Indoor fitness classes to remain suspended following updated Scottish Government advice

People across Renfrewshire are being urged to continue taking advantage of outdoor and online fitness classes in light of the Scottish Government’s latest Covid-19 guidance.

Indoor fitness sessions for over-18s remain suspended as part of continued measures to manage the spread of the pandemic.

Renfrewshire Leisure is operating extra outdoor and online fitness sessions, both of which have proven popular and attracted a strong following.

Mark Tokeley, Head of Leisure and Community Services at Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We have a fantastic programme of socially-distanced outdoor exercise classes which has been tremendously well received and which we would encourage people to attend as an alternative. We have some brilliant fitness class videos online too and are continuing to build this content in response to customer feedback.

“We are also ready to support people to try something new – perhaps using the gym or going swimming. Switching up your usual routines can be a great way to boost fitness. Our team is on-hand to help in any way we can.”

Outdoor contact sports for the over-18s are also currently suspended as part of the same Covid-19 mitigation measures.

Details about the outdoor and online fitness classes – along with all other Renfrewshire Leisure services and the safety measures in place at this time – can be found at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/coronavirus

Renfrew Flood Defences

Residents and businesses in Renfrewshire are being given advice on how to stay safe should winter weather cause flooding in their area.

Renfrew Flood Defences

With colder, wetter weather approaching, homeowners and businesses are being asked to identify whether their area is at risk of flooding and, if so, ensure they are ready in advance.

As part of its #RenReady campaign, the council are encouraging residents to take proactive steps to avoid flooding damage, including:

  • Creating a list of useful numbers such as the council, emergency services, electricity and insurance companies;
  • Checking gutters and drains around their property are clear and reporting public drains in need of attention;
  • Being ready to switch off gas and electricity supplies should this be required;
  • Ensuring everyone living or working in the property knows what to do should flooding occur by creating a Flood Plan;
  • Following up to date weather reports so that they’re not caught out by adverse weather.

In the event of severe flooding, residents can check for localised updates via the council website and social media, or via the Floodline Service on 0345 988 1188.

Renfrew Flood Defences

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Unfortunately as winter approaches, this brings darker nights and harsher weather.

“So, it’s important that we are all prepared to deal with the effects of heavy rainfall and know what to do if it arrives, especially if you live in an area prone to flooding.

“As a council, we’re working hard to ensure that areas we know are at risk are prepared in advance by clearing drains and trying to divert the natural flow of water – but we can also provide you with support in an emergency.

“You should create a flood plan so you’re not caught out and do all you can to protect your property from the risk of flooding.

“As always, we’re available to support you and offer advice so please get in touch if you need assistance.”

Renfrewshire Council is working with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to prepare local people in Renfrewshire, and the SEPA website has information on how best to stay safe, including a postcode map outlining the flood risk in each area.

Vincent Fitzsimons, SEPA’s Head of Hydrology and Flooding Services, said: “It’s really important that people are prepared ahead of the winter, when we often see more flooding.

“While you can sign up for Floodline at any time it’s important you have time to understand what those messages mean – and what you can do in advance of rainfall. We want to encourage people to make the time to visit sepa.org.uk/signup and get registered. If you’re not online you can also call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

“There’s a wealth of information available at floodlinescotland.org.uk to help you prepare, including what to do before, during or after a flood. There’s advice for your homes, your business and you travel, with links to key sources of information. Don’t wait until flooding’s at your door, sign up to Floodline now and make sure you’re ready before you need to be.”

Across Scotland over 32,000 people have already signed up for Floodline, while Flood Alerts and Warnings are also posted live to SEPA’s website at sepa.org.uk/floodupdates

For more information on winter preparedness, visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/readyforwinter.

Voting has opened for this year’s Celebrating Renfrewshire Fund as young people get the chance to pick up a share of £150,000.

Applications have been submitted by young people aged 12-25, or by groups who work with this age group, which aim to make life better and more exciting for young people in Renfrewshire.

These have ranged from creative arts and drama programmes to sports equipment and online resources to tackle bullying and provide mental health support.

Now, young people across Renfrewshire can choose what they believe will make the biggest difference to their lives and communities by casting up to three votes in the Local Partnership area they live.

Voting will take place until 30 October via the Young Scot platform and school pupils will able to vote via their school email accounts.

Community groups can request voting packs from Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Services Team, where they will be provided with temporary numbers to allow young people in their group to cast their votes.

Councillor Michelle Campbell, Renfrewshire Council’s Young Persons Champion, said: “I was delighted to see the range of applications submitted by young people in Renfrewshire as this is a real chance for them to make a positive difference to their own, and their friends, lives.

“Young people are at the heart of this fund at every step and this allows activities and programmes to be chosen and shaped by them – rather than imposed on them by those who think they know best.

“There are so many fantastic applications and I can’t wait to see which projects are chosen as the winners, so please encourage all young people aged 12-25 to cast their votes before the deadline of 30 October.”

For more information, including how to vote, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/CelebratingRenfrewshire.

Exercise classes in the great outdoors

Renfrewshire Leisure expands outdoor and online programme while indoor classes suspended

An expanded outdoor exercise programme has launched to help Renfrewshire residents stay fit and healthy amid the latest Covid-19 restrictions.

One of Renfrewshire Leisure’s socially-distanced outdoor exercise classes at ON-X, Linwood

Renfrewshire Leisure has suspended all of its indoor exercise classes for over-18s until October 26 to comply with Scottish Government guidelines to slow the spread of the pandemic.

As part of efforts to continue supporting members and customers’ wellbeing during this time, the independent charity is temporarily stepping up its outdoor fitness session programme.

Nineteen extra outdoor events will be staged this week and next, with people able to exercise safely and socially distanced in line with all public health guidelines.

They will be held on track and artificial sports surface areas at the ON-X in Linwood.

An enhanced programme of fitness content for people to join in with is also being made available at www.renfrewshireleisure.com and via the RENTV channel.

Alan Cunningham, Indoor Leisure Services Manager at Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “Exercise is good for everyone’s physical and mental wellbeing, which is why we feel it’s so important we do all that we can to help people through these strange times.

“We have an established programme of outdoor exercise classes. Given their strong track record, we believe that temporarily expanding them is a positive way in which we can safely support people with their health and fitness. The safety of our customers and staff is our top priority.”

Bootcamp, HITT, attack, combat, metafit and circuit classes are included in the programme.

All sessions will comply with track and trace guidelines. Places are limited and must be booked in advance at www.renfrewshireleisure.com, where more details about the classes and safety measures that must be followed are available.

Meanwhile, filming is underway for a programme of exercise classes to be streamed online by Renfrewshire Leisure. These will range from relaxation to high intensity with sessions to suit ages and abilities. A broadcast schedule will be shared via social media once filming is complete.

Outdoor contact sports for the over-18s were suspended from 6pm on Friday as part of the Covid-19 protection measures governing Greater Glasgow.

Renfrewshire-Leisure

Renfrewshire Leisure will suspend all of its indoor fitness classes for 16 days from 6pm on Friday (October 9) following the Scottish Government’s latest steps to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

Renfrewshire-Leisure

The independent leisure and culture charity is also suspending all outdoor contact sports for over-18s to comply with measures outlined by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Gyms and swimming pools will remain open, operating with safety as the priority and within all Government guidelines.

Staff will also offer as much content as possible digitally, at www.renfrewshireleisure.com via the RENTV channel and across the organisation’s social media platforms.

Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The safety of our staff and customers is our key focus. As an organisation, we are committed to doing everything possible to support our communities through this pandemic.

“We want to continue helping people with their health and wellbeing while they are unable to attend classes, which is why we will look to do all that we can online. We would also encourage anyone who normally enjoys our classes to try a session at our gyms or swimming pools, where we will be happy to welcome them in the safe environment we have created.”

Details of sessions available digitally will be shared via Renfrewshire Leisure’s social media channels and website, where information about all of the charity’s services and booking arrangements can also be found.

Covid19-Kickstart-FB-v319

Renfrewshire businesses and charities have shown fantastic support to boost the career prospects of local young people by offering more than 200 Kickstart job placements so far.

Covid19-Kickstart-FB-v319

Renfrewshire Council’s employability experts Invest in Renfrewshire have teamed up with Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and Engage Renfrewshire to bid on behalf of local employers for the six-month posts funded through the UK Government’s Kickstart scheme.

Pooling their experience, the trio are also assisting with skills and training support throughout the placement period.

An online survey was launched last month asking local employers to register their interest in providing a placement, which help people aged 16-24 on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

This has seen a fantastic response from companies right across the region, with detailed discussion now underway to confirm these roles and add to a further 100 placements within the Council, before submitting the Renfrewshire funding bid.

There’s still time for local companies to put forward their placements – with full details at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/kickstart or by calling the Council’s Invest in Renfrewshire team on 0300 300 1180 or email invest@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

Cllr Iain Nicolson

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We know the devastating impact Coronavirus has had on our health, on society and on the economy, with young people more likely to be adversely affected when it comes to finding and keeping a job.

“We have a strong track record with Renfrewshire ranked among the best local authority areas in Scotland in supporting young people into work and it’s fantastic to see the groundswell of support in the Kickstart job placements so far.

“There is still time for companies to come forward and I would urge all local employers to visit the Kickstart in Renfrewshire website and fill in our online survey to register their interest as not only will they be helping someone onto the career ladder and a brighter future, they will benefit from a committed and hardworking employee to help their organisation restart, recover and grow.”

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Bob Grant said: “At a time when cashflow is tight, this fully funded scheme will help employers bring young people into the workplace and develop new talent for the future. Kickstart can help create long-term, quality employment opportunities and ensure that both businesses and employees are fully supported throughout the placement.”

Alan McNiven, Engage Renfrewshire Chief Executive said: “Right now, we know that many young people may be facing additional challenges in taking that first step into the world of work. Kickstart is aiming to tackle that risk of long-term unemployment for young people and with the support of local employers from across all sectors in Renfrewshire, I’m sure the initiative can make a positive impact.”

Covid19-Kickstart-FB-v32

This scheme builds on a wide range of support provided to local businesses throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

More than £28million in Scottish Government grants has been awarded to Renfrewshire businesses, providing funding to address the immediate impact of Coronavirus, while the Council surveyed 500 local companies before launching a £1.3million programme of loans and grants to assist with business resilience and growth.

The Council’s Business Gateway team are also on hand to offer advice and guidance to local employers.

For full details of all available business support, visit: http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-businesses

Clyde walkway after being tidied

Renfrewshire experienced a Spotless September as hundreds of volunteers joined the Team Up to Clean Up campaign once again, with the aim of making their community a little brighter.

Clyde walkway after being tidied

The now annual Spotless September event saw 1,233 bags of litter removed from the local environment as 225 litter picks were undertaken by dedicated volunteers and community groups – equating to more than seven litter picks every day throughout the month of September.

Volunteers took to the streets in almost every community in Renfrewshire, including Erskine, Renfrew, Paisley, Johnstone, Bishopton, Houston, Bridge of Weir Foxbar, Elderslie, Inchinnan, Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch – and some even took to the water to clean the River Cart in Paisley.

James McCabe James McCabe dressed up for his litter pickdressed up for his litter pick

Erskine volunteer Stephen Hughes said: “I really just wish people would stop dropping litter and take more pride in where they live, especially our school children.

“I would rather be doing something else with my time, but I really do value living in a clean and attractive neighbourhood and helping clean up keeps me busy and active.

“The Team Up to Clean Up Facebook community is also a pleasure to be part of, it’s great to see so many people making a difference.”

Working with the community, Renfrewshire Council provided volunteers with litter pickers, bibs, bags and any other safety equipment they required, and volunteers were provided with health and safety advice for carrying out litter picks, including group sizes and physical distancing.

The council’s StreetScene team took away the collected rubbish too and this took place alongside the council’s increased litter picking, gully clearing and road sweeping which forms a key part of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “What a month it has been and another fantastic Spotless September.

“While the current situation meant we couldn’t hold any large-scale events, it’s been heartening to see the desire of our Team Up to Clean community to continue making a difference.

“Hundreds of volunteers have headed out on their own or in small groups to clear hundreds of bags of litter from our communities and each with the same goal of making Renfrewshire a better place to live, work and visit.

“We’re working hard to change the mindset of those who think it’s acceptable to litter so please let’s keep working together to make Renfrewshire litter-free.”

The award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign has grown substantially since it was launched in 2017 and now boasts more than 1,500 members in its online Facebook community group.

The campaign brings the council and community together to help tackle littering, dog fouling and a range of other environmental issues and the joint approach continues to thrive in Renfrewshire.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

fun palace

FUN lovers of all ages are in for a treat thanks to the Arts Team at Renfrewshire Leisure.

As part of the Fun Palaces Weekend, on October 3 and 4, the team are launching an online Creative Activity Map for Renfrewshire – sharing all the ideas and activities dreamt up by their creative community partners for their Tiny Revolutions Renfrewshire programme.

fun palace

By logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/creative-activity-map from this weekend people can discover an array of things to make or do; including how to make a cardboard guitar, create twisted braids with scraps of wool or make up a dance using the letters of their name.

Whatever people find on the Creativity Map that they would like to try out, they’re being urged to have a go and share what they make, by posting on social media using the #TinyRevolutionsRen or taking a photo and sending it to artsteam@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

People are also being urged to include their postcode with their photographs so their pictures can be added back into the map to build up a picture of creativity across Renfrewshire.

The Creative Activity Map for Renfrewshire is part of Fun Palaces 2020 – a free, nationwide campaign for culture at the heart of community and community at the heart of culture.

Each Fun Palaces event celebrates the unique skills and passions of local people – run by, for and with the local community.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “We all need a bit of fun in our lives and our Creative Activity Map will give families the chance to have just that.

‘If you do join in, we’d love it if you’d share your creations with us, so we can show just how creative Renfrewshire is.’

Visual Arts Projects Producer, Kate Drummond said: “Launching the Creative Activity Map for Renfrewshire celebrates the breadth of partnerships and the involvement of artists and organisations from across the region in our Tiny Revolutions Renfrewshire programme. Ideas for simple, fun, creative projects have been shared with us by Kairos Women’s Group, WhoCaresScotland, STAR Project, Erskine Arts, Right2Dance, ReMode, local NHS Arts groups and the Foxbar Men’s and Women’s Sheds.

“Being part of the UK-wide Fun Palaces project quite literally puts Renfrewshire on the creative map.”

Fun Palaces are events that bring together arts, science, craft, tech, digital, heritage and sports activities – but above all PEOPLE – to work together, create together, have FUN together, and in doing so, connect our own communities, from the grassroots up.

Since 2014 a total of 1758 Fun Palaces have been made across the UK and worldwide by over 40,000 local people (‘Makers’) with 560,000 people taking part. This year will be the seventh Fun Palaces weekend.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes

CREATIVITY can improve young people’s well-being and help them overcome loneliness and isolation.

That’s the message from youth arts charity, CREATE Paisley which is hosting its second one-day Open Mind Summit, on Friday, October 9.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes

The free online event will feature a keynote speaker, panel discussions and workshops, exploring the role of creativity and culture in improving the well-being of young people and children – especially with new challenges arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

CREATE Paisley developed the Open Mind Summit in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure, Kibble Education and Care Centre and the University West of Scotland by bringing together young people, educators, artists, researchers, youth workers and funders.

Last year’s summit attracted attendances from all over the West of Scotland.

Alan Clark, founder of CREATE, said ‘Young people need our support more than ever before. During the last few months, we’ve heard of so many young people who have struggled with feelings of isolation, lack of hope or have had to face a lot of uncertainty. They’ve experienced a worldwide pandemic, on-going climate crisis and confusion over exam results. This has impacted a lot of young people’s wellbeing.

“The Summit this year gives us a space to celebrate some of the amazing creative engagement over the last few months, how that’s brought young people together, as well as a space to look ahead and ensure young people’s voices are central to how we move forward.”

This year’s online Summit hosts a line up including keynote speaker, Steven McLeish, who is an internationally-known speaker and spoken word artist.

Steven will share his story and a message of hope with a focus of combating mental health and social issues, including dyslexia, depression and anxiety.

Panel sessions will cover various related topics from creative approaches to overcoming isolation to how children and young people’s voices are central to our changed world.

Other workshops will include Generation Scotland sharing their findings from their TeenCovidLife research and Malcolm Hamilton, creative director of Mufti Games leading a session on involving young people in decision making through playful consultation, evaluation and active citizenship.

Renfrewshire Leisure chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The health and well-being of our young people is extremely important – especially in the current situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“This online summit will be a very useful tool and learning experience for both the organisations and groups who support young people with their mental health, but also young people themselves, giving them a better idea of how to deal with the issues they may face.

“Many creative minds will be coming together in this summit to explore young people’s well-being.”

The Open Mind Summit 2020 is funded by Renfrewshire Council and delivered in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure and Create Paisley as part of Future Paisley. Future Paisley is radical and wide-ranging programme of events, activities and investments using the town’s unique and internationally significant cultural stories to transform its future.

Although the event is free, anyone interested should sign up to the Open Mind Summit in advance at http://www.openmindsummit.com/.

performingartsvenue

Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock, and Paisley Arts Centre, have received a total of over £161,000 from the open call for applications to the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund through Creative Scotland.

performingartsvenue

Awards made to performing arts venues in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire as part of the £5million open call are as follows:

  • Eastwood Park Theatre, £90,000
  • Paisley Arts Centre, £71,961

Designed to support performing arts venues that cannot yet re-open due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Fund is helping to:

  • remove the threat of insolvency prior to the end of March 2021 to enable the development and delivery of activity as soon as practicable
  • allow for specialist / core staff to return from furlough or avoid redundancy to work on future sustainable activity plans
  • increase commissioning and employment opportunities for freelance artists and creative practitioners (between now and end of March 2021) to support continued public engagement while closed.

Iain MunroCEOCreative Scotland said: “Despite the ongoing, detrimental impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on Scotland’s performing arts venues, and on culture as a whole, it is positive that we can offer some funding to help venues navigate these extremely challenging times. I’m also encouraged to see that this funding will help venues across many different parts of Scotland where they form such an important part of the cultural life of local communities.”

These venues are amongst 59 across Scotland sharing a total of £4.74million from the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund’s £5million open call. A full list of all 59 venues can be found on the Creative Scotland website.

Jude HendersonDirector of the Federation of Scottish Theatre (FST) said: “We welcome the announcement of these emergency awards to performing arts venues across the country. The funds will help to support the vital work they do in serving communities, providing employment and showcasing Scotland’s world class theatre and dance offer, much of which is created by our members.”

The Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund is one of a series of measures being put in place to help mitigate the immediate impacts of COVID-19 on the creative and cultural sector, including five new emergency funds which were announced by the First Minister on Friday 28 August and are being delivered through Creative Scotland as follows:

  • The £15million Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund, which opened for applications on Thursday 17 September, with a deadline of today, Thursday 24 September.
  • The £3.5million Independent Cinemas Recovery and Resilience Fund, which opened for applications on Monday 14 September with a deadline of Monday 5 October.
  • The £5million Creative Freelancer Hardship Fund, for which we issued an open call for partner organisations to help us distribute this fund, was launched on Friday 11 September, and has a deadline of Friday 25 September. We aim to be able to distribute funds from October. The Screen element of these Hardship Funds opened for applications on Tuesday 22 September.
  • The £5million Sustaining Creative Practice Fund includes £1.5million for the Culture Collective programme, mentioned in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government, supporting organisations employing freelance artists to work in and with communities across Scotland. The remaining £3.5million has been added to Creative Scotland’s existing Open Fund which is open for applications from individuals now.

The previously announced £2.2million Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund has reached 72 venues across Scotland, including Paisley live music venue The Bungalow. Recipients were published on Tuesday 22 September and full information on awards made, can be found here.

Updates on all emergency funds are being published regularly on the Creative Scotland website and publicised through media and social media communications.