research UK is predicting a staggering £300 million drop in income caused by COVID-19 over the next three years which could put future medical breakthroughs at risk.

All 400 mass-participation Race for Life events across the UK were cancelled last year to protect the country’s health during the pandemic. And as the country emerges from lockdown the charity’s much-loved Race for Life events which were scheduled for this spring and early summer have also now been postponed.

Laura (right) and Chell 3

But Laura, who has just celebrated her 33rd birthday with her twin sister Chell, knows exactly how vital it is to keep raising funds for life-saving research.

She said: “My reaction to finding out I had cancer was to keep it to myself as much as possible. I didn’t want to burden anyone. But having had major surgery and coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis was hard. I shared more with my mum, who never missed an appointment with me, than anyone else but I kept so many of my feelings to myself.

“In the end it got too much and it was a relief to get some help from the Rays of Hope cancer support group in Elderslie. It was such a relief to talk openly about how I was feeling. Everyone there had experienced a different type of cancer and talking with them helped me come to terms with what had happened.

“I’m certain that the treatment I received saved my life. That’s why I decided to support Cancer Research UK by taking on the charity’s Walk All Over Cancer challenge to walk 10,000 steps every day in March.

“I wanted to do what I could to give something back for the treatment that’s got me through this. I also want to help to make treatments better and kinder, ultimately to find a cure for this awful illness.

“I’d really urge others to support the charity too. Race For Life at Home is a fantastic chance to do something positive this month and raise money to help more people survive.”

Laura first suspected something was amiss with her health when she found she was losing her voice and she noticed her neck was getting bigger. She was gaining weight for no obvious reason and she began to feel tired all the time.

“I was on every diet imaginable but still putting on weight,” recalls Laura, who was aged 31 at the time. “I then started coughing and I didn’t smoke. I worried the cough was to do with my asthma. I had a sore throat and swollen glands.

“I decided to get it checked out and went to the GP three times altogether. On early visits, the doctor did blood tests which came back normal and I was prescribed an antibacterial throat spray and a steriod inhaler to help with my asthma. In the meantime, my neck was getting bigger and bigger.”

Laura eventually went for tests at the ENT department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow. These revealed that Laura’s thyroid was to blame for her symptoms and would need to be removed.

“The thing I worried about most was that after the operation there was a risk I’d need a temporary tracheotomy – a tube in my neck so I could breathe,” Laura said. “The idea made me panic and I wanted to tell the doctors just to leave it. I was scared and nervous because I hadn’t ever had surgery before. But ultimately, I felt glad something was happening to make me better at last. I felt confident in the surgeon, that he was a specialist and that this was the right thing to do.”

Laura was in hospital for three days after the five-hour operation to remove her thyroid.

“The first thing I checked when I woke up was to see if there was a tube in my neck,” she said. “I was so relieved to find out that this hadn’t been needed. But I was shocked by the size of the scar.”

Tests on Laura’s thyroid revealed that various sized cancerous tumours had been growing there and was wrapped around her vocal cords and had spread to the lymph nodes.

She was told the news at a check-up with a consultant in September 2019.

Laura said: “I couldn’t believe it when the consultant told me I had papillary thyroid cancer. I went white and started shaking. I knew what he was saying but couldn’t take it in.”

In October 2019, Laura started radioactive iodine treatment at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre to destroy any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of the cancer returning.

This meant Laura was given an iodine pill and then had to stay in complete isolation in hospital for two days while the radioactive treatment took effect. Even on her return to her home in Paisley, which she shares with her parents, she had to steer clear of everyone in the house for a few days and ensure that she cleaned the bathroom and kitchen after she’d used it. Even her beloved cats Tango and Lennon, who normally sleep in her bedroom, weren’t allowed near.

And while she is recovering well, Laura says her experience has had a significant impact on her mental health.

She said: “I’ve always been a confident person but what I’ve been through has dented that. There has been lasting damage to my voice. I still have trouble speaking and I now speak at a higher pitch, so much so I worry I sound like a little girl. I can’t have a full conversation without my voice going away and I feel it’s such a strain to talk.

“Removing the thyroid has also led to imbalances in my hormones. I’m up and down with them and I find I can be really tearful now.

“Being busy at work has helped to keep my mind off things, as has keeping things going with family life. I love to look after my nine-year-old nephew Caiden and taking on regular exercise has given me a boost. My mum, dad and sister have been there every step of the way and I want to thank them very much.

“I’m just so glad I kept going back to the doctor when things weren’t right. I’m lucky the cancer was caught early and was treatable.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring series of 3K, 5K, 10K, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.

 A live broadcast on the Cancer Research UK Race for Life Facebook and Race for Life Instagram pages on Saturday April 24th will include an energiser from a fitness expert as well as inspirational messages of support from people who have been through cancer. Participants are then invited to run, walk or jog 5K. Organisers are also inviting participants to share photos and videos on social media using the hashtag #RaceatHome

Every year around 32,400 people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland** and one in two people in the UK born after 1960 will get cancer in their lifetime.*** But the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

Linda Summerhayes, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson in Scotland, said: “The truth is, COVID-19 has slowed us down.

 “But we will never stop and we are absolutely determined to continue to create better cancer treatments for tomorrow.  Even though we have to Race for Life differently this spring, nothing is going to stop us running, walking or jogging 5K to raise money to help beat cancer.

“That’s why we need as many people as possible across Scotland to sign up to Race for Life at Home this April, to stand united and do something extraordinary to help beat cancer.

 “We’re constantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation and are working hard to move our mass participation  Race for Life events to the autumn and to make sure they can go ahead safely and with all necessary COVID-19 guidelines in place.****

 “We’d love to invite as many people as possible to Race for Life at Home this spring, then physically come together in the autumn to join us for Race for Life Glasgow.”

A new date this autumn has not yet been confirmed for Race for Life Glasgow and an announcement will be made as soon as possible.

Sign up to Race for Life at Home this April and visit raceforlife.orgor call 0300 123 0770. Join in and share with #RaceatHome

rukeri

The team at Rukeri have been busy behind the scenes getting ready for the new season. From turf production and maintenance to bagging their customers favourite aggregates, a lot has been happening to ensure a smooth start to the 2021 season.

Rukeri Bags

Rukeri has been growing and supplying turf for 8 years from North Arkleston Farm in Paisley. The company has expanded year on year and now offers a wide range of landscaping supplies that includes organic soils, decorative aggregates (good old garden chuckies!), barks, sands and fencing and decking materials. Rukeri Turf is highly regarded within the landscaping industry, with many customers claiming it to be the best in Scotland!

Like most companies, Rukeri faced a lot of challenges when they reopened after the first lock down. Some products were harder than others to source as manufacturing had reduced dramatically or stopped altogether, and the social distancing measures meant that all business operations had to be looked at and developed to ensure the safety of staff and customers. The upshot this year is that all processes have been practiced and the team are confident of delivering all orders in a COVID secure manner.

Lisa Taylor, Marketing Manager at Rukeri says, ‘Despite the challenges faced last year we are acutely aware of how fortunate we were to be busy and able to still trade. The ‘Stay at Home’ message was heeded by our customers and we are glad that we were able to help transform outdoor spaces during a troubling time. 

rukeri

We are looking forward to what is already proving to be a busy season. Our lead time is currently around 5 – 6 days so we urge customers to order early to avoid any disappointment, and we hope that more residents of Renfrewshire will be enjoying their new gardens from Rukeri in time for summer!’

All products available can be viewed from their yard in Paisley. They are on display in a colourful area that gives customers the chance to get a ‘real feel’ for them. Visitors are asked to follow the one-way system on site, follow current social distancing guidelines and wear a mask when in the office. Alternatively, orders can be placed online at www.rukeri.com

JNI Beaver Scout

The JNI Beaver Scout Colony returned to outdoor activities for the first time in over a year. Enjoying warm and sunny weather in Ferguslie Gardens the Beavers took part in an Easter egg hunt which covered a wide area of the park and ensured they returned home tired.

JNI Beaver Scout

With the older members having joined the Cubs over the last year the Colony is looking to recruit girls and boys aged between 5 ¾ and 8 years old. In the Beavers, they have fun while going on adventures and making friends. There are opportunities to try new things while completing challenge and activity badges. The JNI is enjoying outdoor adventures before being permitted to return to our own activity centre in The Bield in Broomlands Street. The Colony returns to take on a Challenge Badge with everyone learnings skills for life.

For more details contact stephen@thejni.org.uk

Facebook   7th Paisley and District (JNI) Scout Group

Website   www.thejni.org.uk

Twitter  @7thjniscouts

Instagram @jniscouts

west end growing grounds

The West End Growing Grounds Association is registered charity that  provides a community garden on a high-profile site in Underwood Road  Paisley. It consists of 112 raised beds and two polytunnels for the local  community to grow its own food. The Association is looking for an  enthusiastic, physically fit experienced grounds person to assist its  members in managing the maintenance and development of the Garden.  

west end growing grounds

The volunteer will report directly to the Board of Trustees and liaise with the  Board’s horticultural lead member and the local Community Pay-back Team  Leader.  

Duties include:  

Working with board members, discuss and provide information on best  practice grounds maintenance and safety.  

Operation and maintenance of electric powered ground tools (mower, strimmer,  hedge cutter, leaf blower).  

Water management. (Hose reel mains supply and water harvesting system)  

Organising members’ common area work parties. (Members are required to  complete 12 hours of common area work each year)  

Identifying and arranging work that may require Community Pay-back Team  assistance.  

Hours:  

This is a new appointment, and the nature and extent of the above duties will  be reviewed in consultation with the person appointed. 

If this volunteering opportunity interests you, please contact:  The Association Secretary at 07710 782510 e-mail contact@wegga.org

Elderslie Village Hall

Three popular community halls across Renfrewshire are set for full refurbishments after councillors approved awarding the £1.6million works contract to City Gate Construction.

The Paisley-based company is expected to start work in May on a wide range of internal and external improvements to Elderslie Village Hall, the McKillop Institute in Lochwinnoch and South End Action Centre in Paisley.

Elderslie Village Hall

Internal improvements include upgraded toilet facilities, new floor finishes and redecoration – providing modern accessible spaces for the varied community groups which use the facilities, from dance and drama classes to craft clubs, toddler groups, yoga sessions and local support groups.

All three facilities will benefit from new roof coverings, with the McKillop roof also incorporating solar panels.

At the McKillop and at Elderslie, the programme of works will also see repairs to external walls.

Replacement doors and windows, electrical rewiring and new alarm systems are also included where required, with the works scheduled for completion later this year.

McKillop Institute

City Gate Construction is an accredited Living Wage employer and the approved contract includes a series of community benefits provided, including two jobs for people currently unemployed and a work experience placement.

The local employer will also host industry awareness events promoting careers in construction and local trades will be invited to a supply chain opportunities event.

South End Action Centre

David Palmer, Commercial Director, City Gate Construction said: “We are genuinely delighted to be taking on this project once the contract is awarded and look forward to continuing our long-term working relationship with Renfrewshire Council.

“As a large local employer, these buildings have been a part of many of our employees’ upbringing and are still an important part of the community for many families in the Renfrewshire area, as well as historically important.

Roar-Connections-For-Life

“We will use our local expertise to deliver a high-quality finish which will enhance the future of these buildings. We are also keen to extend our local employment offering and if any local company or operative is keen to work on these projects, then please do get in touch.”

News of the works have been welcomed by community group Roar, who run activities for older people from community halls in Renfrewshire, focusing on social and physical wellbeing, with exercise, music and quizzes providing an environment for friendships to grow.

Kathleen-Edgar-School-of-Dance

Project worker Anne Morgan said: “Roar Connections for life has been running a group for older adults in the McKillop Institute in Lochwinnoch for more than 12 years and it is a fantastic venue which is central to the village and the refurbishment plans are much needed here. We also use Elderslie Village Hall too and other community halls, our services helping to prevent loneliness and isolation and provide a safe welcoming environment for all service users.

“The older community needs these facilities in order for clubs like Roar to continue and now, more than ever, we need to be able to assist older adults in building their confidence and allow them to stay mobile and stay connected.”

South End Action Centre has been home to the Kathleen Edgar School of Dance ever since the centre first opened.

Kathleen Edgar said: “We’ve been based at South End Action Centre since the very start 40 years ago and over that time, hundreds of children and young people have benefited from this local facility. Our dance school provides a safe, welcoming environment for children to develop their skills, enjoy a healthy activity and build friendships and self-confidence. It’s pleasing to see the centre getting this refurbishment and are looking forward to getting classes back up and running and continuing to provide a valuable resource in the south end of Paisley.”

Elsewhere, surveys are being carried out at Steeple Hall in Kilbarchan to deliver a smaller programme of works upgrading this community facility.

Big PACE Night In Flyer
Join us for an amazing evening of performances and chat from a huge selection of PACE alumni and friends, hosted LIVE from Exchange, Paisley.
Our Big PACE Night In promises music, laughter, memories, surprises, and talent by the bucket-load. Mark the ending of lockdown with an unforgettable big night in!
Big PACE Night In Flyer

Featuring performances and interviews from PACE alumni and others including: Darren Brownlie, Dani Heron, James McArdle, Mark Rowley, Martin Quinn, Scott Reid, Erin Hair, Daniel Cameron, Erin Armstrong, Erin Caldwell, Leigh Quinn, Declan McLeish, Laura Murray, Santino Smith, Scott Mackie, Ryan Hunter, Liam Farrelly, Aida Levantaki, Heather MacInnes, Kick the Door, Rebecca Lafferty, Amy Conachan, Alex Robertson and more.

Raising funds for a new theatre dedicated to children, young people and families.
Tickets: Donate-What-You-Can (Suggested donation £15)

www.pacetheatre.com/bignightin

Tear drop gin
Following on from our success with Tear Drop gin we decided in early January to develop a new product with our distillery.  After sampling 12 different liqueurs all made with our own Tear Drop Gin, we decided on our Raspberry Edition.
Tear drop gin
This is made with fresh Scottish raspberries and is an all natural product.
The product can be described as follows

Tear Drop Raspberry Edition – Limited Edition Batch

An abundance of fresh raspberries with the welcome edition of rose petals, gives this liqueur a burst of flavour in every drop.

Tear drop gin

The natural ingredients combine with our Tear Drop Gin to give this raspberry edition a wonderful colour and a sweet floral taste.

Perfect with prosecco, refreshing with soda or sip over ice.  Enjoy !

It comes in a 50cl bottle and is bottled at 25% alcohol.  It is a limited edition batch.
It is now available to pre order with deliveries from Wednesday 31 March 2021.
We are continuing the local Renfrewshire, Barrhead and Hillington deliveries.
Tear Drop Gin is a Paisley based family run business.  The business was launched in December 2020 by Donald and Louise Boyd and features an innovative direct to glass print of the famous Paisley Pattern.
paisley museum

Next week Renfrewshire councillors will be asked to approve the appointment of the main works contractor for Paisley Museum, marking the next step in transforming the venue into a major cultural destination.

The paper that will be presented to the council’s Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board on 31 March will seek to authorise appointing the £23million main works contract to Kier Construction Limited.

paisley museum

If the paper is approved negotiations will move to the final stage with a view to formally appointing the contractor in the coming weeks. This would result in work beginning on site in early summer with construction likely to be completed by late 2022, reopening to the public in 2023.

A programme of community benefits were requested as part of the procurement process. If approved as the main contractor, Kier Construction Limited have agreed to offer a number of local employment opportunities, work experience placements, business advice and support to local SMEs, social enterprises and voluntary organisations and a commitment to ensure that supply chain opportunities are prioritised for Renfrewshire based businesses.

paisley museum

The £42million redevelopment of the museum is the signature project in Paisley’s radical regeneration which also includes refurbishments of the town’s A-listed town hall and a new learning and cultural hub housing library services on the town’s high street.

Paisley Museum Reimagined Project Director, Kirsty Devine, said: “If the proposed contractor is approved by councillors next week it will enable us to move ahead with plans to realise our ambitious vision for Paisley Museum.

“The redevelopment of the museum provides the perfect opportunity to showcase our internationally significant collections and we’re doing this in collaboration with Renfrewshire communities as well as with partners across the world. The redeveloped museum will be an amazing resource in the heart of Paisley and people should feel rightly proud of that heritage.”

paisley museum

The revamped museum is expected to attract around 128,000 visitors a year when it reopens – creating new footfall and trade for Paisley town centre and supporting new and existing businesses in the surrounding area.

Chair of Paisley First, Colette Cardosi, said: “We welcome what would be a major step forward in the museum redevelopment, a project we know will enhance the reputation of Paisley town centre as a must-visit destination.

“Like everyone who is passionate about the town, it will be great to see real progress at the site and we are looking forward to watching the transformation as the project develops.”

The redesign of the museum campus, being led by an international team including architects AL_A and exhibition designers Opera Amsterdam, will allow the number of objects on display to be increased by 150%.