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Pirates were delighted to get their season off to a flying start at the weekend with two good wins.  On Saturday they travelled to North Ayr, taming the Wild with a 7-0 win.  

Their first home game on Sunday resulted in a 7-1 win against Kilmarnock Storm.

Paisley Pirates defeat Kilmarnock Storm 7-1 at Braehead on ,15 October , Picture: Al Goold (www.algooldphoto.com)

Coach Adam Walker said “It was really pleasing to get off to a good start last weekend.  We expected a test in both games, however, the team responded well to the challenge and grew in confidence as the weekend went on.  Obviously there is a long way to go and I think we had one or two tired bodies on Sunday in the latter stages, but that is to be expected with us not being game sharp. Fitness will improve as we work our way through the games.  We haven’t had the opportunity to play any pre season games and starting late means we will be a little behind for the first three or four games.  Both North Ayrshire Wild and Kilmarnock Storm were playing there seventh game against us, but I thought we coped well and were comfortable for long spells in each.  A real positive for the team is that every line had scoring at the weekend, which will enable us to rely on everybody to make an offensive contribution.  Everyone has a role on the team and we expect our top offensive players to contribute regularly, however, that secondary scoring is also vital if we are to be successful”


“This weekend we welcome Dundee Tigers to Braehead and although they haven’t got off to the best start we will go into the game prepared and ready for the challenges they bring.  They have some good players in the team that can pose a threat and we have to respect that.  Hopefully we can get the same support from the fans as we did last week.  They were excellent and the boys really appreciate the support, which inspires everyone to work hard, giving our fans a team to be proud of…”


Photograph courtesy of AL GOOLD PHOTO
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Renfrewshire school pupils in unique link up with RSNO as part of Spree festival

Renfrewshire teenagers are tuning up to take part in a unique a link-up with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) which could help them forge a career in the music industry.

Scotland’s national orchestra is staging a two-day Takeover event next week (23/24October) which ends with a special show in Paisley Town Hall as part of the annual Spree festival.

The free concert will include music chosen by Renfrewshire school pupils in advance of Takeover, and will feature works by Handel, Bach, Sir Henry Wood, as well as Greenock-born 19th century composer Hamish McCunn.

Guided by RSNO professionals, around 50 pupils from all 11 Renfrewshire High Schools will work on every aspect of planning and staging the gig.

International-class musicians will mentor their younger counterparts while other pupils will work on marketing, press and PR, as well as fundraising, learning and engagement and stage and orchestra management.

The link-up is taking place as part of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021. The second stage bid was submitted on September 29th and a decision is expected in December.

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 bid director said: “It’s fantastic to be able to give young people opportunities to get involved in cultural activity and all of the benefits that brings.

“As Paisley bids to be UK City of Culture 2021 it also shows that we can bring artists of international repute here for local creative talent to learn from.

“We’re delighted to be working with the RSNO  and the young people really are getting the chance to learn from the best in the business.”

RSNO Head of Learning and Engagement Samantha Wright said it was a delight to allow young people the chance to run one of Scotland’s busiest performing arts organisations.

She added: “Takeover provides a rare and valuable experience to those seeking to pursue a career in the arts, and is intended to be challenging, stimulating and fun. You never know – we may very well have a future RSNO conductor or chief executive among our group.”

The Spree is taking place in partnership with local bar Burger and Keg and Fosters, who will be programming additional acts in the Burger and Keg Live Tent in Abbey Close during the festival. More info at burgerandkeg.co.uk

The festival is also supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and the British Council.

Tickets and info are available from www.thespree.co.uk and from the box office on 0300 300 1210.

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Young People invited to have their say in You Matter Always event

Young people are invited to have their say in an ideas session with professionals on how arts and culture can positively impact mental health and wellbeing.

The You Matter Always event on Friday 20 October from 2-4pm at St Matthews Church in Paisley forms part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.

The ideas developed will shape a Youth Mental Health Arts Festival in Scotland’s Year of Young People in 2018 and will also be included in Paisley’s UK City of Culture bid 2021.

There will be live performances from local musicians Linzi Clark, who is part of the Paisley 2021 bid team and Lisa Kowalski, as well as a short film about mental health.

Alan Clark of Create Paisley, which organised the event, said: “The main thing we are trying to do is give young people the opportunity to engage around topical questions on mental health and the arts.

“We want to ask what would help them with their mental health and wellbeing, what things could be better and what we could do more of in the area.

“We’re also looking ahead to 2018, Scotland’s Year of Young People, and putting some ideas in place around what a young people’s Mental Health Arts Festival could look like. We want them to produce that and celebrate the role of arts and culture in helping them with their wellbeing.

“Our ambition is to grow that year on year towards the UK City of Culture 2021 and to develop a whole programme so we can understand what arts can do for young people. It’s an opportunity to create a legacy for Paisley and for Scotland from the year of culture.”

Other groups who will take part include Youth Services, the Recovery Across Mental Health charity, Active Communities and See Me, which aims to end mental health stigma and discrimination.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron who will also take part in the conversation, said: “We know that providing opportunities for young people to experience arts and culture has a positive impact on their lives and mental health and it’s an important element of our UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

“It’s a way that young people who might otherwise feel isolated can have their voice heard and it’s incredibly important for them to have their say.  I look forward to sharing ideas on the day and taking them forward.”

On the evening of the event a special fundraiser will also be held at Blend Coffee Lounge at 7.30pm with Rachelle and Brittany Davies to raise funds towards 2018’s festival.

The free daytime event can be booked at Info:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/you-matter-always-tickets-38724175050?aff=es2

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Code Red Safety Solutions helps Paisley 2021 with Spectrum Lion


Paisley’s leading fire safety instruction company Code Red Safety Solutions has temporarily donated the lion they won the bidding war that was the pride of Paisley ceremony at the Normandy hotel last year with all money going to charity.


James McMahon from Code Red Safety Solutions dropped off the lion Spectrum at the Paisley 2021 HQ on the high street today and will allow the lion to be displayed in Paisley Town Hall when the judges from DCMS for the Bid for City of Culture come to town sometime before Decembers big deadline.

The Pride of Paisley was a fantastic success from Paisley First last year in town and people can visit Spectrum in the Bid HQ for now and then in the Town Hall. You can learn more about Code Red by visiting their website www.coderedsafetysolutions.co.uk who are always helping groups in Paisley and are keen for Paisley to win City of Culture

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Ferguslie cooking group backs national poverty campaign

Keen chefs got together in Ferguslie to support Challenge Poverty Week by making their own smoothies.

Held in the Tannahill Centre, the cooking class met with Depute Provost Cathy McEwan ahead of the national poverty campaign to chop up fruit and vegetables and make some spectacular smoothies.

The kitchen equipment was donated by Renfrewshire Council to the cooking class, topping up the funds from the Paisley North Local Area Committee to support the project.

More than a dozen people of all ages attend the cooking class every week, picking up tips on food preparation as well as cooking and freezing meals.

Depute Provost McEwan said: “Tackling inequality that can cause poverty and create barriers to healthy lifestyles and mental health is a key priority for the Council.

“The cooking group in Ferguslie make healthy food together and also spend a couple of hours socialising with one another. It is a fantastic way to feel part of the community as well as learning simple ways to eat healthily.

Maura, who runs the cooking class, said: “The cooking class is good for the people who come along. They look forward to learning more about cooking as well as catching up with their friends and meeting new people.

“The smoothie-making class was tremendous fun as everyone could get involved in making their own specially-blended smoothie to suit their own taste.”

Depute Provost McEwan added: “During Challenge Poverty Week, Renfrewshire will be holding a number of events that members of the public can get involved in and shine a light on how poverty exists and can affect anyone.”

People are asked to get involved in a social media campaign using hashtag #CPW17 by writing their own pledge on poverty onto a piece of paper and taking a selfie to post online.

A special advice event is also running on Thursday 19 October between 10am and 4pm in Johnstone Town Hall for anyone to drop in.

For more information on Challenge Poverty Week, visit www.povertyalliance.org.

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Paisley firm Mac Asphalt rolls into action to show support for the town’s 2021 UK City of Culture bid

Paisley firm Mac Asphalt is rolling into action to show its support for the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

The family business run by father and son team Thomas and Jamie Crumlish is following in the footsteps of firms including Glasgow International Airport and intu Braehead, as well Coats Group PLC, the world’s largest industrial thread manufacturer, which started life in the town.

Along with fellow supporters Paisley First, Thermo Fisher Scientific, the Gordon Leslie Group, Chivas Brothers, the Scottish Leather Group, Morrison Construction, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and Diageo, they have all pledged funding if the bid is successful.

Paisley lodged its final second stage bid with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport on September 29. The town is bidding for the title as part of wider plans to use its unique cultural and heritage story to transform its future.

Managing Director Jamie says that the firm’s own strong Paisley roots means they want to give something back.

Mac Asphalt has been operating out of its Wallneuk Street for more than two decades and has 78 employees, with a turnover of £12m.

The highway maintenance and civil engineering firm’s fleet includes rollers, pavers, mechanical road sweepers, and tippers.

Jamie, 38, said: “We’re a Renfrewshire company who employ Renfrewshire people and it’s important for the town to do well.

“We do a lot of work in Paisley and it supplies quite a bit of our revenue. We are a Paisley family and I grew up and still live here.

“I think it’s important for us to give something back and we wanted to be part of the bid.

“I think the UK City of Culture bid is excellent and it’s long overdue. You can see the effort that’s gone into all the events to showcase what Paisley has in terms of architecture and culture.”

Jamie believes that winning the title could help transform the fortunes of the area and said: “The last big thing I can remember is  the celebrations to mark Paisley’s 500th anniversary in 1988.

“I was a kid at school you got a special pencil set to mark it.

“That’s the nearest thing to the UK City of Culture bid I’ve seen in 30 odd years. I think the kids who are at school now will be excited about what’s going on and what’s to come.

“I think it’s important for the local economy because we are an area with a lot of deprivation.

“We’ve got all this infrastructure around us in terms of the airport and really impressive buildings. It’s a great wee town but I think maybe we’ve just not asked for help before.”

The firm has already previously shown its commitment to giving something back when it bought no less than six of the Paisley First lions at a fundraising event.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “We’ve had incredible backing from the community and from local businesses and we’re thrilled to add Mac Asphalt to the list.

“A winning bid would bring vast economic and cultural benefits not just throughout Paisley and Renfrewshire, but nationwide.”

You can see the Paisley 2021 business wall and find out more about the bid at paisley2021.co.uk.

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George Adam MSP Speak Easy


George Adam MSP is backing a charity campaign calling on restaurants across Paisley to consider improving their acoustics for customers who have hearing loss.


As part of its Speak Easy campaign, Action on Hearing Loss Scotland is highlighting that high levels of background music or the buzz of loud chatter between customers can cause difficulties for people who use hearing aids to follow conversations with their fellow diners.


Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, said: “Everyone loves going out for a meal but Action on Hearing Loss Scotland tell me they are often contacted by people who are hard of hearing about intrusive levels of background noise, exacerbated by hard surfaces, which can create real difficulties in hearing their dining companions.


“I’m pleased to support the charity’s Speak Easy campaign which is encouraging customers with hearing loss to give feedback to restaurants so that they can consider the many small but very effective ways in which they can be more accessible.”


Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “Restaurants in Paisley which may be inadvertently deterring customers with hearing loss from making bookings can significantly improve their accessibility by reducing the volume of background noise in perhaps parts of their venue, using soft furnishings that better absorb sound, and by considering investing in better acoustic treatments.”


The charity’s campaign is also urging customers to leave reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor to help others to decide if the restaurants they have visited are suitable for hard of hearing people.

Action on Hearing Loss’s Speak Easy campaign pack can be downloaded www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/SpeakEasy

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Mhairi Black Welcomes Investment in Childcare

Mhairi Black MP
The Scottish Government have reaffirmed their commitment to invest £840 million into childcare by 2021 – 2022. The Scottish Government currently spend on average £420 million a year but this commitment will see spending on childcare in Scotland doubled. This will be in line with the increase in childcare hours that parents will be entitled to, which is almost doubling from 16 to 30 hours from August 2020.
Mhairi Black MP
This move will see parents save around £350 per child, per month for all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds. The Scottish Government will begin talks with local authorities this autumn, to agree a multi-year funding package to implement this investment. Local MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South Mhairi Black has praised this move by the scottish Government.
Mhairi Black MP said
“This is a welcome investment from the Scottish Government. Parents are struggling to make ends meet and the £350 saving they will be able to make will help to ease financial problems they may experience in securing childcare.
“Every child deserves the best start in life. High quality care and learning are essential in the early years of child development.”