Paisley, Renfrewshire Category

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NHS Scotland praises award winning family fitness app idea by Renfrewshire pupils

Pupils at a Renfrewshire school who invented a family fitness app praised by NHS Scotland and Andy Murray could see their idea become a reality.

A team of five sixth-year students from Erskine’s Park Mains High School created the ‘Health Buzz’ app, which tracks the health and wellbeing of the whole family.

The prototype won a prestigious competition, the #DigiInventorsChallenge, run by the Digital Health and Care Institute in conjunction with Andy Murray.

Now pupils will work with Scottish-based technology experts SwarmOnline this summer to see how the app may be developed.

NHS Scotland Chief Executive Paul Gray also visited the school this week to congratulate the team and find out more about the app through a presentation by pupils.

The team of Emily Bannon, Craig Kennedy, Adam Hazle, Luisa Steele and Connor Wilson, all 17-years-old, received a £2,000 cash prize for their school, new personal tech, as well as the opportunity to have their idea made into a reality.

Paul Gray said: “This is a fantastic idea from the students at Park Mains High School. We all know how popular fitness trackers are, so this is a great way to build on that and get active as a family.

“The number of Scots being physically active has risen in the last five years, and we really want to keep that going. For example, by walking just one mile a day, people can make huge changes to their lives.”

“This app is also an excellent example of how innovation can help improve our mental and physical health – 2018 is the year to get Scots more active.”

The app won first place in the challenge which aims to find new ways to help young people keep active and stay healthy.

Along with other shortlisted teams, the pupils were invited to an inventor’s boot camp to develop their proposals through a series of master classes by industry experts.

They then presented to a panel of expert judges, including Andy himself and got to meet the star at the SSE Hydro event in November, where he played Roger Federer in an exhibition match.

Former Wimbledon champion Andy revealed how impressed he is with the pupil’s design and said: “I liked this idea straight away, it’s a really big achievement for the team behind it. Anything that gets people moving more is a good thing and will hopefully help to improve the health of the nation.”

Judges also praised the team’s high quality professional pitch and recognised the potential of the app to transform lives by focussing on the family as a whole, and not just individuals.

Renfrewshire Council’s Children’s Services and Education Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “In the Year of Young People it’s wonderful to see how Renfrewshire school pupils can come up with such creative and award-winning ideas that could benefit us all. I look forward to hearing the progress of the app.”

Emily Bannon from the team said: “We are happy to get as far as we have with the app and want to make fitness more a hobby than a chore across the generations and maybe help make a difference to people.

“We have become so passionate about it and are excited to see what comes next.”

Park Mains Head teacher Michael Dewar, said: “This was an outstanding achievement from a group of very talented S6 pupils. Our hope is that the app will be developed to help make a positive impact on the health and well-being of families across the country.”

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Active Schools Co-ordinator at Park Mains and the pupil’s mentor, Olivia Bell, said: “We are overwhelmed with how far we have come and hope the app will eventually be accessible in our local and wider primary schools and allow pupils to utilise technology that is already at their fingertips.”

The shortlist for this year’s challenge will be announced on May 30th.

George Crooks Chief Executive of the Digital Health and Care Institute said: “We are delighted to be working with the team at Park Mains High School and SwarmOnline to help develop their idea from the #DigiInventorsChallenge.”

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Street Stuff presented with national environmental award

Renfrewshire’s award-winning youth diversionary programme Street Stuff, has been presented with the prestigious Clean Up Scotland ‘Hero of the Month’ award in recognition of its efforts to support the Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

Street Stuff volunteers and coaching staff from St Mirren FC have assisted Renfrewshire Council with community clean up activities, including litter picking, removing graffiti from public spaces and spraying dog fouling with paint to make it more visible – therefore highlighting the problem.

The award forms part of the Clean Up Scotland campaign, organised by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful, and acknowledges Street Stuff’s work to help reduce youth disorder and to instil responsibility in young people.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We are delighted that Street Stuff have been named as the 50th recipient of the Hero of the Month Award.

“The work volunteers and staff do to engage local children and provide them with activities they may not normally have the opportunity to undertake is fantastic, and has been extremely successful since its inception in 2009.

“They are making a real difference to the local community through participating in litter picks, removing graffiti from shop fronts and supporting the Team Up to Clean Up dog fouling initiative.

“With £2.5million being invested across the next five years, we hope that many local community groups will be able to follow in Street Stuff’s footsteps as we continue to advance the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and make a tangible improvement to the quality of Renfrewshire’s environment.”

Street Stuff works as a partnership between St Mirren FC and Renfrewshire Council delivering a youth activity programme including dance and football, as well as volunteering and employment opportunities for young people.

Gordon Scott, St Mirren FC Chairman, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen as Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Hero of the Month and it’s testament to the work of the Street Stuff volunteers and staff.

“We’re proud to support the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and will continue to work hard to improve Renfrewshire’s environment for the benefit of the entire community.”

Heather McLaughlin, Community Project Officer with Keep Scotland Beautiful added: “High levels of graffiti, litter and flytipping are closely linked to community safety. By helping to tackle litter in their local area, Street Stuff, its participants and volunteers have all helped to make their local area both cleaner and safer for all of its residents.

“Keep Scotland Beautiful recognises that there are armies of volunteers all across Scotland working very hard to clean up and green up their local area. Clean Up Scotland can help to support their efforts as well as recognising the contribution made by individuals with our Hero of the Month award.”

Lindsay Richmond-Kearns, Communities Manager at Helping Hand Environmental, which provides a clean up kit to each monthly hero, commented: “We are delighted to present Street Stuff with this award. I would like to commend them for successfully improving and delivering significant local environmental improvements in Renfrewshire.

“Helping Hand has been privileged to sponsor the Hero of the Month award in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful since 2014, and have rewarded 50 Scottish Heroes to date. If you know a Scottish volunteer who is making a difference to their local environment – you can nominate them for this prestigious award.”

For more information on Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

Keep Scotland Beautiful is encouraging everyone to organise or take part in a clean up this spring www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/cleanupscotland.

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Cyprus Engineering College Visit

On the 14th of march we had over 20 students from Cyprus engineering college visit us to see the engineering processes first hand at our 70,000sq2 factory in Glasgow where we recondition engines for cars, bikes, trucks and even boats.

Showing the students from our professional cleaning process to stripping down engines ready for machine shop to the mechanics bays where they build the engine backup with parts from the Parts room through to quality check and then ready for dispatch to customer all around the world but we mainly service UK and Europe.

Showing one of the several vehicles bay we have to deal with large demand of removal and fitting of reconditioned engines.

Here we are in the part room as we show some of the parts that we use on a daily basis to recondition engines.

Staff and students had a great afternoon showing students our engineering processes and answering questions from students and teachers, Above the students group photo.

Engine Engineering

Cars, Trucks, Boats reconditioned engines
Call our dedicated team on 0141 432 4353
Info@engineengineering.co.uk
www.engineengineering.co.uk

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Renfrewshire Council scraps burial fees for children’s funerals

Renfrewshire Council has scrapped burial charges for families who lose a child under the age of 16.

The local authority abolished burial and registration costs in its 2018/19 budget and is working to establish an affordable Respectful Funeral Service to support families.

Cllr Jim Paterson

The charges can run into hundreds of pounds and Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “Grieving parents shouldn’t also have to carry the burden of worrying if they can afford to pay for a dignified funeral for a child.

“By scrapping the burial and registration fees for a child under 16, the intention is to remove some of the financial pressures and support families at the most difficult of times as they try to come to terms with their heart breaking loss.”

The move has also been welcomed by bereavement charities, who say that worrying how to pay funeral costs can add to the pressure on grief stricken relatives.

Hugh McAninch, the Scottish co-ordinator of The Compassionate Friends, a charity run by bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents which offers support to family members after the death of a child, said: “I welcome the initiative by Renfrewshire Council to scrap fees for children under 16 and hope it is expanded to all councils across Scotland.

“It’s a traumatic enough time and parents often have to take time off work at the very point where they have to face these extra expenses. “

Brenda Murray from the Scottish charity Bumblebee Babies, which supports parents who have lost babies, also welcomed the move.

She said: “Worrying about how to pay for a funeral can be another massive pressure for grieving parents. They just want to be able to put things in order to start the healing process and feel they’re letting their child down if they aren’t able to.

“A lack of money can be frightening to them because they want to give their child the best send off they can.”

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Local MP urges people to vote for Bravehound

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, is backing a local charity as they seek to win a public vote and help secure funds from the National Lottery’s Big Lottery fund.

Bravehound are based at Erskine Hospital and provide a range of support to former servicemen, women and their families, this includes providing companion dogs to veterans as a means of helping to support their transition into civilian life.

The charity is now competing for The People’s Project public vote and if successful, will receive £50,000 of National Lottery money to create a permanent exhibition on the role of military dogs from their base at Erskine House.

Five local community groups across STV West are set to compete for up to £50,000 of National Lottery funding each. The People’s Project is giving these groups a chance to go head to head to compete in a public vote to help them make an extraordinary difference to their community. People can vote once per region and will need an email address to vote. To vote please visitwww.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“People in Renfrewshire are extremely proud of its veterans and of the area’s heritage in supporting  serving and ex-Service personnel. Bravehound is a fantastic local charity doing great work to support ex-servicemen and women.

“Bravehound support’s former servicemen, women and their families by providing companion dogs to help them make the transition into civilian life, some of these will be suffering from post-traumatic stress, mental health issues and physical injury.

“It’s great to see their fantastic work being recognised and that they’re now in with a chance of securing funds to allow them to set-up an exhibition, in Erskine House, on the role of military dogs from their base at Erskine House. This is a fantastic and I would encourage everyone in Renfrewshire to vote for Bravehound.”

Fiona MacDonald from Bravehound said:

“We’re so grateful to Gavin Newlands for making the time to visit us. The People’s Project Award will help us to provide more support for veterans with their amazing BRAVEHOUND companions, and to organise events for the whole community to join, as well as to create an exhibition of the role of military dogs from the Western Front through to Helmand Province, and we would be incredibly grateful for your vote.”

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Hundreds put forward their views to change local decision making

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

More than 250 people have attended a series of events and drop in sessions as part of a review of community level governance in Renfrewshire, with a further 162 putting their views forward through online and postal consultations.

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

The feedback from these consultations will now be reviewed to ensure the proposed changes reflect a model that is fully representative of the community’s views and requirements.

Proposals had been put forward to redesign the current structure of Renfrewshire’s five Local Area Committees to ensure a clearer partnership approach between the Council, other public services and the community.

The consultation outlined nine proposals across five areas, Function, Membership, Boundaries, Meetings and Grants, and community groups were invited to put forward their thoughts and opinions on whether the proposals would make a positive difference.

The proposals were formed following an initial round of engagement with local communities and a review of community governance arrangements in other council areas.

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Iain Nicolson, said: “This review is a real chance for the community to become further involved in local decision making and I’m delighted to see the high number of people come forward to have their say.

“It is extremely important that any changes make a positive difference to the current structure and this consultation has allowed people the opportunity to make local area committees work better for them.

“All the feedback will help refine the proposals and inform the decisions moving forward and we will ensure that the public continue to be involved in the process every step of the way.”

Further details of the proposed changes included a drive to make meetings more accessible and participative as well as having local grants scheme specifically for smaller local projects.

There would also be a change to the current boundaries which would see them come into line with community councils as well as a change to voting rights to ensure all areas of the community are involved in final decision making.

For further information on local area committees, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/lacs.

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Paisley Comic Con Photographs

Photographs taken by Ruth Walsh of Paisley Comic Con on Saturday at the Town Hall.

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Health and Social Care Partnership on the right track in Renfrewshire

Renfrewshire’s Health and Social Care Partnership (RHSCP) are making significant progress on improving residents’ health and social services, a new report has indicated.

The Care Inspectorate looked into two specific areas of RHSCP’s performance – improving health and social care services and how strategic planning has impacted on the lives of adults and their carers – and found that they performed well in both areas.

Leadership of the new organisation was highly commended for quality, effectiveness and the work to develop a positive workplace culture.

The report also indicated significant confidence in the integration of health and social care services in the area and noted the organisation’s progress.

Dr Donny Lyons, Chair of RHSCP Integration Joint Board (IJB), said: “Since bringing health and adult social care services together in Renfrewshire, we’ve been clear that residents are at the heart of what we do and what we want to achieve. Their needs are central to how we are shaping our services as we work on integrating services across the area.

“Renfrewshire has an aging population, so we are making sure we have the right support available for people now and in the future.  We want to ensure carers feel supported and that residents are in-the-know about looking after their own future health and wellbeing.”

“It is great news that we are progressing well in our journey, but we also know we can improve and we will be taking forward the key recommendations of the report.”

Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, Vice Chair of RHSCP IJB, commented: “We are one of the first partnerships to be audited and this highly-positive report reflects the hard work of both front-line staff and senior leaders to ensure that people living in Renfrewshire have high-quality services.”

David Leese, RHSCP Chief Officer, added: “We have made good progress in joining up health and adult social care services in Renfrewshire and I am delighted for our staff, who work so hard to support local people and deliver our services, that we have this positive feedback and recognition.

“The report recognises our strengths and also shows key recommendations that will support us as we continue our journey to integrate services and improve our ways of working for the benefit of local people who need our support in their day-to-day lives.”

For more information about RHSCP, visit www.renfrewshire.hscp.scot.

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National environmental charity backs Renfrewshire’s Big Spring Clean

National charity Keep Scotland Beautiful have showcased their support for Renfrewshire’s Big Spring Clean this weekend, which aims to see a community clean up take place in every area in Renfrewshire.

The event, part of Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign, is set to bring out hundreds of volunteers as they take part in litter picks to make a difference to their local environment.

School pupils, community volunteers, police, councillors and more will take part on Friday 20, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 April at clean ups across the area with the support of Renfrewshire Council.

Derek Robertson, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful said, “We’re extremely grateful to all the volunteers across Scotland for taking part in clean ups during April and May, and would urge everyone to get involved in Renfrewshire’s Big Spring Clean on 20-22 April.

“Through our Clean up Scotland campaign we support thousands of people each year to improve the places they care about by removing litter and fly tipping. We are delighted that Renfrewshire Council is showing a real commitment to make Renfrewshire cleaner and greener – and know that each one of us can make a huge difference collectively if we clean up together.”

Communities across Renfrewshire are being encouraged to host their own clean up in an area in need of attention and the Renfrewshire Warden’s Service will provide them with litter pickers, bibs, gloves and bags to carry it out, as well as removing the collected rubbish at the end of the event.

If volunteers aren’t able to host their own, they are being supported to attend any of the other clean ups arranged across the weekend and meet like-mind individuals taking part.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We’re delighted to have the support of a national organisation such as Keep Scotland Beautiful and it shows the strength of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign as it continues to grow.

“Our Big Spring Clean is our most ambitious set of events since we launched the campaign but we’re determined to grasp the enthusiasm of the local community to make a difference to their local area.

“We are working hard to support local volunteers to carry out litter picks while also carrying out our enhanced programme of work to clear drains, sweep roads and refresh signage, as well as expanding our environmental teams.

“We’ve shown our commitment to the campaign through our £2.5million investment and we will continue to work alongside the community to make Renfrewshire a cleaner, brighter, more attractive place to live.”

For more information on the event visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/bigspringclean and on the campaign www.renfrewshre.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

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Thousands of world’s best pipers to descend on Paisley for British Championships

More than 4,000 of the world’s best pipers and drummers will turn Paisley into a sea of tartan when one of the most prestigious events in piping returns to the town next month.

Bands will arrive from as far afield as Denmark and Ireland for the massive free-to-attend event – one of piping’s annual calendar of ‘majors’ – at St James Playing Fields on Saturday 19 May.

A total entry of 128 bands has been confirmed, spanning the length and breadth of Scotland, and with others heading north from London, Manchester and Newcastle.

Local talent will be represented, with Johnstone pipe band among those taking on last year’s winners Inveraray and District for the prestigious Grade 1 title, while Kilbarchan will compete in the Grade 4b contest, and the Renfrewshire Schools band in the juvenile grade.

The British Championships are taking place in Paisley for the third year in a row – and have been confirmed for another three years, as part of the expanded programme of events planned as part of the legacy of the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

Last year’s event saw 12,000 visitors and generated almost £300,000 for the local economy.

The event is being run by Renfrewshire Council and the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and includes a day-long programme of family entertainment – all free – away from the main piping arena.

That will include an international food village and bar, funfair, street traders and Highland dancing competition.

There will also be a plenty to keep kids occupied, with Renfrewshire Leisure staff offering the chance to try out different sports, plus activities run by Paisley Rugby Club, and Renfrewshire’s award-winning Street Stuff team.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, who will be chieftain of the event, said: “I am delighted we are welcoming the championships back to Paisley for another year.

“Last year was a brilliant family day out, and the sight and sound of thousands of pipers gathered for the final march past is an incredible spectacle.

“Paisley is already well established as a key destination on Scotland’s events map – we will be building on that over the next few years and bidding for more events of this scale.

“We know this event brings in huge numbers of people and with it a massive impact on the local economy – we hope as many visitors as possible choose to explore the town while here, and Paisley will be ready to welcome them with open arms.”

Ian Embelton, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, added: “Paisley has been a great venue for the championships over the past two years – the town and event site are easy to reach – and we are pleased to be coming back here until 2021.

“The entry for this event features most of the world’s top bands and is second only to the world championships in terms of numbers.

“We are looking forward to another great day of piping and hope as many people as possible can join us.”

There will be no public parking at the event site but visitors can park at St Mirren’s Paisley 2021 Stadium or West College Scotland in Renfrew Road, with McGills running regular shuttle buses from both sites, as well as from Paisley Gilmour Street station for those coming via the town centre.

Scotrail also runs regular services to Paisley St James station from Glasgow Central Station. The train station is a two-minute walk from the competition site.

Other major events coming up in Paisley over the next few weeks include the Paisley Food and Drink Festival – expected to draw thousands to the town centre on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 April.

For more information on the championships and other Paisley events, visit www.paisley.is