RAMH logo

Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and RAMH (recovery across mental health) have created a direct access free telephone support line to help people talk about how they are feeling during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The new support line 0800 221 8904 is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and adds to the collaborative ongoing localised support already available across Renfrewshire.

RAMH logo

Stephen McLellan of RAMH said: “We are aware that many people are worried about the effect of Coronavirus as well as the practical, emotional and financial effects and are looking to speak to someone about their feelings.

“They may not want to trouble their GP or even loved ones with their concerns. This support line aims to make speaking with someone who understands their anxieties that little bit easier.”

For the last few months, Renfrewshire HSCP and RAMH have worked together to make speaking about concerns simpler.

Stephen added: “We are now introducing a direct, freephone contact number, to enable as many people as possible to get in touch without cost. Trained and experienced staff will be on hand to offer a supportive ear and can assist with putting people in touch with resources, information and added assistance throughout Renfrewshire.”

Renfrewshire HSCP has been working with other local organisations to focus on what could improve wellbeing across Renfrewshire, recently launching the Renfrewshire Bereavement Network.

Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, Chair of the Renfrewshire Integration Joint Board said: “It is important that we always put the people of Renfrewshire first in our minds, especially at a time like this.

“This support line is a good example of where we are working with community organisations and locally based charities to help support those who need us most.

“A collaborative community response will have a bigger impact on people’s wellbeing than any one organisation can make alone and we are exploring further opportunities to make this happen in Renfrewshire.”

Find out more at: www.renfrewshire.hscp.scot/ramh

Garden Gang Buddies

As pupils returned to school, some retired adults in Paisley & District U3A went to study Geilston Gardens in Cardross.  This U3A’s Garden Gang visited the walled garden and floral mini maze recently re-opened by the National Trust for Scotland.  Mindful of the current lockdown guidance, everyone stayed in small groups, and afterwards members enjoyed a socially distant picnic in the beautiful grounds.

Garden Gang Buddies 

Valerie Reilly who leads the U3A Garden Gang said: “Over 11,000 people come to see Geilston every year.  However, due to funding pressures, its future is not secure.  We were able to learn the history of the property and explore this garden by the River Clyde.  We were so lucky with the weather and it turned out to be an excellent experience.  Many of our members have been shielding so it was lovely to meet up again outdoors.”

Garden Gang Buddies

The U3A Garden Gang is planning another trip on Wednesday 9th September at 11am to Tollcross Park in Glasgow.  This is one of Glasgow’s ‘municipal’ parks with its own guided heritage trail.  Social distancing will be strictly observed throughout this visit.  More details at: https://u3asites.org.uk/paisley/welcome

provost lorraine cameraon

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron set sail across the River Clyde this week to carry out the traditional act of casting the nets to maintain Renfrew’s fishing rights on the river.

Due to current Scottish Government guidelines, Provost Cameron was unable to be joined by Renfrew residents for the traditional boat trip down the Clyde and instead headed across the river solo on the Renfrew Ferry.

provost lorraine cameraon

Provost Cameron said: “The symbolic act of casting the nets is a key part of Renfrew’s history, dating back hundreds of years, and it was important to myself and to the local community that the fishing rights continue to be preserved, even when so much is disrupted just now.

“Thank you to the Renfrew Ferry who were happy to take me across the river so the tradition could be upheld and to Howwood Fisheries for their kind donation of the salmon net.

“It is disappointing that I couldn’t invite Renfrew residents along this year, but I hope that in three years time the event will be able to go ahead in all its usual glory.”

King Robert III granted a charter to the community of Renfrew detailing the right to fish the River Clyde as far back as 1396, with a subsequent charter, confirming the rights, granted by Queen Anne in 1703.

However Renfrew Town Council failed to keep the rights on parts of the river owned by Sir Michael Stewart because they hadn’t fished those areas for some years.

Since the rights were restored, it has become practice to maintain them by having the Provost cast the nets and haul them in every three years.

A commemorative video is being produced to showcase the casting of the nets by local filmmaker Paul Mothersole, featuring historic footage and interviews with members of the local community. The video will be released in the coming months.

alien gargoyle paisley abbey

Hello, let me introduce myself my name is Lucas, I am one of the newest journalists for Paisley.org.uk. I am so pleased to be able to share my first article with you guys and I hope you enjoy this article as much as I enjoyed writing it for you. Just so you can all get to know me a little better I am a new journalist starting out.  I have always had an interest in journalism and I love writing. I am not originally from Paisley nor do I currently live there.  I live in a different region however; Paisley was a large part of my teenage years.

Paisley is a town that people are drawn to; it is a town that people are happy to call home even when some people are negative about it.  Paisley is a town that has a lot to offer from its Shopping Centres, High Street and parks to the Paisley Abbey and Paisley fountain gardens. There is so much to see and do and most of it is free. Paisley is a very welcoming town full of people who are more than happy to help if you need directions or if you just need to know where a certain place is. As previously stated I did not grow up in Paisley but I did go to high school there so it was a town that I spent 4 years getting to know and that I still go back to even to this day.  When I first started school in Paisley, I had no knowledge about the town and I did not know anything about it. Now many years on it is a town I have grown to become quite fond of in many ways.

grand fountain

When I think of Paisley the first thing that comes to mind is its transport system.  I,have no knowledge on the buses of Paisley as I am a rail traveller. I love using the trains and that is always the one thing that sticks out to me when I think of Paisley is the train stations. Paisley has three train stations Paisley Gilmour Street, Paisley St James, and Paisley Canal.  Paisley Gilmour Street sits in the town centre of Paisley and is most likely the busiest due to its location.  Paisley St James is situated right across from St Mirren Football Club and is at its busiest when St Mirren are playing a home game.  Sadly this won’t be the case just now due to COVID-19 but it is still popular with regular commuters. Paisley Canal is a five- or ten-minutes’ walk from the Royal Alexandra Hospital.  So, as you can see Paisley has a good rail network in terms of getting you to different parts of the town.


This is one of many positives about Paisley, Paisley is a historical town and it is popular with tourists. People near and far come to see the Paisley Abbey, The Paisley Horseshoe, Coats Observatory just to name a few things. So, let me tell you a little information about these sights I have mentioned.


Paisley Abbey is still an active abbey, services take place there and people can just go to pray. Services take place on a Sunday but you do need to contact the abbey to check if you can attend due to the COVID-19 restrictions.   During this pandemic the café is closed and the gift shop is only open for a few hours on certain days. When the Abbey is open however, you can go in and see what the Abbey has to offer from its beautifully designed windows to its magnificent organ. After exploring the building you can enjoy a light lunch or just a coffee in the tearoom or buy a souvenir from the gift shop. Although the Paisley Abbey is free to enter, donations would be appreciated. . The Abbey relies on public donations to keep running and to remain open. The profit from the gift shop and café also go towards its upkeep. Just because the Abbey itself is currently closed to the public this does not mean you still can’t go see the outside of the Abbey, the building is beautifully built…just don’t get too freaked out by the gargoyles.


Moving on from creepy gargoyles to a lovely metal horseshoe plaque surrounded by cobblestones in the middle of the crossroads where Maxwellton Street and George Street cross. You may think that this is a nice lovely little plaque but, this plaque tells the story of a very dark but interesting part of Paisleys past. On the plaque the words are embedded Pain Inflicted, Suffering Endured, Injustice Done. I remember one day walking over this plaque while crossing the road and having no idea the story behind it, most folk might just think it is a drain cover. The story behind this horseshoe plaque is back some time ago in Paisley in the 17th century when a little girl called Christian Shaw became unwell, a few days before this a woman named Katherine Campbell has shouted curses at Christian. This led Christian to accuse Katherine of witchcraft along with six men and women. At this time witchcraft was illegal in Scotland so when the case went to court all seven of them were sentenced to be executed. Although it is said that one of the men took his own life in prison before the law could.

alien gargoyle paisley abbey

The six remaining people including Katherine were strangled and burned at the stake in the park within Paisley named Gallow Green, one of the women burned is said to have cursed all of the people at the execution and their descendants. The charred remains of the six bodies were buried at the crossroads where Maxwellton Street meets George Street. The horseshoe and plaque were supposedly to stop the witch’s spirits coming back. The story might seem a bit dark and glum but this is a big part of Paisley’s history, unfortunately you can’t get a close up look of the horseshoe plaque due to it being situated in the middle of the busy crossroads but you will still be able to see it from a distance.  If you do want to surround yourself with that part of Paisley’s history you can go have a look around Gallow  Green Park where the executions took place all those years ago.

From scary gargoyles and witch trials to the very last place I am going to tell you about. Barshaw Park is a lovely big park located within Paisley There are a few things to see and do in this lovely park. If you have children then there is a playpark for them , there is a safe play area for younger children  too.

The park is not only for children. For those who just want a bit of peace and quiet then take a walk around the Walled Peace Garden which has paved paths for you to follow. Depending on how energetic you feel you could always climb to the top of the hilltop and look at the stunning views of Paisley. Great photo opportunity if you are a budding  photographer maybe take some pictures from the hilltop as the sun rises or sets over Paisley. It’s also a great place to walk your dog.  We should not forget about the miniature railway, loved by people young and old , however due to vandalism the engines were destroyed in an arson attack.  Funds are being raised to help the volunteers with the repairs. If none of that sounds like your  thing then why not just take a walk round the park, or  maybe even grab a coffee and go and sit on one of the benches within the park and watch the world go by.

The park is not only for children. For those who just want a bit of peace and quiet then take a walk around the Walled Peace Garden which has paved paths for you to follow. Depending on how energetic you feel you could always climb to the top of the hilltop and look at the stunning views of Paisley. Great photo opportunity if you are a budding photographer maybe take some pictures from the hilltop as the sun rises or sets over Paisley. It’s also a great place to walk your dog.  We should not forget about the miniature railway, loved by people young and old, however due to vandalism the engines were destroyed in an arson attack.  Funds are being raised to help the volunteers with the repairs. If none of that sounds like your thing then why not just take a walk round the park, or maybe even grab a coffee and go and sit on one of the benches within the park and watch the world go by.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article about some of the sights and history of Paisley. I want to finish this article by giving you some lovely comments I received about Paisley.

“Something positive about Paisley is actors like Gerald Butler and musicians like Paolo Nutini come from there and having people like that come from a small town really promotes the town itself and its creative industries.”  Laura, Hertfordshire.

“The people of Paisley are proud of their heritage, their culture and their identity. Paisley is widely known for its textiles, its architecture and its talent” Gavin, former teacher at Kibble Education and Care Centre.

“I like Paisley because it has really good bus connections and it is easy to get from one place to another.” Ewan, Glasgow

sword swallowing

This Wednesday, and every Wednesday through to the 30th of September, Create Paisley will be running online graphic novel workshops about a sword-swallowing theatre magnate. John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs will be your hosts, a writer and artist team who work under the name Metaphrog. 

sword swallowing

Metaphrog have been nominated for, and won, several awards, and currently have an acclaimed graphic novel called Bluebeard on release. They’ve also done workshops in Paisley before. “We were at the central library for Will Eisner week and we also did several school visits” John tells me. “They went very, very well.” 


As for this event, John tells me, ““We loved doing this research. There are some great sideshow posters and some colourful characters.” Delno Fritz is certainly a character. This man, almost forgotten now, was a big draw in his day and a leading international circus performer – as a sword swallower. “He was a friend to Harry Houdini” John says “and a world famous figure”. Colin Begg from Paisley Heritage dug up his story. “Colin came across Fritz and his Paisley connection in David Rowand’s book Silver Threads” John says. “It’s an interesting and very fertile area. The project was to encourage interest in the past, history and local heritage through the story of this man”.


He’s quite a man. Delno Fritz, born 1871, was one of 17 children, who ran away to join the circus. Several times. He eventually succeeded in joining with a friend. The friend went on to become a doctor. Delno became a sword swallower, and people went crazy for his act – he even performed for Queen Victoria. “His date of birth is unsure, and his IMDb entry is a bit loose too” John says. “It’s unlikely he is in the 1931 film Freaks for example, since he died in 1925”. The man had become a myth.

sword swallowing

The workshops around this myth will run over 6 weeks. “We’ll talk about how comics work” John explains. “We show character design and world building all using the life of Delno as a springboard or inspiration. That life includes his involvement with the Empire Music Hall, and hence life in Paisley in the early 1900s”. You knew there had to be a Paisley connection – “So there will be six modules with a different focus – including cover design and discussion of changing attitudes” It should be an involving 6 modules.


When I ask John if it’s weird to be doing a workshop in Paisley from home, he laughs. “Everything is weird right now!” adding, “It was very hard to research especially now with archives closed and facts distant. We’re embracing the weird!” Sometimes weird times can be fun, and it’s always good to have something to occupy you. if you’re looking for that over the next six weeks, you’re welcome to tune in to Metaphrog’s Zoom workshops.


You can see more details and a trailer about this event at the following link, with the registration form included too: https://www.createpaisley.org.uk/news/delno-fritz/


Article by one of our new Journalist’s Keir Hind, lookout for more of Keir in the coming weeks.


Communities are being asked to put forward their views on the creation of biodiversity areas in Renfrewshire, with a consultation launched to discover which areas could benefit from biodiversity.

Local people will be asked whether nature should be encouraged in parks, road verges, roundabouts and within their neighbourhoods, as part of a drive to encourage residents to shape the communities they live in.

The Council has already identified potential areas for biodiversity in Renfrewshire, with a maximum of ten chosen in each community, and residents will be asked to decide whether they believe they are suitable.

Detailed assessments have been carried out on each proposed area to identify the current biodiversity and the potential for animals, plants and natural flowers to flourish.

Community members can see the proposals and the assessments online and are encouraged to submit their views on the proposed sites, and any other areas in Renfrewshire that they believe would benefit from biodiversity, before the consultation closes on Sunday 13 September.

Those without internet access can call 0300 300 0330 to for support to submit their views.

The proposals are designed to improve the local environment as part of ongoing plans to tackle climate change in Renfrewshire, with the council taking the lead in putting it at the forefront of all decision making for the future.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “As we continue to look for every opportunity to tackle climate change, the creation of biodiversity areas across Renfrewshire would help improve the local environment and allow nature to flourish in our communities.

“We want to know where you think biodiversity would flourish and help us improve our local environment, whether that’s in your local park, a grassed area near your home or a road verge in your area.

“This isn’t about not cutting grass and leaving it to grow wild though. We’ve cut more than 97% of Renfrewshire grassed areas in recent months so the areas we have proposed have been specifically identified for this purpose.

“Each area would be maintained and added to if required to ensure that natural plants and insects can develop, and their progress would be monitored continually.

“This consultation gives local people the chance to have an informed look into biodiversity, as well as each proposed area and its potential benefits, before making their decision, so I would encourage everyone to take part before the deadline.”

For more information, and to take part in the consultation, residents should visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/biodiversityconsultation or call 0300 300 0330.

Renfrewshire Leisure Covid-19 sanitiser signage1

Safety the priority as Renfrewshire Leisure confirms the careful restart of services at gyms and swimming pools after Covid-19 shutdown

Local leisure charity, Renfrewshire Leisure, will begin the safe and phased reopening of its leisure centres from Monday, September 14th.

Renfrewshire Leisure Covid-19 sanitiser signage1 

Details of the plans for gyms and swimming pools have been confirmed, along with news that members will not be charged any membership fees until November. This delay to restarting payments is to cover payments made in March but has been extended to thank supporters for their loyalty as the organisation moves into a significant phase in its recovery from the lockdown triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.


On September 14th, ON-X in Linwood, the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley, Renfrew Leisure Centre, Renfrew Victory Baths, Erskine Sports Centre and Erskine Swimming Pool will reopen, complying with all Scottish Government guidance on hygiene and physical distancing. 

Renfrewshire Leisure graphic showing two-metre distancing between gym equipment

Shared leisure facilities at Park Mains High School in Erskine and at the Johnstone Community Sports Hub will open in a second phase, with strictly controlled public access. This will involve detailed health and safety reviews and will ensure there has been sufficient time to settle pupils and staff safely back to school. Planned investment work in maintenance of the swimming pool at Johnstone means that this part of the venue will not be ready to reopen alongside other areas of the site, but will follow later.


Some outside synthetic sports pitches will reopen to pre-existing club bookings on August 31st, although changing room facilities as well as smaller pavilions and gym facilities (at Seedhill, Ferguslie and Ralston) will remain closed for now as a result of challenging physical distancing requirements. Wider bookings – which must be made by phone – will be opened from September 14th. Full details are available at www.renfrewshireleisure.com.

Renfrewshire Leisure Covid-19 sanitiser signage2 

Entrance to indoor leisure facilities and services will be by online pre-booking of time slots only. Clearly indicated hygiene measures will be in place at each venue, with details emailed to members and customers once bookings are made. More details about the online booking system will be provided ahead of opening.


Details on restarting the Learn to Swim programme are being reviewed. An update on this will be provided shortly.


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced last week that the earliest possible date from which gyms and pools could reopen was August 31st. This confirmation has allowed the Renfrewshire Leisure team to review the latest Government guidance and enter the final phase of preparations to ensure customer and employee safety.


Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We know how eager people are to enjoy the services in our venues once again and are looking forward to welcoming members and customers back as we work to help improve residents’ wellbeing across Renfrewshire. That’s why I am so pleased that we are able to help people invest in their health by continuing our freeze on members’ direct debit payments until November.


“While arrangements at our venues will be different to that which our communities are used to, we are sure that by working together and adhering to all of the guidelines in place that the gradual restart of our services will be enjoyable for everyone.”


Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The safe and phased restart of on-site services at our leisure centres and swimming pools is a major milestone in not only our charity’s careful route out of lockdown, but that of the communities we are proud to serve.


“Safety remains our number one priority. The dates and phased approach we have planned for the restart of our services reflect that, ensuring we will be in the strongest position to welcome people back in the safest way.”


Throughout lockdown, Renfrewshire Leisure has been operating an innovative programme of online services to help people stay fit and healthy. For more details about how to take part in them, go to  www.renfrewshireleisure.com or follow the charity’s channels on social media.

Jessica Cushley, 30, with friend 31-year-old Victoria Smith, both from Erskine Renfrewshire enjoy a game of adventure golf in Soar at intu Braehead.

PALS Jessica Cushley and Victoria Smith got back in the swing of things yesterday when they were first to play a fun game of adventure golf in Soar at intu Braehead, after the government’s coronavirus restrictions were eased.

Jessica Cushley, 30, with friend 31-year-old Victoria Smith, both from Erskine Renfrewshire enjoy a game of adventure golf in Soar at intu Braehead.

The Paradise Island Adventure Golf attraction at the popular leisure destination re-opened its doors to the public after lockdown, which began at the end of March.

Jessica, 30 and Victoria, 31 both from Erskine, Renfrewshire enjoyed playing a few holes of adventure golf before heading to Frankie and Benny’s restaurant in Soar, for a bite of lunch.

Jessica said: “We’ve certainly missed going out with friends and having some fun during lockdown.”

Craig Nichol, marketing manager for Paradise Island Adventure Golf at Soar said: “It’s fantastic to be open again. It’s been a tough few months for everyone as leisure activities have been one of the things people haven’t been able to do and it’s a big thing in our lives.

“Our bookings have been very strong since we announced we were re-opening and people are happy that they are able to get out and about and have some fun with their families.

“Knowing they can enjoy leisure activities again also makes them more relaxed and accepting of the restrictions that have been put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.”

Paradise Island Adventure Golf has introduced a series of measures to keep everyone safe while they play golf at the attraction.

An online booking system has been introduced, although people can still turn up and pay to play on the day.

Directional signage is in place to show the one-way system around the two 18-hole courses and hand sanitisers are available for visitors.

Other leisure attractions at Soar that have re-opened recently include the Odeon cinema, tenpin bowling, Funstation and Prizestation amusement arcades, along with various restaurants and bars. The team at Soar has introduced new measures and procedures to stop the spread of coronavirus, including social distancing and hygiene procedures, such as hand sanitisers for visitors use. It includes a raft of other measures with floor stickers indicating a one-way system for visitors and staff training to ensure visitors stay socially distanced.

Visitors are also required to wear face coverings in line with Scottish government instructions.

David Lyon, marketing manager for intu Braehead said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Soar at intu Braehead and everything is being done to make sure it’s a safe place to visit and work.

“Due to the measures we have put in place to protect everyone from coronavirus, the visitor’s experience at Soar may be slightly different from usual, but one thing’s for sure they will get the same warm welcome they’ve come to expect from us.”

provost lorraine cameron

Over the last year, Provost of Renfrewshire Lorraine Cameron supported St. Vincent’s Hospice as her charity of the year and has raised an astonishing £9,637.58 towards their caring services.

provost lorraine cameron

St. Vincent’s Hospice is a provider of specialist palliative and Hospice care for people and families all across Renfrewshire who have been affected by life limiting conditions.

Chief Executive of St. Vincent’s Hospice, Kate Lennon, said: “From charity nights, to constantly helping raise awareness, encouraging other local Councillors to take part in, or organise fundraising activities, and even getting hands on and doing a shift in one of our shops, the support we have received from Provost Lorraine Cameron has been absolutely second to none, and we cannot thank her enough.

“Not only is the total of more than £9,000 an unbelievable amount to have raised for our services, but the attention which this has helped raise towards our services and the difference that St. Vincent’s makes to so many in the community is immeasurable.

“On behalf of all of us at the Hospice, and to the countless patients, families and loved ones who have been supported in some way by these efforts, I want to say thank you to Provost Cameron, and to everyone who helped make this possible. Thank you.”

Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “It’s been an honour to support St Vincent’s Hospice over the past year. They are a local charity in the heart of the community here in Renfrewshire and I know how much the work they do means to so many people.

“I had a great day working in their shop in Paisley and a real highlight of the year was organising an 80’s themed party night to celebrate the 30 years of St Vincent’s Hospice. It was great fun getting all dressed up.

“I’d also like to say thank you to everyone who helped me support St Vincent’s – whether you bought a ticket to the 80’s night, spent money in a St Vincent’s shop or supported them in another way. Every penny makes a difference.”

If you would like to make St. Vincent’s Hospice your charity of the year, and make a difference to people all across your local community, please contact Info@svh.co.uk or call 01505 705 635.

aesthetic suites
Prior to lockdown in March due to the ongoing pandemic it was a huge opening year for this aesthetics clinic right here in paisley.
aesthetic suites
The beginning of the venture at braehead arena featuring at the wedding exhibition..also advertised in tie the knot wedding magazine.
Prior to this there was a full page spread in the paisley daily Express…welcoming everyone to an open evening to give advice and guidance in the world of non surgical cosmetics. This was a huge success allowing people to be comfortable in the clinical area.
Nichola gormley has been at the heart of it all and is delighted with the growing reputation of this practice.
aesthetic suites
Aesthetic suites became finalists at the Rocco awards with the paisley chambers of commerce for Renfrewshire favourite business. This was a huge honour.
The practice then went onto win the regional Scottish business award for best aesthetic clinic and will now compete for the best aesthetic clinic in Scotland.
There is a new nurse working alongside Nichola. Lorraine has been welcomed by patients and is settling in well.
Both of them are glad to be back in the practice following their return to front line nursing during the pandemic.
aesthetic suites
Although the clinic was closed Nichola and Lorraine continued to enhance their knowledge base and keep in with practising completing weekly webinars with the academy of aesthetics ran by Dr G Virdi as well as new certifications in facial anatomy and complications management
All new policies, procedures and risk assessments keep everyone safe….and the contingency plan has been approved by the regulatory body.
A hand sanitisation station is in place outside the clinic with disposable masks , gloves, and aprons. Instructions for appointments are discussed via telephone prior to appointments. All for the purpose of keeping everyone safe
FB: https://www.facebook.com/aestheticsuites.co.uk