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.

Victoria Hollows, Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive.v1

Hard work and achievements in supporting communities highlighted, one year on from first lockdown coming into force

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chief executive has praised her team’s determination to deliver and help the region through the coronavirus pandemic.

Victoria Hollows, Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive.v1

Dr Victoria Hollows says the charity’s role in helping improve health and wellbeing has never been more important in light of challenges caused by Covid-19.

And she has highlighted her pride in the way in which staff have adapted to ensure they can be there for communities in different ways in the past year.

One year on from the start of Scotland’s first lockdown, Dr Hollows said: “I am incredibly proud of and thankful for our people who have, time and again, stepped up to support those around them in whatever way they can.

“Our charity and team’s determination to deliver – to make a difference – has made navigating the challenges of coronavirus over the past year more manageable.


“The temporary closure of our facilities has not meant the suspension of our services. Far from it. Thanks to innovation, commitment and pride among our team in serving the communities that they are part of, people have been constantly able to access our services in some form.


“From check-in calls by library staff to outdoor fitness classes, supporting neighbourhood hubs, Covid-19 testing, vaccinations and the rapid acceleration in our digital evolution, we have been active day in, day out.”

While venues and facilities have been closed for much – in some cases all – of the past 12 months, Renfrewshire Leisure has rapidly and significantly increased its online offering.

With content including fitness classes, reading events, local nostalgia and much more, that has seen in excess of 3.1 million visits to www.renfrewshireleisure.com, more than 77,000 e-books issued, 50,000-plus views on RenTV and 71,000 ondemand pageviews for online videos.

On top of that, the switch to digital that lockdown and social distancing rules have demanded has led to improved engagement with groups including care-experienced children and in those taking part in the Renfrewshire School of Sport Education.

The second Paisley Book Festival was also digital-only and was a sell-out success with 8,725 tickets sold.

The return of Renfrewshire Leisure services is being planned in-line with Scottish Government rules, with some outdoor sports activities already up and running again.

And Dr Hollows says she’s determined that the charity will play a major role in the region’s recovery from the pandemic.

She added: “Supporting our region’s wellbeing is at the heart of what we do, ensuring we can meet people’s needs as they evolve.

“We are fortunate to have had such loyal support from Renfrewshire Council, our members and other service users who we cannot wait to welcome back to our in-person services as they gradually return.”

For more details, go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com

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MUM Kelly Tweedle has told how drops of cannabis oil from a company started by two Paisley brothers has changed her life after suffering years of excruciating pain.

Her agonising ordeal began during her second pregnancy when she developed SPD – symphysis pubis dysfunction – a condition that causes a debilitating pain in the hips, back and upper legs.

It was so bad, Kelly, 37,  spent six months of her pregnancy having to use crutches to get around.

Although for many women the condition improves and disappears after giving birth, Kelly continued to suffer the chronic pain SPD brings for nine years after her son, Alfie was born.

Kelly also has a daughter, Ava, aged 12, but she went through so much pain, it even stopped her having the third child she wanted, as she couldn’t bear the agony of severe SPD during pregnancy again.

Neither over-the-counter painkillers, nor stronger tablets that were prescribed by her doctor managed to control Kelly’s pain.

But that that all changed last summer when she started taking half-a-dozen drops of Nutrivive CBD oil under her tongue every day.

Kelly is now free from the pain and has almost completed a training programme that takes her from the couch to running a distance of 5k. She now even wants to take part in a fun run to raise money for charity.

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Nutrivive is a Paisley-based company – launched last year by brothers, John and Harry McDonough – and their premium CBD oil contains cannabidiol, which is the part of the cannabis plant with pain relieving, calming and healing properties.

The oil is legal, safe and non-addictive, as it doesn’t contain the THC compound that gives the ‘high’ associated with smoking cannabis, or taking the drug in other forms.  Medical cannabis was legalised in the UK in November 2018.

Every batch of Nutrivive CBD oil is triple-tested for quality of content in one of Europe’s top testing facilities.

Some of the best-known celebrities who are said to use CBD oil include Kim Kardashian, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mike Tyson, Morgan Freeman and Tom Hanks. Even David Beckham has invested in a company using CBD in its products.

The Scottish Government’s Healthcare Improvement Scotland yesterday (Monday) announced they have authorised the country’s first medical cannabis clinic, in Stirling.

Kelly, a former midwife explains how the crippling pain from the SPD affected her and how Nutrivive CBD oil has had an amazing effect on her life:

“SPD is a condition that is very under-recognised for the amount of pain it can cause.

“I was on crutches after being six months pregnant with Alfie. The pain in my hips was unbelievable. At first I wore a belt during the day to help with the pain, but it got so bad I had no option but to get about on crutches.

“My legs wouldn’t move like I wanted them to and it would take me ages to do something simple and straightforward as get out of bed.

“I would have had another child if it wasn’t for the pain I suffered during my second pregnancy. It’s a horrible pain and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I now wish Nutrivive was around after I gave birth to Alfie.”

Kelly continued: “Even after Alfie was born, the pain never really went away and sometimes it would be just about bearable and I would put up with it. But whenever I’d take part in any physical activity it would flare up again and would last for weeks at a time.

“I’d sign up for a fitness class then have to stop going because the pain would come back with a vengeance. It got to the point where I would hold back from doing anything physically exerting.

“I had physiotherapy, but that didn’t cure the problem. I resigned myself that I wasn’t going to be cured of the pain and tried to accept that I had a dodgy hip.”

Kelly, from Penilee found out about Nutrivive through a relative who used their CBD oil.

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She said: “I did some research and was quite impressed, so I thought I would give it a go.

“After a couple of weeks putting half a dozen drops of Nutrivive CBD oil under my tongue, I noticed I wasn’t suffering as much pain in my hips. And by the time I’d finished my first bottle there was a massive difference and I couldn’t wait to order another bottle.

“I realised it was definitely the Nutrivive CBD that was making me pain-free because I went for a few weeks without taking the oil and my hip pain came back. As soon as I started taking the Nutrivive again, the pain disappeared. That really brought it home to me that the oil was working.”

In May last year, Kelly decided to go on the Couch to 5k Training Plan, but had to give up after a few weeks because the pain in her hips was so bad.

The following month, Kelly started taking Nutrivive CBD oil and now she has started on the training programme again and has almost completed the nine-week sessions pain free.

“I’ve got zero pain and it has given me huge encouragement and I’ve got more confident. It feels great now that I’ve got so far with the training without having to give up.

“I’d now quite like to do a fun run for charity, but before I started using the Nutrivive CBD there’s no way I would be able to do that.

“It’s massively changed my life and I wouldn’t be able to do the things many people take for granted if it wasn’t for the CBD oil.”

Nutrivive co-owner, Harry McDonough expects his company will be one of the first to be accredited by the Food Standards Agency who are bringing in new rules later this year to ensure quality standards of CBD products.

Harry said: “It’s a fantastic feeling knowing that our CBD oil has made a difference to Kelly and many other people’s lives.

“I use it myself and I know first-hand the benefits it brings to me through relaxation, better sleep quality and how it holistically strengthens your mind, and body.

Go to www.nutrivive.co.uk for more information on CBD oil and its health benefits.

Renfrewshire Leisure has taken its first step out of the latest lockdown with the restart of outdoor sporting activities.

Outdoor fitness classes have made a successful return, while more groups are again able to use sports pitches and golfers can play four-ball games.

All of the activities restarting are doing so in line with the Scottish Government’s latest Covid-19 rules, with safety as the utmost priority.

Mark Tokeley, Head of Leisure and Community Services at Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “This is a milestone in our charity’s route map out of lockdown, allowing the eagerly awaited and gradual restart of our in-person services.

“We are delighted to be able to begin welcoming members, clubs and other customers back to our facilities. The vaccine roll out and the progress being made in suppressing the virus has given us much to look forward to.

“Safety is, of course, our priority. We are asking everyone using our facilities to follow all of the rules in place so that we play our part in continuing efforts to keep Covid-19 at bay.”

As laid out in Scottish Government’s guidelines, Renfrewshire Leisure reintroduced from Friday (March 12):

  • Outdoor fitness classes (limited to 14 participants and one coach) at ON-X Linwood, Park Mains High School in Erskine and Seedhill Community Sports Ground, Paisley. Places must be booked online in advance. Initial classes have been fully booked.
  • Athletics outdoor training at ON-X
  • Contact sports for under-12s for groups with existing block bookings for groups of up to 15 players and two coaches.
  • Non-contact sports for 12-year-olds and over, in groups of up to 15 people, with two coaches also allowed for 12 to 17-year-olds.
  • Four-ball games of golf at Barshaw Golf Club (which Renfrewshire Leisure staff will man from the last week in March).

Bowling, meanwhile, will restart at Lochfield Bowling Green, Paisley, and Robertson Park Bowling Green in Renfrew from the beginning of the new season on April 1.

Rules for the outdoor pitches have been shared with sports clubs. Full details of them and where activities are taking place are available at www.renfrewshireleisure.com.

All Renfrewshire Leisure venues have been closed to public access since Level 4 measures were introduced on December 26.

Preparations, meanwhile, are underway for the reopening and restart of other Renfrewshire Leisure venues and services. Arrangements will be confirmed following relevant updates from the Scottish Government.

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

THE recently-launched home delivery service for library books has become a best seller.

Almost 200 people have signed up to Renfrewshire Leisure’s Libraries Direct service providing a free delivery service of library books to those over the age of 70, people with disabilities and families with children.

There have been 102 deliveries made to homes since the service was launched at the end of February to make it easier for members of Renfrewshire Libraries to access the thousands of titles available to borrow.

Staff at Renfrewshire Libraries have been praised for launching the service.

One avid book reader from Johnstone described the staff as “life savers in libraries”. He revealed that due to the free home delivery service, he can now “finally get a decent non-fiction read at bedtime to help me sleep better after the Covid lockdown had disturbed my sleep pattern.”

A mum from Renfrew also phoned he local library to say how delighted she was that she and her children could now have books delivered to her home.

“This is a really important service,” the mum said. “My children are so excited to get new library books again. Delivering them to the house is a great idea.”

People who are eligible for the service should call 0300 300 1188 to register for the Libraries Direct service. They can then request specific titles by calling the same number or logging on to www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk.

Staff will also suggest and recommend particular books depending on the readers’ interests and preferences. Members will receive a phone call a few days before their books are delivered.

And library staff will visit homes to collect returned books in a socially distanced and Covid-secure way.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Digital and Library Development Manager, Joyce Higgins said: “We’re very pleased that so many people have registered for the Libraries Direct Service and we’re expecting the numbers to grow in the coming weeks.

“People getting their books delivered have been telling us they are very grateful for the service and we’re glad to be able to do so.”

LIBRARY members can now have books delivered to their homes for free.

Keen reader, Elizabeth MacPhee, from Renfrew is delighted with her home delivery of books.

Renfrewshire Libraries launched the new service to make it easier for people to access the thousands of titles they have available.

And as Renfrewshire Leisure’s Digital and Library Development Manager, Joyce Higgins says: “While people can’t come to our libraries, we’ll bring the books in our libraries to them!”

The Libraries Direct home delivery service is available to existing and new members of Renfrewshire Libraries who are over the age of 70, people with disabilities and families with children.

Library staff will also visit homes to collect returned books in a socially distanced and Covid-secure way.

People who are eligible for the service should call 0300 300 1188 to register for the Libraries Direct service. They can then request specific titles by calling the same number or logging on to www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk.

Staff will also suggest and recommend particular books depending on the readers’ interests and preferences. Members will receive a phone call a few days before their books are delivered.

One library member who had benefited from the Libraries Direct is Mrs Elizabeth MacPhee, aged 79, from Renfrew, who has already had a delivery of books to her home.

She said: “I think the home delivery service for library books is a fantastic idea and I’m sure everyone will appreciate it.

“I read six or seven books a week and during lockdown I’ve not been able to get to my local library like I normally do a couple of times a week.

“I’ve had to rely on friends giving me books after they’d finished with them. This delivery service is great for me.”

Joyce Higgins added: “We know just how much pleasure books can bring, especially in these difficult times.

“Reading a book can help you relax or stimulate your mind. And if your children are home schooling, we can deliver all kinds of wonderful books to help keep young people engaged and enjoying learning.

“The home delivery service is one way of making sure people don’t need to miss the joy of reading.”

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THE work of creative writers is being displayed in a very unusual place – a five-and-a-half metre high billboard outside a railway station.

The unique outdoor visual arts project will be seen by people passing Paisley’s Gilmour Street Station and is part of Renfrewshire Leisure’s Out of Place programme that also features online gigs, film, audio performances and creative workshops.

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The specially-commissioned work from Renfrewshire writers for the Talk of the Town project will be individually on display from February 22 to April 6.

The first piece to be featured on the billboard is a poem by Roddy Scott, called Sma’ Shot Reel, which talks about celebrating the end of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

The second is a piece by David Rae, whose words draw on the romance of meeting and parting at the station. And the third in the series is from Kick The Door theatre production company’s, Fraser Scott and Iona Ramsay, whose poem is called Paisley Before, Now and Next: Radicals an’ Revolutionaries.

David Rae

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Visual Arts Projects Producer, Kate Drummond came up with the billboard idea. She explains:

“I thought it would be interesting to use the billboard for something that’s not advertising, or selling to people, as that’s what you would normally see on that space.

“It’s a different way of communicating something in the written word, which is a nice positive message. People wouldn’t normally expect to see something like this on a billboard, so hopefully it will be very noticeable.”

Roddy Scott said: “The idea of my piece of writing on the billboard was to try to get people in the town feel uplifted and to raise their spirits.

Roddy Scott

“It’s an amazing idea to have creative writing on a billboard. When I heard my piece was chosen I was blown away.”

Fraser Scott said: “Our piece is a short poem that recounts the historic moments in Paisley’s past that made it what it is today. In its final words, the poem will ask, with all that behind us, what next?

Fraser Scott and Iona Ramsay

“We really hope our writing will spark excitement about the town and what could be next with those who read itOur hope is to capture a feeling of pride about Paisley and it is our hope that the people who read it will share in that pride.

David Rae said: “I’m very excited by this project as I love Paisley and the town is great inspiration for me.

“I’ve never had my words on a billboard before and I’m fascinated by the thought of my words being used in this way.

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“I hope my piece will bring a smile to faces and a few memories to those that pass by. And a reminder that a bag of chips makes everything better!”

Go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/out-of-place-spring-programme for the full Out of Place programme.

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


RENFREWSHIRE Leisure is staging a fantastic array of entertainment, creative events and masterclasses in the coming months.

The Out of Place programme featuring online gigs, film, audio performances, visual arts and creative workshops was launched on Friday, February 5.

Music fans can tune into the Ren TV online channel to hear artists and bands perform in the Stuck In The House Sessions. During February and in conjunction with the Sofar Sounds Glasgow online artists community, performers will include Ghanian-born songwriter and guitarist, Nathan Somevi and Paisley-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Becca Starr, with other artists to be confirmed.

The Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA) move their annual Paisley Takeover at Paisley Arts Centre to an online virtual music experience. This year’s programme includes four performances from Scottish artists that were filmed at home and will be broadcast on Ren TV each Thursday, during March, at 8pm.

There are two premieres planned for February 24 and March 3 featuring Laura Fisher and Sonia Kilmann. By visiting Ren TV listeners can hear Going In-Going Out, which is an audio performance and shared dance event for people to take part in while in their own homes. During the performance they will be gently guided through movement and relaxation.

A companion broadcast is called Going Out-Going In, which is an audio performance designed to be listened to through headphones, which takes the listener on a journey through their local area to a music soundtrack.

Alongside the digital programme, an outdoor visual arts project – Talk of the Town – will feature on a billboard outside the main entrance to Paisley’s Gilmour Street Station with three specially commissioned pieces of writing from Renfrewshire-based artists on display between February 22 to April 6.

The first piece is Roddy Scott’s Sma’ Shot Reel; the second is from David Rae, whose words draw on the romance of meeting and parting at the station and the third in the series is from Kick The Door Theatre t whose piece asks – with that all behind us, what next?

Following last year’s phenomenal success of Ren TV’s Reeling Through The Years series of local films, the popular series of films featuring a selection of archive movies about local characters, history and culture returns.

It’s the first time this latest selection of films, from Paul Russell, Alex Cathcart and members of the Renfrewshire Camcorder Club, will be seen in digital format.

While Paisley Arts Centre remains closed, Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts team will be delivering a series of free online creative learning workshops with something for everyone from storytelling for under-5s to dancing for the over-60s.

The team has produced an online programme of free masterclasses to encourage artistic and creative excellence among Renfrewshire-based artists and will be delivered by artists such as outstanding musician, Rachel Sermanni and award winning filmmaker Kenny Glenaan

The Creative learning workshops and masterclasses are supported by Creative Scotland’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, supporting artists to continue to make work and reach audiences during the Covid pandemic.

Renfrewshire Leisure Arts Manager, Rikki Payne said: “Our arts venues may be closed due to the coronavirus restriction, but we’re making sure everyone can still access arts and culture through our online channels.

“Most of the programming for our Out of Place programme is specifically designed by Renfrewshire Leisure, so we can deliver unique and high-quality arts, culture and creative activities to the people of Renfrewshire and beyond.”

The Out of Place events are made possible with the support of Future Paisley. Future Paisley is 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.

Go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/out-of-place-spring-programme for full details of how you can access the Out of Place programme.

Derek Provan

Commenting on today’s announcement in the Scottish Parliament from First Minster Nicola Sturgeon on the introduction of tougher quarantine restrictions, Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, said:

Glasgow airport Derek Provan

“This is the third significant announcement regarding travel restrictions in as many weeks which, once again, have been introduced without any consultation whatsoever. We’re also lacking any detail on how the latest layer of restrictions will be implemented.

We understand the need for short-term emergency measures, and we all want to see this virus brought under control as quickly as possible, however, it’s imperative government engages with industry on developing a recovery plan.

“Our airports are effectively closed, they have been for almost one year and without a recovery plan from government there is no end in sight. We need to see sector specific support beyond the rates relief otherwise our entire industry will remain in a perilous position.”

Youngsters were encouraged to muck about during their last few days at school before the holidays.

Although Covid-19 put paid to their annual Christmas party, pupils from Rashielea Primary 4-7 were given the chance to take part in a fun Rough Mudder assault course, organised by Renfrewshire Leisure’s Active Schools team.

The Rashie Rough Mudder event saw youngsters don their waterproof clothing – funded by the school’s Parents’ Association – and start their messy journey at the bottom of a hill outside their school.

They clambered over logs; weaved through obstacles; jumped in and out of giant tractor tyres, donated by the Hamilton Ross Group; rolled on their stomachs over barrels; crawled under a parachute and slalomed on a space hopper.

As part of their work that led to being given the John Muir Award for improving the environment, Rashielea Primary 6 pupils had cleared a nearby wood and part of the Rough Mudder course included passing through this area and finishing on a mudslide.

Renfrewshire Leisure Active School and Community Club Development Officer, Tammy Johnston said: “We didn’t want the pupils to miss out a last day of fun before breaking up for the Christmas holidays.

“The children weren’t afraid to get muddy and were more than up for a day of messy fun. As soon as they had their waterproofs on they tackled the course with great gusto.”

School staff and volunteers from the nearby Park Mains High were also on hand to help direct the children through the course.

It had been a busy school term for the pupils at Rashielea, as they took part in a reverse Advent Calendar with each pupil bringing in an item for each day for donation to local food banks.

Youngsters video recorded their Nativity Play for residents of LittleInch Care Home, at Inchinnan to watch and pupils also organised a Christmas jumper day raising money to buy toys for the Salvation Army Toy Appeal.

Pupils from Primary 1-3 used technology to transport themselves to Bethlehem for a Christmas carol concert with a difference. They used special green screen recording techniques to video their performance. However, because singing is still not allowed in schools due to Covid restrictions, they used Makaton to sign the words of the songs while accompanied by pupils playing instruments.