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Paolo Nutini wows Paisley crowd with stunning homecoming show

Paisley’s homegrown musical megastar Paolo Nutini tonight played a triumphant homecoming charity gig in the stunning setting of the town’s 850-year-old Abbey.



The eagerly-anticipated and exclusive event was rapturously received by the 550 fans lucky enough to be there – after more than 50,000 entered the ballot for tickets.

The gig was the headline show of Paisley’s annual Spree Festival – this year taking place as the town waits to hear if it will be crowned UK City of Culture 2021 in a few weeks time.

This was Paolo’s only UK gig this year, with favourites including These Streets, Iron Sky and Candy all featuring in the set lasting just over two hours.

Speaking about the show Paolo said: “It was scary biscuits! But I loved it and it’s so good to be home!”

The gig raised in excess of £20,000 for five local charities selected by Paolo himself – the Love Street Singers, Mirren Park School, the Kibble Band, the Sunshine Recovery Cafe, and the town’s Syrian refugee children.

All ticket money will be split between the five good causes – topped up by thousands raised after Paolo ran a prize draw for a meet and greet where fans could enter by text message at £1 a ticket.

Lucky fan Mima Craig from West Lothian met the star before the gig, and enjoyed fish and chips from his parents’ takeaway, Castelvecchi, in the town centre.

The gig also saw 100 tickets made available to Renfrewshire community groups.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Paolo has been a big supporter of his home town’s ambitions – tonight’s gig was an incredible experience in one of our unique venues and showed the world Paisley knows how to host a party.

“Our bid aims to open up world-class cultural programming to every section of our community and tonight Paolo helped us show how great that could be in 2021.”

Paisley is bidding to be UK City of Culture 2021 as part of wider plans to transform the town’s future using its unique story as the home of the world-renowned Paisley Pattern.

The town is the only Scottish place on the final shortlist announced by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the summer – alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

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Paisley set to host Royal National Mòd in 2021 or 2022

Paisley will play host to the Royal National Mòd within the next five years, it has been announced.

MOD Torchlight procession.  All images © Warren Media 2013.

As the town bids to be named UK City of Culture 2021, it was revealed today that it will stage the annual celebration of Gaelic culture that year – if it wins the title, with the Mòd travelling to Perth in 2022.

But if Paisley, which last hosted the prestigious event in 2013, is not named UK City of Culture, one of Paisley or Perth will host in 2021, with the decision made on a point scoring system.

The place which does not host in 2021, will stage the event the following year.

It’s the first time that the Mòd’s organising body, An Comunn Gàidhealach has announced plans for more than a single year, due to the ‘exceptional standard’ of applications by both

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are delighted the Mòd is coming back to Paisley and we look forward to working with our friends at An Comunn to deliver another successful event.

“Paisley’s central location, outstanding transport links and proven record as a major event host will make Gaelic culture accessible to new audiences – our last  Mòd in 2013 saw 8,000 people attend over nine days and a great atmosphere.

“The legacy of that was to strengthen Renfrewshire’s commitment to Gaelic language development – we have since invested in arts programming, and our annual Fèis Phàislig music event has reached around 700 schoolchildren so far.

“Should Paisley be named as UK City of Culture in 2021 that year’s Mòd will form part of an international-class cultural programme – but even if we are waiting another year we will be ready to welcome Gaels from across the world, and delighted to do so.”

In the final day of competitions at this year’s Mòd in Locahber, the area choirs were set to compete in the highly anticipated Lovat and Tullibardine Trophy and Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy at the Nevis Centre.

John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach said: “The applications to host Mòd 2021 was exceptionally high, and we were particularly impressed by the two bids from Paisley and Perth.

“With each bid offering unique features, we felt it only fair to recognise their strength by offering them both the opportunity to host the Royal National Mòd – one in 2021, and the other in 2022.

“We feel that the chance to host our Royal National Mòd in the UK City of Culture would be too good an opportunity to forego, and we wish our friends in Paisley luck ahead of the final decision on the UK City of Culture title. Equally, we look forward to returning to the lovely city of Perth, in the not too distant future.”

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Paisley is flying high thanks to Purple Flag status

Paisley’s status as a safe, inviting night time destination has been celebrated by the installation of its Purple Flag in the town centre.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Board, with the Purple Flag

The town was awarded Purple Flag status in January this year in recognition of its thriving evening and night time economy, becoming just the fourth place in Scotland to be awarded the status.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Nicola Williamson, Senior Environment Coordinator, Renfrewshire Council and Eileen Heron

The Purple Flag is the benchmark for good night time destinations and town and cities must provide a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture, while promoting the safety and well-being of visitors and local residents to achieve the status.

Councillor Marie McGurk raising the Purple Flag

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “We are delighted that Paisley has been recognised as an exciting, diverse, safe place to enjoy a night out and we’re proud to fly the Purple Flag in our town centre.

“To achieve the status we had to show Paisley was welcoming to all, offers safe ways for visitors to travel home and provides a range of inviting establishments for people to visit.

“The work that has gone on behind the scenes with each of the partners involved has been fantastic and the final application proved just how deserving the town is of Purple Flag status.

“As we look ahead to the decision on Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, the achievement of this status is yet further evidence that Paisley is an attractive and vibrant place for people to visit and spend money in.”

The application for Purple Flag status was developed by Renfrewshire Council and Paisley First, with input from close partners including Scotrail, Police Scotland, Paisley Pubwatch, Renfrewshire Cabs, Paisley Street Pastors and Paisley and West Community Council, and considered five key themes: Wellbeing, Movement, Appeal, Place and Policy.

Councillor Marie McGurk and Eileen Heron, Project Leader, Paisley First

Ian Henderson, Chairman of Paisley First, said: “When the much-coveted Purple Flag was awarded to Paisley in early 2017, it was an important milestone event. It endorsed the town as a safe place to have an entertaining night out and we are delighted that the award has been renewed.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Nicola Williamson, Senior Environment Coordinator, Renfrewshire Council and Eileen Heron

“The award is particularly reassuring to the thousands of students who come from overseas to Paisley each year to study. Paisley First would like to thank all of the local stakeholders involved with the Purple Flag that have worked hard to retrain the accreditation.”

The Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) which works in partnership with key stakeholder groups backed by the government, police and businesses, as well as UK sponsors, Diageo Great Britain.

There are more than 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are accredited with Purple Flag status, including UK City of Culture host cities Hull and Londonderry.

For more information visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/purpleflag

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St Vincent’s Hospice Annual Christmas Sparkler Ladies Lunch

Join us at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow for our annual Ladies Christmas Sparkler Lunch on Sunday 3rd December.

Hosted by the wonderfully entertaining Steve McKenna, you will be assured of a wonderful afternoon of glamour and fun.

Guests will enjoy a sparkling drinks reception whilst Master Magician, Mark Gordon wows with some of his magic.  After a delicious three-course lunch, it is time hit the dancefloor for some fun and dance the afternoon away to the magnificent sound of all-girl band Feeva.

If you would like any further information for this wonderful fun and glamorous afternoon, please contact the fundraising team at St Vincent’s Hospice on 01505 705635.

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Gavin Newlands MP urges households to ‘Keep a Step Ahead of Winter’

New research from Scottish Gas has highlighted that having no heating or hot water would be the number one disaster for households in Scotland this winter. Even so, many people in Renfrewshire have not taken action to ensure their homes are winter-ready.

British Gas – Stay warm this Winter 2017

Despite the autumn chill, a national survey* shows that more than a third of households (35%) in Scotland have not checked that their central heating is working and nearly four in ten have not prepared their home for winter by getting their boiler serviced.

Keeping homes safe is an important part of winter preparation, yet only four in ten households in Scotland have checked that their carbon monoxide alarm is working. Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’, because the gas has no odour or taste, and is invisible.

Being energy efficient is particularly important during the winter months, and technology can help with this. Whilst more than half of households in Scotland (51%) acknowledge that technology could help their home to run more smoothly during winter, less than a third (32%) have smart meters.

Having smart meters installed can help keep household energy in check, as they automatically send readings to the energy supplier.  Smart meters also come with a display that shows you how much energy is being used, in pounds and pence, in near real-time, and identify where savings can be made.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said: “It’s really important to be properly prepared for winter. I want everyone in Renfrewshire to understand what help is available, not just for themselves, but their family and friends too. Being energy efficient and keeping bills under control is really important, so I’d encourage people to get in touch with their energy supplier to find out what support is on offer.”

Scottish Gas engineer Stephen Cosgrove, who fixes and repairs boilers, said: “Winter can be a challenging time for households, but there are some practical steps that you can take, with our help, to make sure that you are prepared.”

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Young people take simple steps towards positive mental health

Young people are speaking out about positive steps their peers can take to have good mental health.

front row: Renfrewshire Council’s youth services team Lizzie McLean and Laura McAuley, Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, Youth Commission member Jack Vaughan, and Renfrewshire Youth Voice member Adrian McKechnie

Members of the Youth Commission, Renfrewshire Youth Voice, the Youth Forum, LGBT+ youth group and Renfrewshire’s MSYPs took to the streets to showcase the simple ways young people can support their mental health – including walking around the town.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, gets shown the Young Scot website by Renfrewshire Youth Voice member and member of the Youth Commission, Osama Nadeem

Education and Children’s Services Convener of Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Jim Paterson, met up with the young people at the Young Scot trailer set up in Paisley town centre.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, talks with Renfrewshire Youth Voice and Youth Commission members Adrian McKechnie and Osama Nadeem.

The trailer is a meeting place for young people during the October school holidays to share their opinions on what a youth hub for Renfrewshire would look like as well as what they want to see as part of a year of culture for Paisley.

Youth Commission members Graeme Wilson and Jack Vaughan outside the Young Scot trailer at the Cenotaph in Paisley town centre

A major strand of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 is mental health and wellbeing, which is the result of the work of Renfrewshire Youth Voice and the first-ever Youth Assembly held in the area.

While there, Councillor Paterson learned about the #FollowYourFeet social media campaign and the ‘Strolling, Strolling, Strolling Wellbeing Walk’, which has been organised by young people in support of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

Graeme Wilson and Amylouise Busby, two of the young people involved in the Youth Commission, said: “There are plenty of simple steps young people can take that will have a profound effect on their mental health, such as taking a walk, meeting up with friends or joining a youth group.

“We know good mental health is important to young people and we wanted to involve all young people in the #FollowYourFeet campaign by asking everyone to post what makes them feel good or what inspires them on social media.”

The #FollowYourFeet social media campaign comes just a few weeks before the Youth Commission will hold a symposium in Renfrewshire Council’s headquarters, Renfrewshire House, on their key findings.

Councillor Paterson said: “Young people have told us that their mental health matters to them and it is vital that we understand what they need to be supported. The Youth Commission Symposium will be a fantastic opportunity for young people to tell us what they have found out about mental health in Renfrewshire and what everyone can do to ensure that all young people have positive mental health.”

Amylouise added: “Next week, the Youth Commission will be holding a Symposium to answer questions about what we have researched and what decision makers, parents and the community can do to support good mental health in young people. We also know that there is a lot young people can do together and as we prepare to give our evidence on our findings, we want to gather further support from young people in Renfrewshire to show that by following their feet, they can improve their mental health.”

To find out more about the Youth Commission, visit young.scot/renfrewshire.


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Renfrewshire community group is to have its artwork displayed in Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art

A Renfrewshire community group is to have its artwork displayed in Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art as part of a major exhibition by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

The photograph chosen as the finalist in the Keep Scotland Beautiful exhibition

Communities from across Scotland were invited to take part in a competition which challenged members of the public to take photographs of drinks litter and cup lids discarded in their local communities.

Volunteers and kids with Councillor Cathy McEwan, Council Leader Iain Nicolson, Volunteer Heather Clissit and Councillor Michelle Campbell

Erskine Community Garden was selected for its submission titled ‘Pick me up before you go-go’ and will join two other photographs in the final exhibition which takes place on 24 and 25 October.

The photo was taken at Barsail Primary School as part of a ‘Team Up to Clean Up’ litter pick which collected 20 bags of rubbish, including the now famous coffee cup.

Winning photographer Heather Clissit, Erskine Community Garden

Volunteer Heather Clissit, who took the wining photo, said: “We decided to enter the competition as it sounded like a great way to encourage litter picking and giving a fantastic platform to emphasise the issue of single use containers.

“We are really happy and excited to have made it into the top three and look forward to visiting the exhibition.

“We want to say a huge thank you to Keep Scotland Beautiful for always being so supportive over the years that we’ve had litter pick and also to Renfrewshire Council who are great at providing equipment and advice.”

Renfrewshire Council’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign is a joint initiative which encourages the community to take pride in where they live and work by undertaking community clean ups, being a responsible dog owner and recycling wherever possible.

To support the campaign, the Council has increased its gully cleaning, road sweeping and litter picking services as well as adding additional resource to its Rapid Response Team, which all comes as part of an additional £250,000 investment.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I’m delighted one of our local community groups will have their artwork showcased in Keep Scotland Beautiful’s exhibition.

“Through our Team Up to Clean Up campaign, we are encouraging the community to get out there and take pride in their local community and Erskine Community Garden are a shining example of what can be achieved.

“By coming together as a community, they have received this fantastic recognition which I hope will bring the issue of littering and recycling to the forefront of people’s minds in an abstract and intriguing way.”

The Keep Scotland Beautiful exhibition will take place at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow on 24 and 25 October where one of the three community entries will be announced as the overall winner.

The winner will subsequently be awarded with a professionally designed campaign collateral pack, featuring their own submission, to support them with their anti-littering activities locally.

Nicola Turner, Community Projects Officer, at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We were inundated with creative entries to this competition – capturing discarded drinks litter and cup lids from all across Scotland. Selected from a shortlist of 13, the winning images were powerful and creative. Congratulations to all of them.

“It is exciting that so many communities from all over the country engaged in the issue of litter and discarded drinks packaging. The entries revealed that much more needs to be done to reduce litter levels in Scotland and I hope that our exhibition can showcase not only the issue, but also a range of solutions.

“I look forward to seeing the winning images on display in the Gallery of Modern Art.”

Further information on the competition can be found at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org.

To find out how to get involved or for information on the Council’s additional activity visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

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Community groups enjoy Spree festival thanks to tickets initiative

Local organisations from across Renfrewshire have enjoyed performances by some of the top names at this year’s Spree festival thanks to a community tickets scheme.

Foxbar Mens Shed meet Dougie MacLean inThe Speigletent at Paisley Spree 18.10.17

The Men’s Shed is among the local groups to benefit with a visit to watch singer songwriter Dougie MacLean’s gig at the Spiegeltent venue, where they also got to meet the man himself.

Dougie MacLean at Paisley Spree 2017 18.10.17

The group sees men of all ages meet weekly in a social setting at the Foxbar Youth Centre where they build bird houses, plant boxes and bird feeders, tend to community allotments and undertake guided walks all over Renfrewshire and beyond.

It was set up by Shelter Scotland’s Foundations First Project, funded by the STV Children’s Appeal and offers a personalised service to support families in Renfrewshire who are struggling to find, keep or improve their home.

Volunteer coordinator Janice MacNamara said: “Coming together at a gig like this makes such a difference to the men. It’s a social thing as some of them don’t have any family, so it’s another night out. Meeting Dougie too was just brilliant, we were chatting away about Paisley.

“Different men of all ages come to our group for different reasons – some come through bereavement because they’ve lost their partner and we also have men who maybe have mental health or addiction issues, though they are all free from drugs and alcohol when they come.

“No questions are asked about anybody, it’s about sharing skills and helping each other and it’s been great for all of them to get together in this way.”

Community group tickets also made available for this year’s Spree festival include 100 given out for Paolo Nutini’s sold out Homecoming gig at Paisley Abbey on Friday October 20 .

Sixty were given to local community groups through local charity Engage, with another 40 distributed to looked after children through Renfrewshire Council’s social work department.

Other groups who benefited across the festival include the Star Project, Paisley and Renfrew YMCAs, Street Stuff and Haven Recycling.

As the Spree continued this week, top comics Tom Urie and Janey Godley teamed up for a special night of music and laughter at the Burger & Keg Live Tent at Paisley Abbey.

Tom Urie at The Burger and Keg Tent at Paisley Spree 2017 18.10.17

Another raft of aspiring musicians including Anton and the Colts, Kieran Sinclair and Friends and Bobby Deans performed at the Danny Kyle Open Stage at the Spiegeltent, while the Spree For All fringe festival hosted live music at a string of venues across the town centre, including at the The Old Swan Inn.

Other upcoming highlights include the Brewband show at Paisley Town Hall on Friday, singer songwriter James Grant’s show at Paisley Abbey on Saturday and the RSNO takeover at Paisley Abbey on Tuesday, where talented Renfrewshire school children will perform with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The Spree allows us to take culture to every corner of Renfrewshire.

“The aim of the UK City Culture 2021 bid is to allow us to open the benefits of culture and the arts to all. The community groups tickets initiative at the Spree festival allows us to support local charities and communities in this way and give them to access cultural experiences they would otherwise be unable to.”

The Spree is taking place in partnership with local bar Burger and Keg and Fosters and more info can be found at burgerandkeg.co.uk.

The festival is also supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and the British Council.

Tickets and info are available from www.thespree.co.uk and from the box office on 0300 300 1210.

Details of the Spree for All can be found at its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SpreeForAllPaisley/

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A Paisley business man has organised socks to be donated to homeless people this winter.

Dave Pickard Co-Founder of the London Sock Company has teamed up with Crisis, the national charity for homeless people to supply the socks throughout October.

The initiative, called Sock-tober, is being launched with the London Sock Company.

For every pair of socks sold during the month a special pair of durable socks will be donated to Crisis for the charity to distribute.

Dave Pickard from Paisley, Co-Founder of the London Sock Company said: “As winter and the cold nights draw nearer we are delighted to link up with Crisis and donate a nice warm pair of socks for every pair we sell. We are calling this initiative Sock-tober and we hope to keep homeless people a little warmer.”

Ian Richards, Head of Christmas at Crisis said: “Winter can be an especially difficult time for some of our clients, particularly those who are forced to live on the streets. A good pair of socks can make all the difference. On behalf of everyone at Crisis, I’d like to thank the London Sock Company for their generous donation.”

Latest figures reveal that more than nine thousand people are sleeping rough every night in the UK and figures are predicted to rise.

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FREE ReMode Make Week – Kimonos & Indoors/Outdoors

We have some exciting FREE workshops coming up! There are still places left at our Kimono Make Week next week – session running 12-3pm of Weds 25th and 12-3pm/ 6-9pm on Thursday and Friday! Come and have a laugh making Kimonos with me using fabric from the Our Pattern workshops!
We also have spaces at our Indoor/Outdoor Make Week, I have attached the flyer so you can see the schedule of activities! Again reply to this email to book a space! For more info https://www.facebook.com/remodeyouth/