summer camp

YOUNG people can enjoy a summer of fun and games thanks to a variety of activities in this year’s Summer Camps run by Renfrewshire Leisure.

There are sports of all kinds, outdoor activities, themed days along with arts and crafts during the school holidays at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre; ON-X, in Linwood; Renfrew Sports Centre; Johnstone Community Sports Hub; Park Mains, in Erskine; St Andrew’s Academy, in Paisley and Castle Semple, at Lochwinnoch.

summer camp

Following on from the popularity of previous Summer, Spring and October camps for children in Primary 1 to Primary 7, these school holiday camps are run by highly trained and enthusiastic staff who have experience working with young people.

The Activity Camps run between 10am and 3pm during weekdays between July 1 to August 9.  There are also two options for an extended stay for children – The Early Risers Club and the Afternoon Kids Zone. These added blocks of fun offer Wii games, arts and crafts, giant floor games and dance mats in a more chilled out environment

summer camp

There are also P7 – S6 Outdoor activity camps with mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking for youngsters from Primary 7 to S6 and football camps in association with the Scottish Football Association for children aged between five and 13.

Other activity camps including Athletics, Gymnastics and Dance for Primary school kids

summer camp

There is a disability sports programme for children in Primary 1 to S6 at St Andrews Academy and disability outdoor programme at Castle Semple for Primary 4 to S6.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “We’ve got something for everyone this summer and if you want your children to stay active and have fun during the school holidays, then one of our activity camps is the place to be.”

Log on to for more information and to book your child on one of the activity camps.


We are promising a day out of this world in Paisley town centre this summer with our Bricks in Space Summer Trail!

Following on from the success of Jurassic Bricks last summer, we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with a space-themed LEGO® Brick Space adventure!


Running from Saturday 29th June until Tuesday 13th August, there will be seventeen fantastic LEGO® Brick models spread throughout town centre businesses as well as an interactive play zone and a selfie zone.

The town centre will be divided up into different galaxies with special hidden items which will orbit different businesses within each galaxy on a weekly basis.

Armed with their space passports, the mission will be to travel through the four galaxies to find all the Space models, plus there will be stickers, activity sheets and goodies to collect as families make their way around the town.

Alongside our large LEGO® brick models, there will be other Space items included as part of the trail and our local schools have been joining in the fun…making space items made out of recycled items!

The schools’ models will also be on display throughout the town during Bricks in Space!


Paisley First Chair, Colette Cardosi, said:” This will be a great event to showcase everything that Paisley has to offer this summer.

“We are sure families will come from far and wide to enjoy this great, free day out during the school holidays.

“And after enjoying our out of this world entertainment, visitors can take advantage of our many shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.

“There is so much to see and do in the town already and this will help cement the town’s reputation as a visitor destination.”

You will be able to collect your Space Passport from shops throughout Paisley plus both the Piazza Shopping Centre and The Paisley Centre nearer the time, plus keep checking our website for a sneak preview of our Trail Map…watch this Space!

Paisley First will also be running the Golden Ticket Competition once again this summer with a weekly draw offering visitors the chance to win £250 of Paisley town centre gift vouchers!

Come to Paisley for a great family day out this summer!

For more details see

Brediland PS

Eco-aware youngsters at a Paisley primary school have helped create their own classroom-sized wind turbine – and their innovative approach to renewable energy has won them a place at a prestigious European science event.

Primary 6 pupils at Brediland Primary School in Paisley have been working with lecturer Dr Patricia Munoz de Escalona and students at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) to create a 2m high wind turbine to power classroom objects.

Brediland PS

Funded through a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Partnership grant awarded by the Royal Society, the project saw pupils and Masters students take part in a series of workshops and activities themed around the creation of the turbine.

The project was such a success that the work created by the young people will now represent Scotland at Science on Stage – an event which celebrates STEM and shares information on new teaching concepts – in Portugal in October.

Brediland PS

Acting Principal Teacher David Rigmand steered the young engineers through the project.

He said: “Creating their own wind turbine has been a fantastic experience for the young people.

“Every pupil has been engaged throughout the whole process and it’s been great to see the plans evolve over the last year.

Brediland PS

“Alongside developing their skills in STEM, the project has helped young people with their skills in communication and teamworking, which will stand them in great stead for the future.

“I’m very proud of everyone who took part and we’re all really excited to represent Scotland at the event in October.”

Brediland Primary School Head Teacher Marie-Claire Temple said: “STEM education is at the forefront of equipping our young people to reach positive destinations, and developing innovations of the future.

“STEM is integral to Scotland’s economic and social development. I am extremely proud of the success and achievement of all pupils and staff and look forward to our young people realising their STEM ambitions.”

Dr Patricia Munoz de Escalona worked with GCU students on the project.

Brediland PS

She said: “We’re very proud to be involved in a project which inspires and motivates young people to pursue a career in STEM.

“Learning more about presenting complex, technical information in a way that’s accessible to youngsters has also helped the students refine their communication skills.”

Brediland teachers and pupils celebrated the delivery of the wind turbine as the school unveiled its new STEM and digital literacy centre in this, its 60th year.

Doosan Babcock Chief Executive Officer – and former Brediland pupil – Andrew Colquhoun joined the school in its celebrations.

The engineering firm was involved in some of the workshop sessions, and STEM ambassador Neil Brackenridge worked with the children at the Primary Engineers lunchtime club.

Andrew said: “It’s a real privilege for me to come back to my old school and find so many pupils engaged in this STEM project, and showing an interest in the energy and engineering sectors.

“One of our young engineers has supported the launch of the school’s STEM club, and we hope to play our part in inspiring another generation of youngsters to pursue a career in this area.”

Council Leader

Local people are being urged to have their say on the way Renfrewshire Council works before the ‘Our Renfrewshire’ community survey closes in a fortnight’s time.

Hundreds of local people have already completed the survey, which includes a short set of simple questions.

Council Leader

The survey is designed to start a conversation about the values that are most important to local people and the values and behaviours they expect from the Council.

Feedback from the survey will be used to help develop a new set of values for the council, which will shape how the organisation communicates and works with communities and partners in the future.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson, said: “This survey will change the way we work as a council in the future. We want as many people to take part as possible.

“We want to know what matters most to you, what you value and how we can be the best organisation we can be. We will use what you tell us to transform the way we work and communicate with you in future.

“This is your opportunity to get involved and help shape how we work together to make sure Renfrewshire continues to be a great place to live, work and study.”

The survey, which closes on Friday 7 June, is open to anyone who lives, works or studies in Renfrewshire.

The Council employs almost 8,000 people, most of whom live in the area, and delivers a range of public services including waste and recycling collections, maintenance for local roads, schools and homes, as well as the provision of local education services and care for the most vulnerable.

To have your say visit If you need some help to go online, ask about ‘Our Renfrewshire’ in any of our libraries.

You can also share your stories, photos and views on Facebook and Twitter using #OurRenfrewshire.


As part of Carers Week 2019, three local charities are coming together to celebrate the work of carers in Renfrewshire by hosting two free events for anyone who is looking after or supporting a loved one on Wednesday 12 June. These will take place from 10am until 2pm in:

– Linstone Housing Association Building, Linwood
– Methodist Church Halls, Paisley


The event is jointly hosted by St. Vincent’s Hospice, Accord Hospice and the Carers Centre and will feature manned information stands highlighting the services which are available to carers throughout the community.

Discussing the event, Director of Care at St. Vincent’s Hospice, Brona McGee, said: “At St. Vincent’s, we know all too well the important role that carers play in so many lives, but also that this can be hard, and put a lot of pressure on both people and families.

Clinical Services Manager Brian Hunter from ACCORD Hospice reiterated this message by saying “It is a great opportunity to work together, three organisations with the same vision of supporting the people who look after people.”

This year, the theme of carer’s week is ‘Getting Carers Connected with their Community’ which is exactly what these three organisations are trying to do in partnership to bring this information into the community itself.

The day will include manned information stands about services which may be of help, as well as ‘Advice-works’ who will be offering a wide range of money and debt advice solutions. There will also be the opportunity for some complimentary therapy and advice on self-care.

Each year, Carers Week aims to highlight the challenges faced by unpaid carers and recognise the contribution they make to families across the UK.

This event is free to attend for any carer living in Renfrewshire, with refreshments provided. For more information call:

St. Vincent’s Hospice – 01505 705 635 or email
ACCORD Hospice – 0141 5812000 or email
Carers Centre – 0141 8873643 or email

MFG Abbey Dig

The biggest-ever exploration of one of Renfrewshire’s most mysterious historical features is now underway – and hopes to unveil some centuries-old secrets.

An archaeological dig has started at Paisley’s Abbey Drain – a complex underground structure which links the town’s 850-year-old Abbey to the River Cart.

MFG Abbey Dig

The 100m long underground passageway, thought to be more than 700 years old, was unearthed in the 19th century and rediscovered in the 1990s.

The Big Dig hopes to uncover more about the passageway and to reveal more about life in Paisley hundreds of years ago.

Initial excavations of the site unearthed the earliest polyphonic musical notation and the largest collection of medieval pottery ever found in the west of Scotland – and it is hoped that this two-month long project will uncover many more secrets.

The dig is managed by Renfrewshire Council, run by Guard Archaeology with help from Renfrewshire Local History Forum volunteers, and supported by funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.

MFG Abbey Dig

Council leader Iain Nicolson joined the team at the start of the dig.  Cllr Nicolson said: “Paisley has such a rich history and heritage, full of stories and mysteries, and the tale of the Abbey Drain has really captured the attention of the public.

“This is a project that’s of both local and national significance. It has really struck a chord with people who live here who have a genuine interest in Renfrewshire’s social and economic history and will provide us with information on a complex underground system which was operating hundreds of years ago.

“This could be the first step towards opening up the Drain as a permanent visitor attraction in the future – which would fit perfectly with the ongoing work to use Paisley’s unique heritage to make it one of Scotland’s key destinations for visitors and events.”

MFG Abbey Dig

Bob Will, compliance manager at Guard Archaeology, said: “This is such an exciting project for us and for the community, and we’re pleased to be progressing with the next stage.

“Most of the work on the drain so far has been carried out from the inside and has told us a lot about the drain itself.

MFG Abbey Dig

“What’s going on underneath the surface can also tell us about what once stood on the site, so by excavating the drain, we can find out about the drainage system which served what would have once been a bustling community.

“We’re looking forward to continuing the excavations and to finding out what else the Abbey Drain can tell us about life in Paisley hundreds of years ago.”

The Big Dig also includes an extensive programme of activity to involve the local community.

Students at the University of the West of Scotland will create a series of short films and a documentary on the drain, and there will also be school visits, volunteering opportunities, and free talks and workshops for the public.

Members of the public will not have access to the drain during the Big Dig – but there will be a chance for residents and visitors to go inside it, as in previous years, during the Doors Open Days weekend on 7 and 8 September.

To keep an eye on Big Dig progress, visit

RAMH logo

RAMH (Recovery Across Mental Health) are excited to announce a newly developed mental health awareness training programme aimed at local businesses, agencies and organisations.

In addition to the safeTALK, ASIST and Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid courses we currently offer, we have a few new additions. There is now a half-day “Introduction to Mental Health Awareness” as well as full-day “Mental Health Awareness” and “Mental Health Awareness for Managers” courses.

RAMH logo

We hope these courses will help local businesses, agencies and organisations to not only improve and promote positive mental health within their workplaces, but also equip their staff with skills they can carry over into their personal lives.

We are inviting any interested parties to attend an informal, no-obligation Breakfast Meeting at our Head Office (41 Blackstoun Road, Paisley, PA3 1LU) from 8.30am-9.30am on Tuesday 11th June. The instructors will be there to provide more information on the different courses, and answer any questions you may have. To reserve a space and allow us to account for catering, or for more information, please email

You do not need any previous knowledge or training in mental health to benefit from these courses – mental ill health can affect anyone at any time, and it’s our aim to ensure as many people as possible are equipped to provide the appropriate support.


Morning yogis, it’s me again, blethering about mental health and why it matters, and, of course, how yoga can help.

So, there’s two parts to your nervous system – the sympathetic Flight or Fight part that’s the reptile brain the bit that saves you from being eaten by a bear, and the parasympathetic Rest and Recover, the bit that helps you heal, digest your food, maintain your mental and physical health, for want of a better term – the useful bit.

Sympathetic is good but I’m not likely to get eaten by a bear, and my reptile brain hasn’t evolved to realise that just because the man in front of me has put his fish at a weird angle on the conveyor belt and if he’d just straightened it slightly I could get my whole basket laid out neatly and properly and I wouldn’t have to still have this cheese in the basket and now someone’s put their stuff down on the end of the thing and I can’t….

That sympathetic response is fine, muscles are primed for running or fighting, pupils dilated to take in any movement and make full use of the available light, breath is shortened, blood pulls back to support the muscles, heart rate increases, adrenalin floods the system.
All done unconsciously, led by the wee lizard at the controls.

So how does yoga help, baldy? you ask.
I’ll tell you, but don’t call me baldy, I was just about to fight a bear in Morrisons, you’ve no chance.

Yoga puts You back in charge, not the wee lizard, not the wee bunny that runs the parasympathetic either, YOU, the essential being that is YOU.
What? How? Who’re you calling YOU? 

You can control the body’s response to stress, breathing, controlled and moderated, releases the tension brought on by the stress response, conscious mindful control of what’s going on inside will calm the system and put you back in charge.
There are loads of helpful strategies to bring you back from the edge of a panic attack, the most effective one is breathing, Take Control of your Breath and you take back control of your body and of your self.
A wee free exercise for you: breathe in for a count of two, then out for a count of four, keep going, if two’s not enough try three in and six out, controlled, breathing through the nose deep into the lungs, keep going, increase it to four if you have to but that’s a long exhale at eight, if you’re going for five in try five out, feeling calmer? how about six and six, too much, go back to two and four, or anywhere in between, you’re in control.
That’s yoga.

Steven Quinn

Renfrewshire has announced its new Director of Children’s Services, with former Chief Education Officer Steven Quinn being appointed to the role.

Steven Quinn

Steven will help shape and develop the council’s ambitions for its young people, as it looks to ensure all children and young people reach their full potential, regardless of their background.

He is responsible for education services, from early years through to secondary, children’s social work and the criminal justice service, with the main priorities being to raise educational attainment, tackle child poverty and address social and health inequalities in Renfrewshire.

Steven Quinn

He takes over at an exciting time in Renfrewshire with the local authority recently achieving the first ‘excellent’ rating in Scotland as part of the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge.

The inspection identified significant year-on-year improvements in listening, talking, reading, writing and numeracy, with the poverty-related attainment gap closing across all measures.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, said: “We’re delighted to appoint Steven to the role of Director of Children’s Services, where he will work to ensure all children and young people reach their full potential, regardless of their background.

“Steven has been a driving force for embedding improvements that support children and young people into positive and sustained destinations, and our recent ‘excellent’ rating in raising attainment from Education Scotland was recognition of his and our education teams work in this area.

“I look forward to working closely with him as we work to make opportunities for all our young people to succeed in Renfrewshire.”

Steven Quinn

A maths teacher by profession, Steven joined Renfrewshire Council as Chief Education Officer in 2016, before becoming Interim Director earlier this year.

Steven will take up his new role immediately and is looking forward to continuing the wide range of exciting initiatives already started.

Steven said: “I’m delighted to take up the role of Director on a permanent basis at what is an exciting time to be involved in education and social work in Renfrewshire.

“I have a fantastic team throughout the council to lead and we’re passionate about putting the needs of our young people at the forefront of everything we do.

“It’s so important that every young person has the opportunity to achieve the best possible outcomes through the care and education we can deliver, and we recognise this means more than purely qualifications when they leave the school system.

“We’re working hard to put the appropriate support and processes in place to ensure we provide a safe and nurturing environment for all our young people to succeed and I’m excited to be at the forefront of this in Renfrewshire.”

The Clumps Book

More than 14,000 primary school children will be able to lose themselves in a book as they receive a copy of a new short story written by multi-award-winning children’s author Ross MacKenzie.

Ross has penned ‘The Clumps’ Big Mess’ which will be given to every primary and additional support needs school pupil in Renfrewshire with the aim of educating the younger generation on the damage littering can do to the environment, part of the highly successful Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

the clumps

The book is designed to be read by older primary pupils, with younger pupils able to read the story with their family or through in-class activities.

Interactive versions have been created to allow teachers to use the story as a teaching accessory and an audio version is also available to help bring the story to life for young people.

Ross visited his old school Kirklandneuk Primary in Renfrew to read his creation to the pupils there, two of which share the names of the main characters and just happen to be his daughters, Selina and Molly.

Ross said: “It was great fun to write this book and especially one with such an important message.

The Clumps Book

“Two of the characters are named after my own kids and when I write a book I try and look at it from a child’s point of view, so how would they look at it if the world was full of litter?

“So I hope the book achieves the message that we should look after the amazing surroundings we have and if it plays a small part in that then we’ve done our job.”

Commissioned by Renfrewshire Council as part of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, the story focuses on the Clump family who deliberately fail to pick up after themselves and their pet dog  Murphy.

Twists and turns occur as Selina and Molly learn more about the damage that can be done if people don’t take pride in where they live, and their carefree attitude leads to a world covered in litter, can they reverse it or is it too late?

Selina and Molly said: “It’s really fun having a dad as an author because we’re the first ones to hear his stories.”

The Clumps Book

The Clumps’ Big Mess has been illustrated by renowned illustrator Neil Slorance and his creations have been brought to life as cardboard cut outs which will tour the schools throughout Renfrewshire.

Neil said: “It was an absolute pleasure working with the Renfrewshire Council team and Ross on the Clumps’ Big Mess.

“It’s such a great story with a really important message and I hope all the pupils around Renfrewshire enjoy it!”

The new book forms part of a drive to educate pupils further on the aims of the campaign in a fun and inspiring way, with pupils having already been involved in litter picks since the campaign began in 2017.

The book is the latest strand of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, a five-year, £2.5million investment in Renfrewshire’s local environment, which includes an increased programme of road sweeping, drain clearing, litter picking and an enhanced Rapid Response Team.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We’re delighted that every primary pupil in Renfrewshire will have the opportunity to lose themselves in a book and learn the important message that Team Up to Clean Up promotes.

“While we want to make an immediate impact to the cleanliness of the area, we know that educating the next generation is just as important and we’re aiming to make binning their rubbish second nature for our young people.

“They are learning all the time in their younger years so it’s vitally important that we ensure they recognise the damage littering can do and let them lead from the front in the future.

“We’ve already seen their enthusiasm to take part in litter picks with their schools and I hope this fantastic new book will further keep the message at the forefront of their minds.”

The investment in the campaign has also facilitated local communities to undertake litter picks by providing them with gloves, litter pickers, bags and hoops, as well as the support of the council’s Wardens Service and StreetScene team who remove all rubbish following the completion of the community clean up.

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, visit