night-out-on-the-town-1

Ahead of the festive period, revellers are being advised to take care when using taxis and private hire vehicles on their Christmas nights out.

night-out-on-the-town-1

Renfrewshire Council and Police Scotland have teamed up to give passengers some important safety tips as the festivities get set to begin.

Party-goers should ensure they plan how to get home from their night out in advance and, where possible, pre-book their taxi home.

They should also only use licensed taxis or private hire vehicles to make any journeys and never be tempted to accept the offer of a lift from a passing car.

Councillor John MacNaughtan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Regulatory Functions Board, said:  “We have lots of fantastic venues for an evening out in Renfrewshire and we want to ensure that everyone has a great time, but remains safe while doing so.

“All licensed taxi companies or private hire vehicles will have Renfrewshire Council plates which display the licence details, and the driver’s badge should be displayed within the vehicle.

“If this is not the case, then don’t accept the lift and call your taxi company to confirm that it is the correct vehicle.”

Police Scotland will have additional patrols in Renfrewshire across the festive period to ensure that revellers are safe at one of the busiest times of the year.

Chief Inspector Simon Wright, Area Commander for Paisley, said: ” The festive period is an exceptionally busy time of year, with large numbers of people out enjoying themselves across Renfrewshire.

“My message would be to have a fantastic, but safe time while out across Renfrewshire. Always plan ahead and make arrangements to ensure you can get home, preferably in the company of friends.

“Never get into a private hire, you have not phoned for and booked in advance and always ensure that the driver is displaying their drivers badge. If you are in any doubt, seek alternative transport.”

Should you enter a vehicle which you believe to be a taxi or private hire vehicle and become aware it is not, or if you feel unsafe in any way you should contact Police Scotland using 101 or 999 in an emergency.

For more information on taxis in Renfrewshire, visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/taxisandprivatehires

st vincents hosice

This Christmas, St. Vincent’s Hospice and Change Lochwinnoch are appealing for donations to help them raise £1,500 to reach their target amount to refurbish the charity store in the heart of the village.

st vincents hosice

The Change Lochwinnoch project was launched by a group of volunteers in the local community with close ties to the life changing work of the Hospice, aiming to give the shop a complete refurbishment, creating a modern, warm and welcoming space for the community and continue to raise vital funds for the charity.

One of the key members of the group and dedicated supporter of St. Vincent’s, Dr Morag Thow MBE, said: “We have been working extremely hard for the last several months towards our goal of refurbishing the shop, which means so much to so many people across the area, and so far the response has been fantastic. However, this Christmas we need your help to get over the finish line and reach our target.”

St. Vincent’s Hospice is a specialist provider of palliative and Hospice care for individuals and families affected by life-limiting conditions from across Renfrewshire.

In the last year alone, the Hospice offered care for hundreds of families across Renfrewshire through their eight bed In-patient Unit, Day Hospice Service and in the comfort of people’s own homes with their Community Nurse Specialists team.

Additionally, St. Vincent’s delivered more than 1,400 bereavement counselling and support sessions, many of these for children and young people between the ages of 2 – 18, going through some of the most difficult time of their lives following the loss of a parent or person close to them.

Morag added: “I have been involved with the Hospice for the last four years, taking an exercise class for the Day Hospice. I see what a difference the Hospice makes to patients, families and friends of people who need their support. Without the money from the charity shops, this fantastic work could not continue.”
Chief Executive of St. Vincent’s Hospice, Kate Lennon, said: “The support we receive from the community in Lochwinnoch is absolutely second to none, and we are overwhelmed by the work the group have already done to make the shop refurbishment a reality.

“More than 50% of our funding is made up of voluntary donations and the income generated by our shops, but our Lochwinnoch store is much more than that. It is a space for people to meet, to chat, to make new friends, a space to bring the community together. This Christmas, please help us reach our target and play your part in supporting hundreds of families every year.”

To donate to the Change Lochwinnoch campaign, please visit: http://bit.ly/2Eo089h

Paisley Secret Collection MFG

Industry leaders have praised Paisley: The Secret Collection after it just missed out on the Cultural Project of the Year Award at the 2018 Architects’ Journal Architecture Awards

Paisley Secret Collection MFG

The project was ‘Highly Commended’ by the judges for the inventive nature of its aim to revitalise the high street by bringing the area’s historic collections to life.

Scooping the top prize was the third phase of works to remodel Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre which saw the refurbishment of its basement into an open performance studio capable of hosting a range of events from comedy to jazz.

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Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Convener of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The Secret Collection has been a fantastic addition to Paisley as we aim to transform our High Street and bring people into the area.

“The collection includes some of Paisley’s world-famous textiles, plus a mix of ceramics, world cultures, social history, art and sculpture, natural history and local archives – with many of those items unseen by the general public in decades or longer.

“It’s fantastic that everyone involved with this wonderful project has received industry recognition as it really is one of Renfrewshire’s hidden gems and I would encourage everyone to take the time to visit and see the outstanding exhibits.”

Paisley Secret Collection MFG

Paisley: The Secret Collection is the first publicly accessible museum store on a UK High Street and contains thousands of objects which reflect Renfrewshire’s amazing heritage and culture.

The state-of-the-art storage facility is a space where everyone can explore, learn, research and discover hidden treasures in the collection.

Brought to life by Collective Architecture, the project was a key highlight of the work they have carried out transforming buildings using modest budgets to achieve maximum impact.

Ewan Imrie, Project Architect, said: “We are absolutely delighted that this project has gained national recognition through the Architects’ Journal Awards.

“The judges recognised the vision and bravery of the client in placing this precious facility within a very difficult central site, so that it is both accessible and a catalyst for regeneration.

“They were also very impressed by the creative and collaborative working relationship that developed between ourselves and Renfrewshire Council which allowed a bleak former shop unit to be converted into a hidden jewel on the High Street.”

The Secret Collection was one of several successful projects which saw Collective take home the coveted prize of Architect of the Year at the Awards ceremony.

Councillor Hughes added: “Collective brought imagination and an inspired sense of style to what could have been a purely functional space.

“They also had an enormous commitment to getting every detail right in a complex state of the art facility and we’re delighted that their work on the project has been recognised in this way.”

The Secret Collection is open to the public and free guided tours should be booked in advance.

For more information on The Secret Collection, visit www.renfrewshireleisure.com/thesecretcollection

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

St Mirren legend Tony Fitzpatrick has revealed he used a bogus scouting report to get players fired up for one of the most important matches in the club’s history.

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

Tony was Saints manager when the team needed to win away from home against Stirling Albion to avoid relegation. It was the penultimate game of the 1998 season and if Saints dropped into the Second Division, it would have meant a financial meltdown for the club.

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

In his newly-released autobiography, Fitzy – The Story of My Life, Tony says the future of St Mirren was at stake and describes how he used a cunning plan to trick his players into putting in the performance of their lives to win 1-0.

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

In his book Tony reveals: “I came up with a ploy to get the players wound up for the game. When we arrived at Forthbank and while the players were out on the park before getting changed, I sneaked into the away dressing room and left sheets of paper lying on a table before I headed back out to join them.

“It was a spoof scouting report for the Stirling Albion manager, Kevin Drinkell, whose name was on the top of the first page. It was an assessment of each St Mirren player and how they performed in our last game.

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

“But it didn’t come from any of the Stirling Albion coaching or scouting staff accidentally leaving it in the dressing room – I had written it and deliberately left it there. Since I wanted to get our boys fired up, I slaughtered every player in this ‘performance report’.

“I told our coach, Matt Kerr where in the dressing room I had put the sheets of paper and he was to make a big deal in front of the players when he ‘found’ the report.

“The players are getting changed when suddenly Matt shouts: ‘Gaffer! You need to see this.’

“He hands me the sheets of paper and I act like I’m intently studying what’s written on them. After a minute or so, I turn to the face the players, hold the sheets of paper above my head and say: ‘Bastards! I can’t believe this. It’s a report on how you guys have been playing and you should see what they’re saying about you. You’re getting slagged off something rotten.’

“I go through the fake report reading it out to them. ‘Murray – you’re too slow, you run like Bambi and you’ve only got one star out of five. McGarry – says here you’re a clever player, but if you get hit hard that’s you lost interest and you won’t want to know from then on. You only get one star as well.’

“I go through all the players and every comment is criticising them. I could feel the players bristling with indignation. I go in for the kill: ‘You going to let them away with that? They think you lot are hopeless and are there for the taking.’

“By this time the boys are raging and we’re having to hold them back as they’re desperate to get out on to the park and start a war.”

Tony says that after his team talk with the bogus scouting report the players made sure Saints were never in any danger of losing the game and a Hugh Murray goal in the second half sealed the win.

Fitzy – The Story of My Life is published by Macdonald Media Publishing and is available to buy fromwww.fitzybook.co.uk for only £11.99.

Paisley Pirates Shivering Timbers

PAISLEY PIRATES 6 – ABERDEEN LYNX 3

 

Pirates overcame a spirited performance by the visitors and, in the process, brought the latter’s unbeaten start in the league to an end.

Paisley Pirates Shivering Timbers

The home side were the quicker to settle and were ahead in the 4th minute as Wallace got on the end of a cross come shot from Sarginson to beat Chalmers and give his side a lead which they never lost. Both sides continued to push forward but it was Pirates who doubled their lead in the 9th minute as Dobson skated through and fired a beauty into the top of the net to put daylight between the teams. With no further scoring in the period, the teams headed for the dressing rooms at the first break with Pirates holding a handy 2-0 advantage.

The hosts got off to the best possible start in the middle session with a goal after only 29 seconds. Chalmers could only parry a rasping shot from Divok, and the puck fell perfectly for Thorp to nudge it over the line to give Pirates a three goal margin. Back came the visitors, however, and after a sustained spell of pressure they got their reward in 28 minutes through Malcolm. Pirates steadied the ship thereafter and restored their margin of three just after the halfway point, Walker merely flicking a long range effort which flew past Chalmers to nestle in the bottom corner. The same player was on hand after 35 minutes to net his second of the night, and with the buzzer sounding after 40 minutes Pirates were well in control at 5-1, a Hamilton shot which bounced off the underside of the bar and appearing to land behind the line being washed out by referee Emmerson.

In spite of their four goal advantage, Pirates had to be on their toes in the final session as Lynx continued to push forward towards Russell in the home goal, and after 45 minutes the visitors struck with Malcolm’s second goal of the night, followed by a third from former Pirate Andrew Murphy to tighten up the scoreline at 5-3. With four minutes to go, the accumulation of heavy challenges during the course of the game came to a head as Divok and Andreucci went head to head with the Durkacz brothers in two separate exchanges on the ice, Joe Durkacz eventually being flung out of the game with the other pugilists receiving minor penalties, which were enough to end their participation in the match.

The excitement wasn’t quite over for the evening, however, as with the clock running down in the final few seconds, Walker sent Henderson away and the forward skated through to beat Chalmers with one second remaining, putting a final gloss on the evening to give Pirates a 6-3 win.

Pirates have a weekend off and are next in action on Sunday 16 December when they play host to Kirkcaldy Kestrels.

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PAISLEY PIRATES-UPDATE

Paisley Pirates may have enjoyed a rare weekend off from on-ice action, but away from the usual weekend excitement the club has been just as busy as ever in the run up to the Christmas period.

“Yes, it was good that the players got a well-earned break from their usual routine,” said Off Ice Operations Manager Jackie Turley, “but the work of the club goes on, with plenty of effort going on behind the scenes which folk sometimes don’t see.”

“We’ve been continuing to take group bookings at a steady rate now that we’re in Christmas mode, with a take up rate which suggests people are getting the message that they can come with their group and see the Pirates for very little money either as a pre-Christmas treat, or even as something a little different to their usual programme of events ay any time during our season.”

“Certainly, we’ve been busier in terms of taking bookings for the game on 16 December against Kirkcaldy, and the local derby against North Ayrshire Wild on Saturday 22 December, but the group discount rate is in operation for ALL home games and clubs and groups shouldn’t hang around too long if they’re wanting to snap up a real bargain. We know money’s tight everywhere right now so this is a chance for us to give back to the community which supports us the whole year round.”

“We’re also looking for individuals who would like to supp’ort us via our Match Night Puck Sponsorship scheme, where again, for little money, fans can sponsor the match night puck, receive it with special engraving on it, and get their photo taken with both team captains before the match in question. We’ve got another such event coming up on 22 December, but there’s other dates available if there’s supporters looking for a souvenir with a difference, or wanting to give a young relative an extra special present.”

“As usual, we’ve loads of seasonal souvenirs at our shop, including special Paisley Pirates calendars which are disappearing faster than Santa Claus down a chimney, so we’d advise folk not to waste any time in getting their order in, and/or contact us at paisleypirates@gmail.com if they want to make a group booking.”

Paisley Pirates Supporters Club has also been very busy, arranging a collection of new toys in aid of the Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Appeal, which took place at the recent match against Aberdeen Lynx.

“We were well pleased with the response we got from our ever-generous supporters,” said Chairwoman Marie Cadenhead. “We were able to fill a number of trollies with brand spanking new toys donated by supporters, and we also took a very healthy sum in cash donations on the night. The money raised will go towards buying specialised gifts for children in need of them, while, thanks to the generosity of Paisley Pirates fans, an awful lot of kids will have a happier Christmas than might otherwise have been the case.”

Winners Fordbank Flames

Six schools from Renfrewshire and one from East Renfrewshire took part in the annual Intergenerational Quiz last week, organised by Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

Winners Fordbank Flames

The event, held at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley, sees a team from each school matched up with a group of older people to go head to head in a quiz featuring everything from sport and history to general knowledge and music.

The teams for 2018 were:

Fordbank Flames – Fordbank Primary School and Johnstone Seniors Forum/Altpatrick Sheltered Housing
Ralston Rebels – Ralston Primary School and Ralston Day Centre
Newmains Renfrew Rainbows – Newmains Primary School and Renfrew Day Centre
Mossy Monkeys – Mossvale Primary School and Springbank Sheltered Housing
Todholm Turtles – Todholm Primary School and Springbank Sheltered Housing
SJO Sharks – St.John Ogilvie Primary School and Glentanar Court Sheltered Housing
Neilston Brainboxes – Neilston Primary and Kirkton Services

The teams meet regularly in advance of the quiz to learn from each other, as well as learning new things that will help them on the day. The project aims to break down the barriers and stigmas between the generations and help build relationships which continue after the event has taken place.

This year’s quiz came down to a tough tie-break between the Todholm Turtles and the Fordbank Flames, with Fordbank pulling ahead to be crowned the overall winner.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron was on hand to give out the trophies. She said “The Intergenerational Quiz is one of my favourite events. The atmosphere is always fantastic with both old and young alike getting involved in the fun.

“I especially love the dancing round, where we were entertained this year by some fabulous routines to the ‘Macarena’ and ‘Baby Shark’.

”It’s inspiring to see the relationships that form between the generations and I can’t wait to hear what else the participants get up to.”

could it be take that

REVELLERS can put the fizz into their Christmas party night with a special offer from Renfrewshire Leisure.

A special ‘Four 4 Fizz’ ticket deal is being offered for a fabulous Christmas Party Night featuring tribute band, Could It Be Take That, being held from 7pm to 1am, on Friday, December 21 at Johnstone Town Hall.

could it be take that

Anyone buying four tickets for the show will be charged £20 per ticket with a free bottle of fizz thrown in to help get the party started. Individual tickets are £27 each.

The night begins with a red carpet entrance, bubbly, a delicious three-course meal and entertainment from Scotland’s one and only Take That tribute band, followed by a glittering disco.

Victoria Hollows, Renfrewshire Leisure’s chief executive said: “This is a great deal for family, friends and work colleagues to get together and enjoy a fun, festive night out.”

Call the box office on 0300300 1210 to book your ‘Four 4 Fizz’ tickets.

Students from Gryffe High School are attempting to raise awareness of the issues facing young people who have lost a parent or loved one by sharing their own experiences, and pioneering a new approach to bereavement support in school.

In a collaboration between the Children and Young People’s Service at St. Vincent’s Hospice and Gryffe High School, the pupil’s own words and experiences of some of their hardest moments after the loss of a significant person in their life, and attempting to readjust to school life, have been shared as part of a new set of support and information materials, aimed at teachers, parents and other pupils.

Gryffe High School

Children and Young Persons Bereavement at St. Vincent’s, Alison Provan, said “Being a teenager is a difficult time for anyone, there are so many changes going on in your life that it can be overwhelming at the best of times. Now imagine going through that after the death of a parent or someone close to you.

“Sadly, for most schools and teachers, the resources simply aren’t available to provide proper training and development to give staff the confidence and knowledge to effectively manage issues around bereavement.  The students felt so passionately that they wanted to help people to understand, that we thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with Gryffe High School and develop materials which can make a real difference and offer tangible, practical support.”

As well as being a specialist provider of palliative and hospice care for people with life limiting conditions in Renfrewshire, St. Vincent’s Hospice also offers bereavement counselling and support for children and young people aged 2-18, helping them come to terms with major changes in their lives.

As part of the project, which included creating practical guides and advice for teachers, pupils and staff, the group created an “Advice from our Pupils” booklet. This listed significant incidents, issues, worries or concerns that the students had experienced while coming to terms with loss, written in their own words.  This has now been made available to all teachers and support staff across the school.

Andrew Findlay, Principal Teacher for Guidance at Gryffe High School, said: “The collaboration with St. Vincent’s is something that has been in development for a couple of years. Gill Brand, a fellow Guidance Teacher at Gryffe High School, and I identified a large gap in the universal support offered to young people within a school setting. As we supported pupils who were experiencing loss and bereavement, we found that there was no specific guidance for all pupils, staff and parents to follow to ensure the pupils and their families received the best, and most appropriate support required at such difficult times.

“Through conversation with Alison, who already supported a number of pupils within the school, we discussed the possibility of creating resources to aid that process. The relationships and confidence that she had built with the pupils, allowed a unique insight into the approach staff members could take to ensure an environment is created in which a pupil would feel safe and supported.”

These materials have now been rolled out across the school, and are available for all members of staff, pupils and parents, to help them gain a more meaningful understanding of bereavement and loss for children and young people. The materials, and more information, can be found at: http://www.svh.co.uk/services/supportive-care

universal credit

Renfrewshire Councillors have approved £30,000 funding to Renfrewshire Food Bank to reduce the impact of Universal Credit.

universal credit

The proposals to give the food bank the money over a three year period were agreed at a meeting of the Council’s Leadership Board today (December 5).

The funding follows the introduction of Universal Credit in Renfrewshire in September 2018.

Administered by the Department of Work and Pensions, Universal Credit replaces Housing Benefit, Income Support, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits with a single monthly payment.

However, research by Trussell Trust has shown that there has been a 52% increase in demand at food banks in areas where the new system has been in place for 12 months.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener for Finance, Resources and Customer Services, Councillor John Shaw, said: “The introduction of Universal Credit by the UK Government in other areas has put a lot of additional pressure on food banks with more demand from those most in need. This funding will help Renfrewshire Food Bank cope with any increased demand that may come, allowing it to continue supporting anyone in Renfrewshire that needs its help.”

Renfrewshire Council has provided the food bank with funding in recent years, working flexibly with them to provide extra money when needed from its Tackling Poverty Fund.

The Tackling Poverty Programme has been at the centre of many projects to help struggling families and households in Renfrewshire since launching in 2015.

The Healthier, Wealthier Children Service, which is funded by the programme, helped 219 families in Renfrewshire boost their household incomes by a total of £300,000 between April and September 2018. The service gives financial, debt and welfare rights advice to new and expectant parents and helps families check what benefits they are entitled to before and after the arrival of their baby.

The Tackling Poverty Initiative’s energy advice service, which provides support to people who need to reduce their energy bills, has also helped 177 households in Renfrewshire save a total of £49,220 since July 2018.

In March 2018 Renfrewshire Council announced £5million funding for the Tackling Poverty Programme over five years to deliver key projects and activities that will support people and families on low incomes.

Projects within the programme are designed to provide support for families that need it most, remove barriers to participation for children and young people, and support health and wellbeing for young people.

Councillor Shaw said: “The work that the Tackling Poverty Programme is doing is making a real difference to the lives of families in Renfrewshire who are struggling to make ends meet.

“This additional funding will ensure that these crucial services can help families in need in Renfrewshire for years to come.”

reclaim the night

Campaigners marched through Paisley on Tuesday 27 November to mark the beginning of Renfrewshire’s 16 Days of Action campaign, which aims to eliminate violence and sexual abuse towards women.

reclaim the night

The Reclaim the Night march left from the University of the West of Scotland and marched to Dunn Square where Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron led a two-minute silence in memory of those affected by domestic and sexual abuse.

The assembled campaigners also heard speeches from Renfrewshire’s Year of Young People Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell, and from White Ribbon Scotland Ambassador, Gavin Newlands MP.

The theme of the march this year was “Year of the Young People let’s talk about it” reflecting on the statistic that young people experience the highest rates of domestic abuse of any age group.

Provost Cameron said: “For far too long, fear, silence and stigma have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions – and one in three women worldwide now experience gender-based violence.

“It was inspiring to see so many people, including a huge turn-out of men and young people at the march this year. They are breaking the silence on this issue and giving hope to those who are suffering.”

The 16 Days of Action takes place from 25 November to 10 December.

Anyone suffering from domestic violence can get help via two national helplines, which are available 24 hours a day and are free to call from a landline.

Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 027 1234

Abused Men in Scotland Helpline – 0808 800 0024

Locally, Women and Children First can be contacted on 0300 300 0345