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

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Scottish netball stars are going for gold in the Commonwealth Games cheered on by brave Amy who beat cancer

SCOTTISH netball stars are going for gold in the Commonwealth Games cheered on by one of their bravest fans.

Nine-year-old Amy Reid who lost a kidney to cancer was treated to a VIP tour of the Emirates Arena Stadium in Glasgow by the Scottish Thistles national netball team. The players who will begin the 10,000 mile trip to Australia on Friday (March 23) to compete at Gold Coast 2018 gave Amy a signed netball, tshirt, pen and free tickets to an upcoming UWS Sirens game (Scotland’s semi-pro franchise for whom most of the Thistles play) where she has also been invited to be the Captain’s mascot on their return from the Commonwealth Games. The visit was organised to boost awareness of Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life events this spring which raise millions of pounds to fund crucial research. Every hour, four people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland*. Now, to help beat cancer sooner, members of Netball Scotland have pledged to pull on their trainers and take part in Race for Life Glasgow on May 20 at Glasgow Green and are urging other women and girls across Scotland to sign up too.

Amy who is 4ft 7in chatted to netball stars including the tallest member of the Scottish Thistles, goalkeeper Ella Gibbons, 23, who is 6ft 3in, as well as team captain, Claire Brownie. In February they were part of the team which saw Scotland qualify for the 2019 World Cup. At the Commonweatlh Games on the Gold Coast which starts on April 4, they are in pool B so will take on 2014 silver medallists New Zealand. They’ll also play England, Wales, Malawi and Uganda.

Claire, 29, said: “We were all moved and inspired by Amy’s courage and bravery.

“Amy will be the team’s lucky charm in Australia. It’s great to have the chance to meet Amy and tell her a bit more about netball. It’s a really important part of our job to inspire girls to get active and be into sport. All you need is for kids to dream but for that to happen, they need to see what’s possible. We’re so excited and proud to represent Scotland in the Commonwealth Games. When we’re out there it will be brilliant to know that people back home like Amy are cheering us on.”

Amy of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, who endured a life saving stem cell transplant knows exactly how tough it can be going through cancer. Her family have raised vital funds for Cancer Research UK by taking part in the 5K at Race for Life Glasgow every year since Amy was diagnosed with the disease in September 2012. This year, as Amy takes her place on the start line along with her mum Laura, 39, and sister Sophie, two, she’ll also be cheered on by her dad Robert, 41, and brother, Gary, 19.

Amy’s proud mum, Laura said: “Amy really is our superhero.

“Amy has kept us strong through it all. At the time we couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. We thought Amy was never going to get through this. It was frightening. Now looking at her, I can’t believe she was ever so ill. Her recovery has been amazing.

“Amy did her first Race for Life 5K event while still going through treatment for cancer and it’s been a really important part of our lives ever since. If Amy’s story can help other families going through cancer right now then we’ll have made a difference.

“We’d like to thank all the Scottish Thistles who helped give Amy such a special day. Amy really likes sport now. She loves swimming, cricket and football at school. When we watch the Commonwealth Games on tv we’ll be looking out for the netball girls and saying, ‘We’ve met them.’ It’s great to see Amy being so active again and enjoying life.”

Amy was only three when she first became ill with a high temperature just hours after her mum and dad’s wedding day on September 21 2012. The family were set to jet off on holiday to Spain after the marriage at St James Chapel, Coatbridge. Instead they ended up at Wishaw General Hospital and then Yorkhill Children’s Hospital after Amy’s condition deteriorated. Scans showed a tumour on Amy’s left kidney was stopping it from working properly. Amy was diagnosed with a Wilms tumour and endured a six hour operation to remove the kidney.

Amy’s mum, Laura said: “As I took Amy down to the operating theatre I was trying to stop myself crying to keep Amy calm so she would be okay.

“I knew Amy was getting the best care possible but seeing your child like that is so difficult. If I could have taken Amy’s place then I would have. I paced around outside until she came out of surgery and I knew she was fine. Now she tells everyone that the scar where they took her kidney out is a big snake.”

Amy started on chemotherapy but it was a hammerblow when tests revealed there was also a tumour on her lung. It meant a second operation to remove the tumour followed by a year of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Amy lost her hair and became a regular at the Schiehallion ward at Yorkhill.

By October 2013, doctors explained that Amy’s best chance of survival was a stem cell transplant, to help her body make new healthy blood cells after her own had been destroyed by the disease. It meant two weeks in an isolation ward to reduce the risk of infection. By Christmas that year the family got the best present of all when doctors explained the cancer had gone. Amy who is now a primary five pupil at St Timothy’s Primary school in Coatbridge is loving life.

Cancer Research UK Race for Life organisers are appealing for women and girls to stride out to beat cancer sooner this spring with Scotland’s first Race for Life 5K of the year kicking off in Stirling and South Queensferry on May 13, closely followed by 5K, 10K and Pretty Muddy 5K events across the country, everywhere from Glasgow to Aberdeen, Fife to Falkirk, Dundee to Irvine. Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring women-only series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy, half marathon and hiking events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer sooner by funding crucial research.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman in Scotland, said: “We are very grateful to Netball Scotland and to Amy’s family for their support

“By signing up to Race for Life, women across Scotland can make a real difference in the fight against cancer. Money raised will help Cancer Research UK scientists and doctors find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease, helping save more lives.

“Race for Life is a hugely moving experience – full of emotion, courage, tears and laughter – as people come together to remember loved ones lost to cancer, celebrate the lives of those dear to them who have survived or support those going through treatment. By joining like-minded ladies committed to the cause, women can unite against a disease that affects us all in some way.

“Every day, 87 people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland. That’s why we need women across Scotland to sign up to Race for Life this January and join mothers, daughters, sisters and friends at the start line when events kick off this summer.

“Money raised through Race for Life is helping to drive research to help beat over 200 different types of cancer – that’s why every step, every person and every penny raised counts.”

One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, 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.

Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies on the public’s support. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity was able to spend more than £34 million last year in Scotland on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research – helping more men, women and children survive the disease.


To enter Race for Life today visit or call 0300 123 0770.

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Safety first is the goal for Renfrewshire pupils

Almost 2,000 primary six pupils have taken part in a series of safety workshops designed to keep Renfrewshire children safe.

The annual Safe Kids events, organised by the Renfrewshire Community Safety Partnership and hosted by St Mirren Football Club, has delivered safety messages to more than 20,000 young people since it was first introduced more than a decade ago.

Pupils from every school in Renfrewshire were invited to take part a wide range of workshops, from littering, dog fouling and anti-social behaviour to fire safety, drugs and alcohol awareness and emergency situations.

The workshops took place in and around the Paisley 2021 Stadium, including the dressing rooms and hospitality suite, with pupils taking their seat in the stand before being split into their groups for the day.

Kids were also tasked to create their own posters detailing what being safe means to them and five winners were selected by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.

The winners, and their families, were invited to a special VIP day at the Paisley 2021 Stadium and were joined by pupils from Bargarren, St John Bosco, Glencoats and Barsail Primary.

The five winners were:

Momina Ali – Newmains Primary, Renfrew

Gracie Boyd – Ralston Primary, Paisley

Evie Crawford – Lochfield Primary, Paisley

Jemma Johnston – St Anthony’s Primary, Johnstone

Summer Coyle – Rashielea Primary, Erskine

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Safe Kids is a fantastic project which is ensuring our children have the correct information and skills to stay safe in a variety of situations.

“More than 20,000 pupils have had the opportunity to learn from a variety of our community partners and this will allow them to be fully informed to deal with issues both in and out of school.

”The workshops are delivered in a fun and engaging manner which means the young people involved can enjoy the day while still taking in the serious messaging behind the activities.”

Safe Kids events took place on 7-8 March, 13-16 March and will conclude between 19-22 March.

The workshops were delivered by a range of partners including Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Team, Renfrewshire Council’s Wardens, Renfrewshire Council’s Civil Contingencies Service, Renfrewshire Council’s RADAR (Drugs and Alcohol), Police Scotland, British Transport Police, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Who Cares Scotland and Street Stuff.

Prizes for the winners, including discounted passes, bags and tickets, were kindly donated by Flip Out, Joma Sport and St Mirren.

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£500k investment in Paisley 2021 cultural legacy

Paisley 2021

Plans to build a lasting legacy of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 are taking a major step forward – with a £500,000 investment to develop the area’s creative sector being revealed.

The town’s bid for the title was part of a wider plan to transform the fortunes of Paisley and Renfrewshire by harnessing the power of the area’s globally-significant cultural and heritage story.

The partners behind the bid are now working on a detailed legacy plan to make sure Paisley’s journey continues and deliver on the vision of the bid over the next decade.

One of the key strands of that is in growing the area’s independent cultural sector – and the half-million-pound investment unveiled today by Renfrewshire Council – using money set aside to fund the 2021 year had the town won the title – aims to do that. It comes in two parts:

– £360,000 for a new Organisational Development Fund to grow the independent creative sector locally over the next three years.

By giving existing groups certainty over budgets it is hoped they could expand to a level where they could apply for and get national funding and become sustainable at that level. Detailed criteria and application process have yet to be developed, but the fund is due to run from 2019 until 2022.

– a £140,000 top-up for the existing Culture Heritage and Events Fund, allowing it to run until 2021. The fund ran alongside the bid with the aims of increasing cultural participation, showcasing the town’s story, and allowing local talent to work with organisations of national stature.

It has supported more than 80 projects to date with highlights including teenage animator Morgan Spence’s Lego animation about the town, local dance group Right2Dance bringing Sir Matthew Bourne’s Re:Bourne company here for a week-long residency, and local music charity Loud ‘n’ Proud’s Bungalow Bar musical on how a small Paisley venue hosted the biggest names in the UK punk scene

The funding announcement comes within days of the launch of a new destination brand and website – Paisley is – designed to promote the area as a great place to live, invest and visit.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure – whose Cultural Services team will administer both funds – said: “The Paisley 2021 bid has already changed Paisley for the better – it raised our profile, made people aware of our untold story, and brought a sense of self-confidence back to a town which needed that boost.

“And it’s important people know that journey will continue. It may not be the turbocharged journey we would have had if we’d won – but the bid focused the area behind a very clear vision for the area’s future, which we will still deliver on.

“That vision was to grow a new dimension to the local economy through creative industry, ensure the area is recognised for its cultural excellence, transform Paisley’s image, lift communities out of poverty, and make our town centres vibrant destinations.

“Over the next few years we and our partners will deliver all of the above – and the investment announced today feeds into those aims.

“By helping the local creative sector grow through this funding, we equip them to stage more events, festivals and projects which showcase what the area has to offer and bring people here, with all the benefits that brings to the local economy.

“At the same time, we know culture has a positive impact on well-being and life chances – which is why we are putting that at the heart of everything we do from now on.

“By helping local groups create more opportunities for people to access those benefits it supports the wider work across the area around health and education and to tackle poverty.

“The investment in cultural capacity is just one of several parts of the 2021 legacy – we already have a confirmed £100m+ investment in town centre venues and infrastructure, have just announced £5m of additional budget to grow our major events and festivals programme, and have more support on the way to develop the area as a hub for creative industry.

“All those benefits that will be felt throughout all of Renfrewshire – not just Paisley – and with the new Paisley Is… brand signposting to all the events and local culture which makes us a great destination there’s loads going on to feel excited by.”

For more information on what Paisley has to offer, visit

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2021 thank you event to look ahead to Paisley’s bright future

Plans to secure a exciting future for Paisley will be laid out at a celebration event aimed at highlighting the benefits of bidding for UK City of Culture 2021 and how the town plans to continue to harness the power of culture to transform its fortunes.

The ‘Our Journey Continues’ event, which will take place on Thursday 29 March at Paisley Town Hall from 12.00 – 1.30pm, will examine the key benefits of the town’s bid including helping to raise the town’s profile, raising ambitions for the area, developing a deeper understanding of the excellent work taking place in the community.

The town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 changed the town for the better, and the momentum it generated will continue and this will be discussed in more detail at the event.

In addition to celebrating the work which has already taken place it will also reveal more about the future opportunities. This includes investing in cultural venues and outdoor spaces such as Paisley Museum, Paisley Arts Centre and St James Playing Fields, developing the creative economy and enhancing our cultural events and festivals programme and continuing to build on the support from the community. This investment demonstrates how Renfrewshire continues to buck the trend in terms of cultural investment.

Furthermore it will show that the council and its place partners are still committed to achieving the step changes outlined in the bid – to grow a new dimension to the economy, transform the town’s image, lift Paisley’s communities out of poverty, be recognised for cultural excellence and transform the town into a vibrant cultural centre.

The event will see partners and local community groups come together to find out more about future plans and members of the public are encouraged to come along to learn what will happen next for the town.

Chair of the Paisley Partnership Board, Councillor Iain Nicolson, said: “The Our Journey Continues event is not only a celebration of the excellent work which has already taken place through the bidding process but is a great opportunity for us all to look ahead to the exciting plans for the future.”

This event precedes the Future Forward: Culture in Renfrewshire collaborative discussion which will ask attendees what directions culture in Renfrewshire should take, and what successes people would like to build on.  The event will be held in Paisley Town Hall from 2-4pm.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Head of Cultural Services, Morag Macpherson, said: “The thank you event is a great introduction to the Culture in Renfrewshire discussion which will allow everyone to have their say on what the priorities for culture in Renfrewshire should be in the years to come.

“I’m sure the plans unveiled through Our Journey Continues, and the ideas and ambitions which people come along with, will create a really rich inspirational mix. We will discuss how we best focus our aspirations and collectively create a really exciting cultural environment over the next few years.”

There will also be another Future Forward session on Tues 17 April 6-8pm, places can be booked here.

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Renfrewshire schools celebrate British Science Week with range of activities including Whodunits

From turning classrooms into crime scenes and studying tsunamis, schools across Renfrewshire marked British Science Week with a string of activities.

Budding forensic investigators at St Mary’s Primary in Paisley turned detective to take part in a special CSI day, ‘Who killed Mrs Friel?’

The classroom was turned into a CSI lab as the children solved the whodunit of which member of staff killed their head teacher in the gym hall.

A guest speaker explained to the children how evidence is gathered in real life, while they were also given the chance to quiz suspects.

Pupils also enjoyed a range of science workshops, with younger students visiting Glasgow’s Science Centre to mark the ten day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths.

St. Anne’s Primary in Erskine held a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) week with a variety of different activities to promote learning and career choice.

The Scottish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals talked to children about their work in the care and protection of animals, as well as the impact humans can have on the environment and how this affects other living things.

Microbiologist from Glasgow University undertook experiments with older pupils to help them understand how microbiology works and how it can improve our world.

Staff from Trinity High School, Network Rail and the University of West of Scotland also dropped by, while visiting academics from Strathclyde University helped children learn about wind turbines.

At Howwood Primary, older children heard from a parent based at Prestwick Airport as an air traffic controller and pupils were able to track a plane that passed over the school to Amsterdam.

Other pupils embarked on Space discovery and worked together to create rockets while senior pupils created working volcanoes and disaster movies, while learning about genetics.

Primary six pupils embarked on a bridge building project with local firm Thermo Fisher Scientific, looking at costs and design and then building the bridge in miniature.

Science was also celebrated at St Anthony’s Primary in Johnstone, where children produced a topic on the human body and one class looked at tsunamis and the impact they have on the environment.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “It’s great to see schools putting a range of activities to mark British Science Week and bringing the subject alive in such a fun way for children.“

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Renfrewshire’s school leavers heading for great futures

The number of young people entering a positive destination after leaving school in Renfrewshire is the highest it’s ever been.

Around 45 per cent of Renfrewshire’s young people are going to university and other higher education establishments – significantly higher numbers than the national average – as revealed in national data collected by Scottish Government.

The official statistics show a six-year trend that’s increasingly improving for Renfrewshire’s young people, with more than 90 per cent going into higher or further education, employment or training.

Education and Children’s Services Convener for Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Jim Paterson, is delighted that more of Renfrewshire’s young people are taking positive steps towards their future upon leaving school.

He said: “The fact that a high number of Renfrewshire’s young people are entering positive destinations upon leaving school is encouraging. Over the last six years, we’ve seen an increasingly improving trend for our school leavers who are going into higher and further education, work and training.

“It’s also encouraging that a significant percentage of our school leavers remain in long-term positive post-school destinations, but we want to do more to support every child and young person in Renfrewshire reach their full potential regardless of their background.

“Here in Renfrewshire, we are working hard to close the poverty-related attainment gap while also raising attainment for all. We want our children to have the best start in life, meaning they have the right skills and support to be successful in later life.

“Improving children and young people’s life chances takes a holistic approach – from providing support to vulnerable families, supporting children and young people as individuals who learn differently from each other, and improving their overall health and wellbeing.

“We have been working hard to raise attainment for all. Renfrewshire’s pupils are already performing well or better in literacy and numeracy measures in all stages (S4, S5 and S6) than pupils from across Scotland with similar backgrounds and we have a number of initiatives in place that will further improve pupil attainment levels.

“We’ve already taken significant steps to improve the learning and teaching of reading in our primary schools and all our teachers have access to continuous professional development that supports them to achieve their very best.

“By giving children and young people the best start in life, we are supporting them to achieve their goals and have a great future.”

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Wedding Fayre at Johnstone Town Hall

For anyone starting to plan their big day, then Johnstone Town Hall’s first ever Wedding Fayre is the place to be. Join us on Sunday 8 April from 11am to 4pm. Entry is free.

This event will host a wide variety of local wedding suppliers, from photographers to kiltmakers and florists to candy carts. There will also be the opportunity to view a wedding set up in the main hall so that visitors can see just what this award-winning venue has to offer. Visitors will be able to experience the state-of-the-art technical facilities and have a look around the dedicated marriage suite. Free consultations will also be available with our wedding co-ordinators on the day.

Visitors to the Fayre will also receive a complimentary drink, a goody bag and a range of special offers and discounts.

Any businesses wishing to participate in the event should call Johnstone Town Hall on 0300 300 1210.

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Employability project with a difference welcomes new applications


A life changing employability programme is welcoming applications for its latest intake.


Project Search is designed for students with a learning disability or autism, who want to move into full time work.

There are 12 places available and the selected students will initially attend a summer school one day a week in July to prepare for the year ahead.

The programme is then delivered full time with Glasgow Clyde College at Renfrewshire Council over an academic year, from September 2018 to June 2019, with students working towards achieving a recognised qualification in employability.

Students will also gain more than 600 hours of practical work based learning and training through working in three different work placements within Renfrewshire Council.

A string of young people from previous courses have already landed jobs across Renfrewshire in a variety of roles including clerical assistant, catering and project assistant.

Colin McKenzie, the first graduate to get a job, said: “Project Search has given me confidence and skills and it has helped me to find a job. Our whole class had a brilliant year and we all felt that by the time we had completed the course we could move into work and make a contribution to the world.”

Every young person will work with a team that includes their family, college lecturer and job coach to create an employment goal to help them move to the world of work.

The experience and skills they get from their work placements will be vital for them in applying for jobs.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “It’s great to see Project Search launch its fourth intake and create training and employment opportunities for young people.

“We look forward to welcoming a new group of trainees to the council and see them hopefully taking their first steps into the job market.”

Renfrewshire’s Project Search is a partnership between, Renfrewshire Council, Glasgow Clyde College and Invest in Renfrewshire.

It originated in Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital and has grown to over 400 sites internationally.

Applicants must be aged 17-26 years old, have a learning disability and/or autism and live within a Renfrewshire Postcode.

They must also want to find full time work on completion of the programme, be capable of  travelling independently and have excellent timekeeping and attendance.

An information evening on 21st March 2018 from 6.00pm-7.30pm at Tweedie Hall Linwood will provide more details about the course and application process.

To apply for the course, please contact

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Mhairi Black MP Calls For Change In Law To Reunite Refugee Families In The UK

The Private Member’s Bill debate on refugee family reunion could transform lives, bringing families torn apart by war and persecution back together.

Mhairi Black MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South has pledged her support for the Private Member’s Bill on refugee family reunion.

In the House of Commons last week, Mhairi met with members of the Families Together campaign to discuss the urgency of reuniting refugee families in the UK. Refugees who have been separated from their families continue to remain apart from their loved ones because of current restrictive UK laws on refugee family reunion.

The rules mean that some people with family members in the UK – including children who have turned 18 and elderly parents – often find themselves facing an impossible choice: remain in what can often be an insecure and dangerous place, or embark on a treacherous, expensive, unregulated journey, often in the hands of smugglers.

The rules also prevent child refugees in this country from sponsoring even their closest family members to join them, making the UK one of only two EU countries to deny refugee children the chance to grow up with their family.

The Refugee (Families Reunion) Bill debate on Friday 16 March has the power to change this. If the Bill were to pass its second reading, it would bring the UK one step closer to undoing this wrong.

The Bill calls for:

  • Child refugees in the UK having the right to sponsor their close family so they can rebuild their lives together and help them integrate in their new community;

  • An expansion of who qualifies as a family so that young people who have turned 18 and elderly parents can live in safety with their families in the UK;

  • The reintroduction of legal aid so refugees can afford to navigate the complicated process of being reunited with their families.

Ahead of the debate, Mhairi Black MP, said:

“My SNP colleague Angus MacNeil MP has put lots of work and research into this bill. I have no doubt that this bill will help to improve the life’s of many people.

“Refugees should have the right to be with their family, the people that know them best and make them feel safe. But tragically, every single day refugee families already torn apart by conflict and war are being kept apart by restrictive UK rules. I have met with a number of Syrian Refugees who have been welcomed to Renfrewshire and the majority of them were disconnected from their close family members.”

“This urgently needs to change. I will be attending the Private Member’s Bill vote on 16 March and voting to bring refugee families together again.”

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“Amnesty welcomes Mhairi Black MP’s commitment to safely reuniting refugees with their families in the UK.

“Child refugees are some of the most vulnerable in the UK. On their arrival they face a multitude of new struggles – a new language and culture, as well as the psychological fallout from suffering incredibly traumatic experiences back in their home country.

“It is perverse that families are being kept apart by arbitrary rules. This is not a political issue, it is a family issue.

“We now hope that MPs from across the political spectrum continue to show their support and send a message to the Government that refugees in this country should be reunited with their families.”

Angus MacNeil’s Private Member’s Bill is supported by Families Together, a coalition of organisations including Amnesty International, STAR Network, Refugee Council, UNHCR and the British Red Cross amongst others.

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Renfrewshire Child Protection Conference focuses on children’s emotional health and wellbeing

More than 200 child protection professionals gathered today in Paisley for a Child Protection Conference on the theme of promoting children’s emotional health and wellbeing.

Staff from Renfrewshire Council, the NHS, Police Scotland, and other local agencies involved in looking after young people were among those who attended.

Keynote speakers at the bi annual event at Paisley Town Hall included Kate Cairns, author of the  bestselling book, Attachment, Trauma and Resilience and the ‘Five to Thrive’ model of parenting and Julia Donaldson, the Clinical Director with the Glasgow Infant and Family Team.

Senior Forensic Psychologist Dan Johnson, who heads the psychology service at the town’s Kibble Education and Care Centre, addressed the conference on trauma and informed care.

Delegates also heard from John Paterson, the independent chair of Renfrewshire Child Protection Committee, which organised the event and brings together all the organisations involved in protecting children in the area.

There was a presentation on the specially commissioned Children and Young People Well-being survey by Renfrewshire Council’s Director of Children’s Services Peter MacLeod and Kate Tobin from the Dartington Social Research Unit.

Renfrewshire was the first local authority in the UK to measure the well-being of children and young people using a census approach in 2011, and the only one to repeat the survey.

Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, who opened the conference, said: “Children’s emotional health and wellbeing is a building block for educational attainment and can prevent future problems like mental health problems and substance misuse.

“It’s important to understand young people and the issues facing them to give them the best possible start in life and allow them to fulfil their potential.

“Events like this are vital in information sharing for the professionals involved in that field.”

Carol Burt and Debbie Campbell from the ‘I am Me Scotland’ team also gave a presentation on the #MakeaDifference programme they are delivering in primary schools to raise awareness of the harm caused by bullying and hate crime.

Pupils from Paisley’s  Gallowhill Primary School, Mikey, 9, Liam and Abbey, both aged 10 and 11-year-old Aimee, told delegates about the work they have been doing with the charity to help tackle bullying, including making worry boxes where they can share any concerns anonymously.

John Paterson, the independent chair of Renfrewshire Child Protection Committee, said:  “I’m extremely pleased the event is taking place and focussing on children’s emotional health and wellbeing.

“Everybody accepts it’s an area which needs the engagement of a wide range of agencies. Events like this will help ensure that this happens and  focus attention on areas where we can seek to make a real difference.”

Anybody with any child protection concerns is encouraged to contact Renfrewshire Council’s social work team on 0300 300 1199 or Police Scotland.