FITNESS fans are being urged to swim, run, row and cycle to raise money for charity.

Two local hospices – St Vincent’s and ACCORD – will benefit from a fundraising week of activities being organised by Renfrewshire Leisure in the sports centres, swimming pools and gyms the organisation operates.

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It’s hoped as much as £10,000 could be raised with people being sponsored to take part in a host of sporting activities taking place between November 30 and December 6.
Swimmers can choose a distance to swim over as many pool sessions as they want during the fundraising week and when they have reached their target, a member of staff will sign off that they have completed their distance.

In the gym you can run, or walk 10k, a half-marathon, or a full marathon over the week on the treadmill, or get on the rowing machine and row the 24.2-miles distance that is the length of Loch Lomond.

Those taking part can also cycle the equivalent 55.3 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh, or if you want to put the fun into the fundraising, you can make a donation to take part in an aerobics class dressed to a different theme over five days. The themes are Movies, Pyjamas, 80s Style, Glam and Neon.

And also by making a minimum £10 donation to the charity event, people can take part in a five-hour fitness challenge, which includes eight different classes between 9.15am and 2.45pm on

Wednesday, December 2 at The Lagoon, in Paisley and Friday, December 4, at the ON-X, in Linwood.

Sports clubs who use the Renfrewshire Leisure facilities are also being encouraged to organise a special fundraising game or training session.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said:

“This is all about fundraising, fitness and fun and I hope as many people as possible take part. You can do the fundraising sessions on your own, or make up a team with family and friends and also turn it into a social event.

“The money raised will be going to two very worthy causes.”

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A birthday party with a difference that includes the chance to try out a new beauty treatment made from seaweed is being held on Thursday. (November 19)

The luxury EVE Spa in Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre is celebrating its third birthday and staff there are inviting everyone to come along to their all-day birthday bash from 10am to 9pm.

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And there are great money-saving offers to go along with the free drinks, nibbles and birthday cake on offer to clients who come along.

People reserving a place at the birthday party for just £30 will be given a £20 gift card to spend on beauty products plus their choice of some VIP beauty treatments.

These treatments include a 25-minute express facial or salt and oil scrub from the ishga skincare range, which is made using hand-harvested seaweed from the Scottish Hebrides.

Hebridean seaweed is renowned for containing high levels of natural anti-oxidants that have anti-ageing properties which helps protect the skin.

Other special birthday bash treatments available include a full Mii Make Up application; CACI Non-Surgical facial; a 25-minute customized facial; entry to the Thermal Experience and Rasul Mud Chamber; a manicure for two, or a full-body spray tan for two.

Lynne Dill, EVE Spa manager said: “We can’t believe it’s been three years since we first opened and we do love a party, especially with our fabulous clients.

“We’ve got some great third birthday treatment offers and we’re inviting everyone to come along.”

To reserve a place at the EVE Spa third birthday party, phone 0300 300 0266 or visit the spa, in the Lagoon Leisure Centre up to 9.30pm on Wednesday, November 18.

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Paisley has put people at the heart of its bid for UK City of Culture 2021 as plans were unveiled today to place its museum on an international stage and support the local arts and cultural community through an innovative creative fund.

The Scottish textile town which changed the world, today unveiled plans for a £56.7m transformation of its flagship museum and also to create a £500,000 cultural pot for the local community.

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Paisley’s internationally-significant museum collections, and its one-time place at the heart of the global thread industry, have inspired the plans to turn the town’s museum into a national showcase of textile and design by 2021.

The museum is the flagship project of Renfrewshire’s long-term regeneration plans for the town. They include:

  • £56.7m plans to transform the museum.
  • a £3.7m world class museum store to support an internationally-significant museum and open up access to all of the museum collections for education and research in the heart of the town centre – a first for the UK.
  • £2.7m earmarked to support investment in developing Paisley’s lending library service.
  • a new £500,000 culture, heritage and event fund to tap into the town’s creative potential.

Visitor numbers to the museum could triple to hit 150,000 with almost 250 jobs created and up to £88m generated for the local economy as a result of the cultural and economic regeneration brought about by the museum transformation alone. They will support Renfrewshire Council’s wider economic, social and cultural regeneration strategy.

The plans were unveiled to coincide with a two-day event to officially launch Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

On Friday 13 November, bid ambassadors joined forces at Paisley’s 850-year old Abbey to issue a rallying call to Renfrewshire and beyond to support the bid.

The town will then host a massive public party on Saturday 14 November with an appeal to revellers to wear the world-famous Paisley Pattern for the Christmas lights switch-on event, topped off by a spectacular seven-minute Paisley-themed light show projected against the Abbey.

A social media campaign to back the bid using #Paisley2021 has started and a new website at www.paisley2021.co.uk goes live today to rally public support.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council and Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board said: “We’re putting people right at the heart of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture and our new £500,000 creative fund will help them develop and participate in high-quality cultural events supporting our ambitions.

“From the local arts and cultural community, to professional artists and individuals, the fund will help every part of Renfrewshire realise its creative potential between now and 2021.

“Paisley was once at the heart of the global textile industry and by connecting that heritage to the future through a new transformed museum, we aim to bring the world to Paisley.

“The museum will become the cultural, social and economic heart of the town. It will be transformed for tourists and local families alike, and be the base for extensive community outreach supporting weaving, natural history, science and nature.

“By forging links with national museums and international institutions, local art groups and academic partners, we want to put Paisley at the heart of the world’s cultural map.”

The proposals are due to be considered by the council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board next week.

He added: “The museum store will be a new anchor destination at the opposite end of the High Street from the museum to boost visitor footfall between the two.

“These plans have also brought the chance to re-imagine the library currently based in the museum complex. Library services are changing. Paisley Central Library serves more offline households than any other in the country from its public computers – so we’ll ask local people what they want from a modern facility in the heart of the town.

“Through a planned financial programme Renfrewshire Council has been able to proactively identify vital funds to deliver the regeneration of Paisley and has committed £22m to develop and promote Paisley as a destination town. The plans we announce today show where we intend to invest much of that resource.

“This is a major, long-term programme that will need wider support generated by a major fundraising effort.”

Bid ambassadors who joined Councillor Macmillan at Paisley Abbey on Friday 13 November have outlined why they believe Paisley should be UK City of Culture 2021.

David Wallace is Executive Director of PACE Youth Theatre – the largest of its kind in the UK with former pupils including Paolo Nutini and James McAvoy. He said: “Arts and culture play a huge role in achieving our social and economic goals through local regeneration, attracting tourists, developing talent, improving health and wellbeing and, just as importantly, changing the perception of a place and its community. Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is our vehicle for change and all Buddies are on board.”

Bob Davidson, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help Paisley become the great place it deserves to be – great for all businesses, their employees and their customers. Having been in Paisley for over 50 years, the Chamber fully supports the Paisley 2021 bid and encourages businesses and organisations of all sizes and sectors to do the same.”

Paisley Pirates are celebrating not one, but two of their biggest successes in recent years-and without a puck in sight.

At the Renfrewshire Community Sports Awards event held last week, two well known faces within the club were honoured, along with local representatives from other sports and activities, at the inaugural staging of the event in the newly furbished Johnstone Town Hall, with many well known figures from the world of sport and broadcasting in attendance.

Pirates’ coach Ian Turley made the final three in the Community Coach of the Year category, and while missing out on the main award, was nevertheless delighted to be included in the final consideration. “Of course, it’s always nice to win any award, but it’s a big honour just to be recognised in this type of event,” he said. “None of us do what we do for the purpose of winning awards, we do it because we want to, and it’s quite humbling when people highlight what you do as worthy of consideration for an award.”

Mum Jackie Turley, secretary of the Paisley Pirates, went one better, however, in picking up the Volunteer of the Year Award, taking her completely by surprise and, for once, lost for words. “I really didn’t expect anything like this, and, like Ian says, you don’t do things to try and win awards, you participate because you want to and try to make a difference. We always preach that we’re a community club, run by the community, for the community, and in the community, and what I think I’m most chuffed about is that these awards certainly suggest to us that the Paisley Pirates are very much accepted as being in with the fabric of the local community. The club is much more than just an ice hockey team, we have an army of volunteers, to whom I dedicated my award, and a lot of people are involved in making sure that the Pirates remain one of the top amateur ice hockey teams in Scotland, and, at least as important, a well recognised local community group in the area which it serves, we hope, with distinction and honour.”

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‘Jackie Turley’ holding Volunteer of the Year Award 2015

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Featuring all your favourite hits from world-famous musicals and stage shows, Mad 4 Musicals will bring all the glitz and glamour of Broadway and the West End stage to Paisley Town Hall on 12 November.

This fantastic live show will include all your musical favourites; Evita, Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, Miss Saigon and Les Misérables, plus a few hits from more contemporary shows like Wicked, The Bodyguard and Ghost.

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For families, the Disney medley will have everyone singing along. Be transported to the heady Arabian Nights of Aladdin or the icy kingdom of Arendelle as the Mad 4 Musicals vocalists sing Let it Go.

Mad 4 Musicals is performed entirely live by four of Scotland’s leading theatre vocalists accompanied by a sensational four piece show band, who together provide all the emotion, drama, energy and passion of the musical theatre stage.
 
Mad 4 Musicals will visit Paisley Town Hall on 12 November, 7.30pm. Tickets cost £14 (£12 concession) + booking fee*. To book call the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or visit www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts

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A NEW website is offering charities, community groups and event organisers the chance to promote themselves.

Bosses at Renfrewshire Leisure are not only using their website to tell people what’s happening at sports centres, swimming pools, museums and libraries, they’re opening up their What’s On Guide section to the public.

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And that means anyone organising a community fun day, charity event, exhibition, theatre, or comedy show, exhibition, sports club, or even a pub gig can promote their event for free.

All they have to do is log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com and register to submit details of an event for the What’s On section of the website.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure explains: “We’ve lots of activities going on in our sports and leisure centres, but we also want to help people organising the many other events locally the opportunity to promote themselves.

“We want people to use our website just as much as they would use any of our swimming pools, gyms, or sports halls and opening up the website to others is just one other way of us providing a service to the public.”

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A sparkling contemporary sex comedy by celebrated poet and playwright Liz Lochhead will be performed in Paisley Arts Centre on Tuesday 6 October.

A co-production with Cumbernauld Theatre, What Goes Around is a Scottish spin–off of La Ronde, a hundred year old, highly controversial play that examined the sexual morals of its day through a series of encounters between pairs of characters.

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 What Goes Around follows day one of rehearsals of La Ronde, where an older married actor and a younger, single actress sit down together for a drink to break the ice and one thing leads to another..

The play features two actors, Keith Fleming, (Black Watch) and Nicola Roy (Hope Springs, River City) who play seven characters in this entertaining drama, which examines the guilt, the lure of the forbidden and the real story behind these infidelities.

Liz Lochhead is one of Scotland’s best known poets and dramatists, who became the Scots Makar (or national poet) in 2011, succeeding Edwin Morgan. Her previous works include Blood and Ice, Perfect Daysand Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off.

What Goes Around will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Tuesday 6 October at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 (£6 conc) + bkg fee* and are available at the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts. Suitable for ages 16+.

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It’s been a busy twelve months for Shona Reppe with The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean in Adelaide and Perth Australia, London’s Southbank Centre, Dublin Theatre Festival and Baboro International Festival for Children. Potato Needs a Bath went to the Calgary International Children’s Festival, Vancouver International Festival whilst Cinderella won an award in Poland.

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Back in Scotland, Shona Reppe and Andy Manley created a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe 2014 with Huff. Part of the Made in Scotland showcase, Huff won a Herald Angel and the Critics Award for Theatre, Best Production for Children and Young People.
 
This summer Shona has created Magic Sho which will visit Paisley Arts Centre on Saturday 3 October.

“I have always used a few magic tricks in my shows, but in making this show I found myself more interested in the magicians themselves so with the guidance of Magician Kevin Mcmahon of Edinburgh’s Magicfest we went to the Blackpool Magic Convention which is nothing short of amazing! Surrounded by magic tricks and magicians of every kind it was a real eye opener. I wanted the show to reflect this world of obsession and illusion (and luckily for me a lot of sparkle). It has been a challenge to learn magic alongside creating a new show – but fun and maybe I’ll even join the Magic Circle one day!”
 
Magic Sho will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Saturday 3 October at 2pm. Tickets cost £5 + booking fee* available from the Box Office at Paisley Arts Centre, by phone on 0300 300 1210 or online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts. The event is recommended for ages 5 – 8.

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We are delighted to announce that Tribes, a brand new play by Solar Bear Theatre Company and Nina Raine will be performed at Paisley Arts Centre on 30 September as part of its Scottish Premiere tour.

Tribes is a contemporary family drama about Billy – a young man who is deaf and born into a hearing family where sign language has never been used. Raising awareness of issues facing the deaf and hearing communities, Tribes is a biting yet funny, no holds barred look at how a family and a deaf young man work together to understand each other’s point of view.

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Solar Bear’s Artistic Director Gerry Ramage chose to produce and direct Tribes just before the new BA Degree course in Performance in BSL & English gets underway at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. It also coincides with the third stage of the important BSL (Scotland) Bill at the Scottish Parliament, highlighting the important developments and inroads being made in Scotland with the D/deaf, deafened and hard of hearing community within Scotland.

The role of Billy will be played by Alex Nowak, a talented young deaf actor. Based in London, Alex has mainly worked in film and Tribes will be his first stage production.

Tribes is Nina Raine’s second play and premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London 2010. Nina won the Evening Standard Award and Critics Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright for her debut play Rabbit in 2006. She is also a director.

Tribes will be performed at Paisley Arts Centre on 30 September at 7.30pm and is recommended for ages 14+. It is accessible to deaf and hearing audiences and the performance in Paisley will be captioned and BSL Interpreted.

Tickets cost £10 (£6 concession) + booking fee* and are on sale now at the Box Office at Paisley Arts Centre, on 0300 300 1210 or online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts

Renfrew Victory Baths

FREE swimming sessions are being offered to OAPs at all pools in Renfrewshire.

The generous move by bosses at Renfrewshire Leisure – the management trust that runs sports and leisure centres locally – is in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Over 50s Club at Renfrew’s Victory Baths.

Renfrew Victory Baths

Senior citizens can get free entry – normally £1.25 per swimming session – to the pools at Paisley’s Lagoon Centre; The On-X, in Linwood; Johnstone Sports Hub; Renfrew’s Victory Baths and Erskine Swimming Pool during the week beginning Monday, October 5.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure explained: “The Over 50s Club at Victory Baths have been doing a fantastic job of encouraging more mature people to keep active by swimming regularly.

“They have more than 30 octogenarians who are members of the swimming club and they are a great example to us all.

“They also run an active social events calendar for their members and have raised £35,000 for local charities in the past 25 years.”

Joyce added: “We wanted to do something to recognise the Over 50s Club’s achievement in reaching their quarter of a century, as well as encouraging other senior citizens to stay active and healthy through swimming.

“I hope lots of OAPs take advantage of our free swimming offer and enjoy the health and well-being benefits of swimming.”

Over 50s Club President Isobel Marshall said: “This is a great idea and I’d encourage pensioners to take advantage of the free swimming offer.

“Swimming is a fantastic way to keep healthy and if you join a club like ours, there’s great camaraderie among the members.”