social-security-scotland

16 to 24 years olds urged to check if they are eligible

 Young people starting work, or who have started a job in the last three months, including temporary Christmas jobs, are being encouraged to check if they qualify for Job Start Payment.

social-security-scotland

The one-off cash payment of £250 is open to 16-24 year olds who have been out of paid work and on a qualifying benefit for at least six months – the payment rises to £400 if the person has a child.

The job must average 12 hours per week, over a 4 week period but it does not need to be permanent.

The money can be spent on anything they need like travel costs, lunches, tools or new clothes.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“COVID-19 has had a major impact on the job market and this is expected to have a significant impact on prospects for many young people.

“We don’t want the costs of starting a new job to be what stops people taking up opportunities.

“Even if the young person has already started in their new role – including seasonal work – they can still apply for Job Start Payment for up to three months after their start date.

“I strongly encourage any young people who have recently started a new job or about to start a new job to check if they are eligible for Job Start Payment and apply now.”

Andrew, 24, from Paisley who received the Job Start Payment said:

“I was going to struggle to buy a monthly bus ticket and good clothes for the job along with providing for my family.

“I got the payment, which has allowed me to take up the offer of employment without having to worry about money.

“The Job Start Payment meant that I didn’t need to decide between providing for my family or starting a new job”

 Background

 

  • People can find out more and apply through mygov.scot or by calling 0800 182 2222
  • The person must have been out of paid work and in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits (Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit) for six months or more at the time of the job offer.
  • If they are a care leaver, they can access this support up to 25 years of age. They also just need to be on a qualifying benefit when they get the job offer, they don’t need to have been in receipt of this benefit for a set time period.
rainbow nursery

The show must go on as they say and Rainbow Nursery took those words to heart and made a fantastic movie, we were sent this in last night and its fun just pure fun, well worth a watch for any age… Here is the message I received and video from last night.

rainbow nursery

Louise Borris: Hi there I work in a little nursery on Paisley called Rainbow. Due to Covid restrictions, our annual Christmas Show was cancelled, and as we could not get out into the community to spread festive cheer, the 3-5 room decided to go digital and put a 2020 twist on this years show. Turns out our show is very popular and has succeeded in getting some Christmas cheer out into the wider community. We thought you might like a look at our superstars and hoped that you could also share our show out there to help us bring a smile to as many people as possible, everyone could do with a smile this year.

Paisley Grammar-high-res

Funding towards building a new state-of-the-art community campus to replace the existing Paisley Grammar School has been welcomed by Renfrewshire Council’s Education Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson.

The Scottish Government has announced that Paisley Grammar School is one of 25 schools across Scotland to receive funding from phase two of the £1bn Learning Estate Investment Programme.

Paisley Grammar-high-res

The committed funding from Scottish Government will be added to committed funding from the council towards building a new school with state-of-the-art technology, enhanced drama, performance, media and learning facilities and high-quality sports and outdoor areas.

Cllr Paterson said: “The announcement of additional funding for a Paisley Grammar Community Campus is very welcome. It’s good to know this funding is available to draw from if councillors approve the relocation proposals.

“Ensuring that all children and young people have the best learning environment possible is vital to ensure every pupil has the facilities and opportunities to reach their potential.”

The former Chivas site on Renfrew Road remains the preferred site to relocate the school. Parents pupils and the wider school community were consulted on proposals to relocate the school to this site in October this year.

Their responses, along with a recommendation to proceed, will go to councillors at the Education and Children’s Services Policy Board for consideration. If they approve the proposals, work will begin to take them forward.

Cllr Paterson added: “Councillors will carefully consider all the responses received from the school community early next year.”

To read the full consultation, visit www.renfrewshire,gov.uk/PaisleyGrammarConsultation on the council’s website.

Buddie with Superbia

Buddie the Lion, the Paisley First mascot, has gone global with an autograph request this week received all the way from Little Rock, Arkansas in America! 

Buddie received the request from a young fan, Ramsey McWilliams, who is on a  quest to collect mascot autographs from all across the world. 

Buddie with Superbia

Needless to say, Buddie was only too happy to help out and a signed autograph of Paisley’s favourite lion is now winging its way to Ramsey in the  US of A! 

Buddie autograph 2

Buddie said: “Hopefully one day Ramsey and his family will be able to visit the  best town in the world which is of course Paisley!  

“In the meantime, I would like to wish all my friends here in Paisley, in Scotland and across the globe, a safe and Happy Christmas! 

“Looking forward to seeing everyone here in Paisley next year!”

Buddie with letter

Gallowhill 1

SCHOOL pupils have transformed the streets of Gallowhill into a colourful celebration of Christmas.

Almost 300 drawings and paintings by children from St Catherine’s and Gallowhill Primary schools have been displayed on lamp posts around the Paisley neighbourhood from Friday, December 18 to Friday, January 8.

Gallowhill 1

Newly-formed community group, Feel Good Gallowhill – who came up with the idea for a Children’s Festive Arts Trail to bring some festive cheer to the area – was supported by Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts Team in turning the concept into reality.

Now residents can enjoy seeing the drawings and paintings of Christmas scenes everywhere they go along the Active Communities 5k Walking Route through Gallowhill.

Chairperson of the Feel Good Gallowhill group, Tracey Kerr said: “We’d like to thank the pupils from Gallowhill and St Catherine primaries for all their amazing artwork. Without that the art trail wouldn’t be happening and we hope it brightens up the community this Christmas.

“We’re a newly-formed group of volunteers who want to make Gallowhill better for the kids and give them something to do while trying to regain a sense of community spirit.

“Our group wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Families First and Active Communities and it’s a huge thank you to Kate Drummond from Renfrewshire Leisure for all her hard work.”

Head teacher at St Catherine’s Primary, Emma Henry said: “When we were asked to participate in the Festive Art Trail we jumped at the chance.

“Not only did this allow our pupils the opportunity to showcase their fantastic art talents, but it gave us the opportunity to spread a little festive cheer throughout Gallowhill.

“Our place within our community is very important to us, so being involved in local initiatives such as this throughout the year is something we relish.

“This experience has provided us with a further opportunity to teach our pupils about the importance of being good citizens.”

Sheila Hood, head teacher at Gallowhill Primary said: “The pupils thoroughly enjoyed creating their pieces of artwork and were so excited to see them appearing on lamp posts.

“It is really important for us as a school to contribute to our local community and if our Christmas pictures put a smile on the face of even just one person then our efforts have been worthwhile.”

Kate Drummond, Visual Arts Project Producer at Renfrewshire Leisure said: “These bright and joyous drawings and paintings will certainly brighten up the streets of Gallowhill.

“We also hope that the Festive Trail will encourage people to get out and about during the holidays with family and friends to enjoy a socially-distanced walk around the walking trail.

“And if you are a Gallowhill resident interested in making good things happen in your community, we’d encourage you to join the Feel Good Gallowhill group.

“The project forms part of our Future Paisley neighbourhood work in Gallowhill, West End, Glenburn and Foxbar.”

Future Paisley is 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.

Go to https://www.renfrewshireleisure.com/childrens-festive-art-trail for more information about the project.

Renfrewshire House

Proposals for a major investment programme which will transform council housing in Renfrewshire over the next decade have been given the go-ahead.

The Regeneration and Renewal Programme will invest at least £100million in council housing over the next 10 years.

Renfrewshire House

The programme will create around 300 newbuild homes and deliver improvements to existing housing in eight areas in Johnstone, Paisley and Renfrew in its first phase.

Communities, Housing and Planning Convener Councillor Marie McGurk said: “This programme is a key part of our plans to help Renfrewshire recover and flourish following this pandemic. Having a safe, warm and affordable home is so important for the health and wellbeing of people.

“This programme will support our communities and help tackle fuel poverty as well as help achieve our climate change goals. No-one should have to live in fuel poverty and we know that the pandemic has made this situation worse for some people. We will address this by improving the energy efficiency of our homes within these regeneration areas, creating a better Renfrewshire for our communities.

“Covid-19 has had a major impact on our communities in Renfrewshire. It has also shown more than ever how important community is. We will be consulting and engaging with communities before finalising our plans for each area to ensure the work we are doing meets their needs and creates thriving places they can flourish in and be proud of for years to come.”

Phase one of the programme will focus on homes in Moorpark (Renfrew), Thrushcraigs (Paisley), Broomlands (Paisley) Howwood Road (Johnstone), Waverley Road (Paisley), Howard Street (Paisley), Auchentorlie/Seedhill (Paisley) and Springbank Road (Paisley). Proposals for a second phase will be developed in 2021.

The council will consult and engage with communities to develop comprehensive regeneration and renewal plans which will be individually tailored to meet the needs of each area.

The regeneration and renewal programme will build on the success of the Scottish Housing Quality Standard Programme, which invested £147million in council housing in Renfrewshire between 2010 and 2015. It will also sit alongside the Council’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan which, in partnership with housing associations, will create around 1,000 new affordable homes in Renfrewshire by 2022, including over 200 new Council houses.

It is part of the Council’s two-year economic and social recovery plan which will help Renfrewshire thrive in the wake of Covid-19. The plan was prepared in consultation with Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel and approved at a Council meeting today (Thursday 17 December).

The transformational programme will also create job and training opportunities in Renfrewshire and support the Council’s work to achieve its climate change targets by addressing fuel poverty and improving the energy efficiency performance of homes in these regeneration areas.

More than 3,500 homes in Renfrewshire have already had external insulation fitted after the council received £18.4million through the Scottish Government’s HEEPS:ABS funding programme. This work is estimated to have reduced Renfrewshire’s carbon output by 250,000 tonnes.

The Council, which is landlord to 12,000 homes in Renfrewshire, is already working to deliver over 400 newbuild council houses in areas including Johnstone Castle, Ferguslie Park and South West Johnstone and recently completed a project in Bishopton.

For more information about the programme, email strategyandplace@renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 0222.

provost community awards

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron is searching for community heroes across Renfrewshire as nominations for the Provost’s Community Awards open for 2021. 

provost community awards

This year there are seven categories to nominate in, including a new category to recognise businesses who have adapted to ensure their survival during the Covid19 pandemic. You can nominate anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire for the following categories:

  • Community Volunteer (sponsored by Glasgow Airport Ltd)
  • Community Group (sponsored by City Gate Construction)
  • Sporting Achievement (sponsored by ACRE Industrial)
  • Employee of the Year (sponsored by UNISON Renfrewshire)
  • Carers Award (sponsored by former Provost Nancy Allison)
  • Arts and Culture Award (sponsored by Renfrewshire Council)
  • Ingenuity in Business (sponsored by Provost Lorraine Cameron)

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “This year has been unlike any other and it’s important that we pay tribute to the local unsung heroes who keep our communities going.

“We have recently heard of the sad death of former Provost Nancy Allison, who established the very first awards in 1997, and I know, for certain, that Nancy would have been very happy that I have decided to go ahead this year, despite the pandemic.  She knew how important it was to recognise the big hearted people who support their communities and that is why we continue with these awards year after year.

“Earlier this year I awarded certificates to those who I know have gone the extra mile throughout the pandemic, but these awards are different – they come from the community themselves. Now it is your chance to tell me about the hard work that these groups and individuals do.

“Unfortunately, we won’t be able to have an event this year to celebrate these achievements, but we will make sure the winners are announced online and through other media channels. I know there are some fantastic people out there who really deserve to be recognised and I can’t wait to read your nominations.”

The deadline for entries to all categories is Friday 29 January 2021.

For more information, and to submit your nomination, visit http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards2021, or email provostawards@renfrewshire.gov.uk

pro score academy

ProScore Academy offers UEFA qualified football coaching to boys and girls aged 4-18. We provide 1 to 1 sessions, run player centres and are involved with improving local football teams.

pro score academy

Based at Pro Fives Paisley, ProScore aims to deliver a professional and fun coaching experience to players within Renfrewshire. Get in touch to book now!

Renfrewshire

“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our health, our wellbeing, our communities and our economy, but I am confident that by working together, Renfrewshire will recover and renew to come back stronger.”

That’s according to Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson, as he welcomes plans for Renfrewshire’s economic and social recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Renfrewshire

Councillors will consider the ambitious plans next week which aim to create jobs and upskill employees, bolster business, invest in housing, tackle inequalities and improve the lives of people living and working in Renfrewshire.

Stark statistics within the reports lay bare the impact of the pandemic in Renfrewshire, with 293 local people having lost their lives.

The number of people claiming benefits rose by 80% at the height of the virus, while 6,000 crisis grant applications have been received, thousands have been supported through neighbourhood hubs and local community groups and Renfrewshire Foodbank has helped more than 4,000 adults and children.

Furlough support for Renfrewshire employees is estimated to equate to £115million and self-income support to almost £10million.

 

Cllr Iain Nicolson

Councillor Nicolson said: “The pandemic has impacted on all parts of daily life and in some cases exacerbated existing vulnerabilities or created new difficulties. Many people and businesses have been impacted, through bereavement, loss of income, isolation and loneliness.

“Since the outset, Council staff have been working tirelessly together with community groups and local volunteers as well as with national agencies to support people during these unprecedented times, and the collective response has been phenomenal.

“This work continues and while the true impact of the pandemic will take time to fully emerge, we have been carrying out detailed research and together with community groups, local businesses and economic leaders, we have been preparing our plans for recovery and renewal.”

The two-year economic recovery plan has been prepared with, and approved by, Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel, which pools business expertise from major local employers and skills and enterprise agencies.

It is underpinned by economic analysis by the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute and by a summer survey of 500 local companies, with further data being collected next spring following the end of the furlough scheme and the Brexit transition period.

Detailing 14 priority actions the panel believe will make the biggest difference locally, the report focuses on support for business, young people, wellbeing, skills and employability, fostering a green recovery and on capital investment.

Councillor Nicolson added: “The building blocks of Renfrewshire’s economy have been consistently strong for some time and there are significant opportunities for growth after the pandemic with a strong business base, excellent educational facilities and £500million in capital investment well under way.

Lovell Cocstruction, social housing, Bishopton

Lovell Cocstruction, social housing, Bishopton

“We will build on this by creating jobs and training opportunities for our young people, including 150 new apprenticeships, with targeted projects to tackle unemployment and reduce health inequalities, and measures to bolster the skills and innovation of our significant manufacturing sector. To achieve this plan, all partner agencies will have a key role to play and by combining our knowledge and expertise, we can achieve so much more.”

Tackling inequalities is at the heart of the developing social renewal plan for Renfrewshire, which is being prepared through a public survey of 1,500 people combined with ‘listening events’ with community groups during winter 2020, to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 and involve local people in identifying solutions to the issues they face.

Council Depute Leader Jim Paterson said: “Local people and communities continue to experience significant impacts on their lives resulting from the pandemic and sadly the initial findings suggest it is most affecting people on low incomes and in insecure employment, in particular women and young people.

“The social renewal plan will act as the blueprint for how we will work with our partners to learn from the pandemic and build on this experience to tackle the inequalities that exist in our communities.”

Councillors will also be asked to approve plans for at least £100million of additional investment over the next 10 years in Council housing across Renfrewshire, with the first phase targeting investment to eight areas across Johnstone, Paisley and Renfrew.

Communities, Housing and Planning Convener Councillor Marie McGurk said: “Coronavirus has underlined the importance of our home on our wellbeing and the need to live within a supportive community environment.

“This planned investment will provide a step-change in housing conditions for Council tenants by enhancing properties inside and out, making them more energy efficient and creating safe, welcoming neighbourhoods.

“At each location, we will develop comprehensive regeneration place plans, engaging with tenants and the wider community to create places to be proud of through a mix of improvements and new homes, this approach will continue the recent investment by the council and housing associations which will see more than 1,000 affordable homes completed by 2022.”

mental health support

A first-of-its-kind commission has revealed the devastating impact harmful alcohol and drug use has on people’s lives, and its findings have been brought into even sharper focus as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

In its findings published today, the Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drugs Commission is the first to look at the issues for both alcohol and drugs and saw and heard first-hand evidence from more than 300 people and organisations who had their own personal or professional experience of alcohol and drug use.

mental health support

Renfrewshire has some of the highest levels of harm caused by alcohol and drug use in Scotland

  • alcohol hospital admissions – 808 per 100,000 (2018/19)
  • drug hospital admissions – 210 per 100,000 (2018/19)
  • 50 alcohol deaths in 2019
  • 50 drug deaths in 2019
  • Parental drug use involved in 38 of 70 child protection cases (October 2020).

The report highlights that people’s complex mental health needs mean they often struggled to find someone to talk to and get the right support they need, especially for young people. Long waits for mental health services, people having to turn to emergency services in a crisis and the significant trauma people have experienced were all seen as significant barriers.

While many people already access the different services available in Renfrewshire, the Commission found that there were people experiencing significant harm who should be in touch with treatment services but weren’t – known as hidden harm – and those who are in contact said they really need services to wrap around them and their families.

Further support is also needed to further tackle young people using alcohol and drugs at a young age through mental health initiatives, education, such as Personal and Social Education lessons, and adolescent-focused alcohol and drug recovery services.

In response, Renfrewshire councillors will next week consider the first set of funding proposals from a £2million package of investment from the Council to tackle some of the challenges raised.

The commission began in 2019 and brought in a range of highly respected health, social care, justice, third sector and community experts. The coronavirus pandemic led to the Commission extending its research to consider how this might further impact their findings.

Findings include:

  • the pandemic has exacerbated existing issues like loneliness and isolation, often key drivers for alcohol and drug use, and highlights the importance of feeling part of the community to supporting recovery
  • support for mental health issues is perceived as being difficult to access or not there at all, with particular concern noted for the impact of poor mental health on children and young people
  • the availability and presence of alcohol and drugs and how easy it is to get them was an issue across all ages
  • urgent work is needed to help people access mental health resources as well as enabling community and voluntary groups to provide much-needed outreach work to link people with existing services.

Alan McNiven, Chief Executive of Engage Renfrewshire, said that the commission focused on real lived experience of people affected by alcohol and drugs and that partnership working will enable Renfrewshire to offer the much-needed community and peer support for both prevention and recovery.

Alan said: “I was keen to be involved as I knew the commission would be connecting with existing strategies active in Renfrewshire around education, poverty, culture, employment – all areas of work that Renfrewshire’s Third Sector Network has connections and commitments to. The work of the commission adds to Renfrewshire’s partnership approach – an approach that seeks to achieve the best possible outcomes for Renfrewshire as a whole, as well as for individuals who require our care and support.

“The engagement sessions ensured we heard from the wider community – service users, young people, and third sector delivery organisations. It was vitally important that the voices of people with lived experience and those who work in alcohol and drug services influenced the commission’s enquiry and the final recommendations.

“Partnership and collaboration are at the heart of the community planning approach in Renfrewshire. Strong cross-sector and multi-agency partnerships already exist here, but we need more. The commission identified Renfrewshire’s third sector agencies as providing important services around the alcohol and drugs agenda. The Third Sector also brings important experience to the collective leadership approach that will be required to properly deliver the proposed recommendations.”

Following the publication of the report, Renfrewshire Council has pledged £2million funding to target the Commission’s recommendations, with an initial package of measures being considered by councillors at a meeting next week.

Funding proposals will include:

  • £510k for mental health programmes – seen as key drivers for both prevention and recovery – including funding for an intensive support pilot for children and young people, a crisis mental health service for the community and for a quicker service-lead response to people affected by trauma.
  • £550k for an outreach, community-centred model for people not engaged in alcohol and drug services, peer-to-peer support and a Recovery Change Fund for community and voluntary sector organisations to access.
  • £150k for education and health improvement as well as a further study to better understand the hidden harm of alcohol and drugs – people who haven’t reached out for help.

Chair of the Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drugs Commission and Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership Integrated Joint Board, Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a big impact on people struggling with alcohol and drug use and we know isolation has made it worse for many people and their families across Renfrewshire. What has been made very clear is the amount of hidden suffering that so many people suffer, unable to reach out and access support and sometimes not feeling part of a community that can support them.

“We hope this will fundamentally transform the support that people who use drugs and alcohol and their families can access when they need it most. The pandemic has brought these issues into sharp focus and we are determined to make a difference. Our new approach will make it easier for people to access the support within their own community and be there whenever they need it.”

The full report can be read on the council’s website – www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/Alcohol-Drugs-Commission.