Paisley West End News

Carers in Renfrewshire are being celebrated as part of a national week of recognition for individuals and organisations that make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people.


Renfrewshire Carers Centre is running a series of events to celebrate National Carers Week- which will see carers rewarded for their dedication to what can be a lifelong commitment.

Carers often believe they are just being a good husband, wife, friend or neighbour but they provide an immeasurable benefit to the person they care for.

Carers Week (6-13 June) is an annual campaign which raises awareness of caring, highlights the challenges that carers face and recognises the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

The campaign is brought to life by the individuals and organisations who come together to organise activities and events, drawing attention to just how important caring is.

The campaign celebrates and recognises the contribution of all of the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers.

Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall said: “It is important we highlight the contribution carers make to our community and the difference they make in the lives of the people they care for.

“National Carers Week gives us that opportunity and I would encourage everyone to join me in offering my thanks and admiration to those who undertake the role of a carer.

“Renfrewshire Carers Centre are one of four charities I support through my charity fundraising scheme as I recognise the importance of their work and I want to ensure the Renfrewshire community continues to benefit.”

Diane Goodman, Renfrewshire Carers’ Centre Manager, said: “Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges that carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the country and here in Renfrewshire.

“Many people do not see themselves as a carer – they are a mum, dad, parent, brother, sister, daughter, son looking after their loved one -but they a carer and it is essential we identify carers in the area to let them know about the support that is available to them and that they  do not have to care on their own- support is available at the Centre”

The programme of events includes:

Monday 6 June, 11am-1pm, AGM at Renfrewshire Carers Centre: Launch of Carers Week

Tuesday 7 June, 6pm-8pm, Renfrewshire Carers Centre: Pamper Evening- Carers will be spoiled with cheese, wine and holistic therapies. Appointments should be booked in advance.

Thursday 9 June, 10:30am, Renfrewshire Carers Centre: Pamper Day- Carers will receive holistic therapies, makeovers, manicures and lunch. Renfrewshire Carers Choir will perform and appointments should be booked in advance.

Friday 10 June, 6pm-11pm, Renfrewshire Carers Centre: Carers Cup Whist Drive- All carers are invited to an entertaining evening of card games and the chance to win the Carers Cup.

Looking to book a holiday in the sun?


For a limited time Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union is offering members a summer special. The loan is available to new and existing members and is up to the value of £1,500 over 12 months. The loan is available from 1st June 2016 until the 31st of August 2016. If you aren’t a member of RWCU then pop in and see us or give us a call on 0141 889 7442. You can also join online via our website

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Total loan amounts cannot exceed £5,000. There must be no arrears on your account. All loans will be credit checked. Final approval will be made by the RWCU credit committee. Saving contribution must be made when repaying the loan. For further T&Cs ask staff for more information.

Paisley could be reborn as a textile hub under ambitious plans to capitalise on the town’s links with the Pattern which bears its name.

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While the Pattern remains a globally-recognised icon, awareness and use of Paisley’s status as the town which sold it to the world has faded, meaning the area only receives limited benefit from the historic link.

However with wide-ranging proposals to transform the town’s future using culture and heritage – including the bid for UK City of Culture 2021 – currently well advanced, council bosses believe there is vast potential to be tapped into.

Members of Renfrewshire Council’s Leadership Board will this week be asked to approve the development of a detailed business case pulling together various strands of work through which the town’s use of the Pattern could be developed.

The innovative and far-reaching ideas set to be explored include:
– a new marketing strategy to re-establish awareness of the links between Paisley and the Pattern, running alongside the £56.7m plans to turn Paisley Museum into an international-class visitor destination based around the town’s unique textile heritage;
– to explore the creation of a new body to promote and protect use of the Paisley Pattern around the world, similar to the successful Harris Tweed Authority;
– to examine how the ‘Paisley Originals’ trademark held by the council could be developed into an exclusive brand and monetised, if used alongside the original patterns held at Paisley Museum;
– to create links with designers, entrepreneurs and further education providers to support new contemporary fashion activity using the Pattern here in Paisley
– should the commercial opportunities above be progressed, to examine how to use them to create new design and production jobs in the town.

If given the green light by councillors, staff will look into bringing on board appropriate experts to advise them on how to take forward the work detailed above.  

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Very few places can claim a global brand with such enduring popularity bearing their name – we are one of them.

“Yet the weaving industry has gone and Renfrewshire does not currently enjoy much direct benefit from the link to the Pattern – so it’s about time we tried to change that.

“The work we are scoping out here remains very much at the idea stage, but is all about using the town’s unique history to create new opportunities for the 21st century.

“We don’t have to look outwith Scotland to find a heritage textile brand succesfully reclaimed by the area which created it – the reborn Harris Tweed industry is worth millions to the local economy each year and maybe we could follow suit.

“Of course none of this work would be taking place in isolation – it’s all part of a much bigger push to use heritage and culture to transform Renfrewshire’s future.

“The UK City of Culture 2021 will feature our unique historic story weaved through its very heart, while plans continue to revamp Paisley Museum into a thriving destination with our internationally-significant textile collections at the centre. 

“If these ideas are to come to fruition it will of course take time – but exciting opportunities lie ahead and I want Renfrewshire to be ready to grab them.”

This year during Volunteers’ Week Contact the Elderly wants to take the opportunity to thank its volunteers and acknowledge that due to their support the charity now has more than 100 groups across Scotland with fur across Renfrewshire.

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Volunteers’ Week is an annual event which takes place from 1st to 12th June. It celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK and Contact the Elderly knows just how important these people are, acting as the backbone of the charity.

Contact the Elderly provides tea, cake but, most importantly, company to people aged 75 and over who live alone through free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties. These parties are operated entirely by volunteers who act as hosts for the older guests and their drivers, who take them from their front door, to the volunteer’s home, and back again.

Caroline McGinlay, Scotland Volunteer Support Officer at Contact the Elderly, said:

“We never take our volunteers for granted as without them the charity wouldn’t exist. However, during Volunteers’ Week, it is only right that we take a moment to thank them for all they do.

“You only need to ask a guest what their afternoon out means to them to understand how incredible our volunteers are. The time they donate simply doesn’t reflect what it brings to the lives of our guests.

“We are over the moon to be able to say that we now have more than 100 groups across Scotland and it is all down to our volunteer’s support. Thank you to everyone that offers up their time to make one afternoon a month special for so many people.”

Across Scotland, Contact the Elderly supports more than 1,000 older people through its network of more than 1,100 volunteers and is always looking for volunteer drivers and hosts for local groups.

Laura Brown, 25, has been a deputy coordinator for the charity for two years. She said:

“I really enjoy volunteering with Contact the Elderly. We always have such a lovely afternoon together and there’s never a lull in conversation, not even for a minute.

“Through our tea parties the label of ‘older person’ is stripped away and you come to see that beneath it all there’s just a ‘person’ with life experience, funny stories and empathy. It deepens your understanding of the challenges some older people face and what you can do to help.”

To find out how to volunteer with Contact the Elderly or if you would like to enquire about becoming a guest please contact Caroline McGinlay on 0141 812 1555 or

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has spent some time volunteering at the local Alzheimer Scotland shop, in Renfrew.

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Mr Newlands spent Friday morning helping in the shop as part of ‘Volunteers’ Scotland Week’. He met some of the local volunteers who help out at the shop, and thanked them for the valuable work that they do.

Volunteers’ Week is an annual event which takes place at the start of June. It celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK.

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

”I would like to thank Liz and her team at the local Alzheimer’s Scotland shop for having me along and allowing me to help out in the shop for a few hours.

“It was a great experience to find out more about the work that Alzheimer’s Scotland do, particularly due to the fact that my volunteering shift took place during ‘Dementia Awareness Week’.

“Volunteers’ Scotland Week serves as fantastic opportunity to remember how important volunteers are to our local communities.  They commit so much of their time helping others, and for that we should be eternally grateful for the work that they do.”

A spokesperson from Alzheimer Scotland, said:

“We were delighted to be joined by Gavin as a volunteer during Scotland’s Dementia Awareness Week. As well as helping with the day-to-day running of the shop, Gavin was a great addition to the team for the day undertaking a variety of tasks and welcoming our customers.

“With over 90,000 people in Scotland living with dementia and the number set to double in a generation, dementia is one of Scotland’s most pressing public health and social care issues. Our goal is to make sure that nobody faces dementia alone. For more information about Alzheimer Scotland and of the services available across Scotland visit”

George Thomson, Chief Executive of Volunteer Scotland said:

“Volunteers’ Week Scotland is a chance to personally thank volunteers for their contribution to our lives, and to celebrate the community building they bring about in many different kinds of activities . It’s an opportunity to look around us and see the wide variety of volunteering that people do every day in our communities, and also to think about what we might do ourselves to help. We want to encourage more people, from more diverse backgrounds, to volunteer more regularly in ways that’s friendly, uplifting and rewarding.”

The bid to take St Mirren into fan ownership has signed up two legends of the club’s recent past.

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Barry McLaughlin and Ricky Gillies have thrown their weight behind the joint offer by the St Mirren Independent Supporters Association and ex-Saints director Gordon Scott to buy a majority shareholding in the club.

The #BuyTheBuds campaign has signed up 750 people in just six weeks and is now sitting around 250 people short of the 1,000-person target needed by 19 June for the deal to go through.

Should it be successful, Gordon would become chairman and SMISA would have a seat on the board, and would continue fundraising in order to buy Gordon’s shares over the long term.

And Barry and Ricky – local boys who starred for the club throughout the 1990s and 2000s, including the First Division title-winning side of 1999/2000 – have urged their fellow fans to help get the deal over the line.

Former club captain Barry – now a business advisor with RBS – said: “St Mirren is a community club, and most of the fans are from the local area.
“Going forward you want to see the club being run by people who care for the club and are not looking to profit from it.

“Gordon Scott has St Mirren at heart and I am looking forward to seeing what he and the new board can bring to the club.

“The club has been going for 140 years, we want to see it going for another 140 years and to be kept alive for generations to come.”

And one-time midfield maestro Ricky – who now works with PFA Scotland as a football agent – added: “I think all football clubs at St Mirren’s level should be run by the fans. They are the ones that will be there until doomsday.

“I’ve got a great interest in St Mirren – my wife and family are fans and they are a great club, the best I was ever at.

“You do not want people who are only there to make money, who just want to bring players in and move them on to other clubs, as St Mirren won’t see that money. If the club was sold to foreign agents it could be a disaster.

“The perfect solution is for the club to have business people on board but for the fans to have a real democracy and be represented in the boardroom and work together on what is best for the club.

“So what is being proposed is perfect. I have met Gordon Scott a few times in the past few years and obviously knew him from my own days at St Mirren. He loves the club and I think he would be a great chairman.”

Fans can sign up to #BuyTheBuds for as little as £12 a month. Full information is available now at

Paisley is set to celebrate its radical links with two unique plays featured in town as part of the town’s Sma’ Shot Day celebrations.


Silver Threads is a quick-fire comedy that tells the story of the political battle between the Paisley weavers – who made the Paisley Pattern shawls – and their employers in the 19th century.

The shawls were held together by an unseen cotton thread – known as the Sma’ Shot – but manufacturers had refused to pay for it, leaving the weavers out of pocket and resulting in a long dispute.

The weavers eventually won their case after the manufacturers backed down and in 1856 the first Saturday in July – traditionally a holiday for the weavers – was renamed Sma’ Shot Day in honour.

Silver Threads was written by Paisley-born stand-up comedian, actor and writer Bruce Morton for this year’s Sma’ Shot festival as part of the build up to Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Its first-ever performance will be on Sunday 3 July, 7.30pm in Paisley Arts Centre.

Scotland’s part in the Spanish civil war comes to life in From the Calton to Catalonia – a story of family, sacrifice, loss and idealism.

The play pays tribute to James Maley, father of writers Willy and John. James left behind his family and friends to join hundreds of Scots and the people of Catalonia who were fighting against Franco’s rule.

Around one-third of all British volunteers who went to fight the fascists came from Glasgow. Many did not return. James was captured and imprisoned after fighting in the Battle of Jarama.

From the Calton to Catalonia will be performed on Saturday 2 July, 7.30pm in Paisley Arts Centre.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: “The history of Sma’ Shot is a fascinating part of Paisley’s unique story – and the town is proud of its weaving history and heritage.

“Paisley has strong links with radicalism – having been a hotbed of early trade unionism at the centre of the Radical War of 1820 that lead the then Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli to comment: ‘Keep your eye on Paisley’.

“Sma’ Shot Day marks the victory of the Paisley weavers after a long dispute with their employers to be paid for the small piece of thread that held the Paisley shawls together.

“Bringing both these plays into the Sma’ Shot celebrations is a great way to showcase Paisley’s  cultural offering and a huge boost as momentum builds on our bid for UK City of Culture 2021.”

Paisley’s bid is taking place as part of a wider push to transform the town’s future using its unique cultural and heritage offering as the home of the Paisley Pattern and the one-time centre of the global textile industry.

Bids are expected to be lodged with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport in spring 2017.

Both performances are produced by FairPley – on behalf of Renfrewshire Council – and feature members of the Equity and Musicians’ Union.

Tickets are now on sale at

For more information on Sma’ Shot Day, visit, like /Paisley2021 on Facebook or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.

The two Johnstone Pipe Bands concluded their preparations for the upcoming UK Pipe Band Championships in Belfast with three fine performances at Shotts Highland Games on Saturday. The Grade 4 band won their competition and with the Grade 2 band coming first in their own grade and also winning the Grade 1 competition along with the Grade 1 best Drum Corps it made for a fine afternoon in the Lanarkshire sun.  The bands are now looking forward to setting of for Belfast on Friday for the UK competition which will be held at Stormont Estate on Saturday.

Picture 1 - Johnstone Grade 4sGrade 2 Pipe Major Keith Bowes Jr commented, “It was a fine warm up for the UK competition next week and I was delighted to take the three top prizes”

Grade 4 Pipe Major Keith Bowes Sr commented, “It was good to see the Grade 4 band get their first outdoor win of the season and pleasing to see some of the younger members of the band kicking on in their first season competing, there’s still lots of work to do but hopefully we can continue to improve as the season progresses.”

Picture 2 - G2 Drummers

Johnstone Pipe Band are currently on the lookout for sponsorship to help enable them expand and progress the band and their educational activities, for further information please contact the band on 07751 500520.  Details on the band’s learner setup can also be found by calling the same number.

Paisley Pirates may be found these days playing in the Scottish National League, as their recent success in the Scottish Cup illustrates, but they recently made an appearance during the Holy Grail of competitions to ice hockey fans, the Stanley Cup, in Tampa, thousands of miles from their regular base at the Braehead Arena.

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Coach Ian Turley explained, “Whilst in Florida, we were in contact with our friends at Tampa Bay Lightning who were about to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final of the Stanley Cup.”

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Jackie Turley, secretary, Paisley Pirates, Mary Milne, Vive President, Guest Experience, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Susan Danielik, Platinum Services Manager, Tampa Bay Lightning.

“Their response was amazing as well as sorting tickets for us, they invited us to come for a tour of the arena, and they didn’t just arrange for us all to get a ride on the Zamboni, the ice resurfacing machine, in front of over 20,000 fans, they also put up images of our own players on their giant TV screens, and told the crowd all about the Paisley Pirates from Scotland, so they really went out of their way to give us a good time, and it was certainly a wonderful bit of promotion for the club and the area, appearing in front of an audience like that, something which we’ll certainly never forget. A lot of the guys can now say, quite legitimately, that they’ve appeared at the Stanley Cup, a claim which not every player in Scotland can make, while there’s now literally thousands of folk who follow the NHL now know something about the Paisley Pirates from Renfrewshire.”

He went on, “We took over a team jersey as a small gesture, and it was worn by the Vice President for Guest Experience, Mary Milne, during our visit, who told us that it would go up on their wall, so a bit of the Paisley Pirates will forever be seen at the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, not a bad bit of recognition for the club. We’re always trying to promote the town of Paisley and the wider locality of Renfrewshire wherever we go, and I think we can certainly say “mission accomplished” this time round!”

“The people at Tampa Bay said they have a group name for folk who support the club from afar, “Distant Thunder”, and the Paisley Pirates are now members of a very elite group of people. We might not quite play to the standard of the NHL, but in our own neck of the woods, we’ll certainly be looking to brew up a storm in the new season, courtesy of this boost from our new friends 6,000 miles away!”

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Champion Vets are a modern companion animal veterinary practice servicing Paisley, Renfrew, the West of Glasgow and surrounding areas. They are privately owned providing a personal and caring service with vets and nurses you know and trust. They value care at a reasonable price rather than the excessive fees that corporate practices can charge. Champion Vets have recently moved into their new surgery in Kilnside Road, where they have new modern facilities on site offering the best of care.

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Champion vets have now released their summer newsletter which you can see in full by clicking here