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.

Provost's Community Awards 2021


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!

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 Facebook page:

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

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

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: or Laura Ritchie: 

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Gryffe High School has been named The Sunday Times Scottish State School of the Year by Parent Power, The Sunday Times School Guide.

Pupils (L-R) Carla Dinnie, Calum Robertson, Andrew Hay, Rachael Bell and Simran Kaur with Head Teacher Colin Johnson

The 28th edition of Parent Power, due to be published in The Sunday Times and online on Sunday, 29 November, identifies the 2,000 highest-achieving schools in the UK, ranked by their most recently published examination results.

In August, the Houston school became the first secondary school in Scotland to receive an ‘excellent’ grade under Education Scotland’s short model inspection format, which judges schools on two quality indicators as opposed to four under the full inspection model. The ‘excellent’ rating is the highest grade on a six-point scale and was received by the school for ‘raising attainment and achievement’.

Gryffe High School has also received accreditation in recent months by UNICEF, as a Gold Rights Respecting School, and as a Vision School for Holocaust Education in Scotland.

Head Teacher Colin Johnson said: “To say I am proud of our pupils and staff is a complete understatement. Despite the challenges of the past eight months our pupils have remained positive and have continued to support one another throughout.

“Their efforts and achievements are outstanding, and I am delighted that their work, and the work of our dedicated staff, has been recognised by The Sunday Times.”

Councillor Jim Paterson, convenor of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board said: “We are thrilled that Gryffe High has been named Scottish State School of the Year by the Sunday Times. That is testament to the hard work and dedication of the pupils, staff and school community to raise attainment for all and I am sure they will all be as delighted as I am.

“We have invested heavily in our teachers and in our support staff across Renfrewshire, recognising the incredibly important role they have in shaping children and young people’s lives. We hope to build on Gryffe’s success and aim to emulate their achievements in all schools in Renfrewshire.”

Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, said: “Gryffe High has achieved its highest placing in our annual Scottish state secondary school rankings this year, building on a decade and more of sustained academic success. It now ranks among the best secondary schools in the country.  Inspectors praised the “relentless drive” of school leaders to ensure all children fulfil their potential in an outstanding report during the summer.

“The school expects and achieves much beyond the examination halls, however. Fundraising efforts have targeted local food banks during lockdown, while the children showed notable emotional intelligence and support of one another during a recent dyslexia awareness week.

“Under the leadership of Colin Johnson, children are encouraged to achieve their best academically and across the full range of school activities. Gryffe High is an exemplary school and a thoroughly deserving winner of our Scottish State Secondary School of the Year award.”




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


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 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.

toy 4

THE Braehead shopping mall is backing an appeal for donations of Christmas gifts to disadvantaged children and teenagers.

A giant collecting box has been installed at the central atrium in the lower mall for donations of unwrapped gifts to be dropped off.

toy 4

All gifts will then be passed on to the Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Bank appeal and volunteers there will distribute the presents to children and teenagers up to the age of 18.

This is the third year the shopping centre has supported the appeal, which was started by Renfrew mum, Lauren Roy-Sutherland.

Last year, the Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Bank provided 1500 gifts to young people, but this year Lauren reckons the referrals they will get from various charities, social workers, community groups and the local Food Bank could reach as high as 4000.

Lauren said: “We are finding more families than ever before need a donation from us this year.

”Covid has definitely taken a toll on family finances with redundancies that are taking place and although people are still in work, they are being furloughed and receiving 80 per cent of their wages.

“But as always, people have been very generous with their donations and we’d like to thank Braehead for her support in allowing us to have a collection box in the mall.”

Braehead’s community development manager, Lydia Brown said: “With all that has been going on this year it’s more important than ever to make sure children and young people can celebrate and enjoy Christmas.

“Our visitors to Braehead have always been extremely generous when it comes to donating gifts for young people of all ages and I’m sure it will be the same again this year.

“And we’d like to thank them for everything they have donated in the past and what will be donated this year.”