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Pass It On Week 10th-18th March

The theme for this year is musical instruments. So many unused instruments are languishing in lofts and cupboards. The idea is to collect these and pass them on to organisations who will use them.
LEAP will be a collection point and we will be partnering with Music Broth a new Glasgow based charity, who lend out musical instruments.
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NYC Tartan Week

Lisa Kowalski, singer songwriter aged 18 from Paisley, is absolutely thrilled to have been invited by the American Scottish Foundation to take part in New York Tartan Week and perform at the Bryant Park lunchtime concert this April.

This gives the young musician, who to date has only performed in Central Scotland, an opportunity to perform in front of an international audience and network with a number of other important musicians and supporters of music. As well as performing her own songs, Lisa will be polishing up a few popular Scottish folk tunes to entertain the participants of the Tartan Day Parade.

Lisa initially made contact with the Foundation last year after reading about their support for Scottish culture, telling them about her debut EP Free Spirits, her involvement in the Paisley 2021 UK City of Culture Bid and her American family connections.  Liking her songs and her story, they featured Lisa in their magazine and offered to support her if she wanted to bring her music to the States. Due to Lisa’s youth, her song writing talent and her passion for her local community, the Foundation decided that she would be a good candidate for support from the Lord Malcolm Douglas Foundation bursary scheme, especially in 2018, the Year of Young People.

Several emails and phone calls later, the trip has been confirmed and Lisa will fly over for a week from 4th April.  With many New York based artists having influenced Lisa’s musical development, she is delighted to be visiting the city for the first time and also catching up with her New England based family.  

“I absolutely love performing, no matter where I am. Whether it’s a festival mainstage or a small cafe, it’s my favourite thing to do. To perform in New York though, a place that I’ve wanted to visit for my entire life, will be absolutely life changing. I can’t wait to see what it’s like to be there and perform there.”

2018 has already got off to a great start for Lisa, with a headlining gig at King Tuts on the night of her 18th birthday, part of the prize for reaching the finals of the inaugural Salute Music UK Song Writing competition last year. With the activity, excitement and hope generated by the City of Culture bid and the release of Lisa’s Paisley 2021 funded EP, 2017 was always going to be a hard year to follow but there’s no better way to spread the #thejourneycontinues message than with an invitation to New York.

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Best barman in Scotland’s wild west hangs up hat after 30 years

Billy ‘Chaddy’ Chadwick is shutting the doors to his famous saloon in the heart of Paisley.

The best barman in Scotland’s wild west is moseying into the sunset.

Billy ‘Chaddy’ Chadwick ran Paisley’s Alamo Bar for nearly 30 years.

But the drink slinger is hanging up his cloth after shutting the doors to his famous saloon.

The decision was announced on a post to the boozer’s Facebook page.

It stated: “So sorry to all our customers and friends, but we are now closed.

“It’s his time now to relax and enjoy life.”

Chaddy had threatened to close the bar two years ago, when it was put on the market.

But he carried on until deciding the time was right for retirement.

Pals have flooded social media with tributes to the boss.

Andy Gregory told how big an impact Chaddy and his bar had on his life.

He said: “I met my wife in that pub, I bought my first house through that pub and I got my job through that pub.

“It basically shaped my life.

“I am gutted.”

Chaddy’s love of cowboys was fuelled by his childhood interest in western films and comics.

Courtesy of Daily Record https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/best-barman-scotlands-wild-west-12075161

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Gavin Newlands MP continues campaign for fair and affordable insurance for those with Huntington’s disease

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has continued his campaign to ensure that individuals living with Huntington’s disease, or are at risk from Huntington’s, can access affordable and fair insurance.

Earlier this year, following representations from the Renfrewshire-based Scottish Huntington’s Association, Mr Newlands led a debate in parliament on the challenges that people with Huntington’s disease have with accessing insurance and called for action to be taken to ensure that the insurance companies cannot price out those individuals from acquiring insurance.

Gavin has followed this up with a meeting with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, where he was joined by the John Eden, Chief Executive of the Scottish Huntington’s Association and also representatives from the Huntington’s Disease Association and Genetic Alliance UK. They repeated the calls to the UK Government to intervene to help ensure that those with Huntington’s disease can access affordable insurance.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“I am determined to continue the campaign so that individuals either living with Huntington’s, or the risk of being a carrier, can access affordable insurance to allow them to live their lives without added financial stress and complication to be able go on holiday, buy a house or secure life insurance.

“It’s clear that the insurance companies still don’t fully understand this condition and this means that too many people who suffer from Huntington’s, when not refused insurance, are even priced out from acquiring basic insurance to go on a family holiday.

“This was productive meeting and I am grateful for John, Cathy and Ruth for joining me at this meeting to explain what has to be done to ensure that individuals with Huntington’s disease can access fair and affordable insurance, and to the minister for vowing to work with us to try and make the current regulations fit for purpose.”

John Eden, Chief Executive of the Scottish Huntington’s Association, said:

“People with Huntington’s Disease and their families live at the sharp end of the day-to-day challenges of a severe, progressive condition. They face battles getting others to understand their needs, access services, and cope with the many symptoms the condition causes. Accessing life insurance is yet another battle and many, if not most families stand little chance of winning. Insurance companies simply don’t understand this condition and frankly seem indifferent to the impact their resultant decision making process have on already difficult circumstances. It really is time that changed and they must engage with the HD community and find workable solutions. People with HD don’t expect special treatment, they just want to be treated fairly.”

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Extra £69.2 Million To Support Local Health Services

George Adam MSP

A funding boost delivered by the Scottish Government for NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde will support frontline health care and help meet new demands across Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Paisleys MSP, George Adam has said.

George Adam MSP

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde is set to receive an extra £69.2 million spend compared to last year – taking the total investment from the SNP Scottish Government for the year ahead to £2154.5 million.

The commitment is part of a funding increase of over £400 million across Scotland – and NHS staff are also set to benefit from the ending of the public sector pay cap, boosting wages for hard working nurses, doctors, cleaners and clerical staff throughout the NHS.

Commenting, George said:

“The SNP in Government continues to deliver for our NHS in Paisley.

“The extra £69.2 million extra funding will ensure that Scotland continues to have the best performing NHS across the UK – with lower waiting times and higher patient satisfaction.

“NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde having an extra £69.2 million to play with in the coming year will be transformational for our communities – supporting frontline health care in Paisley and helping us meet new demands and pressures across primary, community and social care, as well as in mental health.

“And this SNP Scottish Government budget also delivers a pay rise for workers in our NHS – the only part of the UK to make such a commitment, proving that when it comes to supporting workers in our NHS, only the SNP can be trusted.”

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Applications for Paisley First Sponsorship Open Now!

Have a great idea for an event or project that will encourage visitors to Paisley?

Then Paisley First wants to hear from you… applications for sponsorship are open now!

Paisley First is committed to improving Paisley town centre by increasing footfall to the town and maximising business opportunities for Paisley First BID Levy Payers.

They are aiming to promote Paisley as a visitor destination by making customers think of Paisley as the go-to place for their shopping, dining and entertainment and leisure needs, providing great experiences for visitors to the town.

Applications for sponsorship are being accepted from organisations who feel that their project or event would help support the achievement of these objectives by attracting additional footfall to Paisley town centre.

For further information and an application form head to the Paisley First website www.paisleyfirst.com/paisley-first-sponsorship/

If you have any queries or require any further information then please contact the Paisley First team on 0141 237 8120 or email ask@paisleyfirst.com .

A second round of applications for Paisley First Sponsorship Opportunities will open again later this summer.

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Flying Results for new Course at our Paisley campus

Paisley Students are going places after completing a 5 day intensive fast track Swissport course.

A new course at our Paisley campus has had staggering achievement rates with 91% of the successful students being offered employment with Swissport at Glasgow airport.  

The Award Airport Services and Ground Operations course, which is delivered over just 5 days  from West College Scotland’s Paisley Campus, trains students in airport services and ground handling, including ticketing, seating methods, check in and boarding requirements.


Carol Gaffney, Curriculum and Quality Leader at the College’s Paisley campus explains how West College Scotland is part of the Swissport Academy of Colleges.  She says, ‘This particular fast track course offers a direct link to employment with Swissport at Glasgow Airport and this cohert is just one example of the many students that have successfully  gained employment over the past few years. Due to this success, the College aims to grow our portfolio of courses to continue to provide a strong pool of instantly employable candidates to the Academy.’


Student Rangeen Chamosaid, 30 from Clydebank said, ‘I applied for the Award in Airport Services & Ground Operations and was invited to an induction to see what was involved. I really enjoyed theshort course and the welcoming atmosphere at West College Scotland. I hadn’t studied for a long time, but I need not have worried as the tutors were easy to talk to and alleviated any concerns I had. They were all so knowledgeable! I would recommend this course to anyone.’


Allison Logan, Trainer from Swissport UK said ‘This course has helped the cohert immensely with obtaining employment with us as they had prior knowledge of what was expected of them in their role and a sound knowledge of the basic functions that they would be performing on a day to day basis.’


Carol added, ‘The Swissport commercial course was  a great success, the group were all very hard working, determined to succeed and a pleasure to teach and had a wide range of skills and attributes between them.

We are delighted that so many of them are now finding their way into the exciting world of work at the airport and employment by Swissport the leading global ground handling and cargo provider.’


The Swissport Academy is an exciting concept in the UK offering a number of colleges great benefits to lecturers and students. As a company Swissport employs over 60,000 people worldwide in hundreds of different job roles. In terms of employment opportunities at Swissport Glasgow, they recruit temporary staff every summer; for passenger services and dispatch roles, this can equate to 40-50 people.


Allison added, ‘We are sure all those who have been offered employment will be hard working, conscientious and will work well as part of the team here at Glasgow.’


The next 5 day fast track course commences at our Paisley Campus on the 15 March.

For more information on the course or to apply click here.

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University of the West of Scotland, Student Union, Storie Street, Paisley

Saturday 3 March – 7pm – 9pm

Tickets at the Eventbrite link: https://tinyurl.com/remode-ripped– £2 suggested donation

A group of Renfrewshire teenagers will be hitting the catwalk this spring with a very different look. The models walking the runway at fashion show Ripped Up by ReMode will all be wearing clothes they’ve re-made from discarded fabric, whether donated or rescued from landfill sites.


Ripped Up by ReMode is the culmination of a year’s work at Lochwinnoch-based community project and upcycled fashion boutique ReMode, which offers free workshops in upcycling and clothing design for young people and the wider Renfrewshire community. All of the weird, wonderful and at times out-of-this-world clothes on show have been constructed from discarded donations by young people and participants from the community, working with experienced designers, artists and industry professionals. The models will also showcase a line of unique Paisley-patterned kimonos created as part of a Renfrewshire Council-funded project called Our Pattern.


Gillian Steel, the artist and filmmaker who runs ReMode in Lochwinnoch, said

“ReMode exists to raise awareness of the huge environmental problems posed by the textile industry – currently the second most toxic in the world after oil – and to encourage young people and the community look at ways in which fashion can be more sustainable.  The greatest resource we’ve drawn on in creating this collection has not been the reams of fabric and discarded clothing we’ve had donated, but the imagination, skills and willingness of people in our community to create see the potential and beauty in something that has been discarded.”


Cllr Iain Nicolson, Renfrewshire Council leader, added: “We are pleased to be able to support this project through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund. The fund is part of the legacy of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and aims to carry on the momentum it created by building capacity among the local creative community, and new opportunities for people to get involved in cultural activity. The team at ReMode are raising awareness of important environmental issues in a very creative way and we wish them all the very best with the fashion show.”


Ripped Up by ReMode has been developed in collaboration with Paisley 2021’s UK City of Culture and Heritage Fund and The University of The West of Scotland’s Sustainability Hub.

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Gavin Newlands MP calls for more support for Bridge of Weir Universal Credit claimants

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has highlighted in Parliament the case of Universal Credit claimants living in Bridge of Weir having to travel over 11 miles for an appointment at a Jobcentre in Greenock.

New Universal Credit claimants living in Bridge of Weir are required to attend Greenock Jobcentre for their initial appointment, as their closest Jobcentre in Johnstone, just 3 miles away, isn’t able to process Universal Credit applications yet.

People from PA11 postcode are included in the full Universal Credit rollout area, unlike most of Renfrewshire. Previously, they had to attend appointments in Port Glasgow, but after the closure of that Jobcentre, claimants living in Bridge of Weir now have to travel even further to Greenock.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, commented:

“I was shocked to find out that some Universal Credit claimants from Bridge of Weir are being told that they have to make a 20 mile plus roundtrip to attend appointments at the Greenock Jobcentre, when there is a closer one just a few miles away in Johnstone. I have heard from people having to walk for miles as they can’t afford the near £8 bus fare. I have contacted the DWP and they have confirmed that after the initial appointment, people are able to request appointments in Johnstone, but this is little comfort to anyone struggling to make it to the initial appointment in Greenock to get their claim up and running.

“This is just one of the numerous issues with the Universal Credit rollout, which is causing hardship for people all over the country. I have written to the Leader of the House to request support for claimants from Bridge of Weir to help with their travel costs. People shouldn’t have to spend up to 14% of their benefits just on travel to the Jobcentre.”

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Pirates recorded another big win as they eventually overcame North Ayr with ease after a few uncomfortable moments early on.

They were on the board in just over a minute as Bain was first to reach a rebound to flick the puck behind Beveridge, to give his side the lead. In spite of having the bulk of the pressure, however, Pirates were level in the 9th minute as the visitors pounced on a loose puck in their own zone to break away at speed and net through Davidson to give a scoreline which did not reflect the run of play. However, the home side continued to dominate in a somewhat scrappy affair and in the 16th minute as a bullet from Walker at the blue line flew beyond Beveridge into the top corner, restoring a lead which they never lost. Their superiority was reinforced within 30 seconds as Crute made it 3-1 going to the break, a lead which was perhaps more fitting with the run of the puck in the first stanza.


Crute continued where he had left off with a simple tap in on the resumption of play, and with the puck tending to head in the direction of the North Ayr goal, Henderson took his team’s tally to five four minutes later. Pirates were then obliged to play off several minor penalties which disrupted their momentum a little, but a quickfire double from Bain, netting his second, and Dobson within a minute at the latter end of the period was enough to take the game to 7-1, and even a late counter on the powerplay by Coubrough seconds before the end of the session was merely a consolation for the visitors.


With the destiny of the points already decided, Pirates continued to press in the final session, with Donaghy replacing Meechan in the home goal and Crute duly completed a treble in the 43rd minute. In spite of numerous chances Pirates were unable to cash in on their play until well into the latter stages when, ironically in the midst of playing off a double minor, they contrived to score THREE shorthanded goals in under two minutes as Thorp’s marker, and a double from Dobson, completing his hat trick in the process, took the final tally to eleven.


Pirates continue to rack up the goals, and the league points, and now look forward to the first of two trips in a week to Tayside as they take on the Tigers next Sunday.