Provosts Awards

Renfrewshire has honoured dedicated groups and volunteers for their work in the community as the Provost’s Community Awards took place this weekend.

Provosts Awards

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron was joined by comperè Libby McArthur to help celebrate the achievements of devoted community members who go above and beyond to make Renfrewshire a better place to live and work.

The awards were split across six categories, including a revamped award for employees to recognise their hardworking staff.

Provosts Awards

The award winners were invited to a special ceremony at the Lynnhurst Hotel in Johnstone after being chosen from more than 60 outstanding nominations submitted by their peers in the local community.

Provosts Awards

Preceding the presentation of the awards, Fèis Phàislig Ceilidh Trail entertained the invited guests with a selection of traditional tunes and songs.

Provosts Awards

The recipients of this year’s awards were:

Arts and Culture (sponsored by Renfrewshire Council) – The Buddy Beat

Carer’s Award (sponsored by former Provost Nancy Allison) – Jamie-Louise Murray

Community Group (sponsored by the Piazza Shopping Centre, Paisley) – Pals of the Privies

Community Volunteer (sponsored by Glasgow Airport Ltd) – Heather Clissett

Employee of the Year (sponsored by UNISON Renfrewshire) – Tracey MacNab

Sporting Achievement (sponsored by Acre Industrial Services Ltd) – Joanna Butterfield MBE

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “The Community Awards outline the talent, the enthusiasm and the determination that we are lucky to have in Renfrewshire and every one of this year’s winners are an inspiration.

“It is a privilege to work through the applications with my fellow judges and I never tire of seeing the outstanding work going on in our communities.

“Congratulations to all our winners, you deserve to be rewarded for your fantastic work to make Renfrewshire a better place and I’m delighted to be able to recognise you through these awards.”

The Provost’s Community Awards were first established in 1997 by former Provost Nancy Allison, who continues to sponsor the Carers Award today.

The awards have been continued by each subsequent Provost and have recognised more than 100 deserving community members for their commitment and devotion.

For more information on the Provost’s Community Awards, visit

Further information on Community Award winners

Carer’s Award (sponsored by former Provost Nancy Allison) – Jamie-Louise Murray

Jamie cares for her mother and her father who both have mobility issues. She faces challenges as her caring responsibilities can limit her opportunity to go out with friends. However, she always puts others before herself. She created a ‘Buddy bench’ at her old primary school from her own money to help children who are feeling lonely or struggle with friendships.

Sporting Achievement (sponsored by Acre Industrial Services) – Joanna Butterfield MBE

Joanna was diagnosed with spinal tumour which led to paralysis from the chest down and spent six months in hospital. As part of her rehab she started wheelchair rugby and helped form the only team in Scotland. She applied for the UK Talent ID programme (Girls for Gold) and was selected. Six months after starting the Club Throw (Paralympic version of the hammer), she was selected for GB at the European Championships 2014 where she won gold, with a new European record in the F51 Club Throw.

  • Won gold at the 2015 World Championships
  • Won the European Championships again in 2016
  • Won gold at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio with a new world record of 22.81m
  • Following major shoulder surgery, and returning in half the prescribed recovery time, she claimed silver at the 2018 European Championships

Community Group (sponsored by Piazza Shopping Centre, Paisley) – Pals of the Privies

The group have transformed Glencoats Park from a wilderness into a thriving family park. They have embraced the council’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign and have been a shining light of what can be done with enthusiastic, driven volunteers. Community events have been held in the park, primary school classes can now take place there and it is a haven for elderly people and dog walkers. It is kept litter free and new benches have been installed for elderly residents.

Employee of the Year (sponsored by UNISON Renfrewshire) – Tracey MacNab

Tracey has worked for the Good Shepherd Centre for 12 years and has played a crucial role in developing the through-care service for young people, which ensures they move on to a positive destination. She developed the Tenancy and Citizenship Award which is now an SQA qualification and works with external agencies to provide young people with the opportunity for training, work experience and employment. Tracey arranges for external agencies to come in and present to the kids on a variety of topics and explain the real-life consequences of their actions.

Community Volunteer (sponsored by Glasgow Airport Ltd) – Heather Clissett

Heather has been carrying out litter picks for more than nine years to keep her area clean and is a big supporter of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign. She has worked closely with Keep Scotland Beautiful to carry out pilot projects, including providing dog fouling bags on walking routes to measure the difference in dog mess left behind. Her creation ‘Erskine Community Garden’ received the second highest ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ award from Keep Scotland Beautiful. Heather has arranged a number of community events in the garden. She’s an ambassador for Erskine Hospital and has organised the Erskine Motorbike Meet since 2010 – raising almost £100,000.

Arts and Culture (sponsored by Renfrewshire Council) – The Buddy Beat

The Buddy Beat are a drumming group aimed at improving mental health and promoting social inclusion, who have been running since 2007. The group meets 50 weeks a year and use music to help self-confidence, self-belief and self-worth. It has empowered many to move onto further education, volunteering and employment, while session leader Tom credits the programme with saving his life.

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Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by this horrific tragedy.

“We stand together with the people of New Zealand and offer our deepest sympathies at this most harrowing of times.

“I will be writing to the Mayor of Christchurch on behalf of Renfrewshire to offer our sincere condolences.”

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Matt Pritchard Dirty Vegan 2

TV’s “Dirty Vegan” Matt Pritchard is the latest celebrity chef to be announced for this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival.

The chef, who was the frontman of hit MTV series Dirty Sanchez before going on to present the BBC’s first vegan cookery show, Dirty Vegan, in 2019, will host two cooking demonstrations on Saturday 27 April.

Matt Pritchard Dirty Vegan 2

Each demonstration will see daredevil and former stunt performer Matt cook up some fun with delicious recipes from his new book, Dirty Vegan, before an audience Q&A session and the chance to meet the star.

Matt Pritchard will join fellow celebrity chef, winner of MasterChef – The Professionals 2016, Gary Maclean, and baking sensations Three Sisters Bake to run demonstrations at this year’s Festival.

Chef, Matt Pritchard, said: “I am totally stoked to be heading to the Paisley Food and Drink Festival to share my passion for amazing plant-based food that tastes BANGING!

“I still can’t get over how amazing the whole Dirty Sanchez to Dirty Vegan journey has been, and can’t wait to share my story, meet as many vegan or vegan-curious folk in Scotland as possible, and show how this incredible, nourishing, energising food is for everyone!”

Matt Pritchard 2

Matt, who shot to fame in the MTV daredevil stunt show Dirty Sanchez and Dirty Sanchez: The Movie, became vegan in 2015.

As a trained chef, the lifestyle change re-ignited Matt’s passion for cooking and saw him start his own YouTube cooking show, Pritchard’s Proper Vegan Cooking.

Gary Maclean is returning to this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival to teach visitors the tricks of his trade through a series of cooking demonstrations, having last appeared at the Festival in 2017.

PAISLEY 2021 Food festival MFG

Chef, Gary Maclean said: “I’m really excited to be part of this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival. To join this amazing line-up will be incredible. The crowds in Paisley are brilliant and I can’t wait to get back.”

The cooking demonstration tent at Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 is delivered in collaboration with Zero Waste Scotland’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign.

Love Food Hate Waste will provide advice on the day on making the most of your leftovers and how to avoid wasting good food.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 2Y9A8646

Ylva Haglund, Food Waste Campaigns Manager, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “We urge people to head along to Paisley Food & Drink Festival to see chef Gary Maclean, Dirty Vegan Matt Pritchard and other exciting chefs make the most of the food they love and cut back on waste – helping both wallets and the planet.

“Research shows that the food we waste the most include fresh fruit and vegetables, accounting for £150 million worth from our homes in Scotland each year. With top chefs on board to help spread the word, visitors are sure to be inspired to make small changes that will have a big impact.”

Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 _1

Paisley Food and Drink Festival is one of Scotland’s largest outdoor food and drink festivals and will take 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 the Argyle Street Arches, Glasgow – expert tasting sessions with the award-winning Gin 71, the Renfrewshire CAMRA Beer Tent, live entertainment, children’s workshops and picnic areas in the stunning surroundings of Paisley’s historic Abbey.

For the first time, this year’s Festival will see a dedicated vegan and vegetarian zone offering a range of delicious options, such as There’s No Catch’s unique take on “vish & chips” with mushy peas and FlipnFast’s sweet and savoury vegan crepes and ice cream.

There will be something to suit all tastes, including gluten-free and halal options with smaller portion sizes designed for children.

Places for the cooking demonstrations are available to book now. Spaces are limited, so please book in advance.

You can find out more about Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 and how to book your place at the cooking demonstrations here:

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Employability award winners

Employability programmes in Renfrewshire have been rated the best in Scotland for the second year running as the latest national benchmarking report is published.

The Local Government Benchmarking Framework Indicator Profile, which rates the performance of all Scottish councils, showed Renfrewshire is performing at more than double the national average for assisting unemployed people into work through its employability services.

Employability award winners

Renfrewshire’s dedicated employability team has helped more than 2500 people find new jobs in the past three years, while the area’s employment rate is considerably higher than the national average – in particular for youth employment.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We’re delighted to once again be ranked the top performing council in assisting people into work and this is a key priority for the council.

“We want to give people opportunities to get into the workplace and our teams do fantastic work in supporting those out-of-work to find the right destination.”


Renfrewshire is ranked in the top eight councils in 22 indicators, including the percentage of pupils to gain five or more awards at Level 5, satisfaction with leisure facilities and cost of trading standards services.

Councillor Nicolson added: “A key aim of the council is to provide our young people with the best learning environment possible and our pupils continue to perform well, with two-thirds of gaining five or more awards at Level 5.

“The report highlights another 20 areas where we are ranked within the top councils in Scotland, and this outlines the excellent work of our staff and the high-quality service we are providing to Renfrewshire’s residents.”

Incube 16.5.18

The annual report collates data across a range of services including education, housing and adult social care, considering service costs, their effectiveness and customer satisfaction.

The report presented to the Council’s Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Board showed that, of the 70 indicators that data is available nationally, 41 have improved since the previous year, with 10 remaining unchanged and 19 declining.

The report found that:

  • More than 99% of council homes are energy efficient
  • 4 in 5 adults are satisfied with local schools
  • More than half of the highest paid 5% of employees are woman
  • Renfrewshire ranks fifth for satisfaction with leisure facilities
  • More than three-quarters of adults are happy with museums and galleries
  • Ranked eighth national for the average time taken to complete non-emergency repairs

The report also raises areas which Renfrewshire ranks lower when compared to other local authorities in Scotland.

Councillor Nicolson added: “While we are performing well, we recognise that there are areas that we need to improve on which is why we’ve invested accordingly to make a difference.

“Our 2019/20 budget invests £40million in our roads, building on the £7.2million investment last year, and this will make a tangible difference to the quality and durability of our roads, pathways and cycle routes – and means we expect to be ranked highly for the cost of roads maintenance.

“We have invested £2.5million in our successful Team Up to Clean Up campaign and the funding for the enhanced street cleaning programme, as well as the visible local support, will make a positive change to the cleanliness of our streets, immediately and in the long-term.

RDC Project Search Graduation 6.6.17

“We also continue to work closely with our staff to provide them with the support they need to carry out their role, including providing counselling services, occupational health support and a focus from the Corporate Management Team on improving the rate of absence within the organisation.”

The findings from the Local Government Benchmarking Framework Indicator Profile will be considered by councillors in a report to the Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Board on Monday 18 March 2019.


Head to Paisley this Easter for not one but two fantastic fun trails!

Our Cuckoo in the Nest Trail will see “out of place” items hidden in businesses throughout the town centre.


For instance, a silver locket may be found on display in the butcher’s shop, while a shampoo and conditioner set may be on display in a cafe.

Families will be able to collect trail leaflets in both shopping centres and local businesses, and complete the list of misplaced items by visiting each business.


A free chocolate egg will be given at either the Piazza Shopping Centre or the Paisley Centre for each child who can show a completed trail form, before it’s posted into the designated post-box for the grand draw at the end of the trail.

Our second Easter trail will see a trail of seven animal sculptures located outside throughout the town, all made from recycled materials and carefully produced into stunning works of art.


Created by local artist Kevin Cantwell, there will be everything from a Paisley Panda to a Unicorn, which is of course, Scotland’s national animal!

Artist Kevin Cantwell, said: “I have created this art installation to highlight the great advantage of recycling and reclaiming materials.

“For this trail, we have found new uses for a range of materials including wooden pallets, tyres and old car parts, all transformed into large animal sculptures, and which all have a local connection to Renfrewshire or Easter.”

Paisley First will also be running its hugely successful Golden Ticket Competition this Easter with three chances to win £250 of Paisley town Centre Gift vouchers.

Sixteen Golden Ticket winners shared a prize pot of £5,000 worth of Paisley town centre vouchers in 2018, just one of the benefits of choosing to shop and socialise locally!

Both trails and the Golden Ticket competition will run in Paisley town centre from Friday 29th March until Monday 22nd April.

For more details see

Janis Mackay

PUPILS will be write up for spending time in Ferguslie Park Library when they get to meet a host of children’s authors, storytellers and a poet.

The youngsters from Glencoats and St Fergus Primary Schools will be heading for the library on a regular basis from now until the beginning if May for a series of visits from the creators of popular children’s books.

Janis Mackay

They include Janis Mackay author of The Accidental Time Traveller; Morag Hood, writer and illustrator of I Am Bat; Alan Dapre, who is a TV script writer and author of humorous children’s books and storyteller, Renita Boyle.

Pupils, from Primary 1 to Primary 7, will also hear from AH Proctor, who writes fairy-tale adventures for children; Brian Whittingham, the Tannahill Makar from Renfrewshire and Matt Oldfield, the children’s book author and co-writer of the Ultimate Football Heroes series of books.

These events are being made possible thanks to support from the Paisley 2021 Legacy Fund.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “This is a fabulous opportunity for young people to meet and ask questions of the authors of some of their favourite books.

“It’s also a good opportunity to extend the brilliant work that the Primary School Outreach Librarian has been doing at both St Fergus and Glencoats Primaries, which involves encouraging young people to visit libraries and inspire them to read more.”


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mill magazine

Mill is the free, bimonthly, culture and lifestyle magazine for Paisley and Renfrewshire. Every glossy, compact-sized issue is packed with engaging and diverse features covering local events, local people, beauty, fashion, food, travel, interiors and much more. You’ll find Mill in shops, cafés, salons, restaurants, leisure centres, pubs and offices, all over Renfrewshire. If you want to get involved or would like to advertise, please contact us on email:, or via our social media channels or website.

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