Football Tournament Launches Knife Campaign

Teenagers from all over Renfrewshire flocked to the home of St Mirren to play in a street football tournament and back the launch of a national knife crime campaign.
Hundreds of young people attended the Safer and Stronger Street Football Tournament at St Mirren Park to play in the five-a-side tournament and enjoy a host of other activities including, skateboarding, climbing walls, basketball, Renfrewshire youth bus and youth gym bus.
The event was also attended by Justice Secretary Kenny McAskill who joined members of Renfrewshire Youth Voice to launch the local No Knives Better Lives campaign on the day.
No Knives, Better Lives is a national youth engagement initiative which aims to give young people good reasons not to carry a knife, showing them that it’s not worth the risks or consequences, and helping to shape positive attitudes and influencing positive life choices by promoting diversionary activities.

Mr MacAskill said: “We are working in partnership with the council, police, schools and young people in Renfrewshire to create a very local No Knives Better Lives campaign that is tailored to the community and supporting the good work they are already doing.

“Far too many lives are lost and people injured though mindless acts of violence – often because of the knife culture that blights some communities. That is why we are working to change the culture around violence in Scotland.”

The initiative is being rolled out to Renfrewshire after a successful pilot in Inverclyde and launches in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Clackmannanshire this month.

The programme will be championed locally by Renfrewshire Youth Voice (RYV), which provides a platform for young people, aged between 14 and 25, to express their views and opinions on the issues that affect them.

On the day members of RYV ran a No Knives Better Lives stand to give out information to other young people about the campaign and encourage them to sign No Knives Better Lives pledges.
RYV are planning a year of action on No Knives Better Lives and have been raising awareness of the issues associated with knife crime at local Gala days and recently marched at the Sma’ Shot day with a No Knives Better Lives banner.
The Safer and Stronger Street Football Tournament was part of the award-winning Investing in Future diversion activity project.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay said: “Investing in Future has been a massive success with these activities going out to different communities every week to provide young people with fun, healthy activities to get involved in. This was the first time we’ve had an event like this where all those activities, and more, are going to be in one place and it was a massive success.”

Investing in Futures is a partnership project supported by Renfrewshire Council, Paisley Partnership Regeneration Company, St Mirren FC, Strathclyde Police, Arriva, Scottish Football Association and Ferguslie Sports Centre.

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon said: “We were delighted to host the Street Football Tournament at St Mirren Park. Since my arrival at the Club, I have heard a lot about the amount of excellent programmes that are done by St Mirren within the local community. The Street Football programme has already been given a community award and is a fantastic programme and is well known throughout the whole Renfrewshire area.
“Over the years, football skills have been developed through practice and many a quality player has come from playing street football in their youth. St Mirren FC is delighted to be heavily involved within the programme and it is only fitting that St Mirren Park hosted this tournament.

John Hillcoat has been a professional goalkeeper for the past 20 years, having played for 14 Senior Football clubs. During this time he has worked under some of Scotland’s top goalkeeping coaches. He holds relevant goalkeeping coaching certificates and is a qualified PE teacher.

John’s vast experience has inspired him to form his own Goalkeeping Academy catering for goalkeepers working at boys’ club/amateur level.

Regular visits to the Academy will give the youngsters a chance to:

  • work with experienced SFA licensed coaches
  • learn fundamental goalkeeping skills
  • improve hand to eye coordination
  • improve shot stopping
  • improve handling
  • improve distribution, positioning, crossing
  • …and a whole lot more

Contact John:

call: 07921914578

Bands check-in as Scotland’s latest music festival takes off…

Bands from across the country are about to check-in at Glasgow Airport for the launch of Scotland’s latest, and most unusual, music festival.

Launched on Thursday (15 July), ‘Airplay’ is Glasgow Airport’s festival of music, taking place over the next four weeks, with a prize of £1,000 for the most popular performer. It’s the first time a Scottish airport has hosted a series of summer concerts for passengers.

The Scottish gateway hopes to mirror the success of Austin Bergstrom Airport in Texas, which regularly hosts music events as part of the internationally renowned South by Southwest festival.

The competition will see 24 acts compete over a series of heats, with four acts going through to a live final on Thursday 12 August. A panel of independent judges will determine which act will be crowned Airplay winners and receive a cheque for £1,000.

Around 100 acts originally entered the competition. The remaining 24 – mostly from Scotland, with one act from Northern Ireland – will each perform three songs during a live set in front of passengers. The travelling public will get a chance to vote for their favourite acts using a specially designed webpage which can be accessed by visiting

Airport bosses have launched the festival to highlight Glasgow’s status as a UNESCO City of Music, awarded in 2008 because of the region’s rich musical heritage.

The west of Scotland has given rise to some of Scottish music’s biggest names, including Aztec Camera, Belle & Sebastian, Teenage Fanclub, Primal Scream, Deacon Blue, Del Amitri, Glasvegas, Hue and Cry, Lulu, Texas, Travis and Paolo Nutini.

Glasgow Airport’s Terminal manager Mark Johnston hopes the event could become a regular feature in the city’s music calendar.

He said: “Glasgow Airport is always looking for innovative ways to entertain its passengers, and we think Airplay is the perfect vehicle. As well as providing free entertainment for passengers, Airplay is a fantastic showcase for young, aspiring bands who will get the opportunity to perform in front of hundreds, if not thousands, of passengers from around the world.

“We have been inundated with entries from across the country, and we’re delighted that Glasgow Airport is the first in Scotland to host a music festival of this kind. If all goes well, Airplay could become a regular event during the summer months.”

The event is being supported by UNESCO City of Music, The Academy of Music and Sound, production company Artist Media Ltd, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Glasgow based Creation Studios.

Louise Mitchell, Director of UNESCO City of Music, said: “Glasgow has a strong and proud musical heritage and Airplay is a fantastic way to celebrate the contribution the city has made, and continues to make, to the UK music scene.”

Damian Beattie, Manager of the Academy of Music and Sound in Glasgow, added: “This is a great initiative from Glasgow Airport and we’re delighted to have played our part in bringing the idea to fruition. We see real potential in this festival becoming a regular fixture in the city’s music calendar. It will really help to cement Glasgow’s status as the UK’s music capital.”

Mark Johnston added: “This is a unique event, made possible thanks to the support and enthusiasm of our partners, particularly UNESCO City of Music and The Academy of Music and Sound. There are sounds to suit every taste and we’re sure that passengers will enjoy the festival. Hopefully it will give our international passengers a fantastic last impression of the city and of Scotland.”

Check out Airplay on Facebook –

Budding young entrepreneurs taking part in an Apprentice-style competition in Renfrewshire took on a Farmers’ Market challenge this weekend.

Five teams of teenagers ran competing stalls at the Farmers’ Market in County Square on Saturday 10 July.

The team with the highest takings at the end of the day won the challenge, set by Paisley Vision Board.

The 28 young people, all fifth and sixth year pupils from Renfrewshire schools, are all taking part in The Recruit, a project run by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with local businesses and organisations over the summer.

The Recruit aims to give young people practical experience and advice on starting a career in business. The young person named as The Recruit will win an £18,000 a year job.

Renfrewshire Council Leader and Chair of Paisley Vision Board Derek Mackay, said: “The Recruit is designed to give young people real-life experience of working in business. The farmers’ market challenge will see them having to compete with each other and other stallholders to sell their produce and make money.

“Each team has to choose what products they think will sell best at the farmers’ market. They will have to get their early to set up their stall and the team with the highest takings will win.”

To add an extra twist to the challenge the stalls needed to sell Fairtrade products.

Councillor Brian Lawson, chair of the Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group, went along to see how the teams got along.

Cllr Lawson said: “This is a great project and I’m delighted that it is also being used to further promote Fairtrade in Renfrewshire. Not only did customers at the farmers’ market get to opportunity to buy Fairtrade, it was also a chance to spread the Fairtrade message to the young people themselves as they were monitored on how well they promoted Fairtrade generally as well. They all did an excellent job and every stall was practically sold out.”

There will be seven business challenges in total throughout The Recruit as well as presentations and Q&A sessions with some of Scotland’s top entrepreneurs.

Participants will also cover courses in customer care, stress management, presentation skills, assessment centre and interview skills as well as raising funds for charity.

The winners of The Recruit will be those who show the most potential and display the key skills business bosses look for – leadership, communication, innovation, problem solving and determination to succeed.

The winners will be revealed at a black tie finale event on Thursday 19th August.

The Recruit Inverclyde has successfully helped 27 young people go into employment or further education in the last three years.

Street Football Tournament and Fun Day at St Mirren

Young people from all over Renfrewshire are set to pack in to St Mirren Park for a world cup style tournament and fun day later this month.

Less than a week after the World Cup final, teams of young people from Renfrewshire’s communities will take part in the Safer and Stronger Street Football Tournament.

The massive event takes place on Saturday 17 July and as well as the football there’s a whole host of activities on offer for young people.

Friends and families are also invited to come along and enjoy the huge range of entertainments on offer including street rugby, street hockey, two climbing walls, skate ramp, basketball, tennis, and a bouncy castle.

As well as these there will also be the Renfrewshire Youth Bus, Youth Gym Bus, the Box entertainment unit kitted with dance mats, and a DJ booth.

The Safer and Stronger Street Football Tournament is part of the award-winning Investing in Future diversion activity project.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay said: “Investing in Future has been a massive success with these activities going out to different communities every week to provide young people with fun, healthy activities to get involved in. This will be the first time we’ve had an event like this where all those activities, and more, are going to be in one place. We’re inviting young people, and their families, to come from all over Renfrewshire. You don’t have to be playing in the football tournament as there’s so much going on on the day, there is going to be something for everyone.”

Teams taking part in the football tournament have been made up from young people who take part in St Mirren’s street football programme in local communities.

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Street Football Tournament here today at St Mirren Park. Since my arrival at the Club, I have heard a lot about the amount of excellent programmes that are done by St Mirren within the local community. The Street Football programme has already been given a community award and is a fantastic programme and is well known throughout the whole Renfrewshire area.
“Over the years, football skills have been developed through practice and many a quality player has come from playing street football in their youth. St Mirren FC is delighted to be heavily involved within the programme and it is only fitting that St Mirren Park hosts today’s tournament.
“I am sure everyone attending will have a great day whether playing or watching the action.”
As well as the young people the organisations involved in the project will be getting in on the act with their own mini tournament which will see teams from the police, fire service, Renfrewshire Wardens Service, and others go head to head.

The event is free to attend and kicks off at 10am at St Mirren Park, Greenhill Road, Paisley, on Saturday 17th July.

Reducing antisocial behaviour is one of the key targets of the Safer and Stronger Partnership which sees Renfrewshire Council, Paisley Partnership Regeneration Company, Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and other organisations working together to make Renfrewshire a safer place to live, work and visit.

Investing in Futures is supported by St Mirren FC, Arriva, Scottish Football Association, Ferguslie Sports Centre.

NSDesign Hits £1k Target for Renfrewshire Charity
THE STAFF of Hillington-based company, NSDesign, have recently been doing their bit for charity.

Managing Director of the ecommerce business, Gary Ennis, pounded the pavements at the Men’s Health Forum Scotland 10k with his colleagues and managed to raise a fantastic £1,000 for the Renfrewshire Area Heart Appeal.

Gary, Kenny Roy, Martin Sarsini and Paul Elliot all completed the course in under one hour with only a few blisters between them.

Gary said:

“This was a great challenge for the team as we are not all regular runners so were pleased to finish in one piece. We were absolutely delighted to reach our target of £1,000 for the Renfrewshire Area Heart Appeal as it is a charity very close to all of us.”

Carole Nicol, Fundraising Volunteer Manager for the British Heart Foundation Scotland said:

“I would like to say a big thank you to the team at NSDesign for sponsoring the Renfrewshire Area Heart Appeal. The vital funds they have raised will help to ensure that local people living with heart disease receive consistent, highly skilled care in the diagnosis and treatment of their condition”.

A Renfrewshire project which helps people with learning difficulties has been honoured at a national care awards ceremony.

Renfrewshire Council’s Flexicare programme was a finalist in the Care Accolades 2010, the ‘oscars’ for the social services sector in Scotland.

The project featured in the ‘Investing Our Community’ category at the awards.

The Flexicare project was set up in 1989 to help support people with a learning disability of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

Over 230 people now receive a service that is tailored to meet their individual needs.

That service is provided as part of the Renfrewshire Learning Disability Service through a combination of 9 project staff, over 30 sessional workers and over 70 volunteers.

Flexicare’s support ranges from promoting awareness and understanding of learning disability and asd, to helping people take part in social and leisure activities, and supporting families caring for a son or daughter with those issues.

The type of support offered includes befriending, childrens’ clubs, youth clubs, young adult groups and social groups.

Fiona Brown, Manager of Flexicare, said:”Everyone involved with Flexicare was delighted to reach the finals of these prestigious awards.

“Our innovative approach has evolved over two decades to provide support which we know is very much valued and makes a real difference to people’s lives.

“This recognition is a tribute to the commitment and creativity of our staff and volunteer network.”

Councillor Eileen McCartin, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board, said: “Flexicare has pioneered approaches which have over the years been independently assessed as providing good practice and a high quality of care.

“In addition to the support given by the trained volunteers, all the feedback we have is that the volunteers themselves also benefit from increased skills and confidence.”

Gerry Coutts, Chair of the Care Accolades judging panel, said: “Our social care staff have shown they have the confidence, creativity and skills to provide us with the services we need for the times we now live in. Social services staff are the key to ensuring our most vulnerable citizens have the best possible quality of life.”

The Care Accolades 2010 were organised by the Scottish Social Services Council and presented at a ceremony in Aviemore hosted by broadcaster Kaye Adams.

Paisley to light up for Sma’ Shot Day

Street dancers, stilt walkers, circus performers, drummers, a ceilidh and a spectacular fire show will all take place as part of Paisley’s historic Sma’ Shot Day festival this year.

The traditional event, which is one of the oldest workers’ festivals in the country, will take on a new twist this year culminating in a stunning fire display and free family ceilidh at night.

Sma Shot Day celebrates the victory of Paisley’s weavers over the town’s mill owners in the 19th century. The owners refused to pay their staff for the Sma’ (small) Shot thread which was unseen but held together the famous Paisley patterned cashmere shawls.

A long fight and political battle ensued which the weavers eventually won and renamed the traditional July holiday Sma Shot Day.

The traditional parade will begin at 12 Noon on Saturday 3 July, in Brodie Park, then make its way down Neilston Road, Causeyside Street, Gauze Street to Abbey Close.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson, who will be leading the parade, said: “Sma’ Shot Day is a unique festival that celebrates an important episode in Paisley’s history. It has been celebrated with a parade and family day for over 150 years but this year is going to be bigger and better than ever.”

A Radio Clyde Roadshow hosted by Gina McKie will play throughout the day in the town centre, where there will also be an interactive teen zone featuring music, street dance, drumming workshops, climbing wall, youth bus and mobile gym bus.

There will also be a special family fun zone at Abbey Close with a craft fayre and series of workshops for kids including circus skills, hula hoop, yoga and relaxation for kids.

As well as street performances PACE theatre company will perform the story of Sma’ Shot Day before the spectacular burning of the cork at 5pm at Abbey Close.

For this first time this year’s event will feature a marquee of stalls run by Renfrewshire’s Community Planning Partners including Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, who will be on hand to provide information on the services they provide to the community.

The annual tea dance will be held in Paisley town hall, followed in the evening by a free family ceilidh with world-renowned ceilidh band Clamjamfrie.

Provost Lawson added: “This year’s programme is our biggest ever with different activities, performances and entertainments happening throughout the town centre. We want as many people as possible to come along and enjoy this unique celebration of Paisley’s history so have added a whole range of fun things for people to do as well as the family ceilidh at night and the spectacular burning of the cork at Abbey Close.”

Sma shot day pictures below from

Help Us To Help the Older People of Renfrewshire

Reaching Older Adults in Renfrewshire (ROAR) is looking for volunteers to help make a real difference to the lives of older people in Renfrewshire.

ROAR is an award-winning PSP (Public Social Partnership) that offers various services and activities to Renfrewshire’s older citizens, such as befriending, transport and ROAR lunch and activity clubs, to improve their quality of life and provide support and friendship when it is needed most.

ROAR is looking for people of all ages to spare a few hours a week as volunteers. Volunteers will make a genuine and important difference to the lives of older people in Renfrewshire as well as having fun and developing new skills and experience. Volunteers can give as much or as little time as they wish and will be supported as part of a team.

There are several ROAR services where volunteers can play a vital role. First is One-to-One Befriending – this can be at home or in the community, for people who are feeling a bit isolated or wanting some company. Volunteers can spend time just chatting, taking them out for the day or helping to do things around the house.

There’s also Specialist Befriending, which helps those with early stages of Alzheimer’s. Again this involves volunteers spending a couple of hours a week chatting to them, accompanying them to shops etc.

ROAR also runs weekly lunch and activity clubs in Johnstone, Linwood, Houston and Lochwinnoch and need volunteers to help serve lunch, and assist with a range of activity programmes including entertainment, tea dances, arts and crafts, bingo, and beetle drives to gentle exercise, massage, tai chi, healthy eating, laughter therapy and lots more! Several new ROAR clubs will be opening across many parts of Renfrewshire in the coming months and we are particularly keen to recruit local volunteers for them too.

If anyone out there has DIY or trade skills we’d be really keen to hear from you too as we will shortly be introducing a handy person service through ROAR in partnership with Care & Repair. This will provide a range of practical services to older adults with tasks ranging from changing light bulbs and hanging curtains to small scale joinery and plumbing services.

Finally, ROAR is seeking volunteer drivers to sustain and develop our transport services for older adults. Volunteer drivers provide invaluable help taking people to and from doctor and hospital appointments, shopping trips, outings and even taking our older adults to their local ROAR Club.

ROAR is coordinated by Renfrewshire Council for Voluntary Services (RCVS) in partnership with WRVS, Alzheimer Scotland, Renfrewshire Community Health Initiative (RCHI), Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and Renfrewshire Seniors Forum. Joint funding comes from Renfrewshire Council Social Work and Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership.

Alison Greig, ROAR Manager, says: “Volunteering with ROAR can help people give something back to their local community or even help them to get real work experience and a reference if they are currently studying or job hunting.”

Anyone interested in ROAR’s volunteering opportunities and who wants to find out more about what’s available should contact them on 0141 889 7481 or

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