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Local MP urges Parents to Register for The Baby Box

The Scottish Government have this week launched the scheme that parents who are expecting a baby will receive a ‘Baby Box’. The Baby Box is filled with essential items that mums and dads need to make sure babies have the best possible start in life.

Local MP Mhairi Black has praised the national rollout of the scheme, she said “this is a really positive step by the Scottish Government we are enabling every child the right start in life and I am thrilled that the scheme will be rolling out to expectant parents in Renfrewshire”.

The scheme is designed by health professionals, based on a similar project in Finland. The box aims to send a message that no child should be left behind especially in the first six months of child development. Mhairi Black MP said “The Baby Box sends out an incredibly strong message that we should all have a good start in life, no matter what your background is. Expecting parents can now register for the Box through their midwives and I would encourage them to do so”.

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Gavin Newlands MP meets with anti-bullying charity

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has encouraged parents to reach out for support if they fear their children are being bullied.

Gavin Newlands MP with Katie Rafferty. Director at respectme

Earlier this week, Mr Newlands met with Katie Rafferty, Director of respectme – Scotland’s anti-bullying service – to learn more about the work that they’re doing to address bullying, including finding out what support they offer to children and parents.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“The schools went back this week and I am only too aware of the fears that parents have that their child may be bullied.

“No one should have to tolerate bullying or other forms of harassment and it’s important that we have a consistent approach to this type of harmful behaviour.

“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Katie Rafferty from respectme to learn about the wide range of support and help that they provide to help create a society where children can live free from bullying and harassment. It’s important to note that if you realise that your child is , unfortunately, eing targeted by bullying then there is a range of support out there for kids and parents.

“This is an issue which I plan to campaign on in the months ahead and I look forward to working with pupils, parents, teachers and others in helping to create a society free of bullying.”

Katie Rafferty, Director at respectme said:

“Bullying behaviour can leave parents feeling anxious, out of their depth, and unsure of what to do or how to help their child. It’s important to remember that adults can make a huge difference in children’s lives by helping them regain their voice, realise their rights and choose for themselves how they want to respond to bullying behaviour.

“For more information on how you can help address bullying, visit www.respectme.org.uk.”

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The Paisley Prince’s Trust Team is Recruiting

Starting in less than a month the Team programme is an action packed 12 weeks for young people to help build self-confidence and motivation.

Aimed at 16 – 25 year olds it could give you the direction you are looking for! Apply to our next Paisley Team: http://www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk/courses/course-directory/courses/princes-trust/princes-trust-team-programme

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Twin-tastic start to new school term

Renfrewshire’s pupils headed back to school for a new term today, and at one school it was double the fun as two sets of twins started Primary 1.

Twins at St Catherines PS. James Harkness, Stuart Harkness, Caris Orr, Kacey Orr

James and Stuart Harkness, and Kacey and Kariss Orr were enjoying their first day at St Catherine’s Primary in Paisley this morning.

Teresa Brown, Headteacher of St Catherine’s Primary School, said: “Welcoming our new Primary 1 class into the school is always a good day, but with two sets of twins there will be even more excitement for the young ones.

“It’s an emotional day for parents and grandparents too as they watch their children go into school for the first time.”

For almost 25,000 pupils across Renfrewshire’s 11 secondary, 49 primary and two additional support needs schools, today was the first day of term.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, Councillor Jim Paterson, added: “The first day of school is always filled with excitement as well as nerves and I wish all the very best to all our pupils as they start this new school year.

“Here in Renfrewshire we want to make sure all our pupils can reach their full potential, regardless of their background, and as one of nine local authorities taking part in the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge, we will be broadening our approaches to literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing.”

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New changes will test drivers!

M8 Driving School

New driving test, learners on motorway changes a plenty in the driving world.

M8 Driving School

New test takes place on the 4th December where turn in the road and left reverse will be removed from the test and replaced with a bay park and pull up on the right, reverse back 2 car lengths and pull away when safe (not parking on the right). There will also be independent driving using a sat nav.

Learners on motorways, looks like happening next year BUT will only be allowed with an approved driving instructor in a dual controlled driving school car NO MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC.

Courtesy of M8 driving school.

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Paisley marks Indian independence anniversary with stunning dance video

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has been boosted by a beautifully-made video showing Indian dancers performing against the backdrop of the town’s iconic landmarks.

stills from the video

The video stars dancers from Abhinaya Glasgow Dance Academy and was funded by a grant from the Renfrewshire, Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, created as part of the Paisley 2021 bid.

It has been released to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Indian independence (TUESDAY) which will see events taking place across the UK, India and beyond.

The film can be seen now via paisley2021.co.uk and on the 2021 social media channels.

The four-minute-long film – called The Longing – was shot earlier this summer and uses classical Indian dance to tell the story of ‘a beautiful girl’ Rada, who is waiting for her hero Kanan to return.

It is set in the grounds of Paisley’s 850-year-old Abbey, while dancers in traditional costume can be seen performing in front of local architectural treasures such as Paisley Town Hall, Anchor Mills and the cobbled streets of Oakshaw, while the Paisley Pattern also features.

Paisley is bidding to be UK City of Culture 2021 as part of a wider push to transform the town’s future using the power of its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story.

Earlier this month, the town was confirmed by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as the only Scottish place on the final shortlist – which also features Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

And Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “We are thrilled to support this wonderful project through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, created to help bring new talent to the area and boost our local creative scene.

“The diversity it shows will be central to our 2021 cultural programme, while the film also highlights the massive contribution the Indian diaspora make to the UK arts scene.

“Everything about the video is stunning – the choreography, direction, cinematography and costumes, and it shows Paisley, the Paisley Pattern, and our wonderful collection of historic buildings at its best.

“Of course Paisley and India are already linked – with our weavers having mastered the production of the original teardrop-motif Kashmiri shawls in the 19th century and created a fashion symbol which spread the Paisley name around the world.

“We are delighted to be celebrating those links for the 21st century through our digital channels, and to be making our own contribution to the 70th anniversary of Indian independence celebrations.”

The dancing was choreographed by Esther Sunija, artistic director of Abhinaya Dance Academy, who teaches Indian dance classes in the town.

Esther said: “With help from Paisley 2021, we wanted to showcase the important buildings of Paisley to people around the world.

“We used the Paisley Pattern onto the sarees and rangoli and also showed the beautiful venues of Paisley, especially the mill and riverside, to help us communicate the story behind the scene.

“The video also raises awareness of the South Asian classical dance of Bharatanatyam, which is part of one of the eight ancient dance forms in India.

“We found Paisley’s heritage buildings go well with Bharatanatyam and are delighted to highlight the diverse cultural influence of Paisley.”
Abhinaya’s classes are open to all will resume after the summer break starting next Monday, in the town’s Wynd Centre, from 6 until 8pm.

They feature two disciplines – Bharatanatyam – one of the most popular classical Indian dance forms, noted for its fixed upper torso, spectacular footwork and sophisticated vocabulary of hand and facial gestures, and Dancercise, which blends aerobics and dance moves with upbeat Bollywood music.

For more information on the bid, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk and for the classes, see www.abhinayaglasgow.org/paisley-2021

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Johnstone hots up as Fire Engine Rally returns to the town

Johnstone was alive to the sound of sirens at the weekend as the annual Fire Engine Rally returned to the town once again.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron joins in the fun

Thousands of people turned out across the day to see fire engines, past and present, showcased in the town centre.

Fire engines from throughout the years parade through Johnstone

15 emergency vehicles paraded from Johnstone Fire Station into Houston Square, where they remained for the afternoon, giving everyone the chance to climb on board and learn how they’ve advanced through the years.

A fireman of the future enjoys the falconry

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service undertook a variety of demonstrations throughout the day including cutting a trapped person out of a car and how to deal with a chip pan fire.

Scottish Fire and Rescue tackle a chip pan fire

The crowds were kept further entertained with music, face painting and falconry taking place all afternoon.

Youngster get to grips with the fire bell

The event was hosted by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Heritage Trust.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron was on hand to welcome everyone to the event on the day.

Provost Cameron said: “What a fantastic day in Johnstone town centre.

“It was great to see so many people visit to take in the parade of fire engines and then stay for an afternoon full of family activities.

“The Fire Service provided a terrific day of education and it’s an event that the whole community now looks forward to each year.

“Renfrewshire has a packed events schedule which continues for the rest of the year including the upcoming Spree Festival in October, so make sure you check out what’s on and come along if you can make it!”

For upcoming events in Renfrewshire visit www.paisley2021.co.uk/events or www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events.

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10.1 increase on long-haul traffic

 EU-scheduled traffic up 14%

Glasgow Airport has recorded its busiest ever month as more than 1,082,000 passengers travelled through its doors in July – representing a 6.2% increase on the same period in 2016.

International traffic grew by 10.1% with long-haul routes including Emirates’ daily double to Dubai, Delta Air Line’s New York-JYK flight and Virgin Atlantic’s direct Orlando service reporting particularly strong demand.

EU-scheduled services were up 14% thanks to additional capacity on a number of routes including Alicante, Palma and Dusseldorf, while city-break destinations such as Berlin, Reykjavik, Amsterdam, Madrid and Paris also proved popular.

July saw thousands of travellers take to the skies bound for a number of European sun destinations including the Canary Islands, Ibiza, Faro, Greece, Croatia and the Costa del Sol. The airport also recorded its busiest day of the year so far on Friday, July 14, as 40,000 passengers passed through the terminal.

The release of July’s passenger figures follows news that Glasgow was named one of the top six UK airports in the Civil Aviation Authority’s Airport Accessibility Report. Glasgow scored a ‘Very Good’ rating for its Person of Restricted Mobility provision at the airport.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “July is traditionally our busiest period of the year as passengers head off on their summer holidays, but to record our busiest ever month in 51 years of operation is a significant achievement.

“We’ve set new passenger-number records in each month so far this year and our strong performance in 2017 is a result of our continued efforts to offer customers more choice through extra seats to popular routes and new destinations such as the new twice-weekly Ryanair service to Zadar launched last month.

“August is already proving busy thanks to large-scale events such as the return this week of the Piping Live festival and the World Pipe Band Championships. Both events are incredibly popular and will see the airport welcome thousands of visitors and participating musician from across the globe.

“We also expect the BWF World Championships to attract thousands of badminton fans when the tournament gets underway later this month.

“Looking ahead, Ryanair will introduce a number of new winter services in September and October to Frankfurt, Krakow and Madrid, while Lufthansa will also increase the current Munich service from one flight per week to four, ensuring we enter the second half of the year in a position of strength.”

SNP MSP Derek Mackay has welcomed the recent news that Glasgow Airport has recorded its busiest ever month.

More than 1 million passengers travelled through the Airport, which is located in Mr Mackay’s Renfrewshire North & West constituency, in July – an increase of 6.2% on the same period last year.

The release of July’s passenger figures follows news that Glasgow was named one of the top six UK airports in the Civil Aviation Authority’s Airport Accessibility Report. Glasgow scored a ‘Very Good’ rating for its Person of Restricted Mobility provision at the airport.

Mr Mackay, the MSP for Glasgow Airport, said:

“It is encouraging to see passenger numbers growing at Glasgow Airport yet again, as the Airport recorded its busiest ever month.

“Maintaining passenger numbers can be a challenge, and this new increase in numbers is testament to the hard work of all the airport staff.

“Glasgow Airport continues to go from strength to strength which is good news for the whole of Renfrewshire. The Airport is a vital part of the local economy and any increase in passenger numbers has a positive knock on effect throughout the area.”

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Paisley First Summer Festival of Fun continues this weekend at Johnston Street!

Paisley’s First’s Summer Festival of Fun brought a Frozen Singalong to the town centre last Saturday.


Kids of all ages were treated to an appearance by “Elsa” singing kids favourites such as Let it Go and For the First Time in Forever as well as a few other classic Disney hits.

Buddie the Paisley Lion led the dancing and both Buddie and Elsa posed for photographs with some young fans afterwards.

There was also an arts and craft session where kids of all ages were able to make their own musical inspired crafts..

Then it was time for a band showcase by indie pop outfit Twenty Four and then Chesko Gonzalezc, a Latin acoustic band.

The fun continues this Saturday, 12th August, when the Summer Festival moves to the town’s Johnston Street, off Causeyside Street.

Heat 3 of Paisley’s Got Talent will be taking place at Johnston Street starting at 1 pm. Who will be the last contestants to book their place in the Grand Final, and be in with a chance to win the £1,000.00 star prize?
Judges this week will include up-and-coming Paisley singer-songwriter Lisa Kowalski.

But before our Paisley’s Got Talent contest gets underway, Pirate Pete will kick off the fun at Johnston Street at 11.30am!

Plus there will be face painting, balloon modelling and goodies for the children!

It’s an event not to be missed so get along to Johnston Street this Saturday!

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Mall staff dig deep to make school wildlife habitat

PRIMARY pupils will be getting closer to nature when they go back to school after the summer holidays.

staff from intu Braehead and Cardwell Nurseries worked at Newmains Primary to create a wildlife habitat.

And it’s thanks to the hard work of volunteers from intu Braehead that youngsters at Newmains Primary, in Renfrew now have a wildlife habitat as part of an Outdoor Classroom in the school grounds.

Along with workers from Cardwell Nurseries, based in Gourock, the 12 volunteers spent a day working at the school, as part of intu’s company-wide initiative encouraging staff to take the time from their work schedule to help support charity or community work.

Management at intu Braehead also donated more than £3000 for materials, plants, shrubs and flowers, which were planted in the school grounds aimed at attracting different kinds of wildlife to the new habitat.

Community development manager at intu Braehead, Lydia Brown said: “The pupils will have lots of fun learning about the natural world.

“Armed with shovels and spades, we were happy to literally dig deep to help create this wildlife habitat as part of the school’s outdoor classroom.”