Call for local volunteers to befriend vulnerable young people

Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work service has issued an appeal for volunteers to a scheme helping some of the area’s most vulnerable children and young people.

The Befriending Youth Scheme pairs up adult volunteers with young people aged eight – 18 experiencing difficulties at home or in their local community. By acting as role model and building up a trusting relationship, the adult can help the young person develop more positive behaviour and attitude.

The scheme has had over 70 volunteers providing more than 10,000 hours of voluntary service in the past nine years. Many of these volunteers have used the experience as a stepping stone to further training or volunteering and even careers in social work.

Its success has attracted £5,000 of grant funding from the STV Hunter Appeal since 2010.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convenor of Renfrewshire Council’s Social work, Health and Wellbeing policy board said: “As little as an hour or two of your time volunteering for this scheme can make such difference.

Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1“Our befrienders don’t concentrate on the offending behaviour or a young person’s problems – they spend the time encouraging hobbies, skills and a better attitude. Taking the time to listen and share an interest or hobby is hugely important to building up self-esteem.

“We recruit ordinary adults of all ages from across Renfrewshire – what they all have in common is a genuine interest in helping young people.”

Befrienders are offered extensive training, ongoing support and out-of-pocket expenses.

For more information about the Befriending Youth Scheme, call  0141 618 6728 or email


The launch of Paisley Rotary Club’s Quest4Talent 2013 took place on 7th January 2013 at 4.30p.m in The David Lloyd Centre Renfrew,

This is the 5th year of this highly successful competition which has already helped some of Renfrewshire’s most talented performers on the road to success as well as raising many thousands of pounds for local and international charities.

This year as well as the usual categories for soloists, groups, bands, instrumentalists, choirs and dance there are two exciting new categories; musical theatre and traditional music. The traditional Scottish Category is a particularly exciting one for us with the MOD coming to Paisley in 2013, and we are hoping to get entries from traditional musicians and artists in the area. We are taking entries from young people from the ages of 6 up to 25 years old from Renfrewshire and all surrounding areas in the West of Scotland. Closing date for entries is 28th February 2013.

(All Photographs were taken by Alex Kyle for )

This year our chosen charities to support are Street Stuff and PACE’s Abbey Road Project, as well as Rotary’s international charity.. End Polio Now. We have support from many local businesses and Celtic Music Radio are broadcasting the final for us.

The launch was hosted by BBC’s Sports presenter David Currie and David Wallace of PACE along with Rotary organisers an last year’s winners.

The Grand Final is on Saturday 20th April in Paisley Town Hall with the heats taking place during March at the David Lloyd Club and the Wynd Centre.

Entry forms can be downloaded on the website or tel Alison Walker on 0141 581 2193/2194

Last year’s winners were:

Overall winner and vocal 12-17 years winner – Jenna Milroy
Vocal 7-11 Rebekah Kirk
Vocal 18 -25 Robyn White
Instrumental 7-11 Jasmine Galvin
Instrumental 12-17 Rebekah Mitchell
Entertainment/Bands – Sinne ( Gaelic Folk group from Glasgow Gaelic School)
Choirs – Cardonald Primary School Choir
Dance – Gemma Lilley


Special service to remember those lost to suicide

A special service will be held to remember those who have lost their lives to suicide.

The ceremony will take place at council HQ in Cotton Street, Paisley, where there is a memorial tree for victims of suicide.

The event is being organised by the Renfrewshire support group of Survivors of Bereavement through Suicide (SOBS), and will be attended by Provost Anne Hall.

The service will take place on Thursday 17 January and will be led by Reverend Alan Birss and Father Stephen Baillie.

This will be the fourth year of the event – with the original tree dedication in 2010 thought to have been the first of its kind in Scotland.

Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1Provost Hall said: “This is a worthy cause which we are happy to be able to support, and I want to extend the invite to any local people who wish to join us on the day.

“Suicide can affect people of all ages and backgrounds, but people should be aware there are various groups which can offer help, and that talking about it can save lives.”

Friends and relatives should meet from 3.15pm in the Marriage Suite at Renfrewshire Council to collect a commemorative purple heart on which they can write a message for their loved one.

The service will start at 3.45pm, after which there will be a procession to the tree, where the Provost will lay a wreath and visitors will be able to place purple hearts on the tree.

Afterwards, all attending are invited to join the Provost for refreshments in Paisley Abbey.

The event is being supported by Choose Life, the national strategy to prevent suicide in Scotland.

For more information on the Renfrewshire meetings of SOBS, call the local Choose Life co-ordinator on 0141 849 2200.

The national helpline Breathing Space can be reached on 0800 83 85 87, and the number for The Samaritans is 08457 90 90 90.


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Schools issue pupil registration reminder to Renfrewshire parents

Parents of Renfrewshire kids due to start school in 2013 are being issued a reminder to register next week.

Arrangements have been made in Renfrewshire schools to register all children who reach five years of age between 1 March 2013 and 28 February 2014.

Pupils whose surnames begin with the initials A-L should be registered at their catchment school on Wednesday 16 January.

Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1Pupils with surnames starting M-Z should be registered on Thursday 17 January. On both dates, registration will take place between 1 and 3pm.

Parents are required to produce their child’s birth certificate and two proofs of residence.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, convenor of Renfrewshire Council’s Education Policy Board, said: “Sending your little one to school is always a big moment, so it’s worth getting things off on the right foot by registering correctly.

“Registration with your catchment school is a fairly simple process so please make sure you go along on the right date and have all the necessary documentation.”

Parents wishing their child to attend a school outwith their catchment area need to make a placing request. Placing request forms are available from catchment schools upon registration.

For more information on school registration, call 0300 300 0170 or visit


All aboard as Street Stuff buses get back on road

Two buses used to help give the young people of Renfrewshire somewhere to go in the evenings are back on the road and coming to a venue near you.

The award-winning Street Stuff youth diversionary project runs a programme of activities – such as street football – at various sites in the area.

Street Stuff buses launchUntil last year, the Street Stuff timetable included a youth bus and gym bus, which went temporarily out of use when Arriva – which operated the vehicles – was taken over by McGill’s.

But the two buses have since been given a makeover by McGill’s and are now back on the road.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment and Infrastructure Policy Board, met up with Ralph Roberts, managing director of McGill’s, to help show off the revamped vehicles at St Mirren Park.

Councillor Devine said: “Over the last few years, Street Stuff has been doing fantastic work around Renfrewshire, with a clear trend showing a reduction in youth disorder in the areas where it operates.

“While many young people will enjoy taking part in the street football, it is important we offer a range of activities which will be of interest to everyone.

“The youth bus and gym bus have plenty which will help give those aged 10 to 18 something to do in the evenings and we are pleased they are back on the road.

“While Street Stuff has already won a series of awards, we are keen to build on its success, and the return of these buses will help us to do that.”

Ralph Roberts of McGill’s added: “McGill’s is delighted to support such a worthwhile initiative as the Street Stuff programme.

“The buses offer easy access to great facilities for teenagers across the McGill’s operating area and we were only too happy to get involved. We wish the team every success.”

The youth bus boasts Playstation and Xbox games consoles in its computer area, as well as musical equipment. The gym bus has six pieces of cardiovascular fitness equipment and Wii Fit computer games.

As well as street football with coaching from St Mirren, the Street Stuff timetable includes The Box, a multi-functional games area.

Street Stuff is a partnership between St Mirren FC, Renfrewshire Council, McGill’s, Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, Engage Renfrewshire and Reid Kerr College.

The programme attracts more than 20,000 young people a year and has led to youth disorder dropping between 18% and 40% in each area where it operates.

The current Street Stuff timetable can be viewed at


Have your say on vision of the future

Renfrewshire residents are being encouraged to have their say on the masterplan for how the area’s land can be used over the next five years.

A draft version of Renfrewshire’s Local Development Plan is being published for public consultation for six weeks as of Monday 14 January.

Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1The local plan is the key blueprint used to help guide council planning decisions.

It sets out the different purposes designated for each section of land in the area; for example, retail, residential or office use.

Copies of the plan will be available for public viewing until Monday 25 February at council HQ, at all local libraries, and online at

Councillor Terry Kelly, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Economic Development Board, said: “The local plan is a hugely-important piece of work, as it lays down guidelines for councillors to consider in any future planning decisions.

“Our aim is to make the area a more attractive place to live, do business and visit, with land assigned in the right places to take account of all of the above.

“The publishing of the proposed plan gives residents and businesses a chance to look at how the plans will affect them.

“All feedback we receive will be taken into account before the final version is published and I would encourage all interested parties to have a look at the plan.”

For the first time, those who own property next to sites which the plan earmarks for new development will be directly notified by the council.

Notifications are being sent to community councils and other local organisations and individuals who took part in the development of the draft.

The publishing of the plan is the culmination of months of work for council planning officials, who have been working on the contents since 2011.

Once all comments have been received and considered, the final version of the plan will be drafted.

The plan will only be fully approved after a final period of consultation and a review of any objections to its proposals is conducted by the Scottish Government.

Members of the public with any comments or questions can get in touch by emailing, or by calling 0300 300 0144.


A New Year, a New Start….

Renfrewshire Chamber is offering local businesses a great start to 2013 with 25% off membership ‘til the end of January. The Paisley based Chamber is almost 600 members in size and has won several awards in the last year including:

  • Investors in People Silver
  • UK Chamber of the Year Runner up 2012 ( & 2011)
  • Renfrewshire Council Quality Awards finalist 2012

renfrewshire-chamber-commerceCommenting on the opportunity, Chamber chief executive Bob Davidson said “our January offer is always very popular, allowing businesses of all sizes and sectors the chance to join the areas main business organisation and save money”.

The Chamber provides companies with access to a wide range of products & services designed to help them grow & prosper, including:

  • Networking events – lunches, forums, business breakfasts & seminars
  • Marketing channels – magazine, eNews, app, website & social media
  • Chamber HR & Legal, Health, Finance and Merchant Services
  • The ROCCOs – annual business awards
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Export Documentation
  • Business Mentoring
  • Graduate Recruitment Incentive

New members also get to attend their 1st networking lunch for free. To take advantage of this offer please visit or call Bob Grant, Membership Manager on  0141 847 5455


Penny Lane Homes

Penny Lane Homes is a well-established estate and letting agent in the West of Scotland with branches in Paisley, Renfrew, Johnstone and Barrhead.

pennylane-homesWe pride ourselves in the reputation we have built up and offer our clients a comprehensive package for a simple low fixed fee’
Phone – 0800 652 3131

Paisley Business

If you run your own business in Paisley then why not advertise on our Blog? This is a one off in the run up to Christmas and we will feature it via our network of websites FREE OF CHARGE! (one off present from

Email with your logo or a photo of the store, your location, what you do or what you sell, any website or contact details and that’s it!

Councillor Mike Holmes checks out Renfrewshire's Looking Local page.

Get up-to-date council news…through your telly

Renfrewshire residents can now keep up with the latest updates from their council this winter – through their TV!

People can log on to the Renfrewshire page of Looking Local – an information service which is free to view for Sky and Virgin TV customers.

Councillor Mike Holmes checks out Renfrewshire's Looking Local page.Renfrewshire Council will update its Looking Local pages throughout the winter months with news of any services affected by the weather.

This could involve updates on road gritting, changes to bin collections, warnings over severe weather, or notice of closures to schools or other public buildings.

Renfrewshire’s Looking Local microsite has been active since September, and already features information on and contact details for all major council services.

It also lets users report problems such as road faults and litter directly to the council, and access national services like NHS information and Jobcentre Plus vacancies.

Renfrewshire Council Depute Leader Michael Holmes said: “Local residents can get information from the council in a number of ways, such as our website at and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

“But research shows there is a large number of people out there who have Sky, Virgin or an-internet-connected Freeview box, but do not have access to the internet through a computer or smartphone.

“These people can use Looking Local to keep in touch with the council from the comfort of their own couch – and this is particularly important through the winter months when people need up-to-date information about vital services.”

To access Looking Local through Sky TV, residents should go to the Community Channel (channel 539) and press the red button.

To do so through Virgin, users should press the News button, then choose Interactive, then select ‘News & Info’ and then ‘Looking Local’.

From there, they can follow the instructions to find the Renfrewshire microsite, or they can use the quickcode 788 to get there directly.

Residents can also access Looking Local through Nintendo Wii, PC or web-enabled mobile phone by going to

The council’s customer contact centre can be reached on 0300 300 0300.




Have you got what it takes?

The Rotary Club of Paisley is gearing up to launch the 2013 Quest4talent competition for young people.
Now in its fifth year this has become a popular established competition which has already helped some of the areas most talented young performers on the road to success.

Q4TlogoThe competition is open to young people from 6 to 25 years with categories in vocal, instrumental, soloists and groups, choirs, bands,dance, and entertainers.
This year there are two new categories- musical theatre and Scottish traditional music.

The Grand Final is on Saturday 20th April 2013 in Paisley Town Hall with the heats taking place during March.
The competition aims to give as many young people as possible a chance to perform on the stage and at the same time raises money for charity.
In the past the charities which have benefited have included Rotary’s End Polio Now, Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, and Paisley YMCA.