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The Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership (HSCP) has opened a flu vaccination centre at St Mirren Park for those in Renfrewshire eligible for the flu vaccination.

The flu centre is located in the West Stand with access available at Drums Avenue gate.

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Every year in Scotland, thousands of people are hospitalised with flu. It can be serious and life threatening, so getting vaccinated is the safest and most effective way to protect yourself.

With COVID-19 still with us and cases on the increase, it is vital that people’s safety is the highest priority. The facility at St Mirren Park will enable the HSCP to manage the increased number of people they need to vaccinate this year, while giving them more ability to safely control the flow of people through the vaccination process.

St Mirren Chief Executive Tony Fitzpatrick visited the facility this morning to receive his vaccination. He said: “St Mirren Football Club is delighted to make St Mirren Park available to Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership for its flu vaccination programme.

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“Having the flu centre located at St Mirren Park will allow the Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership to provide the safest possible way to deliver their service in these difficult times.”

For more information on the flu centre please visit http://www.renfrewshire.hscp.scot/Flu

Below: Tony receives his vaccination at the St Mirren flu centre

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes

CREATIVITY can improve young people’s well-being and help them overcome loneliness and isolation.

That’s the message from youth arts charity, CREATE Paisley which is hosting its second one-day Open Mind Summit, on Friday, October 9.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes

The free online event will feature a keynote speaker, panel discussions and workshops, exploring the role of creativity and culture in improving the well-being of young people and children – especially with new challenges arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

CREATE Paisley developed the Open Mind Summit in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure, Kibble Education and Care Centre and the University West of Scotland by bringing together young people, educators, artists, researchers, youth workers and funders.

Last year’s summit attracted attendances from all over the West of Scotland.

Alan Clark, founder of CREATE, said ‘Young people need our support more than ever before. During the last few months, we’ve heard of so many young people who have struggled with feelings of isolation, lack of hope or have had to face a lot of uncertainty. They’ve experienced a worldwide pandemic, on-going climate crisis and confusion over exam results. This has impacted a lot of young people’s wellbeing.

“The Summit this year gives us a space to celebrate some of the amazing creative engagement over the last few months, how that’s brought young people together, as well as a space to look ahead and ensure young people’s voices are central to how we move forward.”

This year’s online Summit hosts a line up including keynote speaker, Steven McLeish, who is an internationally-known speaker and spoken word artist.

Steven will share his story and a message of hope with a focus of combating mental health and social issues, including dyslexia, depression and anxiety.

Panel sessions will cover various related topics from creative approaches to overcoming isolation to how children and young people’s voices are central to our changed world.

Other workshops will include Generation Scotland sharing their findings from their TeenCovidLife research and Malcolm Hamilton, creative director of Mufti Games leading a session on involving young people in decision making through playful consultation, evaluation and active citizenship.

Renfrewshire Leisure chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The health and well-being of our young people is extremely important – especially in the current situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“This online summit will be a very useful tool and learning experience for both the organisations and groups who support young people with their mental health, but also young people themselves, giving them a better idea of how to deal with the issues they may face.

“Many creative minds will be coming together in this summit to explore young people’s well-being.”

The Open Mind Summit 2020 is funded by Renfrewshire Council and delivered in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure and Create Paisley as part of Future Paisley. Future Paisley is radical and wide-ranging programme of events, activities and investments using the town’s unique and internationally significant cultural stories to transform its future.

Although the event is free, anyone interested should sign up to the Open Mind Summit in advance at http://www.openmindsummit.com/.

Dr Tom Brown U3A guest speaker

After six months of living in a pandemic, Paisley & District U3A members are in for a treat.  On Thursday 1 October at 2pm, retired consultant psychiatrist, Dr Tom Brown will outline ways to help your emotional wellbeing in a Covid 19 world.  This is the first in a new season of U3A monthly events on Zoom until public meetings resume.  Members can also put questions to Dr Brown using a live link.

Dr Tom Brown U3A guest speaker

Local chair, Kathleen O’Donnell said: “Quite a few U3A members began shielding due to their age or health conditions when the coronavirus started.  Even after the lockdown restrictions eased, a fair number were still apprehensive about being out in the community.  Our committee saw how this health crisis can seriously impact someone’s confidence and sense of wellbeing.  So it’s an honour to have guest speaker Dr Brown explore some of the issues people are facing.  We also hope viewers will take part in the discussion afterwards.”

Tom Brown remarked: “Covid 19 presents many of the challenges to our mental wellbeing that any illness may do.  There are, however, some unusual features – for example, the need to isolate and quarantine at a population level.  I will discuss some of the threats this poses and how to tackle them.”

More details on this forthcoming talk at: https://u3asites.org.uk/paisley/welcome

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Local live music venue, The Bungalow in Paisley, has received £21,500 in emergency funding from the Scottish Government’s Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund through Creative Scotland.

Aimed at providing grassroots music venues with emergency support to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and prevent closure, the £2.2million fund, which launched on Thursday 3 September, received 98 applications from across Scotland, totalling £3.2million. All 72 eligible applications have received funding.

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Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: ““Live music has been hit particularly hard by Covid-19, and Creative Scotland is only too aware of the severity of that impact. These awards, to 72 venues across Scotland, will help bring short-term stability to the grassroots music sector and alleviate some of the challenges that the ongoing pandemic has presented.

“Music is such a significant part of Scotland’s cultural life and it is here, at grassroots level, that talented musicians create new material connecting with audiences young and old. We look forward to the day when we’ll all be back together, cheering on artists face to face – but, until then, this fund will provide a lifeline to one of the most vibrant scenes that Scotland has to offer.”

Beverley WhitrickStrategic DirectorMusic Venue Trust said: “Music Venue Trust is grateful to Scottish Government for creating a ring-fenced fund which recognises the vital role that Grassroots Music Venues play in Scottish culture.

“There is still a lot of work to do to support these venues through the crisis but to see so many venues awarded short-term financial support is an incredible step forward. We thank Creative Scotland for working so hard to make this possible and involving us in shaping the fund so it could be targeted effectively. We look forward to working further with them.”

A list of all 72 recipients of the Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund can be found here.

The Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund is one of a series of measures being put in place to help mitigate the immediate impacts of COVID-19 on the creative and cultural sector, including five new emergency funds which were announced by the First Minister on Friday 28 August and are being delivered through Creative Scotland as follows:

  • The £15million Culture Organisation and Venues Recovery Fund, which has opened for applications today, Thursday 17 September, with a deadline of Thursday 24 September.
  • The £3.5million Independent Cinemas Recovery and Resilience Fund, which opened for applications on Monday 14 September with a deadline of Monday 5 October.
  • The £5million Creative Freelancer Hardship Fund for which we issued an open call for partner organisations to help us distribute this fund on Friday 11 September, has a deadline of Friday 25 September. We aim to be able to distribute funds from October. The Screen element of these Hardship Funds opens for applications on Tuesday 22 September.
  • The £5million Sustaining Creative Practice Fund includes £1.5million for the Culture Collective programme, mentioned in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government, supporting organisations employing freelance artists to work in and with communities across Scotland. The remaining £3.5million has been added to Creative Scotland’s existing Open Fund which is open for applications from individuals now.

The previously announced £5million open call element of the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund which closed for applications on Thursday 27 August has received 42 applications and awards will be announced by Thursday 24 September.

Updates on all emergency funds are being published regularly on the Creative Scotland website and publicised through media and social media communications.

Renfrewshire Connectedness Champions Project is running some online activity throughout September and October.
Online tuition from local creative artists will be delivered through three classes delivered online using Zoom. These classes are free to Renfrewshire residents. Where the classes run over 4 weeks please make sure you will be able to attend every session.
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  1.  Sm: Art will run over 4 sessions, starting September 24th and the last weekly session on October 15th.  Participants will be taken through the process of taking a photograph with their smartphone and then using free apps to manipulate the image and create art. This course will be taught by local textiles designer Sharron McGrady.
  2. Learn to Sew, Chat as you Go will also run over 4 weekly sessions starting September 23rd and the last weekly session October 10th. Participants will learn the basics of sewing as they make a pin cushion and an eye mask.  This class will be taught by local creative artist Susan McInnes. A ‘make kit’ will be delivered to those taking part.  We have supported a local business and sourced our sewing kits from The Haberdashery on Paisley High St.
  3.  Lantern/lampshade making workshop. This will take place on October 22nd.  A ‘make kit’ will be delivered to participants. This workshop will be led by Sharron McGrady.
And throughout September and October, we will be hosting online discussion sessions, also delivered via Zoom. These are focussed on gathering the experiences of Renfrewshire residents during the lockdown and recent weeks as recovery from the COVID 19 crisis has begun, albeit it with the reissuing of some restrictions. We want to know what lockdown felt like for people, how they coped, what worked, what didn’t and what people felt about the way in which services responded. We would like to give as many people as possible the opportunity to take part, as the findings from these sessions will be part of a report to the Scottish Government and Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership. { All sessions will be run with confidentiality assured, we will anonymize all responses }
 The sessions will be facilitated by our ‘Connectedness Champions’, who themselves have had the experience of loneliness and social isolation.
For information on how to apply for the creative online classes or how to register for the discussion sessions please email
Paisley First

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has today announced new restrictions which are to come into force as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the country.

From Friday, bars, pubs and restaurants will be subject to a 10pm curfew nationwide.

Paisley First

Miss Sturgeon said that this measure was necessary in an effort to prevent a full lockdown similar to the Spring and will be reviewed every three weeks, but she did not rule out that further changes and restrictions may be required as we head into winter.

She also said that extra resources would be given to local authorities to enable Environmental Health Depts to step up inspections to ensure compliance with regulations – those businesses who do not comply risk further restrictions including closure.

The First Minister also stated that the lifting of restrictions currently scheduled for 5th October will not now go ahead and that working from home remains the default option for those who can do so.

From tomorrow, visiting other households will not be allowed nationwide, though up to six people from two households can still meet in indoor public spaces and outdoors, including in private gardens.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Paisley First team on 0141 237 8120 or at ask@paisleyfirst.com if you have any queries.

Thank you and take care.

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Proposals to repurpose existing funds to support Renfrewshire’s culture sector recovery from the impacts of Covid-19 have been approved by councillors.

The proposals, which were presented at today’s Leadership Board (Wednesday 16 September), recommended that £200,000 previously allocated to Renfrewshire’s Culture Heritage and Events Fund be adapted to become Renfrewshire’s Cultural Recovery and Renewal Fund to support local cultural organisations and artists impacted by the pandemic.

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The changes recognise that the focus of the previous Culture Heritage and Event Fund no longer fits the need of the sector as individuals and organisations are unable to deliver projects effectively due to ongoing lockdown restrictions.

Renfrewshire’s Cultural Recovery and Renewal Fund will now be split across three strands; Cultural Organisations Support – grants for cultural and creative not-for-profit organisations facing significant threat which are ineligible for the Business Support Fund; Arts development grant – aimed at freelance artists living and working in Renfrewshire to help develop new work and Town Centre & Neighbourhood Creative Installations –  supporting artistic interventions across Renfrewshire that add value to public and civic outdoor spaces.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “The value of culture and creativity has been one of the defining elements of the pandemic – a time when it has never been more challenging for the sector.

“Renfrewshire’s Culture Sector has responded with innovation and care helping to support the community and lift our spirits in a number of creative ways including delivering online content like classes, exhibitions and concerts, and by making  projects like creativity boredom boxes available.

“This sector has been such an important part of the area’s history and is a key part of the vision for its future and this is why we must do what we can to support it at a time when it is experiencing its greatest challenges.”

Renfrewshire Leisure, on behalf of Renfrewshire Council, will now move on to develop the eligibility, criteria and assessment processes – aiming for applications for the funds to be open by the end of 2020 and distributed in the early part of 2021.

Renfrewshire’s Cultural Recovery and Renewal Fund is supported by Future Paisley – a programme of economic, social and physical regeneration building on the work already done to use Paisley’s internationally significant culture and heritage story to change its fortunes.

Clyde walkway after being tidied

Volunteers are making it a Spotless September in Renfrewshire after more than 250 bags of litter were collected in the first two weeks.

Clyde walkway after being tidied

Hundreds of volunteers have taken part in an incredible 75 litter picks so far as inspired individuals and community groups do their bit to make their local community cleaner and brighter.

Litter picks have taken place all across Renfrewshire, including Erskine, Renfrew, Paisley, Johnstone, Linwood, Bishopton, Houston and Bridge of Weir.

Marion McDonald and her two children, Matthew (11) and Ivy (6), from Toddle Tots

Local volunteers have been provided by the Renfrewshire Council with sanitised litter pickers and equipment to take part in their litter picks, as well as information on how to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic while litter picking, and the council’s StreetScene team have collected each bag of litter afterwards too.

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Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “It’s incredible how devoted our volunteers are and their dedication to keeping their community clean continues to amaze me.

“We are all working together to not only make where we live cleaner and brighter, but also to change the behaviour of those who think it’s okay to drop litter.

Cllr Cathy McEwan

“The Team Up to Clean Up campaign has created a community of local people who want to make a difference and, slowly but surely, we will make real environmental change here in Renfrewshire.

“I’ve been out litter picking as part of Spotless September and I can’t wait to get out again. Please come join me and hundreds of others as we work hard to make Renfrewshire a nicer place to live, work and visit.”

The award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign sees the council and community join together to carry out enhanced cleaning of Renfrewshire’s local environment, with additional road sweeping, litter picking, and gully cleaning assisted by the local community’s litter picks.

For more information, and to find out how to take part, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SpotlessSeptember.

L-R David Cannon, CityFibre's City Manager_ Finance Convener, Councillor John Shaw_ Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson
  • Landmark partnership with Renfrewshire Council will cover the historic towns of Paisley, Renfrew and Johnstone, turning Renfrewshire into one of the best-connected regions in Scotland

14 September 2020: Renfrewshire is celebrating a major milestone in its digital transformation, with work now underway to bring full fibre infrastructure to homes and businesses across the region as part of a £40million private investment from CityFibre.

L-R David Cannon, CityFibre's City Manager_ Finance Convener, Councillor John Shaw_ Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson

Building on its long-standing strategic relationship with Renfrewshire Council to upgrade its digital connectivity, CityFibre’s existing network, serving council buildings including schools, local libraries and community centres, will be extended by approximately 700km.

Construction work has officially commenced in Paisley, with the first homes and businesses expected to be able to connect to the network from early 2021. Across the UK, CityFibre is working with an increasing range of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to deliver next generation broadband services.

PMK is delivering the construction programme on CityFibre’s behalf and is following social distancing protocols to ensure the safety of the build team and the wider community.

L-R Finance Convener Councillor John Shaw_ David Cannon, CityFibre_ Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson

CityFibre has appointed David Cannon, formerly of the David MacBrayne Group and Scottish Enterprise, as its City Manager with responsibility for ensuring close communication with the Council and stakeholders across the region, as well as delivering maximum benefit for the wider community.

Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre, said: “The £40million investment we are making in the area is the result of years of close collaboration with Renfrewshire Council. Full Fibre connectivity will put the region at the forefront of the digital transformation we are driving across the country. As the world adapts to COVID-19, the importance of delivering world-leading digital infrastructure for residents and businesses could not be greater.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “I am delighted to see work well underway on developing this state-of-the-art Full Fibre network which will make Renfrewshire one of the best connected regions in Scotland and bring benefits to residents and businesses alike.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has underlined how much we all need fast, reliable broadband connections and demand for better bandwidth continues to grow year on year so it’s vitally important for our businesses, for our schools and for our residents that we have a resilient, future-proofed network to be proud of.”

Councillor John Shaw, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board, added: “This is an important first step in our plan to transform connectivity in Renfrewshire. We are taking a strategic long-term approach which has prompted this fantastic private investment by CityFibre, with the benefits to reach Renfrewshire doorsteps early next year.

“The Full Fibre network will bolster business as we recover and restart from the impact of Coronavirus and greatly improve connectivity to our schools, tackle digital exclusion and enhance the experience at local libraries, town halls, community centres and care homes.”

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A BRAVE gran celebrated her 56th birthday by having her head shaved for a cancer charity.

Wilma Daley raised £2290 for Macmillan Cancer Support by taking part in the charity’s Brave The Shave fundraising initiative.

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She decided to have her blonde shoulder-length locks shaved to raise money after her own mother, Violet McCall had to have her hair shaved as she battled lung cancer with gruelling sessions of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Sadly, Violet died from the disease and cancer also took her dad James’s life.

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Wilma – whose hairdresser sister-in law, Pauline Dailey took an electric shaver to her head as she sat in the garden of her Renfrew home, on Saturday, September 5 – explains:

“I got the idea to have a sponsored head shave as I remember my mum shaving her head shortly after she started her cancer treatment and her hair began to fall out.

“And afterwards people were saying I look just like my mum when she lost all her hair.

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“I’d wanted to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support for some time as they do a phenomenal job helping people affected with cancer.

“I’d been toying with the idea of having my head shaved for about a year. What pushed me to finally do it was when one of my friends took part in Brave The Shave.”

Wilma continued: “I was sitting in my garden when Pauline turned on the electric shaver and I felt the hair falling off my head, I thought there’s no turning back now.

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“I felt excited, because it was actually happening and the money on my donation page for Macmillan Cancer Support kept rising. It felt surreal.

“It doesn’t bother me that I’ve got no hair just now because having my head shaved was something I decided to do and thankfully I didn’t have to do it because I wasn’t going through treatment for cancer. Anyway, my hair will soon grow back in.”

Wilma had set a fundraising target of £750 and has been overwhelmed by the generosity of people who have donated.

“The support I’ve had is amazing and people I don’t even know have been handing in money. I can’t thank them enough.”

Wilma’s daughter, Jen works in the business support team at intu Braehead where colleagues there have been generous with their donations.

Jen said: “My mum is the most selfless person I know and I feel so lucky to have her. I’m so proud of her for what she has done. She has a heart of gold and is absolutely beautiful inside and out.

“Cancer has taken the lives of many of our family over the years and affected many of our friends.

“Macmillan Cancer Support provides vital support to people living with cancer, whether it’s financial, physical, or emotional. All the money my mum has raised will be donated to them as they are a really great cause.”

If anyone would like to support Wilma’s fundraising efforts they can go to

https://bravetheshave.macmillan.org.uk/shavers/wilma-daley to make a donation.