Gryffe High, St Fillan’s Primary and Houston Primary

More than a hundred excited young people donned their Santa hats and picked up their litter picker as they made their community a little brighter ahead of the festive period.

Gryffe High, St Fillan’s Primary and Houston Primary

Pupils from Gryffe High, St Fillan’s Primary and Houston Primary took their minds off the upcoming festivities for just a minute as they joined forces to clean up the area around their schools.

There wasn’t any tinsel, baubles or wrapping paper to be found but the pupils made sure to collect every piece of litter possible to give the council’s StreetScene team an early Christmas present.

Colin Johnson, Gryffe High Head Teacher, said: “To see the joint efforts of Gryffe, St Fillan’s and Houston pupils was really something quite special.

“Tall and small took on the joint responsibility of supporting our local community, all with a smile on their face and a determination to make a difference.”

Members of local volunteer groups Houston Litter Crew and Brighter Bridge of Weir joined community police officers to lend a hand to the excited pupils.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, joined in the fun and was delighted with the enthusiasm of the young volunteers.

Councillor McEwan said: “What a sight it was to see Santa hats bobbing up and down as the pupils set out to do their bit for their community.

“One of the main aims of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign is to educate our young people to know that dropping litter isn’t acceptable and taking care of the community is everyone’s responsibility.

“It’s refreshing to see how responsive the young people are to this message and how eager they are to get involved in the clean ups.

“We’ll continue to support them and allow them to lead from the front as we make Renfrewshire a cleaner, more attractive place to live and work.”

The litter picks are part of Renfrewshire’s successful Team Up to Clean Up campaign, which encourages local people to take pride in where they live and is backed by a £2.5million investment in road sweeping, gully clearing and litter picking.

More than 3500 volunteers have taken part since the campaign was launched in October 2017 and there has been a rise of over 400% in community litter picks as local people continue to show their support.

For more information on the campaign, including how you can get involved, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup or join the dedicated Facebook group at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/groups/teamuptocleanup.

Braehead Customer Services

BRITAIN’S Got Talent star Edward Reid certainly has got Christmas all wrapped up.

The popular entertainer was helping Children’s Hospices Across Scotland – better known as CHAS – launch their Christmas gift-wrapping service, at the intu Braehead shopping centre.

Braehead Customer Services

The mall has given over space for CHAS staff and volunteers to wrap Christmas presents for shoppers in return for a donation to the charity.

The gift-wrap service is available between noon and 8pm every day from now until December 23 at their workstation in the upper mall between A1 Toys and the Footasylum stores.

Lydia Brown, intu Braehead’s community development manager said: “Getting someone to expertly wrap Christmas presents for you can be a real Godsend at this time of year.

“We provide the paper, sticky tape and colourful bows and when the CHAS volunteers are finished, the presents are ready to go under the tree

“This service will save shoppers lots of time and we hope they will use the gift-wrapping service and make a generous donation to the CHAS charity, which is an extremely worthwhile cause.

“Within minutes of the gift-wrapping desk opening we had lots of people asking the volunteers to wrap presents for them.”

Jonathan Clegg, Community Fundraiser at CHAS said: “As the festive season approaches excitement builds amongst us all as we look forward to spending time with friends, visiting family members and making special memories.

“However this can be a very isolating time for many of the families who use CHAS.  We exists to support families across Scotland who have a child with a life shortening condition and we will not allow Christmas to be just another day for our CHAS families.

“Thanks to the dedicated support of intu Braehead and our festive gift wrap volunteers we can do just that.

“What better way to get into the festive spirit than to have your presents beautifully wrapped whilst helping to create magical memories for families all across Scotland?”

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As Christmas draws closer and we get excited about the prospect of seeing extended family, filling up on food, and eagerly opening piles of presents, it’s important to remember that not everyone in our local community is feeling the same way.

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Storage Vault Paisley Branch have been doing their bit to help those struggling in the community by supporting some fantastic Paisley and Glasgow-based charities who are doing a world of good.

 

Christmas is a time of giving, so why not see what you can do to give these fantastic groups some assistance?

 

A Helping Hand

A Helping Hand are an inspiring local community group who have banded together to help the homeless and less fortunate across Paisley.

 

Every Tuesday they congregate at the entrance of Marks and Spencers on Paisley High Street between 8 and 9pm, distributing soup and hot drinks.

 

They also donate clothes, bedding, shoes, and toiletries to those who need them, storing all of their donated stock in a storage unit that we have donated to them at our Paisley self-storage site.

 

A Helping Hand are currently in urgent need of various food items and personal hygiene products which they have listed on their Facebook page, as well as items for their special Boxing Day Event.

 

Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Bank

Another fantastic charity we put our full support behind is the Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Bank.

 

The toy bank works closely with social work, Barnardo’s threads, the STAR project, and the Foodbank in order to provide children aged 0-18 across Renfrewshire with Christmas presents. They too keep their donations in a free storage unit gifted by the Storage Vault Paisley team.

 

Christmas can be stressful enough for parents without the worry of providing their families with enough food over the holidays, let alone purchasing them toys, books, and games.

 

Until the 17th of December, Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Bank are holding drop-offs of toys at various locations across the county. Toys and books in good condition are being sought  to donate to donate to children of all ages desperately in need of some Christmas cheer.

 

ACCORD Hospice

Christmas should be a time of joy where families gather together, but for some, serious illness takes this bonding opportunity away.

 

Storage Vault support ACCORD Hospice by giving them free storage as well as donating £1 to them for every storage unit we rent.

 

ACCORD strive to provide palliative end-of-life care to those with terminal illness across Renfrewshire and some areas in East Renfrewshire.

 

Catering to both physical and emotional needs, they are doing a fantastic job bringing families together, which is much needed at this time of year, giving individuals a dignified end to their life.

 

Homeless Street Team Glasgow

This group are a not-for-profit community group who venture out onto the streets of Glasgow City Centre twice a week to help the homeless, giving out food and hot drinks, toiletries, and clothing.

 

They actively seek out individuals who are homeless and ask if they are looking for support. They sit and talk to them, which is often much-needed, especially during the winter snap when it’s easy to feel helpless and alone.

 

Storage Vault help the team by providing them with storage unit space to keep their wares in.

 

Give Your Support

Storage Vault are passionate about giving back to the community that has supported them for so long. These Paisley and Glasgow-based charities deserve immense aid for all the good they do, particularly at this time of year.

Ferguslie Learning Centre - Info Day - Social Media

Our Ferguslie Learning Centre provides certificated learning opportunities at beginner’s levels within a friendly, community environment.

Pop along to our open day on Tues 8 Jan from 10am-2pm. Alternatively contact Kathleen on 0141 842 1015. www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk

Ferguslie Learning Centre - Info Day - Social Media

breahead

SHOPPERS are being given more time to find that perfect gift this Christmas.

The intu Braehead shopping centre is staying open until midnight from Monday, December 17 until Sunday December 23.

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According to the team at intu Braehead, their midnight opening is a big attraction for customers who are living busy lives at work or at home.

David Lyon, intu Braehead’s marketing manager said: “Coming out to the mall for Christmas shopping at night gives people more time to get all the presents they need for the big day.

“It’s ideal for people with very busy lives and they can even catch their favourite TV programmes in the evening before coming out to do their Christmas shopping.

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“Our shoppers also love they way they can drive into one of our free car parks and get to the shops within minutes.”

Local Partnerships meeting

Enthusiastic community members are being encouraged to sign up for their nearest Local Partnership ahead of the deadline for applications.

Local Partnerships meeting

Enthusiastic community members are being encouraged to sign up for their nearest Local Partnership and have their say on the issues that matter locally.

The community representatives will be a key part of the new Local Partnerships, sitting alongside local elected councillors and representatives from the public sector and the voluntary sector.

They will help shape the discussion and debate at Local Partnership meetings, bring their expertise and local knowledge to decision making and provide an important link to local people.

Local Partnerships meeting

The closing date for membership applications is Friday 14 December.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “I’d encourage anyone who has a passion for their community to put their name forward to become a member of their Local Partnership.

“We want to achieve a range of views and give local people the opportunity to have their say on the issues that matter to them within their community.

Local Partnerships meeting

“It’s important that the opinions of local people are highlighted so get in touch and take this opportunity to make a difference.”

A series of community events have been taking place across Renfrewshire to introduce the new partnerships and to encourage people to become community representatives, with the first official meetings of the new partnerships set to take place in early 2019.

The seven new Local Partnerships take on the same boundaries as Community Councils and replace the previous five Local Area Committees, with membership being split evenly between local elected members and local community representatives.

The partnerships will work together to identify the priorities for the local community and representatives will have a key role in the allocation of funding to local voluntary and community groups.

For more information on the Local Partnerships and to submit your application to become a member, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/localpartnerships.

baby box

New and expectant parents could receive a financial boost this Christmas with the launch of a new Scottish Government grant.

baby box

Social Security Scotland will start taking applications for the Best Start Grant’s Pregnancy and Baby Payment on Monday 10 December, with the first payments expected to be made before Christmas.

The Best Start Grant gives financial support to families on lower-incomes during the early years of their child’s life, providing a grant of £600 on the birth of their first child and £300 for children after that.

Two additional payments of £250 will also be available to help cover the costs of early learning and starting school, with applications for these grants open by summer 2019.

The scheme, which replaces the UK Government’s Sure Start Maternity Grant, also gives parents more time to apply, extending the application window from 24 weeks pregnant until six months after birth.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener for Education and Children’s Services, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “We want all children in Renfrewshire to have the best possible start in life and this new grant will ensure struggling families have some extra cash during their child’s early years.

“I’d encourage all new and expectant parents to apply, it’s easy to do and will provide support in years to come.”

People who receive Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit will be eligible for the Pregnancy and Baby Payment.

Expectant mums who are under 18 or 18/19 and still dependent on their parents and in full-time education or training do not need to receive a qualifying benefit to apply for the grant.

Applications for the Pregnancy and Baby Payment can be made by phone, post or online. The grant is open to parents or carers.

To apply or for more information, call the Pregnancy and Baby Payment freephone helpline on 0800 182 222 or visit mygov.scot/pregnancy-and-baby-payment.

For advice on making sure you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to contact Advice Works on 0300 300 1238 or the Citizens Advice Bureau on 0141 889 2121.

Alternatively, you can call the Scottish Government’s new free Financial Health Check service on 0800 085 7145.

team up to clean up

Motorists in Renfrewshire are being asked to think before throwing litter onto the roadside.

More than 50 tonnes of litter has been collected from the roadside in the past six months following the introduction of a dedicated Rapid Response Team (RRT).

team up to clean up

Part of Renfrewshire Council’s successful Team Up to Clean Up campaign, the Roadside Litter RRT are tackling discarded litter on verges and pavements as part of a drive to improve the local environment.

They tackle roads, often in rural areas, which have been identified as hot spot areas and work to remove litter, as well as showing a visible presence in the area to discourage motorists from carrying it out in the first place.

The Roadside Litter team also work in tandem with another RRT who carry out daily patrols across Renfrewshire, tackling issues of fly tipping and working with local businesses to ensure they are disposing of their waste correctly.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I can’t stress how important it is that motorists think before throwing their rubbish out their window and onto the roadside.

“It is affecting the cleanliness, appearance and health of our local environment, as well as forcing our road workers to work at the side of busy roads to clear it.

“It may only be one piece of litter to you but when everyone does it, it can become a real problem and it is not acceptable.

“So take the initiative, keep your rubbish with you until you get home and together we’ll make Renfrewshire a cleaner, more attractive place to live and work.”

£2.5million has been allocated to Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign over five years to allow an enhanced programme of gully cleaning, increased mechanical road sweeping, the replacement or removal of out of date street signage and an additional six community litter pickers.

The campaign also challenges the community to play their part and this has proved extremely successful with hundreds of community clean ups taking place throughout the area and more than 2500 volunteers taking part.

A number of high-profile businesses, including ThermoFisher, McDonalds and Diageo, have also shown their support for the campaign by undertaking litter picks of the local area with their staff.

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and how to get involved, visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

The group from the Disability Resource Centre gathered alongside the artists and musicians from Brass Aye to see the flag raised

A group from the Disability Resource Centre had a flag they designed raised in County Square last week to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The group from the Disability Resource Centre gathered alongside the artists and musicians from Brass Aye to see the flag raised

The group have been taking part in the Threadlines project which is part of Renfrewshire Council’s £4.5 million Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS2) and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council.

The Threadlines artists with the DRC flag

The Threadlines project has been running since summer 2017 and has seen four visual artists collaborate with local community groups to create pieces of artwork that would be temporarily located in Paisley town centre, inspired by the town’s history in printed textiles.

The artists worked with the wood-work and photography groups at the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) to design and prototype two transportable printing presses, focusing on making the traditionally inaccessible printing presses in to something that could be adapted for use by individuals with varied additional support needs.

Musicians from Brass Aye

The photography group designed their own bespoke letters in clay which were photographed and then 3D printed into a letterset for the printing press, and the woodwork group used motifs from old looms and traditional printing presses to make a set of lino and foam cut shapes which could be used to print in their press.

Using the resources, the groups were able to print their own patterns and compositions which have inspired the design on the flag.

The artists wore custom Chore Coats designed using the prints made by the DRC

The flag was raised in County Square at midday on Monday 3 December, International Day of People with Disabilities, and will be lowered on Monday 10 December (today).

A group from the Disability Resource Centre gathered to see it raised, alongside the artists involved and members of the public. Musicians from Brass Aye? played as the flag was raised.

Rachel Walker, one of the artists working on the Threadlines project said: “Working with the individuals at the DRC was a really interesting and enlightening experience which will continue to inform the way we will work in collaboration with communities in Paisley, making sure we have a practice that will be inclusive of people with additional support needs.”

The artists who have been involved in Threadlines wore specially printed Chore Coats to the flag raising, designed using the prints made by the Disability Resource Centre groups.

Disability Resource Centre volunteer, Jacqueline Sorbie, says that all the participants enjoyed the experience of creating a flag for International Day of Persons with Disabilities. She said: “The project boosted morale within the centre and showed the participants how teamwork can help them achieve their main goal.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson added: “An important part of the TH.CARS2 project was to engage a diverse range of audiences with the heritage and culture of Paisley through learning and making. I’m pleased to see that the Threadlines project has achieved this and hope that the participants will benefit from the new skills they have learned.”

To find out more about the TH.CARS2 project, visit http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/THCars2

St Fillan’s Primary School

Parents are being encouraged to sign-up for a new cashless payment system ahead of its launch in six Renfrewshire schools next year.

St Fillan’s Primary School

Castlehead and Gryffe High Schools and, Auchenlodement, Howwood, St Fillan’s and St James (Renfrew) Primaries will be the first to go live with ParentPay in January 2019.

The launch is part of Renfrewshire Council’s work to make all Renfrewshire schools cashless by summer 2020.

ParentPay will remove cash and cheques from the classrooms, allowing parents to pay for their childrens’ school meals, activities and trips online.

The cashless system, which is already used in more than 8,000 UK schools, allows parents and carers to make online payments into their child’s account 24/7. They will also be able to see what their child has ordered for lunch, set spending caps and keep a record of all the payments they have made.

Parents and carers who don’t use online banking can put money into their child’s account at their nearest PayPoint, usually located in newsagents and other local shops.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener for Finance, Resources and Customer Services, Councillor John Shaw said: “I’m delighted that we are introducing ParentPay in six schools, it will revolutionise the way parents and carers pay for school meals, trips and activities.

“We want to make all Renfrewshire schools cashless by summer 2020 and launching ParentPay in six schools is the first step towards this goal.”

ParentPay accounts will be activated in December, ahead of the launch of the new system in January.

Parents and carers will need to set up a MyGovScot MyAccount login to use the new payment system.

Letters advising how to register for ParentPay will be sent to parents and carers before their child’s school moves onto the new system.

To register for MyAccount visit https://myaccount.renfrewshire.gov.uk/