mental health support

A first-of-its-kind commission has revealed the devastating impact harmful alcohol and drug use has on people’s lives, and its findings have been brought into even sharper focus as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

In its findings published today, the Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drugs Commission is the first to look at the issues for both alcohol and drugs and saw and heard first-hand evidence from more than 300 people and organisations who had their own personal or professional experience of alcohol and drug use.

mental health support

Renfrewshire has some of the highest levels of harm caused by alcohol and drug use in Scotland

  • alcohol hospital admissions – 808 per 100,000 (2018/19)
  • drug hospital admissions – 210 per 100,000 (2018/19)
  • 50 alcohol deaths in 2019
  • 50 drug deaths in 2019
  • Parental drug use involved in 38 of 70 child protection cases (October 2020).

The report highlights that people’s complex mental health needs mean they often struggled to find someone to talk to and get the right support they need, especially for young people. Long waits for mental health services, people having to turn to emergency services in a crisis and the significant trauma people have experienced were all seen as significant barriers.

While many people already access the different services available in Renfrewshire, the Commission found that there were people experiencing significant harm who should be in touch with treatment services but weren’t – known as hidden harm – and those who are in contact said they really need services to wrap around them and their families.

Further support is also needed to further tackle young people using alcohol and drugs at a young age through mental health initiatives, education, such as Personal and Social Education lessons, and adolescent-focused alcohol and drug recovery services.

In response, Renfrewshire councillors will next week consider the first set of funding proposals from a £2million package of investment from the Council to tackle some of the challenges raised.

The commission began in 2019 and brought in a range of highly respected health, social care, justice, third sector and community experts. The coronavirus pandemic led to the Commission extending its research to consider how this might further impact their findings.

Findings include:

  • the pandemic has exacerbated existing issues like loneliness and isolation, often key drivers for alcohol and drug use, and highlights the importance of feeling part of the community to supporting recovery
  • support for mental health issues is perceived as being difficult to access or not there at all, with particular concern noted for the impact of poor mental health on children and young people
  • the availability and presence of alcohol and drugs and how easy it is to get them was an issue across all ages
  • urgent work is needed to help people access mental health resources as well as enabling community and voluntary groups to provide much-needed outreach work to link people with existing services.

Alan McNiven, Chief Executive of Engage Renfrewshire, said that the commission focused on real lived experience of people affected by alcohol and drugs and that partnership working will enable Renfrewshire to offer the much-needed community and peer support for both prevention and recovery.

Alan said: “I was keen to be involved as I knew the commission would be connecting with existing strategies active in Renfrewshire around education, poverty, culture, employment – all areas of work that Renfrewshire’s Third Sector Network has connections and commitments to. The work of the commission adds to Renfrewshire’s partnership approach – an approach that seeks to achieve the best possible outcomes for Renfrewshire as a whole, as well as for individuals who require our care and support.

“The engagement sessions ensured we heard from the wider community – service users, young people, and third sector delivery organisations. It was vitally important that the voices of people with lived experience and those who work in alcohol and drug services influenced the commission’s enquiry and the final recommendations.

“Partnership and collaboration are at the heart of the community planning approach in Renfrewshire. Strong cross-sector and multi-agency partnerships already exist here, but we need more. The commission identified Renfrewshire’s third sector agencies as providing important services around the alcohol and drugs agenda. The Third Sector also brings important experience to the collective leadership approach that will be required to properly deliver the proposed recommendations.”

Following the publication of the report, Renfrewshire Council has pledged £2million funding to target the Commission’s recommendations, with an initial package of measures being considered by councillors at a meeting next week.

Funding proposals will include:

  • £510k for mental health programmes – seen as key drivers for both prevention and recovery – including funding for an intensive support pilot for children and young people, a crisis mental health service for the community and for a quicker service-lead response to people affected by trauma.
  • £550k for an outreach, community-centred model for people not engaged in alcohol and drug services, peer-to-peer support and a Recovery Change Fund for community and voluntary sector organisations to access.
  • £150k for education and health improvement as well as a further study to better understand the hidden harm of alcohol and drugs – people who haven’t reached out for help.

Chair of the Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drugs Commission and Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership Integrated Joint Board, Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a big impact on people struggling with alcohol and drug use and we know isolation has made it worse for many people and their families across Renfrewshire. What has been made very clear is the amount of hidden suffering that so many people suffer, unable to reach out and access support and sometimes not feeling part of a community that can support them.

“We hope this will fundamentally transform the support that people who use drugs and alcohol and their families can access when they need it most. The pandemic has brought these issues into sharp focus and we are determined to make a difference. Our new approach will make it easier for people to access the support within their own community and be there whenever they need it.”

The full report can be read on the council’s website – www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/Alcohol-Drugs-Commission.

Social Customer Service

Day 9 – Social Customer Service (NSDesign)

Social Customer Service
Dec 11, 1.30 pm – 3.30 pm

A fun, and engaging workshop discussing what ‘great social service’ looks like in today’s connected world. We’ll look at examples from a variety of companies and ask if we really deliver quality customer service, or do we focus on the numbers. Do we look for opportunities to wow customers across our social channels or do we just react to complaints.

Linkedin

Day 8 – Making LinkedIn work for your business (With Gordon White from fatBuzz)

Linkedin
Dec 10, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Join Gordon from fatBuzz looking at what you need to do to optimise your Business Page and how to tap into the power of LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Advertising.

Provost's Community Awards 2021

Analytics

Day 7 – How to use Analytics to grow your business online (Brian Tait from Aillum)

Analytics
Dec 9, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join Brian Tait at Aillum for an insight into some of the tools and data available to you now, free, that can help you start monitoring, refining and improving your digital marketing activities! Includes tips on Google Analytics, Keywords / Content, Heat Mapping, Site speed and more!

Christmas celebrations may look a little bit different this year – but people in Renfrewshire are being invited to come together and spread some festive cheer from the comfort of home with a special online event this weekend.

The Light Up Renfrewshire event will take place on Saturday 12 December at 7pm and will be available to view online on the Paisley.is Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/paisleyis

With everyone doing their best to stay at home as much as they can right now, the magical online event will showcase spectacular footage of the Christmas lights on display across Renfrewshire’s towns and villages for viewers to enjoy.

The stunning light displays will be accompanied by music performances from top local acts, festive messages from some special Christmas guests and much more.

Organised by Brick Lane Media and Renfrewshire Council, the Light Up Renfrewshire event will be held online to ensure that Christmas celebrations in the area can still take place this year, in adherence with national guidance and local coronavirus restrictions.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron, said: “It barely feels like a year ago that we were gathered in our towns and villages to switch on the Christmas lights in 2019. While this year has been unlike any we could have anticipated, I am delighted that we can still get together virtually to mark the festive season with this fantastic online event.

“Christmas can be a difficult time for many people, and it is important that we remember to be kind to each other and help to spread some festive cheer where we can.

“That’s why I am encouraging everyone to join me by logging on for Saturday’s Light Up Renfrewshire event and getting in the festive spirit with amazing musical performances and heart-warming messages – as well as the chance to see our stunning Christmas lights on full display.

“It’s also a great opportunity to extend a special thank you to all NHS staff and key workers across Renfrewshire for their hard work and energy that has gone in to keeping us all safe this year and over the festive period.”

Alan McEwan, director of Brick Lane Media, said: “Brick Lane Media and The Bungalow Community Interest Company are delighted to be involved with the Light Up Renfrewshire online event. It has given local entertainers the chance to showcase their work during these times and, at the same time, offer everyone in the community the opportunity to see the Christmas lights installations across every town and village in Renfrewshire.

“It has been fantastic to see how everyone involved has adapted in their settings – in schools, businesses and the entertainment industry. The use of digital technology has helped everyone to continue life as normally as possible, letting everyone see what is happening in their communities. Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2021.”

Residents are also being encouraged to get involved and spread some festive cheer by sharing pictures of their Christmas lights and household decorations on social media by using the hashtag #LightUpRenfrewshire.

As well as the online event on Saturday 12 December, there will be plenty of opportunities for families to enjoy festive fun in the run-up to Christmas with online activities, including arts and craft ideas, videos, blogs and more.

In addition, children and families will be able to enjoy festive fun while exploring their town centre safely with Christmas Spirit Trails in Johnstone and Renfrew, which will run from Saturday 12 December until Sunday 3 January. People are reminded to follow the national guidance for travel purposes.

By using your phone camera, families can hunt down and scan ten special Christmas characters, which will be on display in shop windows around the town centre, before accessing an eBook to learn more about the characters’ adventures.

There’s also plenty of activity to enjoy during the festive season with local business improvement district Paisley First, including the Christmas Buddie Bear Hunt around businesses in Paisley town centre and online Advent Calendar competition.

For more information on the Light Up Renfrewshire online event and more ways to enjoy Christmas at home, please visit https://paisley.is/discover/christmas-at-home/

Services to resume after Scottish Government confirms that region’s coronavirus measures will ease. Safety remains the charity’s priority.

Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure

Venues operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will reopen from Saturday (December 12th) after the Scottish Government confirmed that the region will return to Tier 3 of Covid-19 restrictions.

Leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools, libraries and the heritage centre run by the charity have been closed for the past three weeks as tighter measures were imposed throughout Greater Glasgow to reduce the rate of coronavirus in the community.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today that those Tier 4 restrictions will be lifted at 6pm on Friday, as planned, with Renfrewshire rolling back to Tier 3 from 6pm on Friday.

Affected leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools and libraries will reopen – in line with all Scottish Government guidelines – from Saturday. Specific arrangements for the library at Johnstone Town Hall will be confirmed following completion of the site’s use as an assessment centre for Covid-19. Renfrewshire Heritage Centre will reopen on Monday. Full details can be found at www.renfrewshireleisure.com.

Tier 3 guidelines mean that indoor fitness classes and outdoor contact sports for over-18s cannot yet resume. Activities for under-18s will take place within permitted advice. Updated guidance from sportscotland will be closely monitored for any updates to current arrangements.

Staff will, however, immediately restart the popular programme of outdoor fitnesses classes. Members and customers who normally attend indoor classes continue to be encouraged and supported to try gym or swimming sessions, as well as joining their regular routines via classes posted on the Renfrewshire Leisure website.

The click and collect service operated at all of Renfrewshire’s libraries will also recommence.

Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive Victoria Hollows said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming our members and customers back to our venues and supporting them in any way we can. As ever, the safety of our staff and visitors is our utmost priority and we are asking everyone to follow the hygiene and social distancing measures we have in place.

“The team here has done a tremendous job over the past few weeks with a great programme of online content, but I know that people are looking forward to being able to enjoy in-person activities again, wherever we are able to offer them.

“Our outdoor and online fitness classes have proved particularly popular while we are unable to offer indoor sessions, and our gym and pool staff are on-hand to help anyone who would like to take part in activities there which they might not normally have the chance to try.”

Members’ direct debit payments for December have not been collected in light of the disruption to on-site services as a result of the Tier 4 restrictions. They will resume in January.

A revised festive opening programme for Renfrewshire Leisure’s venues will be in place from December 24th until January 3rd (inclusive). Services will operate at Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley and ON-X, Linwood, between Christmas and New Year in line with usual festive arrangements. Full opening and programme details can be found online.

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Your Invitation to Join Digital December –  free online digital training with Renfrewshire Chamber 

 

We are delighted to announce the launch of “The 12 Days of Digital December” delivered by some of the most knowledgeable digital experts around. Open to any business based in Renfrewshire, member & non-member the 12 days of Digital December are designed to help you adapt to the changing environment.  Funded by Renfrewshire Chamber these sessions are offered free of charge & form part of our Covid-19 response strategy to support the local economy.

Day 1 – Adapting your Social Presence in a World of Social Change (NSDesign)
Dec 1, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
On Day 1 of The 12 Days of Digital December, we’ll start by reminding you that change is inevitable – especially in the world of social media. It shouldn’t take a pandemic to have businesses adapt to new technologies or social platforms – we should always be looking for opportunities to embrace, and new ways to engage our customers.

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Day 2 – 30 Day Plan For a Stronger Digital Presence (Janine Marriott SEO)
Dec 2, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
30 uncomplicated, effective steps that you can do yourself for free that will help strengthen your digital presence. Ideal for local businesses whether service based or with a store front (even if you’re currently closed) it is not suitable for purely e-commerce businesses.

Day 3 – LinkedIn: What you need to know and what you need to do (Gordon White from fatBuzz)
Dec 3, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
With the recent government advice to continue to work from home, the need to utilise online networking, lead generation and business development tools has never been greater.  Without a doubt, LinkedIn should be the starting point for many.

Day 4 – What A Podcast Could Do For Your Business… And How To Make It Happen (Colin Kelly)
Dec 4, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

2020 has been a huge year for podcasting with more than 10 million people in the UK now listening regularly. Is it time your business got involved and launched a podcast?

Day 5 – How to rank in local search results focusing on Google my Business & Google Reviews (Janine Marriott SEO)
Dec 7, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Explore how you can increase your chances of ranking in the local search results and maps by optimising your Google my Business page. Ideal for local businesses whether service based or with a store front however big or small (even if you’re currently closed) purely e-commerce businesses without a store front will not benefit from this webinar.

Day 6 – Conducting a Digital Competitor Analysis (NSDesign)
Dec 8, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join Gary from NSDesign as he provides you with an understanding of digital competitor analysis and why and how to use one using a range of free tools to help you understand and compare.

Day 7 – How to use Analytics to grow your business online (Brian Tait from Aillum)
Dec 9, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join Brian Tait at Aillum for an insight into some of the tools and data available to you now, free, that can help you start monitoring, refining and improving your digital marketing activities! Includes tips on Google Analytics, Keywords / Content, Heat Mapping, Site speed and more!

Day 8 – Making LinkedIn work for your business (With Gordon White from fatBuzz)
Dec 10, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Join Gordon from fatBuzz looking at what you need to do to optimise your Business Page and how to tap into the power of LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Advertising.

Day 9 – Social Customer Service (NSDesign)
Dec 11, 1.30 pm – 3.30 pm

A fun, and engaging workshop discussing what ‘great social service’ looks like in today’s connected world. We’ll look at examples from a variety of companies and ask if we really deliver quality customer service, or do we focus on the numbers. Do we look for opportunities to wow customers across our social channels or do we just react to complaints.

Day 10 – Putting your Content to work (With Gordon White from fatBuzz)
Dec 14, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

The need to communicate has never been more critical.  During this period of disruption, uncertainty and a constant state of flux, businesses must continue to reach out to their stakeholders; in fact, it’s probably true that you need to increase your levels of communication.  So, Content Marketing has never been more important.

Day 11 – Anti-Social Media (NSDesign)
Dec 15, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join NSDesign to learn where social media can go wrong in business, showing real world examples, the devastating outcomes, and discussing ways to mitigate the risks of it happening to you.

Day 12 – SEO in 2021 what you can expect and what you can do to get ready (Janine Marriott SEO)
Dec 16, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Join Janine Marriott SEO for a look ahead at how you can best utilise SEO in 2021.

To book your free place please email Laura Connor: lconnor@renfrewshirechamber.com or Laura Ritchie: lritchie@renfrewshirechamber.com 

renfrewshire chamber

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Renfrewshire-Leisure

Programme of digital content and services will be stepped up as Scottish Government confirms Covid-19 Tier 4 measures for region

Renfrewshire-Leisure

Venues operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will temporarily close after the Scottish Government confirmed new Covid-19 restrictions for the region.

 Tier 4 protection measures mean that all leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools, libraries and the heritage centre run by the charity must close to the public from 6pm on Friday. The First Minister has said that the new rules covering Renfrewshire will be in place until December 11.

 While in-venue facilities will be closed, a vibrant and varied package of content – covering everything from fitness and wellbeing to storytelling and nostalgia – will be available at www.renfrewshireleisure.com and via the online REN TV channel.

 A vast selection of library books are also available for download via the array of services offered online by Renfrewshire Libraries.

 Direct debit membership payments will be adjusted in light of the latest restrictions. Members will be contacted with details in the coming days.

 Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive Victoria Hollows said: “We appreciate how disappointed people will be that our in-venue services have to be suspended to comply with the Scottish Government’s Tier 4 regulations to safeguard our communities.

 “We remain here for you, however, and our team will be pulling out all of the stops to create and deliver more brilliant content for our members and the wider community online and via social media.

 “While we cannot offer services in-venue, we hope that our work online will help the wellbeing of the region’s residents and keep people safe and well at what’s a challenging time for us all.”

 Details on service updates will be shared as soon as they are available online and via Renfrewshire Leisure’s social media channels.