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YOUNGSTERS at three Renfrew Primary schools got the chance to take part in their annual sports day – even though they were still in lockdown.

Thanks to the team at Renfrewshire Leisure Sports Services, pupils from Kirklandneuk, Arkleston and Newmains Primary schools competed in a virtual sports day.

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All the usual summer sports day events were held in the pupils’ own gardens as the individual houses in schools competed against each other. Events included Egg and Spoon, Wellie Toss, Limbo, Speed Bounce, Human Pyramid, Transfer the Water, Bowls, Plank, Obstacle Course, Laps of the Garden, Keepie Ups, Burpees and Standing Long Jump.

The winning house at Kirklandneuk Primary was Spartan; Arkleston house winner was Viscount and Newmains winning house was Wallace.

Olympic athlete, Eilidh Doyle sent pupils a good luck video to encourage them to take part. The youngsters were also asked to design flags and banners to put up in their gardens, or the windows of their homes.

The Renfrewshire Leisure Sports Services team paid tribute to Kirklandeuk principal teacher, Mrs Gillian Stafford and teacher Mr Darren O’Hanlon; Newmains principal teacher, Mrs Gillian Hall and Arkleston principal teacher, Mrs Kajla for their help in organising the event.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Lots of pupils and their families look forward to their school sports day and it was a great idea from our Sports Services Team that they shouldn’t miss out this year.

“Lots of things have been happening online since the lockdown began and it was an inspired move to create a virtual sports day for the three schools. I want to thank all the teachers and pupils for getting involved and making virtual sports day a success, they have been brilliant.”

Cathy teamup pick up

Local volunteers from Renfrewshire’s award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign have caught fly tippers red-handed as they look to protect the local environment.

Cathy teamup pick up

Six £200 fixed penalty notices have been issued by Renfrewshire Council since April following reports from dedicated volunteers who have encountered fly tipping while cleaning up their area – with 22 issued in total across the area.

Waste found in Renfrew identified the same person’s details on numerous occasions which led to a fine being issued, while a van was caught red-handed dumping waste in Erskine.

Other occasions saw fly tippers fined in Paisley and Erskine woods after they were caught on camera illegally getting rid of their waste.

The notices require to be paid within 14 days, otherwise the council can pursue court action against the offenders.

Any residents using a ‘man with a van’ type companies must ensure that their waste will be disposed of legally by a registered waste carrier as it is still their responsibility if it is dumped illegally.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Fly tipping is not only illegal, but it ruins the appearance and harms our local environment.

“We need people in Renfrewshire to take responsibility for their waste and recognise that dumping it in our countryside, neighbourhoods or laybys is unacceptable.

“The fantastic Team Up to Clean Up volunteers are prime examples of what we should all strive to be, and they are making a tremendous difference to our local area.

“If you see someone fly tipping, or find evidence as to who has done it, then please report to us and together we can stop this happening once and for all in Renfrewshire.”

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, or to report fly tipping, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

cotton street

Councillors have committed to researching Renfrewshire’s history and links to the slave trade as part of stand against racism and hate crime.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron opened the first-ever virtual full Council meeting by outlining her desire to reflect on the area’s part in the slave trade as part of its support for the Black Lives Matter campaign.

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Provost Cameron said: “As an organisation, we value diversity and will not tolerate racism in our schools, workplaces or communities.

“The killing of George Floyd shocked and sickened us all and has marked a turning point for the anti-racism movement. We must work to eradicate racism in all its forms now and be prepared to examine the role it played in our past.

“Renfrewshire’s thread-making was part of an international industry built on slavery, a part of our history that we must reflect on and come to terms with.

“We were, however, a community that had an active abolition movement in the late 18th and early-mid 19th centuries, embracing diversity and campaigning for equality in all its forms.

“It is that sense of fairness and justice that has shaped our present and that we must draw on now, but we must also move away from that comfortable place where we have positioned ourselves as abolitionists – because that position is not enough anymore.

“That is why we are committing to researching the past and links between Renfrewshire and the slave trade. It is vitally important that we have a conversation about how we ethically address this part of our history, represent all the voices within our community and ensure that racism has no part in our future.

“It’s what we do next that matters. We must look to our past, stare it in the face and claim it. Only then can we begin to move forward.”

Following discussion, councillors agreed to support Black History Month each year and to support both cultural and educational events outside of the designated month, with consultation completed with the black community on how this should be done.

An anti-racism discussion group has also been established by Renfrewshire Leisure’s cultural team and will build on their ongoing research into Renfrewshire’s past and look at how museums can be decolonised moving forward.

Also at the meeting, which was attended by 21 of the 43 elected members to limit potential connection issues, councillors received an update on the current situation in Renfrewshire relating to Coronavirus, as well as details of the area’s recovery plan to restart, recover and renew services in line with national guidance with partners, businesses and communities.

Councillors also approved the move to undertake virtual meetings for the scheduled policy boards in August and September, as it is not yet clear when meetings of this nature will be able to take place in the conventional manner.

Council meetings will now move into recess until 14 August, although to ensure required decision can be made, the Emergencies Board will continue on a fortnightly basis and its membership has been extended to 15.

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Renfrewshire Council’s board meetings are set for a virtual return, with the full Council meeting on 24 June taking place for the first time via Skype.

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Nominated Councillors from across the political parties will attend the meeting next week and receive an update on the current situation in Renfrewshire relating to Coronavirus, as well as details of the area’s recovery plan.

Councillors will also be asked to approve that the scheduled policy boards in August and September are held remotely, as government guidance does not yet allow indoor gatherings of this nature.

Since 20 March, all council boards were suspended in line with national guidance and replaced in line with established protocols with a weekly Emergencies Board which consisted of senior council officers, including the Chief Executive, and elected members from each of the political parties.

Councillors will be asked to approve the continuation of this board throughout the summer recess, with the board moving to a fortnightly meeting and membership extended to 15.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “In what have been unprecedented times, myself and my fellow councillors have been working hard to support our local communities in every way we can, but I know I am looking forward to the return of our established meetings.

“With the Coronavirus pandemic affecting everyone in Renfrewshire, it is more important than ever that we work to provide all available avenues of support for local people and it’s right that all councillors are aware of the plans around this.

“The work of all our council staff during this time has been fantastic and I extend my thanks to each and every one of them for their hard work and dedication during this time.”

In line with the current Emergencies Board process, all meetings would be recorded and made available for the public to view as soon as possible on the council’s website.

Great news! West College Scotland has a new range of beginner courses launching this autumn at the Ferguslie Centre!

The Ferguslie Learning Centre provides certificated learning opportunities for adults who have little or no prior qualifications and delivers courses that increase employability skills and career opportunities.

The college would like you to know that they are continually working on how they can deliver their courses safely to community learners. When the College starts back in Autumn they envisage a ‘blended’ approach which may include online contact and socially distanced classes. They are in the early stages of planning and more information will be available soon.

To find out more about the courses highlighted, or to register your interest contact Kathleen on 07980 696139 -or email kathleen.brown@wcs.ac.uk

Cllr Iain Nicolson

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson has paid tribute to the work of council staff for their dedication in providing essential services and support throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Iain Nicolson

In a report set to go to the full Council meeting on 24 June, the work of council staff to deliver essential frontline services and the resilience of residents who have volunteered to help their local communities has been outlined.

The national response to the pandemic has been led by the council and its partners to ensure that local people have had quick, direct access to the support that is available, and this work has spanned across every service within the Council.

The newly-established Local Assistance Team supported hundreds of people across Renfrewshire as they helped to arrange food supplies, delivery of medicines and supported those shielding to access supermarket deliveries – with more than 6,200 calls received to the local helpline and contact made with 94% of local people who are shielding. In addition, more than 250,000 food packages have also been supplied to local residents.

Staff at Renfrewshire’s seven childcare hubs have supported more than 250 children of key workers and vulnerable families every week during the lockdown period, with this support set to be extended throughout the summer.

More than 6,600 children have received an £11.25 payment every week in lieu of free school meals and, to facilitate learning at home, 500 Chromebooks have been given to pupils in Renfrewshire who need them.

More than 2000 Scottish Government grants have been processed for local businesses totalling £23million and community and third sector organisations have been supported to access more than £600,000 in grant funding.

Staff have prioritised maintaining services to protect the most vulnerable children and adults in Renfrewshire, including a 24/7 response for anyone made homeless, safe visits to older adults in sheltered housing and the concierge and caretaking service has continued in all high-rise blocks in the area.

The Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership continue to support around 1,600 people through its Care at Home service, providing care packages for vulnerable residents, and staff are supporting care homes to recover from the impact of the virus.

Through the Connecting Scotland programme, vulnerable residents have also been provided with laptop or tablets, an internet connection, and training and support to help them stay connected – with 230 devices available for people in Renfrewshire.

Street cleaning and waste collections teams have continued to work a full schedule, with other key services such as emergency repairs, essential vehicle maintenance, catering and burials continuing to operate round the clock.

The council’s Customer Services team are answering thousands of calls each week to ensure that residents are able to access the services they need, as well as providing vital behind the scenes support for every council service.

Councillor Nicolson said: “The resilience of every one of our teams and their ability to adapt to this ever-changing situation has been incredible.

“Without the work of the council, and the incredible community spirit we have in Renfrewshire, we would not have been able to come through this testing time so successfully and the report set to go to Council outlines the scale of the work undertaken to support the people of Renfrewshire – it’s clear that that everyone has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

“Around 1,000 staff members have been fulfilling a different role than normal during this crisis, learning new skills and being an invaluable support for local people.

“I can’t praise them enough and we will continue to do all we can to give people the support that we know they’ll require now, and in the future, as we recover from this pandemic.

“We will do all we can to ensure that everyone in Renfrewshire can access the support they need so please if you need us, get in touch and we’ll help you through this difficult time.”

For advice and guidance on Coronavirus and the support available from the Council, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.

A NEW creative arts project has been launched for children and grown-ups.

It’s aimed at people looking to be part of a creative community, to pass the time creatively in lockdown, or to encourage and motivate friends and family to try new things.

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Called Tiny Revolutions Renfrewshire, the initiative aims to encourage everyone to get creative in an easy and fun way and be able to share their artistic endeavours with the wider community.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts Team and joined with the Fun Palaces – Tiny Revolutions of Connection organisation to engage with the local community and stimulate creativity.

Every Friday Tiny Revolutions Renfrewshire will post an activity card on the Renfrewshire Leisure website – www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts-projects – for people to download and complete, with activities such as collage, colouring, animation, singing and dancing.

And when the arts project is completed, those taking part are being asked to share photographs of their creations by emailing artsteam@renfrewshire.gov.uk or posting on social media using #TinyRevolutionsRen.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts Team is also planning to organise a future display of artwork from the project in Paisley and the wider Renfrewshire area.

The first two weeks’ arts projects have been to create a rainbow from all kinds of everyday items and to make a two-metre long message paper message made from a single sheet of A4 paper to send to family and friends, re-connecting people who haven’t been able to see each other in a while.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Friday is fun time for people of all ages, who like being artistic and trying new things.

“The Tiny Revolutions Renfrewshire brings together everyone in our community who like to be creative and it’s an ideal activity during the current lockdown.

“Why not encourage your family and friends to take part and then let everyone see how creative you are by sending us photos of your artistic efforts.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson

Grant support for Renfrewshire businesses to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus has now topped £23million, with 98% of all applications having been considered.

Renfrewshire Council’s business teams have awarded 2075 grants from the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus Business Support fund.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson

Some 1876 small business grants have been issued, totalling £18.5million and 199 retail, hospitality and leisure business grants have been awarded, providing £4.8million in relief for companies to counter the impact of Coronavirus.

This small business grant has now been extended to support tenants and occupiers of premises such as shared office spaces, business incubators and shared industrial units

Local businesses are urged to apply now if they require support, with the Scottish Government confirming new applications to this fund will close on Friday 10 July 2020.

A further £380,000 in hardship grants has helped 190 people newly self-employed.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Coronavirus is having a huge impact on all communities across Scotland and upon the local and national economy.

“Our business teams are working tirelessly to approve and award government grants and provide local businesses with support and guidance at this tremendously difficult time.

“I would encourage local employers and employees to visit our support for business web page which is being constantly updated with all the available funding schemes, including sector-specific support and employability advice too.”

The council web page www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-businesses will also have details of additional funding being made available for small B&Bs from Monday 15 June.

Throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, Renfrewshire business leaders, enterprise and education agencies have been in regular contact to consider the current situation and collaborate on the steps needed towards recovery.

Councillor Nicolson said: “The recent news of the potential for major job losses at Rolls-Royce is a devastating blow for everyone affected, including many Renfrewshire residents employed at the Inchinnan site.

“Our priority is to identify how we can support those at risk of losing their jobs and we are in contact with Rolls Royce and working with Government and national agencies to help mitigate the impact of this decision wherever possible.

“I know many more businesses big and small are struggling and we must be ready and able to tackle the social and economic harm now and in the months ahead.”

switch

It’s game-on for the team at Renfrewshire Libraries who are taking part in the Nintendo Animal Crossing New Horizons video game.

Now they’re inviting youngsters with Nintendo Switch to join the fun on the RenLibrary Island to pick up items and make a virtual visit to their museum and library.

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Animal Crossing New Horizons is a video game that allows Nintendo Switch players to create and escape to their own desert island paradise, where they can collect materials to make furniture for their new living quarters, meet new friends and even go fishing in the ocean without having to leave the comfort of their own home.

The RenLibrary Island gates will be open Monday to Friday, between 2pm and 4pm and a friendly virtual librarian will be on hand to meet and help visitors. The friend code needed to access the island is SW-7364-6035-8713.

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Even if youngsters don’t have a Nintendo Switch console they can download the free Animal Crossing Pocket Camp app, which allows players to add Renfrewshire Libraries as a friend with the ID code of 33390233280.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “This project will be great fun for young people and also for the grown ups from our libraries who are taking part.

“Our libraries are far from being places where all you do is borrow books, as we provide a wide range of services on and offline. Getting involved in video games like Animal Crossing New Horizons shows that we are in tune with the digital age and are relevant to people of all ages.”

The project is supported and funded by the Scottish Government’s School Library Improvement Fund and is an expansion on Renfrewshire Leisure’s popular Dip Into Digital Schools’ sessions, which took place in Trinity High library and Paisley Grammar school library between January and March.

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Renfrewshire School Libraries received funding in December 2019 to increase digital participation with digital workshops, which were already successfully being run in Renfrewshire public libraries.

Go to www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk for more information on taking part in the Animal Crossing New Horizons video game.

chemdry-clean

In 1993, 1st Choice ChemDry began trading across Paisley, Greater Glasgow, and Renfrewshire. The business is a local franchise of international company ChemDry.

Director Peter Moir and the whole team pride themselves on providing a professional, caring, and friendly service to domestic and commercial customers. They are passionate about the job they undertake and will always aim to ensure you are satisfied with their service. The team’s extra mile approach is clearly popular, and they recently won the ‘International Franchise of the Year 2019’ award.

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The team offer domestic cleaning of curtains, carpets, rugs, and upholstery. Their technique and process remove dust, dirt, and grime build-up, plus bacteria, pet odour, and potential allergens.
( Find out more: https://www.1stchoicechemdry.co.uk/domestic-cleaning )

1st Choice ChemDry also offers commercial cleaning services, understanding that a clean working environment is essential to the health and productivity of your employees. From carpet and upholstery care to fire-retardant application, the team’s got you covered.
( Find out more: https://www.1stchoicechemdry.co.uk/commercial-cleaning )

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The team is currently offering hospital-grade fog sanitising to ensure a sanitised workplace, so that you can give your staff peace of mind when returning to work after lockdown.
( Find out more: https://www.1stchoicechemdry.co.uk/return-to-work )

The 1st Choice ChemDry staff area all DBS checked, so you can have peace of mind when allowing them into your home or business to carry out work.

 

Find out more about 1st Choice ChemDry at www.1stchoicechemdry.co.uk