advice works

Residents who have splurged the cash at Christmas are being urged to seek confidential money advice ahead of the January bills coming in.

advice works

Renfrewshire Council launch Universal Credit advice in Johnstone and Ferguslie 18.9.18

Advice Works is a free, confidential and independent service funded by Renfrewshire Council that gives residents advice in a straightforward manner.

They run a drop-in service during office hours on Mondays through to Fridays at Johnstone Town Hall and at the customer service centre at Renfrewshire House.

Further drop-in sessions are also available at Renfrew Health Centre on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 8.45am and 11.00am.

The team can help with a wide range of money and debt advice issues including budgeting, negotiating with creditors, bankruptcy, mortgage and rent arrears, checking you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to, help with forms, and lots more.

Appointments can also be made to speak to an adviser about welfare rights, benefits or debts by calling 0300 300 1238 during office hours.

Finance and Resources Convener, Councillor John Shaw, said: “Getting advice ahead of January bills coming in is vital and I encourage all residents who feel they may struggle to pay the bills when they come in to get advice now.

“Advice Works, Advice Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau can all help residents who need money advice right now.

“Residents should avoid high-cost and pay-day loans as they only lose more money in the high-cost interest they need to pay back. Cheaper credit, such as a loan from a credit union, is a much more affordable way to manage your money.”

Advice Renfrewshire is a one-stop-shop website that links residents with the appropriate organisation to help with their issues. Their dedicated freephone helpline – 0808 164 2922 – is managed by Renfrewshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

To find out more about credit unions in Renfrewshire, visit http://mycreditunionrenfrewshire.co.uk.

To contact Advice Works, phone 0300 300 1238 or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/adviceworks.

For the Advice Renfrewshire website, visit http://advicerenfrewshire.org.

Advice Works

Advice Works is open Monday to Thursday between 8.45am and 4.45pm and Friday between 8.45am and 3.55pm.

The drop-in service is available at:

Advice Works, Johnstone Town Hall, 25 Church Street, Johnstone -Monday – Thursday: 8.45am – 4.45pm, and Friday 8.45am – 3.55pm

Customer Service Centre, Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley – Monday – Thursday: 8.45am – 4.45pm, and Friday 8.45am – 3.55pm

Renfrew Health Centre, 10 Ferry Road, Renfrew – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 8.45am – 11.00am

Renfrewshire Foodbank2

The number of people using Renfrewshire Foodbank continues to grow – but kind donations from the people of Renfrewshire ensured people had supplies over Christmas.

Renfrewshire Foodbank2

From the start of April 2018 until the end of March 2019, the foodbank received 95 tonnes of donations and gave out 100 tonnes to a total of 10,200 people.

This Christmas, people received food parcels and butchermeat vouchers for Graeme’s in Paisley, John Marshall & Son in Johnstone, and Bannatyne in Renfrew.

Local charity the Night Before Christmas also donated boxes full of toys and gifts to the foodbank so that they could be given out to youngsters in need.

Renfrewshire Foodbank project manager Elizabeth Alexander hopes that there is no need for a foodbank in 2020 but is grateful that the people of Renfrewshire do so much to help people in need.

Elizabeth said: “The number of people we’re helping has definitely increased and our donations have increased in response to that.

“We’re extremely grateful that the Renfrewshire community is so willing to support us. It’s the people of Renfrewshire that keep us going. Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.

“We have a tremendous team of volunteers and work closely with charities, churches and schools to make sure no one goes without.”

On Wednesday 18 December 2019 alone, the foodbank provided parcels for 75 people in five hours.

Renfrewshire Foodbank links up with community organisations to provide the best possible service to people, and is also working with St Mirren FC on the Festive Friends initiative to provide support to people who will be spending Christmas on their own.

Renfrewshire Council employees donate to the foodbank through the Council’s Food Bank Food Rush Initiative.

Since the initiative started in 2014, more than 130,000 items have been donated. A three-week collection at Renfrewshire House in June gathered 433.95g of supplies which equates to 1,033 meals.

Renfrewshire Foodbank operates from Paisley Central Baptist Church. You can find out more via the website – renfrewshire.foodbank.org.uk

Reclaim the Night march1

Renfrewshire Council has become one of the first local authorities in Scotland to formally introduce a domestic abuse policy for staff.

Reclaim the Night march1

The policy demonstrates the Council’s commitment to a zero tolerance approach to all forms of abuse – psychological and physical – and shows its support for all employees impacted by domestic abuse, past or present.

Employees who are victims of domestic abuse are now able to request special paid leave to receive necessary support and attend any relevant appointments.

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, in the UK in any one year, more than 20 per cent of employed women take time off work because of domestic abuse and two per cent lose their jobs as a direct result.

Commission figures also reveal that 75 per cent of women who experience domestic abuse are targeted at work – from harassing phone calls and abusive partners arriving at the office unannounced, to physical assaults.

The Renfrewshire Council policy provides guidance for any employees who are living with domestic abuse and employees who suspect that work colleagues may be suffering. It also outlines the steps supervisors and managers should take to support colleagues who choose to speak out about their abuse and who are seeking help.

Domestic abuse policy champions are being introduced at a senior level across the organisation.

Councillor John Shaw said: “As a local authority, it’s vital that we recognise the devastating impact domestic abuse has on individuals and families.

“As one of the first local authorities in Scotland to adopt this approach, we want to send a clear message that we will support anyone affected by domestic abuse.

“We are working towards creating a safe and supportive environment which encourages employees to report all forms of harm.

“By putting a policy in place, we are ensuring the correct support is available to staff who may be directly affected and creating a clear reporting route for anyone who may have concerns about the wellbeing of one of their colleagues.

“We hope that the introduction of this policy raises awareness that there are formal procedures in place and helps colleagues to feel that they can approach domestic abuse policy champions for support and advice.”

Renfrewshire Council has also been working closely with UK domestic abuse charity SafeLives to support the implementation of the new policy.

Liz Thompson, director of external relations at SafeLives, said: “Domestic abuse is everybody’s business and this includes employers. We know that more than two million adults experience domestic abuse each year. It is something that will impact upon almost every workplace.

“Employers are well placed to spot the signs in colleagues but without the right training, leadership and guidance, it can be hard to know what to do.

“We’re so pleased to see Renfrewshire Council committing to this policy, breaking the silence on domestic abuse and supporting all staff and colleagues to get the help and support they need.”

The policy has been agreed and developed in partnership with trade unions and complies with relevant legislation,  including the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 and Equally Safe – Scotland’s Strategy for Preventing and Eradicating Violence Against Women and Girls provided by the Scottish Government and its partners.

The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 covers not only spouses, civil partners and cohabitants but also people in intimate personal relationships who do not live together, and as well as physical abuse, it covers other forms of psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour.

Glasgow Airport exterior

 

  • More than 260,000 passengers expected to travel through the airport during the festive period 

 

 

Glasgow Airport is preparing for a busy festive period as hundreds of thousands of travellers take to the skies over the Christmas holidays.

Glasgow Airport exterior

More than 260,000 people are expected to pass through the airport over the next two weeks (Friday, December 20 – Friday, January 3) with many heading for some winter sun to destinations including the Canary Islands, Dubai, Malaga and Alicante, or city and ski breaks to Dublin, London, Frankfurt, Geneva and Grenoble.

 

Many passengers who live and work elsewhere in the UK or overseas will also make their way home to celebrate Christmas and New Year with friends and relatives.

 

Today is expected to be the busiest with more than 20,000 passengers travelling through the airport. On Christmas Day almost 2500 passengers will travel on 14 flights between Glasgow and Amsterdam, London and Dubai. 

 

In the run up to the busy festive getaway, Glasgow Airport would like to reminding travellers to pack their Christmas gifts carefully, and to place them in their hold luggage rather than carry them as hand luggage where possible. Passengers should also check with their airlines if they are permitted to take Christmas crackers, which if being carried as hand luggage must remain in their original packing.

 

Mark Johnston, Managing Director at Glasgow Airport, said: “Christmas and New Year is always special and there’s certainly a feel-good atmosphere in the terminal as thousands of passengers travel through the airport to be with their loved ones. 


“It’s also a particularly busy time in the terminal for our staff, airlines partners, caterers, retailers and baggage handlers, who are all gearing up to welcome thousands of passengers keen to get home for the holidays.   

 

“Our advice to everyone – whether they are travelling home or jetting off for a winter break – is to double check that all liquids carried in hand luggage are within the 100ml limit. This includes presents such as toiletries and alcohol.

“To be on the safe side, and to help reduce waiting times at security, we recommend that all of our passengers pack their gifts in their hold luggage where possible. If carrying gifts in hand luggage, we would ask passengers not to wrap them until they have reached their destination as our security procedures may require that they be searched. 

 

“On behalf of everyone at Glasgow Airport, I would like to wish our passengers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year when it comes.”

Christmas presents

With more waste produced over the festive period, Renfrewshire Council is advising residents on how to make sure they can recycle effectively with some top tips on how to deal with excess waste.

Christmas presents

With Renfrewshire’s recycling rate continuing to increase every quarter, there is a drive to maintain this positive step when there is more waste than normal over the Christmas period.

Top tips to recycle effectively are:

  • Packaging can pile up at Christmas time so make sure you separate paper, card and cardboard into your blue bin, with polystyrene and plastic wrapping not recyclable.
  • Flattening cardboard boxes will give you more space in your blue bin.
  • Plain wrapping paper and Christmas cards can go into your blue bin, but anything with glitter, foil or plastic can’t be recycled.
  • Leftover Christmas dinner and nibbles should go into your brown bin or food caddy to be recycled, it’ll save you more space than you’d think in your grey general waste bin.
  • If you’re having a festive tipple, make sure cans and bottles go into your green recycling bin and not the grey bin.
  • Contamination of recycling can ruin all your efforts, so make sure tinsel, bauble and fairy lights go into your grey bin as they can’t be recycled.
  • If you’ve got a real Christmas tree, you can recycle it from 4 to 11 January at Barshaw, Lochwinnoch, Barwood and Thomas Shanks Public Parks, or at the recycling centre at Underwood Road.

Renfrewshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres will be open every day, except on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, for any excess waste residents need to dispose of during the festive period.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “The festive period really is a brilliant time of the year, but it does bring extra food waste, packaging and bottles than you would normally have to deal with.

“Using your recycling bins effectively will mean you have more space in your grey bin for anything that can’t be recycled, and you can also be satisfied that you’ve done your bit to stop any waste going to landfill.

“Our recycling centres are open almost every day throughout the festive period, so please use these too if you find Santa’s been extra good to you this year.

“Our bin collections are running as normal throughout the period, with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, so please make sure you know when your bin should be going out during the festivities.”

Any resident due to have their bin collected on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day will have a different collection over the festive period, with these collections rearranged to earlier in the week.

Grey, blue or food waste bins will be collected the previous Sunday, on 22 and 29 December.

Green bin, brown bin, sack collection or bulk bin recycling will be collected the previous Monday, on 23 and 30 December.

Bulk bin residual, food or trade will be collected the previous day on Tuesday 24 and 31 December.

All bins due to be collected on all other days will be collected as normal.

For more information on bin collection or recycling in Renfrewshire, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/mybins.

st vincents

Pioneering ‘Girls Group’ at St. Vincent’s Hospice supports young people who have lost a loved one.

After suffering the loss of a loved one, a group of young girls in Renfrewshire have said they feel “stronger”, “closer” and more “understood” thanks to a pioneering project from the Children and Young People’s Service at St. Vincent’s Hospice.

st vincents

The Hospice is one of the few organisations in the local community who are able to offer specialist support for people aged 2 – 18 following a diagnosis of life limiting illness or loss of someone close to them.

With the aim of providing a new outlet for peer support, St. Vincent’s recently launched their first “Girls Group”, bringing together a small group of pupils from high schools across Renfrewshire for a series of events and activities.

Children and Young People’s Bereavement Worker, Alison Provan, said: “I have been working with the girls on a one to one basis and they had all lost someone important to them. It was obvious they were each going through a hard time, particularly when it came to their friends.

“Much as friends will often try their best, it is often very hard to understand what someone who is bereaved is going through until you have experienced it for yourself. After a chat with one of the girls (Carly) we thought ‘what if we could find a way for girls going through the same thing to come together?’”

They reached out to Marion McConnell, Home Link Assistant, from St. Benedict’s High School, and decided this was a viable option to take forward in partnership. The group also received an extremely generous grant from Lisa’s Gift of £1,000, which allowed them to build a programme of fun activities.

Carly, 15 who attends St. Benedict’s and initially worked with Alison to develop the concept, said: “If you’re going through a bad day, your friends will try to be there for you, but they’ll say things like ‘it’ll be OK, you’ll get through it.’ But they don’t know what the feeling is like inside. But with the group, this is so much easier.

“I feel like I’ve gained friendships and become really close with everyone. It’s been great going out and doing things. Talking and having fun with people who understand, instead of being sad and just sitting in the house. I feel like I’ve gotten so much out of this!”

Rachel, 14 from Gryffe High, added: “I think a lot of people just can’t imagine losing someone like that. Sometimes you hear about things that are a ‘drama’ and think ‘you have no idea how bad things could be.’ But with this, with the group, you know they understand.”

The group met six times, focusing on fun bonding activities, including go carting, getting manicures, going for dinner and visiting the Christmas markets. The girls have also independently met up several times to volunteer on behalf of the Hospice.

Lauren, 15 from St. Benedict’s, said: “I feel better. I feel stronger. Before I joined the group, I felt weak. I was really shy and didn’t want to talk to people. Now, I believe in myself. I feel more confident and feel really comfortable talking to the girls, sharing my feelings. It’s been amazing!”

Alison added: “I’ve been so happy to see the difference this group has made to all the girls. Even though the group only ran for a short period of time, it has brought them all together in a way that you normally wouldn’t see happen in young people. More importantly, now that the group has come to an end, they are all staying in touch. They’ve built their own support network and I’m so proud of each of them.”

Following the success of the project, the Girls have decided to continue to support the Hospice and work together as the first group of Youth Ambassadors.
This is a brand new role for St. Vincent’s, which will not only help raise awareness and support for the charity, but will allow the four to develop vital skills and experience towards university and job applications in the future.

Morven, 15 from Johnston High, said: “A lot of people don’t know about the Hospice or how much it means to the community. For everything that they’ve done. For everything they’ve provided. For everything they have given us and our families, I feel it’s very important that we’re here for them and help make more people aware of what they do.”

For more information, please visit: www.svh.co.uk

st vincents

The team from Morrison’s in Johnstone have shown their Christmas spirit, by donating beautiful sets of toiletry hampers to St. Vincent’s Hospice for all of the people in their Inpatient Unit.

st vincents

The hampers, which included luxury soaps, shower gels, lotions and more, were donated by the team continuing their long history of supporting the Hospice, recently donating decorative baskets and tubs for their community garden. Not wanting to forget the staff and all their hard work, they also supplied bags of tea, coffee and biscuits to keep them fuelled through the festive season.

St. Vincent’s is a specialist provider of palliative care, supporting individuals and families in the community who have been affected by life-limiting conditions including Cancer, Motor Neuron Disease, Heart Failure and many others.

Senior Fundraiser for the Hospice, Louise Strachan, said: “We are so grateful to Morrison’s for these beautiful gifts this Christmas and all of their support over the years. As a local charity, at the heart of the community, it is only through acts of kindness and generosity just like this that so much of what we do is possible.

“On behalf of all of us at St. Vincent’s: thank you and a Merry Christmas.”

For more information on how you can support St. Vincent’s, visit: http://www.svh.co.uk/fundraising/community-fundraising

ceilidh 1

MORE than 200 Scottish traditional music fans and people who like a dance will be waltzing into Johnstone Town Hall after every ticket for two events at the popular venue was snapped up.

Both the Festive Tea Dance being held on the afternoon of Saturday, December 28 and a Family Ceilidh later in the evening have sold out.

ceilidh 1

The popular Tea Dance gives people a chance to meet up with friends, have a chat and enjoy a two-step or more around the dance floor. The music is being provided by John Findlay, on the keyboard.

There will be a variety of dancing from ballroom to country and western line dancing.

The Festive Family Ceilidh features an evening of toe-tapping traditional Scottish music and the usual round of ceilidh dances.

Chairperson at Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Very soon after we began promoting the ceilidh and tea dance all the tickets were snapped up.

“There will be around 100 lucky ticket holders at each event and we had lots of people wanting to come along even after all the tickets had been sold.

“I’m sure everyone will have a great time and it’s a fun way to round off the old year of 2019.”

Drink driving

Road users in Renfrewshire are being warned of the dangers of driving while under the influence during the festive party season.

Drink driving

With new laws coming into force in October, motorists can now face roadside drugs tests as well as a breathalyser test for alcohol – with a zero-tolerance approach to eight drugs including cannabis, heroin and cocaine.

Anyone caught drug or drink-driving can face penalties such as the loss of their licence or jail time.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “It’s important that motorists recognise the criminal and personal consequences of being caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“It puts not only the driver, but any passengers and other road users at risk and the advice to any motorist would be not to risk it.

“You may think that you won’t be over the limit but don’t run the risk of causing a crash, losing your licence and even jail time.”

In the first four weeks of roadside drug testing being in place, 96 people provided positive tests and were arrested pending further enquiries.

This year is the first festive campaign that roadside drug testing is in place and police are carrying out dedicated patrols.

Chief Inspector Douglas Falconer, Local Area Commander for Paisley, said: “We know the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs and there really is no excuse for it. The consequences of doing so can be life-changing.

“Local officers and road policing colleagues will continue to proactively enforce the drink-drive limit and use the new drug-drive laws and roadside testing kits to help keep Renfrewshire’s roads safe.”

For more information, visit www.roadsafety.scot/topics/drink-driving.

TAXI

Revellers are being advised to stay safe during the festive season by ensuring they only use licensed taxis and private hire cars to get home from a night out.

TAXI

Renfrewshire Council is offering advice to partygoers now that the festive season is underway, advising that anyone heading out in Renfrewshire should:

  • Book their taxi home in advance;
  • Use a taxi or private hire company they are familiar with;
  • Only get in the taxi they have booked to take them home;
  • Make sure that their taxi is displaying Renfrewshire Council plates and licence stickers, with the drivers badge visible in the car too.

There are several private hire car companies in Paisley, Johnstone, Linwood, Renfrew and Erskine, and all hires must be pre-booked in advance.

Councillor John McNaughtan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Regulatory Functions Policy Board, said: “The festive season brings more nights out for people than normal and while it is an enjoyable time of year, we want to ensure everyone is safe at all times.

“Getting to and from a night out can be tricky so it is important that everyone follows the advice given and only uses licensed taxis or private hire cars to get home.

“While it can be tempting to ask a private hire car on the street to take you home, please only get into the one you have booked and, where possible, arrange this before you head out for the evening.

“You can flag down one of our taxis, which are all white in colour and rank at Glasgow Airport and Gilmour Street, and they will have their details clearly displayed to ensure they are recognisable as a Renfrewshire Council taxi.

If you are unhappy about the conduct of a taxi or private hire driver, you should contact the Council’s Civic Government Enforcement Officer on 0300 300 0300 or the Police on 101.

You can ask to see the driver’s badge and note the number. Alternatively, you should note the plate number or registration number of the vehicle.

For more information, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/taxisandprivatehires.