Doors Open Day 2013 will be chance to get into buildings

An annual celebration of Renfrewshire’s fascinating architectural history will return later this year – and organisers are looking for buildings to add to the list.

Doors Open Day is a showcase of the country’s built heritage, where visitors take a peek through the keyhole at hundreds of Scotland’s buildings for free.

This year’s event takes place on 14 and 15 September and will be the 20th anniversary of Renfrewshire’s participation.

Paisley Abbey interior

Local buildings set to throw open their doors on the day include Paisley Abbey, the council chambers at Renfrewshire House, local churches and fire stations.

But organisers are looking for local buildings of historical or architectural significance which have not taken part before to come forward for this year’s event, which is supported by Renfrewshire Council.

Councillor Terry Kelly, Convener of the council’s Planning and Property Policy Board, said: “The idea behind Doors Open Day is to show people the hidden gems that link present-day Renfrewshire to its past.

“Renfrewshire has an architectural heritage to be proud of, and Doors Open Day gives residents a glimpse of the fascinating history on their own doorstep.

“While there are many local buildings that prove popular with visitors every Doors Open Day, we would love to add new attractions to our list.

Paisley Abbey interior“We are keen to hear from the owners or managers of interesting buildings throughout Renfrewshire.

“If you would like to offer or recommend a building to add to Doors Open Day, please call 0141 618 6794 or email by the end of May.”

Doors Open Day is part of a wider Europe-wide celebration of built heritage, and sees over 50 countries take part, with over 20 million visits annually.

The Renfrewshire event will feature a competition for children to have their passport ‘stamped’ as they visit different venues, and will have a fun historical theme.

The council will also be running a photo competition with visitors encouraged to share their pictures of the buildings on social media.

For more information about the national event, visit


You can download the Doors Open Day Leaflet for the Renfrewshire area by clicking here..

council logo

Renfrewshire Council blocks 300 payday loan sites

Renfrewshire Council has become the latest local authority to block access to payday loan websites from computers in its libraries, offices and community facilities.

Some 300 sites have been blocked as part of the council’s strategy to help local people manage their money and avoid getting into debt.

In addition to banning access to payday loans, Renfrewshire Council has created a 45-strong team to provide local people with advice and assistance about the changes to their benefits and money and debt issues.

council-logoCouncillor Michael Holmes, Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said, “The people who use payday loans are often on low incomes. They don’t have savings to fall back on and they struggle to get affordable credit through more traditional ways of borrowing. Payday lenders charge significantly more interest than banks and credit unions; sucking money out of low-income communities.

“The idea behind payday loans is that people borrow a small amount of money and pay it back quickly. But if these loans aren’t repaid within a month, or if the borrower defaults on their payments, interest charges and penalties can cause the debt to spiral out of control.

“One leading payday lender charges 4,214% interest a year. In 12 months this would turn a £30 payday loan into a £1,264 financial millstone.

“The changes to the benefit system are going to take £22million out of the pockets of the poorest people in Renfrewshire. Many of them will be driven to payday lenders to try and make ends meet.

“The council is determined to use its voice and influence to guide people towards affordable credit such as credit unions and protect them from falling into a high-interest debt trap.”

In addition to high interest charges there can be other pitfalls with payday loans.

Councillor Holmes said, “Payday lenders often set up Continuous Payment Authorities when people take out a loan. This gives them the right to take money out of people’s bank accounts even if it puts them into the red. This can lead to overdraft charges which make the situation even worse. It also means the payday lender can help themselves before the person has paid their essential bills such as rent or power bills.

“Payday loans may be easy to understand. They may be simple to use but with an annual interest rate of an eye-watering 4,214%, they can be very, very difficult to repay.”

Peter Tutton, Consumer Policy Officer at Citizens Advice, said, “The problems we see are where short-term credit becomes long-term and people get into a cycle of debt. Many people using these types of loan can’t afford them in the first place, can’t pay them back and end up by taking out multiple loans.”

The Government is currently considering the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) review of payday loans and the OFT has opened formal investigations into several lenders.


Young people encouraged to attend apprentice event

Young people from throughout Renfrewshire are being encouraged to attend a special event designed to showcase the benefits of a modern apprenticeship.

Renfrewshire Council is organising the one-off information evening on Tuesday 21 May, from 6 to 7.30pm.

It will take place in the Youth Employability Hub at Assurance House, 17-19 Gauze Street, Paisley.

The event – taking place as part of Scottish Modern Apprentice Week – is targeted at pupils in S4-6, and young people aged between 16 and 19 who have left school but are not already in further education.

Young people who sign up for a modern apprenticeship receive on-the-job training from their employer, who supports them through a relevant vocational qualification.

Those attending on the night will get the chance to speak to representatives of around a dozen local companies with their own training programmes.

Also there will be representatives of the council’s own modern apprenticeship programme, which offers office-based and craft apprenticeships within a variety of areas.

The programme has just been launched for 2013 and opportunities in horticulture, bricklaying and painting and decorating are currently available on the MyJobScotland website.

The council’s MA scheme was recently honoured at a prestigious national awards ceremony, when it was named the joint-winner of the Apprentice Award category at the s1jobs recruitment awards.

There will also be a ‘meet the apprentice’ feature allowing visitors to speak to young people who have benefited from apprenticeships, and who can answer questions about their own experiences.

Staff from Skills Development Scotland – which funds modern apprenticeships in Scotland – will be there, while advisors from Renfrewshire Employability Partnership will be on hand to talk young people and their parents through their options.

Councillor Roy Glen, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board, said: “Modern apprenticeships are a great way for young people to learn practical job skills, while also picking up a vocational qualification.

“The council’s MA programme has proved very popular over the years and has now been recognised as among the best of its kind in the country.

“There will also be a number of other major local employers there on the night, all of whom have their own training programmes, which could open the door to a great career for those involved.

“This event will allow young people and their parents to get a feel for what might be out there for them, and I would encourage them to go along on the night.”

invest in renfrewshire

Employers know that investment in skills builds a better business.

A new survey confirms that Scottish business leaders value training as a way of helping them to grow and develop their businesses.

Four out of five employers support investment in staff training according to a new survey conducted by Scottish Chambers of Commerce. The survey showed that despite the current economic conditions, 80% of employers had arranged or funded training for their staff during the past 12 months.

Most businesses surveyed felt challenged by current economic challenges and wanted to work with public sector organisations that can help them to grow and develop their people.

Renfrewshire Council’s Invest in Renfrewshire programme was launched last year to support local businesses and create work opportunities for young unemployed people in the area.

Councillor Roy Glen, convener of the council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board, is proud of its progress. “It’s encouraging to see that so many businesses see investment in their workforce as a way of staying competitive, even during hard economic times.

“Support for training is a key part of the package that we’re offering local businesses through Invest in Renfrewshire. Business in Renfrewshire can get grants for as much as half of the cost of training.”

Euroscot Engineering, which employs 14 people at its factory in Hillington, is already benefiting from the council’s support.

Euroscot’s owner, Ian Rorison, said “We signed up to Invest in Renfrewshire in August and it has helped our business to grow.

“We’ve been able to train our staff to use new equipment and we’ve been able to invest in management and development training.

Invest in Renfrewshire has also helped us to improve our premises and buy new software.”

More information on staff training and other business support available from Invest in Renfrewshire is available at or by calling 0300 3000 144

M8 Driving School

M8 Driving School

M8 Driving School has been going now for over 5 years in and around the Paisley area. Numerous people have passed their test with both Steven and Paul over the years and in the process looked forward to their lessons due to the relaxed and fun atmosphere.

Steven and Paul hold grades 6 & 5 respectively which is the highest grades achievable. Steven also holds his Fleet badge, SAFED for vans, a Btec in coaching for driver development and is a Practitioner in NLP (neuro linguistic programming).

M8 Driving SchoolFor more information please find the contact details below.

M8 Driving School
Tel: 01505 345 372
Mob: 07747 600 672
st vincents hospice

Silver Anniversary Ball

Celebrate 25 years of care for all with St Vincent’s Hospice at the Silver Anniversary Gala Ball on Friday 10th May, 2013 in the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, hosted by Shereen Nanjiani. Enjoy a night of glitz and glamour starting with a  champagne reception followed by a glass of wine, 3 course dinner plus coffee, 15 piece big band and DJ until 1am, plus prizes & surprises throughout the night. Tickets are just £48; reception from 7pm, meal 7.30pm, carriages 1am, dress to impress. A very limited number of tables remain – to reserve/book your tickets email or call 01505 705635.

Challenge Yourself

One of our brand new events for this year is ‘Challenge 25’; an exclusive weekend cycle and trek on the Isle of Arran. One of the first people to sign up for this was our very own Director of Fundraising & Communications Karen Milne. She has jumped at the chance to get her cycling gear on and put pedal to the metal in aid of St Vincent’s Hospice.

“After such a long, dark winter I needed something to get me motivated and out into the fresh air; I thought Challenge 25 was a great excuse to get back on my bike and shake the dust off my walking boots. Signing up for Challenge 25 is a great way to get exercising, attempt a new challenge and raise funds for local patients and their families.

Karen’s enthusiasm has been inspiring lots of supporters to sign up to take part in this fantastic challenge! Places are starting to fill up so if you would like to take part please visit or email for an information pack and booking form.

st vincents hospice 


Will you help us make a difference?

Can you spare 2 hours to help someone living with a life limiting illness?

We have a couple of different collections coming up over the next couple of months which we need volunteer support with:

Door to Door Collections

Monday 29th April to Saturday 4th May – Lochwinnoch, Elderslie, Paisley, Neilston and Barrhead..

Bag Pack

Marks and Spencer, Braehead – Saturday 18th May, 10am – 4pm

Bucket collection

Ikea Braehead – Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April, 10am – 4pm

Your help would mean that St Vincent’s Hospice can continue to provide essential care, totally free of charge to the local communities of Renfrewshire. Be Part Of It – Contact Us Now! T:01505 705635 E:


Tribute Night

Friday 7th June 2013, Normandy Hotel Renfrew

The Normandy Hotel are delighted to promote this fabulous event in aid of St Vincent’s Hospice. A showcase of tributes to the stars, including Shania Twain, Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, George Michael and Cher! Tickets are just £26 which includes a 3 course dinner plus coffee, with tribute acts followed by a DJ to dance the night away to. Book now to avoid disappointment. To book tickets please contact the Normandy Hotel on 0141 886 4100 or visit

Barn Tearoom

As of the 22nd May we will no longer be serving hot meals in the Barn Tea Room. Teas, coffee, cakes, sandwiches and soup will still be available to purchase, alongside our exciting range of vintage goods and furniture.

We wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your continuing support to the Barn and the hospice. This will help us to continue to care for patients and their families who require our services now and in the future


a cat in paris

Catch a classic on the silver screen at Paisley Arts Centre.

We are fast approaching the halfway point of our spring 2013 film season at Paisley Arts Centre but fear not, there are lots of classic pictures still to come on our silver screen. Next up on the bill: wonderful French animation, A Cat in Paris.

A beautifully hand drawn caper, A Cat in Paris (PG) is a humorous tale about Dino, a cat that leads a double life on the shadow-drenched alleyways of Paris. By day, he lives with Zoe, a little girl whose mother is a detective in the Parisian Police force. But at night, Dino sneaks out to work with Nico – a slinky cat burglar with a big heart, whose fluid movements are poetry in motion as he evades captors and slips and swishes from rooftop to rooftop across the Paris skyline. Programmed for our popular Saturday matinée slot, A Cat in Paris is an exciting animation packed with plenty joie de vivre and is the perfect afternoon out for young audiences with big imaginations! Catch it at Paisley Arts Centre this Saturday (13 Apr) at 2pm.

a cat in paris

Thereafter, June 17 marks the start of Refugee Week Scotland, an annual programme of lively events that take place across the country to help celebrate diversity and raise awareness of refugee issues. Renfrewshire Arts & Museums will be getting in to the spirit of this event with a free screening of Africa United (12A) on 18 June (at 7pm), specially selected by the Association of African Communities in Renfrewshire (AACR). This will then be followed by a short performance courtesy of Renfrewshire Effort to Empower Minorities (REEM).

J.M Barrie’s 1904 book The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up inspired our final screening on June 22 (at 2pm), the 1953 version of the classic, Peter Pan (PG). Join the mischievous young boy who refuses to get older, his hot-tempered pixie pal Tinker Bell and the Darling Children as they soar away to the mysterious Never-Never Land where childhood lasts forever in this magical, musical adventure brought to life by Walt Disney.

Plus, to accompany all of our 2pm films, children’s lunch bags will be available to purchase from our new Paisley Arts Centre cafe provider Beangrinder, making it even easier for children and families to enjoy movie day with us.

Tickets to A Cat in Paris and Peter Pan cost £4 (£2 concession). Children’s Lunch bags (available from the Paisley Arts Centre cafe before all of our 2pm films) cost £2.50 each. Admission to the Refugee Week Scotland Film is free. Tickets can be purchased from our Box Office at Paisley Arts Centre, by calling 0300 300 1210 or by going online to

For further information on any of the films on at Paisley Arts Centre this season, future events and shows log on to or follow us on Facebook

Bringing It All Home for Gerry and the songmakers

Bringing It All Home for Gerry and the songmakers

Paisley is gearing up to honour one of its favourite sons with a series of songwriting events in the town this May.

Bring It All Home (2 – 4 May) is a celebration of song inspired by the legacy of Gerry Rafferty.  The Paisley-born singer-songwriter, who died in 2011, is known for his iconic hits ‘Baker Street’, ‘Right Down the Line’, and ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’.

Bring It All Home will feature performances from internationally-renowned artists such as Love and Money’s James Grant as well as a celebration of Paisley songwriters.

James Grant will open the event in Paisley Abbey on 2 May, where he will welcome friends Chris Thompson(Friends Again and The Bathers), Graham Skinner (Hipsway), Monica Queen (Belle and Sebastian collaboratrix), Fraser Spiers and bandmate and producer Paul McGeehan.

Home-grown songwriting talent will feature with Carol Laula and Yvonne Lyon performing in the Wynd Centre on 3 May and Michael Cassidy, local artist and winner of a council-sponsored songwriting prize in 2012, opening the Abbey concert.

In this first year of a new annual event, budding songwriters can join a free ‘masterclass’ in the town in a special session in Paisley Museum with James Grant.

Paisley’s Songwriting Guild will also perform free in The Bungalow Bar on Thursday 2 May and in Hamishes Hoose (just after the masterclass in the Museum) on Saturday 4 May.

Martha Rafferty, Gerry’s daughter, said: “Gerry’s talent is recognised as much today as it ever was and he would have hoped to inspire people from Paisley to pick up a guitar and try writing a tune or two themselves, I’m sure.”

“He was passionate about his music and he was passionate about his hometown – any combination of the two is a great way to remember him.”

Renfrewshire Council is backing the event with Council Leader Mark Macmillan describing it as “another step in promoting Paisley as an exciting cultural venue”.

Councillor Macmillan said: “The Paisley music scene has always been incredibly vibrant and we’re doing all we can at Renfrewshire Council to encourage musicians and music fans to the town.

“We’ve been blessed to have talents like Gerry Rafferty over the years and it’s great to have this opportunity to celebrate what he and his music brought to Paisley.

“This is a huge year for music in the town.  In October, Paisley will take centre-stage as the showcase for traditional and contemporary Scottish culture when we see the return of The Spree festival and we play host to the Royal National Mòd.

“All of these events attract people into the town and that’s what we need as we work to regenerate Paisley after some tough years.”

Tickets for the shows on 2-3 May can be bought from on 08444 155 221 or from the food counter of Marks & Spencer, High Street, Paisley.

More information about the festival is available online at

Paisley Library - Paisley Museum

Kids competition at Renfrewshire Libraries

Libraries across Renfrewshire want local kids to help name some friendly little monsters who live among their books!

The ‘Skoobs’ are a bunch of colourful characters designed to attract children to the library.

Kids up to the age of 12 can enter a competition to name the Skoobs. The winner will have their picture taken with a life-size Skoob in May.

Paisley Library - Paisley Museum

Younger kids can pop into the library to help the staff colour in some of the smaller Skoobs.

Franzeska G Ewart will be on the judging panel. Franzeska is a Lochwinnoch-based children’s author who has written over 20 novels.

Franzeska said: “The Skoobs are a great idea – the competition should give children a feeling of involvement with books, and that has to be good!

“It’s a real honour to be judging the competition and I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of names we get in.”

Competition entry forms can be picked up from any Renfrewshire Library from 8 April onwards. Completed entries can be posted in the Skoob postbox in each library. The closing date for entries is Saturday 27 April.

More information is available online at


St Vincent’s Hospice Press Update

Door to Door 

Will you help us make a difference?

Can you spare 2 hours to help someone living with a life limiting illness?

Monday 22nd to Saturday 27th April 2013 – Bishopton, Johnstone, Howwood and Bridge of Weir.

All this involves is you posting a donation envelope through the doors in your street or surrounding streets and returning at the end of the week to collect them and send them back to the hospice.

Your help would mean that St Vincent’s Hospice can continue to provide essential care, totally free of charge to the local communities of Renfrewshire.

Be Part Of It – Contact Us Now! T:01505 705635 E:

st vincents hospice


Can you spare 2 hours to help us with a collection?

During April we have the following collections:

* Monday 8th April – Bucket Collection – Asda, Linwood – 10am to 4pm

* Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st April – Bucket Collection – IKEA Glasgow – 10am to 4pm

Your help would mean that St Vincent’s Hospice can continue to provide essential care, totally free of charge to the local communities of Renfrewshire.

Buckets and tabards are provided.

Be Part Of It – Contact Us Now. T: 01505705635 E:

Bowfield 5k Road Race

There is still plenty of time to come and join the Bowfield Hotel & Country Club for their first ever 5k Charity Road Race in Howwood in aid of St Vincent’s Hospice.

For all you local runners, joggers and walkers this is an event just for you! Take part in this local road race for your local Hospice.

For more information and to register please contact the Leisure Team at the Bowfield Hotel & Country Club on or call 01505 705225.

If you are not taking part in the race but would like to be involved, we are looking for volunteers to help with the Marshalling on the day. If you can give a couple of hours to help with this event please contact the fundraising team at the hospice on 01505 705635 or email

Strictly Come Prancing 2013

Friday 19th & Saturday 20th April at the Normandy Hotel in Renfrew.

Be involved in our exclusive, fast selling dance event as a member of the audience.

Enjoy a 2 course dinner with coffee, plus the very best quality live entertainment complete with Brucie, Tess and professional judges.

Tickets are still available for the Friday night, so get yours reserved now to avoid disappointment. Contact Lorraine on 01505 705635 or email


Join St Vincent’s Hospice for our ‘Back to the 80’s Zumba Party’ on Sunday 28th April 2013 at the Lagoon Leisure centre.

Be 1 of 200 lucky participants taking part in this 80’s influenced, fun-filled retro Zumba Party hosted by Instructor Cheryl Stevenson from Zumbawithcheryl and joined by local instructors.

Only £5 registration fee then raise £20 minimum sponsorship giving a total of £25 to help mark our 25th Anniversary year.

For more information contact 01505 705635 or email

For more information please visit