Paisley West End News

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Paisley Food Festival

There’s plenty of fun on the menu for kids at this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival with a range of hands-on foodie experiences and amazing live entertainment.

Free cooking workshops will take place at the Festival on Saturday 27 April in Paisley’s Abbey Close where youngsters can learn how to make their own pizza with Glasgow’s Tennent’s Training Academy or create delicious chocolate treats with Ayrshire’s Limetree Larder.

Paisley Food Festival

Families can grab a seat in the stunning surroundings of Abbey Gardens to enjoy top music and entertainment all day on the Main Stage.

Pulse FM will host the free fun from 12 noon until 9pm, including kids’ favourites Sprog Rock, who’ll be performing two interactive rocking gigs specially created for young children.

Sprog Rock have toured across Scotland, creating innovative music and shows for children and adults to get involved and enjoy together.

Katy Wilson, lead singer of Sprog Rock, said: “We love Paisley and we can’t wait to come back and play here again – it’s going to be wild.

“We’re also so excited to have the fantastic Bigg Taj beatboxing with us at Paisley Food and Drink Festival too, so come along and join the fun!”

Also taking to the Main Stage are the fabulous Princesses of Pop, who will pay tribute to the music of Ariana Grande, Little Mix and Steps.

There will be a host of live performances from local bands throughout the day, programmed by Paisley’s famous gig venue, The Bungalow.

Families will be able to dance the day away with top acts, including singing duo Mandulu & Hephzibah and classic rock covers from Audiorayz, before ska sensations Esperanza take the party well into the evening.

Mia Farrell, booking manager at The Bungalow, said: “We are delighted to be working with Renfrewshire Council on this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival and we hope everyone will enjoy the acts programmed for the Main Stage.

“We have made it a family, feel-good show with a little something extra for the adults later in the evening. We hope everyone has a wonderful time at the Festival and wish all the performers involved the absolute best of luck on the day.”

Children’s entertainer Captain James Tea Cook, vegan pirate of the Carob Bean, will also be at the event to entertain youngsters and adults alike with his unique bundle of food, science, craft and games workshops.

There are even more fun activities to enjoy at the Paisley Food and Drink Festival such as gardening workshops with Renfrewshire Growing Grounds Forum – suitable for all ages with help from a grown-up – face painting in Abbey Close and the PLATFORM on Tour tee-pee tents.

A Sensory Safe Space will also be available in the Lesser Hall of Paisley Methodist Central Hall from 12 noon to 5:15pm. This will be a quiet space specially created for individuals with additional support needs and their carers and will feature arts and crafts, musical instruments and lighting, gentle music and soft seating. Space is limited in this room, so please book a place in advance.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival is one of Scotland’s largest outdoor food and drink festivals and takes place over two days on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April.

This year’s line-up will see more than 40 vendors from across Scotland, delicious street food with traders from PLATFORM on Tour – the independent street food market who reside in Glasgow’s Argyle Street Arches, expert tasting sessions with the award-winning Gin 71, the Renfrewshire CAMRA Beer Tent and more in the stunning surroundings of Paisley’s historic Abbey.

Smaller portion sizes will be available for children and there’s something for all foodies with a range of halal, gluten free, veggie and vegan options also on offer.

With visitors able to enjoy the popular Rum Shack, festival favourites Babu Bombay Street Kitchen, Scozzese woodfired pizza, the unique Fizzbuz prosecco van and more, it’s set to be a fantastic two-day festival of fun.

The children’s workshops are free to attend but numbers are limited so interested parties are encouraged to book in advance to avoid disappointment. To find out more and book a place please visit: https://paisley.is/visit/kids-workshops/

paisley first easter trail
Thorn Primary (1)

Renfrewshire’s schools have shown their support for the Big Spring Clean as more than 500 pupils took part in clean ups around their local area.

Litter picks took place at 16 schools on the opening day of this year’s event, with clean ups set to continue throughout the month of April.

Thorn Primary (1)

Now a signature event of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, the Big Spring Clean is designed to make Renfrewshire a brighter, more attractive place to live, work and visit while educating young people on the damage littering can cause to the environment.

More than 50 clean ups have already been arranged as part of the event with all local people encouraged to go along and take part or arrange their own for others to come to within their area.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We’re delighted to have the support of our schools as part of the campaign as we need to ensure that the next generations understand why they should think twice before littering.

“We’re working hard as a council, and as a community, to ensure Renfrewshire is cleaner and by ensuring our pupils are aware of the campaign and what it means, we will help reduce the amount of litter on our streets.

“The work our staff and our community members do to clean up is fantastic, but we want to reduce the need for clean ups by striving to make people think before dropping litter in the first place.

“Thank you to all our pupils and teachers who’ve taken part already in the Big Spring Clean, it really does make a big difference.”

The Team Up to Clean Up campaign has benefitted from a £2.5million investment in Renfrewshire’s local environment which has seen an increased programme of road sweeping, drain clearing, litter picking and an enhanced Rapid Response Team.

The investment 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 the collected rubbish at the end.

All interested volunteers are invited to any of the arranged litter picks and are free to turn up on the day to take part, as well as being able to arrange their own by contacting the council directly.

For more information on the Big Spring Clean, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/bigspringclean2019 or call 0300 300 1375.

Outgoing MSYPs - Maria Alam, Josh Kennedy and Stirling McGee

Renfrewshire returned the highest average votes cast per constituency in Scotland as more than 6000 young people in Renfrewshire exercised their right to vote in the Scottish Youth Parliament elections – the second highest amount nationally and accounting for almost a fifth of all valid votes cast.

Outgoing MSYPs - Maria Alam, Josh Kennedy and Stirling McGee

Thousands of young people from across Renfrewshire have voted to elect their new Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) in the 2019 Scottish Youth Parliament elections.

Renfrewshire returned the highest average votes cast per constituency in Scotland as more than 6000 young people in Renfrewshire exercised their right to vote, the second highest amount nationally and accounting for almost a fifth of all valid votes cast.

Following almost three months of campaigning from candidates across Scotland, young people aged 12-25 were asked to cast their vote to elect their local MSYP – with Renfrewshire electing five candidates in total.

The candidates elected for Renfrewshire are:

Lewis Givan (Paisley)
Gary Murdoch (Paisley)
Rebecca McAleney (Renfrewshire North and West)
Josh Kennedy (Renfrewshire North and West)
Gavin Stewart (Renfrewshire South)

The MSYP-elects will officially take up office at the Scottish Youth Parliament’s National Sitting in June 2019.

Sandra Black, Returning Officer for Renfrewshire, said: “It’s fantastic to see the enthusiasm and desire that these young people have as they strive make a difference for their peers in Renfrewshire and I congratulate our new MSYPs on their election.

“The Scottish Youth Parliament gives them an opportunity to have their voice heard on a national level and the next two years will be invaluable life experience for them as they look to pursue a possible future career path.

“My thanks go to the outgoing MSYPs for their hard work and dedication and I’m sure our newly elected members will live up to the same high standards as they take on the role.”

The Scottish Youth Parliament is the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people. It provides a national platform for young people to discuss issues important to them and affect the change they wish to see.

Speaking after the 2019 SYP election results, Suki Wan MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: “I’m delighted to announce that thousands of young people made their voices heard by casting their vote in the Scottish Youth Parliament’s 2019 national elections.

“Over the past few months, we’ve witnessed fantastic campaigning taking place all over the country, with passionate debates and hustings inspiring Scotland’s young people to get involved in the democratic process by voting in the Scottish Youth Parliament elections. I’d like to congratulate all of the candidates and wish the best of luck to the newly elected MSYPs.

“Through our work at the Scottish Youth Parliament, we know that young people want to be involved in political decision making and want their voices to be heard so that they are at the forefront of shaping society.”

A full list of the newly elected Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament can be found www.syp.org.uk/elections, with information on Renfrewshire’s MSYPs being available via www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SYP.

Big Spring Clean

It’s full steam ahead for Renfrewshire’s Big Spring Clean as global engineering company Howden helped launched the month-long event with a community clean up.

The 20-strong team of employees tackled an area near Glasgow Airport which had been strewn with litter, often thrown from cars or other vehicles.

Big Spring Clean

Working as a team, the volunteers gathered bags of rubbish throughout the afternoon and left the area looking spotless.

Emma Muller, Managing Director – Howden Compressors, said: “Howden have been an important part of the landscape in Renfrew since 1982 when our facility at Old Govan Road was opened. We are always looking for opportunities to give something back to the community, so when we found out about the Big Spring Clean we were really excited to take part!

“We design and manufacture equipment which is critical to protecting the planet by reducing power plant emissions, treating waste water and capturing landfill gas globally. Looking after the environment is an important part of our business and this is a great opportunity to do so local to our Head Office.”

The Big Spring Clean has the support of businesses across Renfrewshire as they look to take responsibility for their local area, and forms part of the wider Team Up to Clean Up campaign which aims to make Renfrewshire a brighter, cleaner, more attractive place to live, work and visit.

More than 40 community clean ups have been arranged already throughout April, as well as dozens of schools set to take part too as part of the campaign’s aim to educate the next generation on the issue of littering.

Councillor Natalie Don, Depute Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “It’s fantastic to see businesses large and small taking part in the Big Spring Clean and showing their support for our Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

“The Howden Group did a brilliant job in clearing up an area which had been strewn with litter and I thank them for their hard work and dedication.

“More and more, we are seeing businesses, groups and volunteers taking it upon themselves to make a difference to our environment and taking responsibility for their local area.

“This is what the campaign is all about and we hope that those who are causing the litter see the hard work taking place to clean it up and think twice before dropping anything in future.”

The Team Up to Clean Up campaign has benefitted from a £2.5million investment in Renfrewshire’s local environment which has seen an increased programme of road sweeping, drain clearing, litter picking and an enhanced Rapid Response Team.

The investment 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 the collected rubbish at the end.

All interested volunteers are invited to any of the arranged litter picks and are free to turn up on the day to take part, as well as being able to arrange their own by contacting the council directly.

For more information on the Big Spring Clean, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/bigspringclean or call 0300 300 1375.

h the SOOPIR bus team

An inspired employee is helping tackle social isolation and loneliness with a new community bus for older adults in Renfrewshire.

h the SOOPIR bus team

Sally Logan, a Health and Wellbeing Coordinator for Renfrewshire Council, wanted to improve the provision of transport for older people who had difficulty in accessing public transport, and who sometimes felt unable to leave their home.

Sally put the wheels in motion for her vision by applying for the Lens intrapreneurship programme, which funds and supports innovative problem-solving projects brought forward by staff within an organisation, and she was successful with an award of £10,000 to develop her concept.

Sally said: “I’m so excited to have been supported by the Council and the Lens programme to create this bus.

We organise lots of outings and events for our older tenants but there were some who had difficulty getting on and off the transport that we could book.

“However, this new bus will create a huge opportunity for many people to be able to get out who otherwise could feel isolated or excluded.”

Part of the Strengthening Opportunities for Older People in Renfrewshire programme, the SOOPIR bus is now ready to be launched to provide transport for the council’s sheltered and amenity housing groups including Forever Young, Cotton Club, Quality Circle and Cairn Heights for trips and activities that, until now, not everyone could attend.

Provision of the bus may also be extended in future to allow other community groups to use this new form of accessible transport.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board said: “Sally has done a fantastic job in bringing her idea for a community bus to fruition and it will make a real difference to the lives of older adults in Renfrewshire.

“The bus will allow people to retain their independence, address the issue of loneliness and give them a new lease of life, and is a great example of what the Lens programme can do for council staff and the community.”

Renfrewshire was the first Scottish Council to run the Lens intrapreneurship programme in 2016, and 15 employees have been supported so far to make a difference to council services and the local community.

The SOOPIR bus has been funded through a grant from The Lens programme as well as match funding provided by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).

SPT vice-chair David Wilson said: “SPT is delighted to support this vital project to assist older and disabled people in Renfrewshire, as well as other community groups, to access activities and leisure facilities to improve their quality of life.

“Projects such as this are proving to be most beneficial as it increases opportunities for social interaction and physical activity, all of which help in reducing loneliness amongst some of the most vulnerable in our communities.”

For more information on the SOOPIR bus, contact: ct@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

CELEBRATED artist and playwright John Byrne came back to his roots for the opening of his annual drawing competition exhibition.

John, aged 79, was born in Paisley’s Ferguslie Park and went to school in the town’s St Mirin’s Academy.

john byrne

And on Wednesday (March 27) he returned to Ferguslie for the launch of the 2019 John Byrne Drawing Competition exhibition being held in The Tannahill Centre, in Blackstoun Road.

John – who found fame through his paintings, artwork for album record covers, along with creating and writing theatre and television shows – met two talented local school pupils who were runners-up in the competition.

The artwork of Marie McNicol, from Paisley Grammar School and Rachel Bryceland from Trinity High School, in Renfrew has been chosen to be shown in the free exhibition, which is open to the public until Monday, April 15.

The exhibition, organised by Education Scotland in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure, showcases the highlights of the fifth annual John Byrne Drawing Competition, open to young people from Primary 4 to S3 from all over Scotland.

John joined pupils from St Fergus and Glencoats Primary Schools in a drawing workshop at The Tannahill Centre before the official launch of the exhibition.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “This annual drawing competition is a great way to encourage young people to fulfil their artistic potential.

“John Byrne is one of Paisley’s famous sons and his paintings and plays are enjoyed by many generations.

“And for all we know, we might find a new John Byrne in our midst among the young artists whose work is on show at the exhibition.

“I’m particularly pleased to congratulate the two pupils from Renfrewshire whose work has been chosen to feature in the exhibition.”

Alan Armstrong, Strategic Director for Education Scotland said: “Art and design are important parts of the Scottish curriculum.

“For years, this competition has encouraged many thousands of children to use their artistic talents to create inspiring and unique drawings.

“Education Scotland is proud to support the competition and its ethos of keeping the art of drawing alive.”

baby box

New figures have revealed that 20244 families in Renfrewshire have benefitted from a Baby Box, as the Scottish Government announced a new design in time for Mother’s Day.

baby box

Across the country, over 80,000 Baby Boxes have been delivered since April 2017.

The new Baby Box was created by a team of young people from schools across the country.

The new boxes will also encourage families to become more environmentally friendly, with parents-to-be receiving a voucher for a reusable cloth nappy, and liners.

Scotland’s Baby Box contains a selection of clothes, as well as every day must-haves, like a bath towel, a travel changing mat, muslin cloth squares, a bib, a digital thermometer, and books.

Commenting, MSP George Adam said:

“Every child, regardless of their circumstances, should get the best start in life.

“At the heart of the Baby Box is a message about fairness and opportunity, which is why I’m delighted to see that numerous new families have benefitted from it.

“96% of expectant parents in Scotland are now requesting a Baby Box – and more than 80,000 have been delivered.  That’s a huge vote of confidence in the Baby Box.

“Given how beneficial they are to parents and newborns, long may that continue.

RL Lagoon Summercamp110718_110718_3660

Youngsters and teenagers can spring into action this Easter with a host of activities at their local sports centres.

RL Lagoon Summercamp110718_110718_3660

Renfrewshire Leisure is again holding a series of their popular Spring Activity Camps for Primary school age kids during the Easter holidays. There will be various activities involving sports and games for everyone to enjoy.

RL Lagoon Summercamp110718_110718_3660

These camps will take place in Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre; The ON-X, in Linwood; Renfrew Sports Centre; Johnstone Sports Hub and at Park Mains, in Erskine.

They run during weekdays of the school holidays – April 1 to 5 and April 8 to 12.

Also for five to 12 year olds there are football camps being organised in partnership with the Scottish Football Association.

RL Lagoon Summercamp110718_110718_3660

For young people aged between 11 and 18 there are exciting activities available like mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing and bushcraft.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “We’re offering a fantastic Easter Camp program this year.

“We’ve got something for everyone and not only will it keep them active and healthy, they’ll have great fun and meet new friends as well.”

Log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com to book a place on one of the activity camps or call 0141 618 6558 to book any of the outdoor activities or 0141 618 7973 for football camp booking.