Renfrewshire Council is calling for potential foster carers to help it to reach 100 people in the rewarding role.

Foster carers are supporting the campaign to increase their number by almost a fifth – from 81 to 100.

Husband and wife team, Graeme and Shona Small are backing the local authority’s bid to boost numbers.

Graeme said: “I love it and it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

“If you’re a foster carer you are doing it for the children to try and make a difference in their life.

“We have a wall in our house with photos of all the children we’ve looked after and every one of them has a smile from ear to ear.”

Shona said: “I love kids and love thinking I’m playing a part in shaping the next generation. “The children keep me young and focused and it’s nice to be able to offer nurture, care and security.

“It’s very much a give and take and the kids probably don’t realise they are giving quite as much as they do.

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Anyone over the age of 21 with a spare room and in good health can apply for the role.

Foster carer Alice Preston, 65, said: “You get a lot of training and support and I would say to anyone considering it that it’s a fantastic thing to do – you will get a lot out of it.

“Be prepared and find out as much as you can. It’s a really challenging but rewarding thing to do and you can change a wee person’s life.

“It’s the most worthwhile thing ever.”

Foster Parents. Renfrewshire council

To mark Foster Care Fortnight, which runs from 14-27 May, Renfrewshire Council will be holding a series of informal events where potential foster carers can get more information from the local authority’s team of professionals and the chance to chat with people already in the role.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “We are committed to ensuring every child reaches their potential and for some this means joining a new family which provides them with the love and stability that their birth families are unable to offer.

“If you think you could help to make a real difference to a young person’s life and offer them a brighter future, we would love to hear from you.

“As a foster carer you can offer a child a stable home and also help keep them within their own community.

“Our family of foster carers come from all walks of life and this is a vital role.

“We will support you on every step of the journey.”

Events will be held at the Lagoon Leisure Centre on Tuesday 15 May from 10am-12pm and at Renfrew Health Centre on Wednesday 16 May from 10am-12pm. The team will be at Johnstone Town Hall on Thursday 17 May, from 1.30pm-3.30pm to give advice.

Foster carers can be in work or unemployed, be single, married or in in a same sex or heterosexual relationship and can own or rent the property they live in.

As well as training and support, carers receive a generous allowance.

Anyone interested in more detail can call the team at Renfrewshire Council on 0300 300 1199 or email at

‘Since fostering, our family has grown in love, knowledge and laughter’ – Fosterplus inviting people to find out about a career fostering

As part of ‘Foster Care Fortnight’, a well-established fostering agency based in Paisley is calling on people to consider foster care as a career, with around 7,000 new foster families needed across the UK in the next 12 months according to research by the Fostering Network.

Fosterplus is holding the two dedicated open days at its office on Renfrew Road on 15 & 22 May, 10am – 7pm to give people the opportunity to gain information on fostering.

‘Foster Care Fortnight’ is the Fostering Network’s annual campaign that aims to raise the profile of fostering and to show how foster care transforms lives. The fortnight takes place from 14 to 27 May this year.

Geoff Armstrong, Registered Manager for Fosterplus said:

“In celebration of Foster Care Fortnight, we’re hosting two open days at our Paisley office to help people take their first steps into fostering.

“People can come along and meet our friendly team, who will be talking about the role of a foster carer and what this rewarding career has to offer.”

“We also try to dispel some of the myths behind fostering. Being a foster parent is different now than it was 10 years ago. The process is not as difficult as people often think it might be and we support them all the way.”

Suzanne, an experienced carer with Fosterplus, told us: “Since fostering, our family has grown in love, knowledge and laughter. The help we get from Fosterplus and how people pull together is something to be proud of.”

Another Fosterplus carer Carole added: “I am proud to foster because I know, no matter what, we have given children a chance.”

If you would like to find out more about these events, or fostering in general, call 0800 369 8511 or visit

If you are looking for the chance to improve your confidence and self-esteem, make new friends and learn new skills through a range of outdoor activities, community activities and work experience, then don’t wait a minute longer.  The next Prince’s Trust Team programme starts on Monday 21 May from our Ferguslie Learning Centre. Contact Jackie on 07881 783 790 for further information.

Click here to apply:

Renfrewshire Council is launching a campaign to attract more foster carers to help make a difference to children’s lives.

Foster Parents. Renfrewshire council

To mark Foster Care Fortnight, which runs from runs from 14-27 May there will be a series of informal events where potential foster carers can get more information and the chance to chat with people already in the role.

Events will be held at the Lagoon Leisure Centre on 15 May between 10-12pm, and at Renfrew Health Centre between 10am-12pm on 16 May. Prospective carers can also get advice at Johnstone Town 17 May, between 1.30pm- 3.30pm.

Foster Care Fortnight aims to raise awareness and highlight the work of dedicated foster carers who can provide loving and stable homes for children who desperately need support.

The local authority is aiming to increase the number of people in the rewarding roles by almost a fifth, from 81 to 100.

Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “If you think you could make a difference to a child’s live and help shape a brighter future for them, then foster caring could be for you.

“Our events will give potential foster carers the chance to speak with people already in the role and hear their inspiring stories, as well as get advice from members of our foster care team.

“Our family of foster carers are fully supported on every step of their journey by a team of professionals, as well as networking and support from their peers.”

Foster carers can be in work or unemployed, be single, married or in a same sex or heterosexual relationship and can own or rent the property they live in.

As well as training and support, carers receive a generous allowance.

Anyone interested in more detail can call the team at Renfrewshire Council on 0300 300 1199 or email

Celebrate Bookbug Week with us 14-20 May 2018

Take part in Bookbug Week with us by joining in with a whole week of FREE, special events taking place all over Scotland for families with babies and young children.

This year’s theme is Bookbug’s Friends, and there will be a whole host of fun story, song and rhyme activities taking place in local libraries and community venues.

Find out what’s happening in your local area

Lots of special Bookbug Sessions and activities are taking place to celebrate Bookbug Week. Take a look at our event search to find out what’s happening near you – new events are being added every day so please keep checking back if you can’t see anything listed near you! You can also look out for posters, ask at your local library for more information or check our facebook page.

Renfrewshire events can be found here!

Join in at home

If you’re not able to make it along to a local Bookbug Session or event, there are still lots of ways you can join in at home.


Enter our competitions

We’ll be running special competitions on our website and facebook page throughout the week.

Watch our special Authors Live – Thursday 17 May, 11am

Join us for a special Bookbug Week broadcast featuring award-winning author and illustrator, Ross Collins. Ross will be sharing his book, There’s a Bear on my Chair, with us and telling us how he illustrates his wonderful, comic characters. Have your pencil and paper ready for joining in with some drawing! Sign up to watch at home or at nursery with your little ones and be entered into our prize draw to win a bundle of Ross Collins books!

More fun ideas here.

A press release and press photos with Bookbug will follow next week.

These are the images which showcase what the 95 new build Council development at Johnstone Castle will look like on completion.

Regeneration work in the area is already underway with demolition work to clear the site for the new energy efficient homes.

The development will feature a mix of mainly two and three bedroom homes and own-door flats, as well as two specially designed bungalows for tenants with mobility requirements.

The regeneration project also features four semi-detached homes with four bedrooms for larger families.

The next phase of work will see vacant properties at Cedar Avenue, Tower Road and Elm Drive taken down.

Construction work on the new housing is expected to start soon by the Council’s recommended contractor ENGIE Regeneration Limited, with the first completions due next spring.

The construction costs of almost £13million will be funded from the Council’s housing investment programme and a Scottish Government grant.

Convener of Communities, Housing and Planning Policy, Councillor Marie McGurk said: “We are committed to providing social housing which is affordable, energy efficient and meets the needs of local people.

“The homes will be ones which are fit for the 21st century and will improve the quality of life for residents.”

Council Officers are also on hand in Johnstone Castle Community Centre on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings if tenants or residents have any questions about the ongoing regeneration work in the area.

Tenants who moved out of the flats to allow the regeneration work to go ahead and who wish to be considered for one of the new build homes, can contact Council staff at the Housing Options team in Johnstone on 0141 618 2581.

Renfrewshire’s roads are set to undergo major transformation as the full programme of resurfacing works for 2018/19 was announced.

The £7.2million programme represents the single biggest investment in Renfrewshire’s road network and will be delivered as part of the continuing physical and economic regeneration of the area.

86 roads across the region are set to be resurfaced as part of a programme which will see every community in Renfrewshire recognise the benefit.

The resurfacing of 46 footways will also take place across the area, as well as a further 33 roads being surface dressed or patched to protect them against future deterioration.

The investment will have a particular focus on undertaking high quality repairs and includes an increased resource commitment to post-repair inspections.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We recognise the importance of the roads network to those who live and work in Renfrewshire and have designed a programme that ensures every community will see a benefit in their area.

“This is the single biggest investment this Council has ever made in our roads and outlines our commitment to providing a network that is fit for purpose.

“We will ensure that high quality repairs are a key focus of the programme and are investing in a robust inspection system to ensure this investment makes a tangible difference and the quality of our roads continues to improve throughout 2018/19.”

The resurfacing work will be complimented by an ongoing programme of pot hole repairs which will ensure the roads network remains operational following the impact of unprecedented severe weather over the winter.

For further information on the 2018/19 roads programme, visit

A new streamlined approach is set to improve the support offered to community groups as the Council outlines its plans to empower communities.

Councillors today approved proposals which will simplify the process for community organisations in accessing Council support by introducing a single point of contact for local groups.

The creation of this central resource will see requests from local people directed to the most relevant source of assistance in the first instance, making it easier to utilise support and achieve the shared aims of the organisations.

Communities will also be able to more easily access existing pathways of advice and guidance from council officers, as well as continuing to be supported with external and direct funding applications.

Local people will also be encouraged to utilise the Community Asset Transfer process and will be signposted to possible partnership opportunities with the Council, where appropriate.

The new approach will be piloted during 2018 in consultation with local organisations and is set to be supported by a £1.5million Community Empowerment Fund, announced as part of this year’s budget to run over the next five years.

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Iain Nicolson, said: “It is more important than ever that we work closely with local people and we’re working hard to strengthen the relationships we have with our local communities.

“We’re committed to creating an efficient pathway for local communities to access the support and guidance they need by simplifying the often complex Council processes.

“Creating a single point of contact for community groups will help iron these processes out and ensure that local people can access the support we offer as easily as possible.

“I would encourage communities throughout Renfrewshire to assess their local area, identify how they could make improvements and work alongside us to make a difference to their local community.”

The Council has been evaluating the way it interacts with local communities and identifying how they can be involved in decision making through a review of its Local Area Committee structure.

Nine proposals were brought forward to an extensive consultation process and addressed issues such as ensuring meetings are more accessible and participative, localising the award of grant funding and altering the current boundaries to bring them into line with community councils.

The results of this consultation will help refine the finalised proposals to ensure they fully reflect the needs and views of the local community and allow a more effective process to be maintained moving forward.

Further information on support for local communities, visit

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson was in Bishopton yesterday (Wednesday 2 May) as he embarks on a series of visits to community councils.

Topics for discussion with Bishopton Community Council included the development of Dargavel Village, investment in the roads and transport infrastructure and improvements to the local environment.

Landowner BAE Systems is transforming the former Royal Ordnance Factory site into Dargavel Village, with 850 homes already occupied.

The project also includes a new M8 motorway junction to enhance Bishopton’s connectivity to the wider region, with the first phase completed on schedule last year and expected to open in early 2020.

Bishopton Community Development Trust now own Holmpark recreation ground, with plans to create a sport and leisure hub for the village.

And an additional 150 parking spaces have been created in the first phase of new park and ride facilities at the train station, alongside traffic management and environmental enhancements at Station Road and Birch Road.

Councillor Nicolson said: “I would like to thank Bishopton Community Council for their warm welcome and for giving me the opportunity to hear first-hand about the issues that matter most to them.

“There was a very lively and engaging discussion about all things Bishopton as it should be. What is happening with regards to the Dargavel development has major implications for the village in a number of areas and we recognise that it is vital that there is the supporting social and physical infrastructure underpinning this.

“Since we were elected last year we have been listening to what our communities are telling us and it came over again loud and clear last night  how passionate and proud people are of their own neighbourhoods.

“That’s why we have been working closely with communities to review local decision making and to ensure their voice is heard.”

During the meeting, Councillor Nicolson outlined his budget priorities, which include the biggest single year investment of £7.2million towards improving Renfrewshire’s roads network and footpaths.

A further £2.5million will further enhance the cleanliness of towns and villages and £1million will help improve cemetery grounds.

There is also a new £1.5million Community Empowerment Fund to support the transfer of facilities into community ownership and a village investment fund for community-led projects which can attract match funding.

“Every investment in our budget has been carefully considered, every pound spent to achieve the greatest impact,” added Councillor Nicolson. “We want to support the most vulnerable in our communities and balance everyday needs with longer term investment.

“We want to build strong, safe and resilient communities and have invested in our green spaces and given more money to clean up our towns and villages.

“Our budget investments add to significant funding towards housing in Renfrewshire and in improving our local schools to provide the best possible learning environment.

“We share in the passion and pride people have for Renfrewshire and are ambitious for the area. By working together we can ensure Renfrewshire is thriving, where people want to live, visit, and invest in.”

Further community council visits are planned to Ralston in May and to Kilbarchan and Paisley North in June, before a visit to Lochwinnoch later in the year.

SHOPPERS are being let into the secret of how to be the height of fashion this summer.

Cassi Gillespie of Clyde 1’s Bowie @ Breakfast.
Photograph by Martin Shields
Tel 07572 457000
This image is intended for Editorial use (e.g. news). Any commercial or promotional use requires additional clearance.
Copyright 2015 All rights protected.
first use only.

They’re being invited backstage to the free Spring and Summer Fashion event being held at intu Braehead shopping centre, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 4 to 6 between noon and 5pm. Clyde 1 presenter Cassi will be hosting the event on Saturday and Sunday.

Fashion and beauty experts will be on hand to reveal the latest spring and summer trends with workshops featuring fashion, beauty, fitness, well-being and homeware.

A backstage theatre-style set has been created in the central atrium with a fashion model on hand to show off the best of the new summer outfits.

Marketing manager at intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “When summer comes along it’s a great chance to bring some sunshine and colour into your wardrobe.

“Our fashion event is an ideal opportunity to find out the latest tends and what everyone will be wearing this summer.”