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Batty about St Vincent’s

STV’s Sean Batty, an Ambassador for St Vincent’s Hospice, will be hosting an exciting new quiz dinner in celebration of the hospice’s 25th anniversary.

The ‘Who Wants To Make A Million For St Vincent’s’ Dinner & Quiz is taking place on Friday 4th October, 7pm, at the Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport.

8 quiz rounds will be hosted by Sean, River City’s Carmen Pieraccini, boxing promoter Tommy Gilmour and MSP Hugh Henry. Tickets are only £35 or £350 per team of maximum 10, including a 3 course meal plus coffee.

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Sean said “as an Ambassador of St Vincent’s Hospice I am delighted to be hosting the new ‘Who Wants To Make A Million For St Vincent’s’ Dinner & Quiz, as part of their special 25th anniversary year.

“This is a fun, exciting new event, which is sure to challenge even the best quiz enthusiast! So take up the challenge and join me on the night to become the St Vincent’s Hospice Champion.

He added “by getting involved with St Vincent’s Hospice you are supporting local patient care for those living with a life limiting illness, totally free of charge.

“The care provided at the hospice is amazing, but it requires a huge amount of money to keep delivering, and so this is a great way to help raise some much needed funds for the hospice but also have a great time too. What better reason to call and book your team place now!”

MaxSafe Solutions owner and St Vincent’s Hospice supporter Willie Chrystal  is excited about attending the event and said “as a business serving the Paisley and Renfrewshire area I would encourage all local businesses to get involved with this fantastic event.

“‘Who Wants To Make A Million For St Vincent’s’ is going to be a fun night for colleagues, clients and friends, plus you will be supporting local patient care for those living with life limiting illnesses. So take up the challenge and join me on the night, competing to become the St Vincent’s Champion!

Talking about his involvement Willie said “I regularly work with St Vincent’s Hospice providing free Health and Safety training to staff and volunteers. I witness the outstanding work they do providing vital care, totally free of charge, to the Renfrewshire community. I am delighted to be competing on October 4th.”

Gather together your team of colleagues, clients or friends and compete to win the title of 2013 Quiz Champion and help St Vincent’s Hospice raise £15,000 on the night, to care for local people and their families living with life limiting illnesses.

Reserve your table now by contacting Ashley on 01505 705635 or ashley.moran@svh.co.uk.

living wage

Council Leader presses Scottish Government for Living Wage power

Renfrewshire Council’s Leader wants private companies to pay a fair Living Wage to any of their staff who deliver work for the local authority – and he has written to the Scottish Government in a bid to turn this into reality.

living wageCouncillor Mark Macmillan has written to the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to urge that powers be added to public contract regulations. These would enable councils to specify that contractors’ employees are paid the Living Wage when they deliver work for local authorities. Currently, when awarding contracts to private sector companies, the council cannot take the rate of employees’ wages into consideration.

This move forms part of Renfrewshire Council’s anti-poverty agenda and links to the authority’s work supporting people affected by the UK government’s Welfare Reform and the £8million Invest in Renfrewshire programme that supports businesses while creating work and training opportunities.

Councillor Macmillan said: “I am fighting to get everyone working in Renfrewshire a fair Living Wage. It’s better for business and it means that people can work their way out of poverty. It is simply the right thing to do.

“The Scottish Government needs to change its legislation to let us specify to contractors that, when their staff are delivering work for the council, they have to pay them our Living Wage. It is simply unjust that a worker doing the same job as a council employee is paid at a lower rate.

“Renfrewshire’s Living Wage is fair, it’s encouraging, it shows that we value our employees and their work, and it’s better for the local economy. I’d urge Nicola Sturgeon to give us the powers we need to make sure anyone delivering work for Renfrewshire Council, receives our Living Wage.”

Councillor Macmillan has asked the Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, to address these legal issues regarding contractors in the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill.

He also plans to work with Renfrewshire employers later this year to encourage them to consider applying the £7.50 per hour Living Wage. Already, companies who recruit employees and interns under the Invest in Renfrewshire programme are paid a £1000 bonus.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and employers choose to pay it on a voluntary basis. The current hourly Living Wage outside London is set at £7.45. Renfrewshire Council was one of the first Scottish local authorities to introduce a living wage for its own staff and, for 2013/14, this is set at £7.50 per hour.

The national minimum wage is currently set at £6.21. More information on the Living Wage can be found online at www.livingwage.org.uk

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Laughter, Buddy Guaranteed: Renfrewshire Arts & Museums is delighted to announce its brand new arts programme for autumn 2013.

Autumn has arrived at Renfrewshire Arts & Museums, bringing with it a wonderful selection of theatre and dance performances, exhibitions at Paisley Museum, music and stand-up gigs as well as a superb range of regular events and classes for everyone from creative kids to talented tea dancers.

Our 50-strong line-up of performances, events and exhibitions falls during a busy time for Renfrewshire, with the arrival of the Royal National Mòd and The Spree arts festival, both of which take place in venues around Paisley in October.

PillarGalleryLaughter, Buddy Guaranteed. This autumn we are most looking forward to launching a new, monthly comedy strand featuring all the big names in Scottish stand-up. ‘A Buddy Good Laugh’ is the brainchild of Renfrewshire Arts & Museums and local comedy promoters Dead Sheep Comedy and will see headline acts like Des Clarke, Gary Little & Janey Godley take to the mic at Paisley Arts Centre and Paisley Town Hall. And, just to add a little more intrigue, we have secured a hugely successful mystery guest for our first show. We can’t reveal who it is yet but comedy fans will know this person well from their impressive run of sell-out world tours and numerous TV appearances.

Fringe Links. A number of our forthcoming plays and theatre productions are currently showing at the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. See the critically acclaimed ‘If These Spasms Could Speak’, ‘The List’ and children’s performance ‘Head in the Clouds’ straight after their Fringe run at Paisley Arts Centre. Or break out of the theatre for a nostalgic performance of ‘Linwood No More’ at the former Linwood Rootes Car Factory.

Showcasing the best of local heritage. Paisley Museum commemorates a local landmark with September exhibition ‘Abbey 850’ and the museum will be celebrating Gaeldom in October with a trio of displays highlighting Gaelic heritage and culture to coincide with the Royal National Mòd.

Animal mad! Whether your favourite animal is a sheep, a tiger or even a polar bear, we have many funny, interactive and magical events and performances planned for children and families. Plus our talented Outreach team are set to deliver an array of creative activities involving fashion, animation and even horrible histories!

The new autumn Guide brochure, complete with details of our arts and events programme in full, is now available to collect, for free, from Paisley Town Hall, Paisley Arts Centre, Paisley Museum and Renfrew Town Hall. Or you can see what’s on online, by visiting www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events

For regular updates on Renfrewshire Arts & Museums, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/renfrewshirearts), Twitter (@RenArtsMuseums) or sign up to our free weekly e-news service, simply email ram.els@renfrewshire.gov.uk to join the mailing list.

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Golfers Get On Course For St Vincent’s Hospice

Golf enthusiasts are asked to tee off to support the St Vincent’s Hospice 25th Anniversary Golf Event on Friday 6th September at Kilmacolm Golf Club – “one of the finest village golf clubs in the country”.

Teams of 4 can enjoy 18 holes on this scenic course and take part in golfing challenges along the way.  Team entry for this “Stableford” format unique and lively golf event, with tee-off times available from 8.30am – 1pm, is only £320, including breakfast rolls, and a delicious high tea.

st vincentsBruce Harley – Leisure Manager at Intu Braehead has attended the Golf Event for a number of years and encourages local golfers to get involved.

“Braehead has supported the St Vincent’s Hospice golf day for many years and look forward to playing at Kilmacolm this year. 

It goes without saying that the event is for a good cause and it’s a great way for businesses and individuals can show their support for the local community while enjoying a really well organised day.

The sun usually shines and there are always good prizes on offer for the more serious golfers. But the day is really about enjoying some good company before, during and after the golf and I’d encourage local companies to get involved.”

Tee-off times are now limited for this event so contact Lorraine on 01505 705635 or lorraine.jeffrey@svh.co.uk to guarantee your entry.

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Council Leader urges UK Government to give councils new powers over payday loan companies

The Leader of Renfrewshire Council has written to the UK Government to urge that councils be given new powers to regulate payday loan companies.

Councillor Mark Macmillan has asked the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to give councils powers as part of their licensing remit, so that payday loan companies would have to apply to local authorities to set up in the area.

renfrewshire council logo .JPGCouncillor Macmillan said: “The Office of Fair Trading has referred the issue of payday loan companies to the Competition Commission to address some serious concerns at national level and responsibility for monitoring such lending companies will pass to the Financial Conduct Authority in April 2014. So some progress is being made.

“But much more needs to be done at local level – and done now – to stop communities falling victim to these companies that fail to check if customers can afford the repayments, and then hound them with aggressive tactics when they can’t pay back the loan.

“It’s scandalous that at the moment these companies can simply move into areas where there are vulnerable people already struggling financially, with no questions asked. Too many families have fallen into a vicious circle of toxic debt after being caught in the payday loan trap of anything up to 4,000 per cent interest.

“I’d urge the UK Government to do the right thing and give councils the local regulation that’s desperately needed over these companies’ ongoing attempts to suck money out of low-income communities.”

The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 already allows councils to regulate several types of business where it’s in the public interest including taxis, second hand dealers and street traders.

Councillor Macmillan’s letter to Secretary of State, Vince Cable MP, is calling for the scope of the Civic Government Act to be widened to include payday lenders, or that an alternative regulatory scheme be established.

Renfrewshire Council has banned access to pay day loan websites from its own PCs including computers in libraries and community facilities.

The council has also created a 45-strong team to help people who are facing difficulties as a result of benefit cuts. Residents who are struggling with debt or who are worried about benefit cuts should call 0300 300 0288.

www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

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Universal Credit is “soul-destroying”

Renfrewshire Council’s Leader has called on the UK Government to wise up and open up after a leaked report revealed staff delivering its flagship benefit change branded the programme “soul-destroying” and “unbelievably frustrating”.

Recent media reports about Universal Credit findings, quote one member of staff as saying: “This is the third review in 16 months. No rollout plans, no confidence in going forward and stakeholders losing confidence in our ability to deliver”.

Councillor Mark Macmillan has branded the findings “shocking” and is calling on the UK Government to share the details of its plan to replace six benefits with Universal Credit across the UK.

Councillor Macmillan said: “These shocking findings prove what we have suspected all along – that Universal Credit is in chaos. We’ve now heard directly from people at the heart of this project that there’s secrecy, dishonesty, no rollout plan, and no confidence. Even the people working on the programme don’t know anything about future developments. That’s nowhere near acceptable.”

Universal Credit will replace child tax credits, working tax credits, income-based job seekers allowance, housing benefit, income support and income based employment support allowance.

renfrewshire council logo .JPGCouncillor Macmillan added: “The UK Government should wise up, open up and share all details of planned roll out of Universal Credit. They have a duty to reassure everyone receiving the six benefits that will be replaced by Universal Credit. Families in Renfrewshire will want to know exactly when and how they will be affected.

“The Government is insisting that everyone apply for this benefit online, despite many people not having an internet connection or a PC. They also want those receiving the new benefit to transfer their housing benefit to their landlord themselves, which is ludicrous considering there are many vulnerable residents who need support to manage their finances.

“The public deserve to know more about Universal Credit now so they can start to prepare for the major changes it will bring.”

Thirteen UK council areas were part of the original Universal Credit pilot that started in September 2012 and a recent announcement confirmed that six more places will offer the benefit from October 2013.

Local Girl Chops Locks For Charities

Heather Anderson, 20 from Kilbarchan, bravely agreed to have 16 inches cut off her beautiful hair to raise £350 for 2 very deserving charities.

During a visit to Room 19 Hairdressing in Kilbarchan today, hairdresser Pamela McKechnie very kindly agreed to cut Heather’s hair to raise money for both St Vincent’s Hospice and Little Princesses Trust.

Heather has raised £200 for St Vincent’s Hospice in Howwood where her Nana was cared for. St Vincent’s Hospice has provided specialist care in Renfrewshire, completely free of charge, to thousands of families since it was founded in 1988.

Heather said “I’m chose to cut my hair for St Vincent’s Hospice, because they are a great charity who made my nana smile. I’ve lost two of my grandparents to Cancer, both my Nana and my Granny and ive been feeling like its time to do something for the people who helped them and for the people who still suffer every day with the struggle of cancer.

I am also supporting Little Princesses Trust whom I am donating my hair to, they are a great charity who make wigs for small children suffering with hair loss “

Lorraine Jeffrey, Senior Fundraiser said: “On behalf of everyone at St Vincent’s Hospice, we are extremely grateful to Heather for this every brave, thoughtful and positive way of fundraising.

“We need everyone to get involved in our 25th Anniversary celebrations to raise £1 million, so that we can continue caring for people living with life limiting illnesses, making such a huge difference to them and their families.”

For a free fundraising pack and to get involved in the 25th Anniversary celebration and £1 million appeal contact info@svh.co.uk or 01505 705635.

Father and son duo run in memory of grandfather Thomas

A father and son duo have raised £840 for their local hospice in memory of the grandfather.

Scott Walker and son Stewart Walker, both ran the recent Men’s Health 10K on father’s day and dedicated their efforts to grandfather Thomas Walker, who was cared for at St Vincent’s Hospice in Howwood.

Scott said “my son Stewart and I wanted to do something to thank St Vincent’s for taking care of my Dad. He was only in the hospice for 42 hours but the care was exceptional.”

“The wee things made so much difference; the nurses talked to him all the time, they even trimmed his nails and gave him a shave. Those kinds of personal touches made the situation so much easier.”

St Vincent’s Hospice is this year celebrating 25 years of care for all in Renfrewshire and beyond and aims to raise £1m to maintain and develop services.

Chief Exec Kate Lennon said “we care for local patients and their families every single day and are asking all our supporters to help us reach our £1m target by the end of the year”.

“We are asking all supporters to follow the exceptional example set by Scott and Stewart and run for St Vincent’s Hospice in any of the forthcoming races coming up including

  • Paisley 10K on Sunday 25th August
  • Kilmacolm Half Marathon on Sunday 15th September
  • Loch Ness Marathon on Sunday 29th September
  • Great Scottish Run on Sunday 6th October
  • Dublin Marathon on Monday 28th October

St Vincent’s Hospice provides care for all those living with life limiting illnesses, completely free of charge. The hospice even send their runners with a free running vest. On his hospice t-shirt worn for the 10K Scott wrote “for Dad, I still think about you, miss you and love you”.

For a free fundraising pack or to get involved in the 25th anniversary of St Vincent’s Hospice contact info@svh.co.uk or 01505 705635.

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Visiting Paisley by car

The town of Paisley is a fantastic destination for a day out of Glasgow. I discovered this fascinating town almost by chance on one of my road trips around Glasgow, and ever since I have kept coming back for day trips with family and friends. Because there is so much to see and do in Paisley, I highly recommend renting a car, as you will have more flexibility and freedom. A good option is the local Sixt office at Inchinnan Road, which has a range of rental cars that are the ideal size for a visit to Paisley, like a Vauxhall Corsa or a 3-door VW Polo. You can save money on your rental by using a Sixt promo code when you go there. .

Charming Paisley: what to see and do

Starting at Inchinnan Road, drive towards Paisley centre along the Whitecart waterway. I always make a point of taking a walk along this waterway, as both banks are lined with trees and there is a lovely walking trail that goes all the way down to the city centre. I also love stopping by for a cup of tea at the town square between Gilmour and Moss Street. You cannot miss this landmark as there is a war memorial right in the middle.

The cafés here are ideal for people-watching and to ease yourself into the relaxed pace of this town. Paisley Abbey and the town hall are another compulsory stop, as they are surrounded by beautiful gardens that overlook the Whitecart waterway. Don’t miss the colourful stained glass windows inside the abbey, and check with the abbey’s visitor centre to see if there are any events going on (last time I visited I attended a first-class organ concert for free!). For the best views of Paisley, drive to Barshaw Park. Here you will be able to spot Paisley’s main landmarks (like the abbey’s towers) and the rolling hills of Renfrewshire beyond the town limits. The park also has a nice pond, a small zoo, and a café.

If you are anything like me, you will not miss the chance of sampling some traditional Scottish cuisine during a day trip to Paisley. There are many excellent pubs serving great food (and better ales) along New Street and the high street, so just go and find your favourite. Driving through Paisley is really convenient, and you will not find it stressful because the roads are never too busy with traffic. On your way back, you can fill up on petrol at the BP station at Greenock road before returning your car to the Sixt office in Inchinnan Road.

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SIXT station Glasgow Airport GLA
64 Inchinnan Road
PA3 2RP Paisley
Phone no. +44-844-4993399
Fax +44-844-2486607

SIXT station Paisley GLAW01
64 Inchinnan Road
PA3 2RP Paisley
Phone no. +44-844-4993399
Fax +44-844-2486607

Recruits given marketing challenge by centre boss

Renfrewshire’s latest batch of young Recruits are aiming to show they are backing the right horse after being set a business task by the boss of an equestrian centre.

Ian Maxwell, general manager of Ingliston Country Club in Bishopton, visited the young people on the popular youth employment scheme to set them a brief for a marketing challenge.

The Recruit is a Renfrewshire Council-run programme loosely based on telly favourite The Apprentice and sees young people take part in a series of enterprise-related tasks, with jobs on offer for the winners.

Recruits with Ian Maxwell of Ingliston and Sarah McEwan of Renfrewshire Council

This summer sees two programmes – one for S5/6 school leavers, and one for unemployed young people aged between 18 and 24.

The Ingliston challenge sees the Recruits on the 18-24 programme split into teams and each given a small budget to produce a marketing campaign to promote the centre.

The teams will return next week to present their ideas to Iain, who will judge which group is the winner.

Ian said: “I got involved in the Recruit after attending the finale last year as a guest, and was then asked if I would consider mentoring some of the young people who needed help with interviews.

“Young people are looking for experience, and opportunities are only available for the most committed. The Recruit helps give them a flavour of what the business world involves.

“It was a day I really enjoyed. It was great to see their confidence levels – they weren’t put off by having a guy in a suit walk in. It was lovely to see they were eager to listen and to ask questions.”

Councillor Roy Glen, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Economy and Jobs Board, added: “Jobs and employment are two of the big priorities of the council.

“The Recruit, along with our £7m Invest in Renfrewshire programme, is one of the ways in which we are providing practical help for local young people.

“Once again, the Recruits are getting the chance to learn about a variety of different business sectors from people working in that field.

“We are grateful to all the organisations who give up their time to help the young people on this scheme widen their horizons.”

This summer will see the Recruits take part in challenges with a wide range of local partners, including Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, St Mirren and Cosmopolitan Hotels.

The winning Recruits will find out who has been successful in their job hopes at a special ceremony in Paisley Town Hall on 14 August.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.