Renfrewshire Leisure social distancing

Chief executive: Charity excited to safely welcome back members and customers to venues and facilities as Covd-19 restrictions ease

Renfrewshire Leisure’s gyms, swimming pools, libraries and heritage centre will reopen from Monday, April 26th.

The announcement comes after the Scottish Government today formally confirmed that the region will drop down to Covid-19 level three restrictions from that date.

Renfrewshire Leisure cleaning2

This means the gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise, in line with all public health guidelines. Outdoors, all organised activities except adult contact sport can also now take place. 

In addition to those facilities available before Christmas, Renfrew Victory Baths will reopen following maintenance work, with extended opening hours in place. Meanwhile, the gym at Johnstone Community Sports Hub will be open outside of school hours. The swimming pool at Johnstone remains closed pending maintenance work.

Gym facilities previously at Park Mains High School will be located at Erskine Sports Centre.

The rule-change also allows for capacity at Renfrewshire Leisure’s popular outdoor fitness classes – which restarted last month while indoor classes are not permitted – can be doubled to 30 people from Monday. That takes the number of weekly slots available to 570.

All 12 of the region’s libraries will reopen too – on a click-and-collect basis for items, with public access to computers also available at each venue.

Members of the public will also again be able to access the heritage centre in Paisley.

Renfrewshire Leisure social distancing

Hygiene and social distancing measures will be in place at the venues. All gym and swimming sessions must be pre-booked, as should visits to the heritage centre. Details about opening times and making a booking can be found at www.renfrewshireleisure.com. Bookings for gyms and swimming sessions will open on Wednesday, April 21st.

Monday will be the first time that the venues have been open to the public since lockdown restrictions came into force on December 26th, although online services have been operating throughout.

Renfrewshire Leisure cleaning1

Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We are excited to welcome back our loyal members and residents to our venues. We know how keen people are to return and enjoy more of our services. Our team stands ready to support them as best they can.

“In so many ways, the work we do has never been needed more. Encouraging and supporting better health and wellbeing is going to be vital for people as they recover from the impact of Covid-19 on their lives. 

“We are determined to play a key part in our region’s recovery from the pandemic, with the safety of our community and staff the utmost priority.”

The restart of individual exercise sessions at Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley and Renfrew Sports Centre will run in tandem with mass vaccinations centres being operated there at the request of Renfrewshire Council. These will have separate entrance and exit points.

Rules for the use of outdoor pitches have been shared with sports clubs.

Staff are also once again manning Barshaw Golf Club. Bowlers, meanwhile, were able to return to Lochfield Bowling Green, Paisley, and Robertson Park Bowling Green in Renfrew from April 1.

Direct debit payment for members – which have been suspended during the disruption to in-person services – will restart from May 7th. Those with annual memberships will have time reimbursed before re-opening.

Regular updates on all services – both in-person and digitally – will be posted via Renfrewshire Leisure’s website and social media.

leaders

Voters are being reassured that polling stations will be safe places to cast their vote ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary election on Thursday 6 May.

Polling stations in Renfrewshire have been adapted to ensure that all required health and safety measures are in place to reflect the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

leaders

Each polling station will have a one-way system in place, two-metre distancing at all times, Perspex screens, hand sanitiser will be available for every voter, disposable pens will be provided, and face coverings will be required to be worn when moving around the polling station – unless the person is exempt.

There will also be a designated cleaner for each polling station and supervisors will be in place to ensure that the safety measures are always followed.

Anyone with symptoms of Coronavirus on polling day should not attend their polling station and should contact the Electoral Registration Officer on 0300 300 0150 as early as possible to discuss their options.

Sandra Black, Returning Officer for Renfrewshire, said: “We recognise that this election is different to all others we will have taken part in and we want to do all we can to ease any reservations that voters may have about polling day.

“Your health and safety has been placed at the forefront of our election planning and the measures we are putting in place will ensure that all our polling stations will be safe places to cast your vote.

“It’s so important that you use your voice and vote in the Scottish Parliamentary election on so please feel confident in visiting our polling stations and have your say in May.”

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 6 May, with the count taking place at Braehead Arena on Friday 7 May and Saturday 8 May.

For more information, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SPElection2021.

FoodAndDrink2021

Paisley Food and Drink Festival is taking a different shape for 2021 – with a tantalising online programme across nine days in April!

The festival will take place from Friday 16 – Saturday 24 April and will showcase the rich diversity of Renfrewshire’s food and drink offer.

FoodAndDrink2021

Enjoy a mouth-watering menu of interactive experiences, including:

  • Online cooking demonstrations;
  • Virtual tasting sessions;
  • Music and cocktail making events;
  • Interactive workshops;
  • Offers from local businesses with Paisley Eats app;
  • and much more!

The festival is also teaming up with culture and lifestyle publication Mill Magazine to produce a series of short films shining a spotlight on local food and drink businesses and the range of cuisine available across the area’s towns and villages.

The ‘Taste of Renfrewshire’ videos will be screened across the nine days alongside the fantastic programme of online experiences for food and drink lovers to enjoy!

Take a look at what’s happening across the nine days with our Events by Date pages below.

Keep an eye on our Facebook Page for more programme announcements in the coming weeks!

 

Laura (right) and Chell 3

A PAISLEY cancer survivor is inspiring people to Race for Life at Home and carry on the fight against the disease as the nation looks beyond lockdown.

Laura Elliot, who recently completed treatment for thyroid cancer, is urging people to run, walk or jog 5K for Cancer Research UK.

The Project Co-ordinator will be cheering on thousands of people from across the UK who have vowed to Race for Life at Home this April either alone or in small, socially distanced groups to raise money for life-saving research.

People can visit raceforlife.orgto sign up to Race for Life at Home for £5* then receive a Race pack which includes a medal.  Money raised will help scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, helping to save more lives.

Cancer Research UK is predicting a staggering £300 million drop in income caused by COVID-19 over the next three years which could put future medical breakthroughs at risk.

All 400 mass-participation Race for Life events across the UK were cancelled last year to protect the country’s health during the pandemic. And as the country emerges from lockdown the charity’s much-loved Race for Life events which were scheduled for this spring and early summer have also now been postponed.

Laura (right) and Chell 3

But Laura, who has just celebrated her 33rd birthday with her twin sister Chell, knows exactly how vital it is to keep raising funds for life-saving research.

She said: “My reaction to finding out I had cancer was to keep it to myself as much as possible. I didn’t want to burden anyone. But having had major surgery and coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis was hard. I shared more with my mum, who never missed an appointment with me, than anyone else but I kept so many of my feelings to myself.

“In the end it got too much and it was a relief to get some help from the Rays of Hope cancer support group in Elderslie. It was such a relief to talk openly about how I was feeling. Everyone there had experienced a different type of cancer and talking with them helped me come to terms with what had happened.

“I’m certain that the treatment I received saved my life. That’s why I decided to support Cancer Research UK by taking on the charity’s Walk All Over Cancer challenge to walk 10,000 steps every day in March.

“I wanted to do what I could to give something back for the treatment that’s got me through this. I also want to help to make treatments better and kinder, ultimately to find a cure for this awful illness.

“I’d really urge others to support the charity too. Race For Life at Home is a fantastic chance to do something positive this month and raise money to help more people survive.”

Laura first suspected something was amiss with her health when she found she was losing her voice and she noticed her neck was getting bigger. She was gaining weight for no obvious reason and she began to feel tired all the time.

“I was on every diet imaginable but still putting on weight,” recalls Laura, who was aged 31 at the time. “I then started coughing and I didn’t smoke. I worried the cough was to do with my asthma. I had a sore throat and swollen glands.

“I decided to get it checked out and went to the GP three times altogether. On early visits, the doctor did blood tests which came back normal and I was prescribed an antibacterial throat spray and a steriod inhaler to help with my asthma. In the meantime, my neck was getting bigger and bigger.”

Laura eventually went for tests at the ENT department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow. These revealed that Laura’s thyroid was to blame for her symptoms and would need to be removed.

“The thing I worried about most was that after the operation there was a risk I’d need a temporary tracheotomy – a tube in my neck so I could breathe,” Laura said. “The idea made me panic and I wanted to tell the doctors just to leave it. I was scared and nervous because I hadn’t ever had surgery before. But ultimately, I felt glad something was happening to make me better at last. I felt confident in the surgeon, that he was a specialist and that this was the right thing to do.”

Laura was in hospital for three days after the five-hour operation to remove her thyroid.

“The first thing I checked when I woke up was to see if there was a tube in my neck,” she said. “I was so relieved to find out that this hadn’t been needed. But I was shocked by the size of the scar.”

Tests on Laura’s thyroid revealed that various sized cancerous tumours had been growing there and was wrapped around her vocal cords and had spread to the lymph nodes.

She was told the news at a check-up with a consultant in September 2019.

Laura said: “I couldn’t believe it when the consultant told me I had papillary thyroid cancer. I went white and started shaking. I knew what he was saying but couldn’t take it in.”

In October 2019, Laura started radioactive iodine treatment at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre to destroy any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of the cancer returning.

This meant Laura was given an iodine pill and then had to stay in complete isolation in hospital for two days while the radioactive treatment took effect. Even on her return to her home in Paisley, which she shares with her parents, she had to steer clear of everyone in the house for a few days and ensure that she cleaned the bathroom and kitchen after she’d used it. Even her beloved cats Tango and Lennon, who normally sleep in her bedroom, weren’t allowed near.

And while she is recovering well, Laura says her experience has had a significant impact on her mental health.

She said: “I’ve always been a confident person but what I’ve been through has dented that. There has been lasting damage to my voice. I still have trouble speaking and I now speak at a higher pitch, so much so I worry I sound like a little girl. I can’t have a full conversation without my voice going away and I feel it’s such a strain to talk.

“Removing the thyroid has also led to imbalances in my hormones. I’m up and down with them and I find I can be really tearful now.

“Being busy at work has helped to keep my mind off things, as has keeping things going with family life. I love to look after my nine-year-old nephew Caiden and taking on regular exercise has given me a boost. My mum, dad and sister have been there every step of the way and I want to thank them very much.

“I’m just so glad I kept going back to the doctor when things weren’t right. I’m lucky the cancer was caught early and was treatable.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring series of 3K, 5K, 10K, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.

 A live broadcast on the Cancer Research UK Race for Life Facebook and Race for Life Instagram pages on Saturday April 24th will include an energiser from a fitness expert as well as inspirational messages of support from people who have been through cancer. Participants are then invited to run, walk or jog 5K. Organisers are also inviting participants to share photos and videos on social media using the hashtag #RaceatHome

Every year around 32,400 people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland** and one in two people in the UK born after 1960 will get cancer in their lifetime.*** But the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

Linda Summerhayes, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson in Scotland, said: “The truth is, COVID-19 has slowed us down.

 “But we will never stop and we are absolutely determined to continue to create better cancer treatments for tomorrow.  Even though we have to Race for Life differently this spring, nothing is going to stop us running, walking or jogging 5K to raise money to help beat cancer.

“That’s why we need as many people as possible across Scotland to sign up to Race for Life at Home this April, to stand united and do something extraordinary to help beat cancer.

 “We’re constantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation and are working hard to move our mass participation  Race for Life events to the autumn and to make sure they can go ahead safely and with all necessary COVID-19 guidelines in place.****

 “We’d love to invite as many people as possible to Race for Life at Home this spring, then physically come together in the autumn to join us for Race for Life Glasgow.”

A new date this autumn has not yet been confirmed for Race for Life Glasgow and an announcement will be made as soon as possible.

Sign up to Race for Life at Home this April and visit raceforlife.orgor call 0300 123 0770. Join in and share with #RaceatHome

JNI Beaver Scout

The JNI Beaver Scout Colony returned to outdoor activities for the first time in over a year. Enjoying warm and sunny weather in Ferguslie Gardens the Beavers took part in an Easter egg hunt which covered a wide area of the park and ensured they returned home tired.

JNI Beaver Scout

With the older members having joined the Cubs over the last year the Colony is looking to recruit girls and boys aged between 5 ¾ and 8 years old. In the Beavers, they have fun while going on adventures and making friends. There are opportunities to try new things while completing challenge and activity badges. The JNI is enjoying outdoor adventures before being permitted to return to our own activity centre in The Bield in Broomlands Street. The Colony returns to take on a Challenge Badge with everyone learnings skills for life.

For more details contact stephen@thejni.org.uk

Facebook   7th Paisley and District (JNI) Scout Group

Website   www.thejni.org.uk

Twitter  @7thjniscouts

Instagram @jniscouts

west end growing grounds

The West End Growing Grounds Association is registered charity that  provides a community garden on a high-profile site in Underwood Road  Paisley. It consists of 112 raised beds and two polytunnels for the local  community to grow its own food. The Association is looking for an  enthusiastic, physically fit experienced grounds person to assist its  members in managing the maintenance and development of the Garden.  

west end growing grounds

The volunteer will report directly to the Board of Trustees and liaise with the  Board’s horticultural lead member and the local Community Pay-back Team  Leader.  

Duties include:  

Working with board members, discuss and provide information on best  practice grounds maintenance and safety.  

Operation and maintenance of electric powered ground tools (mower, strimmer,  hedge cutter, leaf blower).  

Water management. (Hose reel mains supply and water harvesting system)  

Organising members’ common area work parties. (Members are required to  complete 12 hours of common area work each year)  

Identifying and arranging work that may require Community Pay-back Team  assistance.  

Hours:  

This is a new appointment, and the nature and extent of the above duties will  be reviewed in consultation with the person appointed. 

If this volunteering opportunity interests you, please contact:  The Association Secretary at 07710 782510 e-mail contact@wegga.org

FAMILIES can enjoy an eggs-travaganza of fun events and activities during the Easter break from the comfort of their own home.

Renfrewshire Leisure Arts, Libraries and Museums teams have created an exciting programme of online events for children and grown-ups that would have the Easter Bunny jumping for joy.

All the events and activities – from theatre performances and music sessions to arts and crafts and library workshops – are easy to access by logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com . The majority of the events are free to access online.

For the youngest audiences, Ipdip Theatre present Up and Down at 10.30am and noon on April 12.  This is an adventure on Zoom for children under five, giving them a chance to connect to distanced friends and relatives who are encouraged to join the fun.  There is a £3 charge to view this event.

The over-fives will love M6 Theatre’s beautiful short film When We Started Singing, exclusively on the Ren TV online channel from April 12-18.

For 11-15 year olds The Big Data Show by Civic Digits is a ground-breaking, immersive theatre experience using performance, gaming and digital magic being shown online 10am on April 7, or 7pm on April 14.  There is a £3 charge to view this event.

And youngsters can shake, rattle and roll with TRASH percussion, at 10am on April 17, or enjoy some gentle movement and simple crafts at Balloon Babies, 10am on April 10.

Scotland’s top musicians continue to entertain with Sally Simpson and Catriona Hawksworth on fiddle and piano – and Valerie Barr on classical accordion, our Sunday Continental brunch-time boogie sessions will be recorded live for you to enjoy.

And don’t forget the weekly Stuck In The House Music sessions on Ren TV every Thursday, at 8pm.

They are encouraging people of all ages and abilities to become inspired to create a piece of art based on the outdoors. The artwork could be in the form of collages, sculptures, or photographs. If you submit a photograph of your artwork to the Renfrewshire Leisure website, there’s a chance it could be included in the online exhibition.

There are also two Library Workshops broadcast on Ren TV, on April 7 and 14 at 10am. The first is Wooly Easter Crafts and the second is Growing Green.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts Manager, Rikki Payne said: “Our Easter programme this year is all about entertaining, informing and passing on new skills to young and old alike.

“Although our venues remain closed due to Covid restrictions, we’ve pulled out all the stops to bring a wide range of quality events and activities into people’s homes.

“The emphasis is on fun and there’s plenty for young and old to enjoy.”

The Easter events are made possible with the support of Future Paisley – the radical and wide-ranging programme of events, activity and investment using the town’s unique and internationally-significant cultural stories to transform its future.

street stuff logo

There’s plenty of opportunity to get active this spring when Street Stuff activities resume next week.

Evening activities will return from Monday 5 April, with extra afternoon sessions running throughout the school holidays, bringing free football and outdoor sport to local communities across Renfrewshire.

street stuff logo

Anyone aged 8-16 is welcome to join in and there is no cost to take part. All participants will need to provide contact details for Test and Protect and follow Covid guidelines, including wearing a facemask when not participating. Hand sanitiser stations and wipes will be available at each venue.

Young people can go along to the following sessions:

Monday 5 and 12 Apr
Durrockstock Park, Foxbar from 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Blackstoun Road, Ferguslie from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Tuesday 6 and 13 Apr
Arkleston Primary School, Renfrew from 1:30pm – 4:30pm
McMaster Centre, Johnstone from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Wednesday 7 and 14 Apr
Blackstoun Road, Ferguslie from 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Arkleston Primary School, Renfrew from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Thursday 8 and 15 Apr
McMaster Centre, Johnstone from 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Our Lady of Peace Primary School, Linwood from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Friday 9 and 16 Apr
Our Lady of Peace Primary School, Linwood from 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Durrockstock Park, Foxbar from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Saturday 10 and 17 Apr
Barsail Primary School, Erskine from 5:30pm – 8:30pm

All activities will take place outdoors and may be subject to change or cancellation.

A free meal will be provided at afternoon sessions to ensure participants are fuelled up and ready to go.

Street Stuff is a diversionary project run in partnership between Renfrewshire Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Engage Renfrewshire and St Mirren Football Club.

The programme began in 2009 in Renfrewshire contributing to a reduction in youth disorder and anti-social behaviour by 75 percent over the first five years with a sustained reduction of 65 percent.

For more information, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/streetstuff.

easter trail

Spring is here and there’s plenty to look forward to in Paisley town centre with our Easter Animal Trail!

There are 12 animal friends hiding in local business windows around the town centre …. but one of them doesn’t have a name.

easter trail

So it’s your job to find our friends and name the final animal to be in with a chance of winning one of two Easter-tastic prizes!

It’s the perfect activity to get everyone out in the fresh air and have some free, family fun at the same time!

Pick up a trail leaflet from either the Piazza Shopping Centre or The Paisley Shopping Centre, or if you prefer you can download your own trail leaflet which is available HERE.

Remember many of our local businesses are still open or operating, see the full list HERE – perfect if you want to stop to refuel or pick up some essentials along the way.

Plus parking is free in all council car parks seven days a week with on-street parking charges applied Monday to Friday only before 6pm.

Once you have completed our trail, just post your entry form in one of the special Easter post-boxes located in either of the shopping centres to be entered into our prize draw.

And don’t forget to pick up your free Spring Activity Sheet when collecting your trail leaflet, or download HERE

Let’s have some Spring Fun in Paisley this Easter!

easter

paisley museum

The journey to transform Paisley Museum into a top cultural destination took a major step forward today (Wed 31 March) as Renfrewshire councillors approved the appointment of the contractor to deliver the £23million main works programme.

Members of the council’s Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board authorised the appointment of Kier Construction Limited as the main works contractor that will transform the A-listed building. Final negotiations will now take place with a view to formally appointing Kier next month. This will result in work beginning on site in early summer with construction likely being completed by late 2022, reopening to the public in 2023.

paisley museum

This marks a significant milestone in the £42million redevelopment of the museum – the signature project in Paisley’s radical regeneration which also includes refurbishments of the town’s A-listed town hall and a new learning and cultural hub housing library services on the town’s high street.

The museum transformation project is an important part of Paisley’s economic recovery from lockdown both in terms of the on-site activity that will take place during the construction phase and in the increased footfall that will follow when the museum reopens to the public. When Paisley Museum opens its doors it is expected to attract 128,000 visitors each year from Scotland, the UK and overseas and provide a £79million economic boost to the area over the next 30 years.

Paisley Museum Reimagined Project Director, Kirsty Devine, said: “The approval to appoint the main works contractor is an exciting step forward in realising our ambitions of radically transforming this prominent symbol of Paisley’s past for future generations.

paisley museum

“A great deal of work has taken place behind the scenes over the last year to help realise our vision for the museum and once the contractor is formally appointed and work begins on site in early summer the public will start to see that vision take shape.

“Paisley Museum was founded as a place of learning at the heart of the town and this redevelopment project will preserve that for years to come, while showcasing the town’s globally-significant story like never before.”

The project will not only deliver a cultural facility of significance for Scotland, it will also help transform Paisley’s perception of itself, develop a visitor economy, lead the regeneration of the town centre and once again give Paisley a confident, outward-facing profile to the world.

Senior Curator at the National Galleries of Scotland and Paisley Museum Reimagined Patron, Professor Frances Fowle, said: “It is wonderful that the museum will not only be restored to its former glory, but will be transformed into a world-class venue.  I am excited that Paisley is undergoing this period of cultural Renaissance and am proud to be a Patron of the Paisley Museum Reimagined project.”

paisley museum

Kier have worked on a number of high-profile heritage construction projects throughout the UK and are currently helping to deliver the refurbishment of The Burrell Collection in Glasgow.

Regional Director of Kier Regional Building North & Scotland, Phil McDowell, said: “The transformation of Paisley Museum is of significant local and national importance and we are looking forward to working with Renfrewshire Council on this project.

“We have extensive experience restoring and reimagining historic cultural buildings and we will work with our local supply chain partners and utilise the very latest digital technologies to transform the museum. We will also engage with the local Paisley community, providing job, training and apprenticeship opportunities as well as working with local organisations as we look to leave a lasting legacy in areas in which we build.”

A programme of community benefits were requested as part of the procurement process. Kier have agreed to offer a number of local employment opportunities, work experience placements, business advice and support to local SMEs, social enterprises and voluntary organisations. They have also made a commitment to ensure that supply chain opportunities are prioritised for Renfrewshire based businesses and pledged to support a local community project.

The redesign of the museum campus, being led by an international team including architects AL_A and exhibition designers Opera Amsterdam, will allow the number of objects on display to be increased by 150%. The designs produced by AL_A radically reimagine the museum and its campus, reshaping it into a cultural hub of discovery, skills development, creativity and innovation. Improvement work will include a new entrance courtyard and entranceway, along with a new west wing, outdoor garden space and an interactive weaving studio.

The museum’s final phase of fundraising is now under way, with the museum website reimagined.paisleymuseum.org showcasing the project’s ambitious vision.