Everyone in Renfrewshire should keep their Eyes Open for children at risk during the school holidays.

As Renfrewshire schools prepare to sound the end of term bell, Child Protection Committees across Scotland are encouraging the public across the whole country to be extra observant to help protect potentially vulnerable children when school’s out for summer.

Child Protection Committees Scotland, a nation-wide grouping of child protection professionals, hopes their ‘Eyes Open’ campaign will raise awareness that members of the public can play an important role to keep children safe from harm in the holidays. The group believes that everyone is responsible for child welfare in Scotland.

CPC Scotland Chair Anne Houston said: “Renfrewshire children are about to be away from the usual school routine for a few weeks. For most local children this is a time of year filled with fun and free time, but for some families the summer holidays are a time of increased stress and pressure. In some cases, children are not supervised or cared for adequately, others might even experience serious neglect.”

By taking an ‘Eyes Open’ approach, Renfrewshire’s own Child Protection Committee hope that members of the public will take a more active, watchful role when it comes to protecting children in the area, and take action if they’re concerned for a child’s wellbeing.

John Paterson, Renfrewshire’s Independent Chair, is clear that each and every one of us has a role to play in keeping our youngsters safe and said: “By keeping our eyes open and our other senses tuned in, we might spot the telltale signs that a child is at risk. These signs include seeing children wandering about at all times of day and night, children who are very dirty or unfed, unsupervised children going into “party” flats, or whose parents are drunk in charge of them. However, spotting the signs isn’t enough. If something doesn’t seem quite right for a child, or a family of children, it’s better to say something than do nothing.”

As well as supporting a public ‘Eyes Open’ approach, the campaign also encourages us to speak up instead of staying silent. Anyone who has concerns about a child or children can ask the child if they’re okay, offer the family some support, or contact Renfrewshire Council Children’s Services Department or the police.

Our homes are often filled with broken stuff -Irons, phones, chairs, toys, tools, gadgets.The kind of stuff you can’t bring yourself to throw out because it you feel kind of guilty about contributing to the 50 million tonnes of redundant items which are thrown into UK landfill sites every year.

This workshop will be your dream come true! Bring along something which is broken and our experienced facilitators will work through the process of assessment, repairing, replacing, reviving…or scrapping!Obviously  not everything will go home working

again, but in the meantime you will have learned some basic mend techniques and had a whole lot of fixing fun!

DATE AND TIME

Wed, July 18, 2018

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM BST

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Derek Mackay MSP has congratulated St James’ Primary School on winning an award for their reading achievements as part of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge.

The school was given an award for the School reading the most books. The only school in Scotland to be given the award.

Primary 7 pupil Kieran Mitchell was also given the Pupil Reading Journey Award by the First Minister.

Nicola Sturgeon presented awards to pupils and schools from across Scotland at an event in Edinburgh today, recognising their outstanding participation in the FirstMinister’s Reading Challenge.

The reading challenge aims to build on the work already taking place in schools across the country to encourage children to read widely, explore a range of books and develop a love of reading.

Following an evaluation of the first year of the challenge, reading charity Scottish Book Trust is expanding the challenge to secondary schools, libraries and community groups in the next school year.

SNP MSP Derek Mackay said:

“It is fantastic that St James’ Primary’s hard work has been recognised by the First Minister, with an award for reading the most books. The only school in Scotland to win this award.

“Almost 1,000 primary schools across Scotland took part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge this year, opening up a world of adventure and fun to young people whilst also giving them really important literacy, writing and language skills.

“I hope we can encourage even more kids to enjoy the benefits of reading by signing even more schools from Renfrewshire up to the First Minister’s Reading Challenge.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has commented:

“I’d like to congratulate all the schools who have taken part in this year’s challenge. They’ve all worked really hard over the past year and demonstrated great enthusiasm for reading.

“Raising attainment is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s work. That is why I launched the First Minister’s Reading Challenge – to encourage reading for pleasure from an early age which in turn, helps improve children’s literacy.

“I look forward to the next year of the challenge which will see even more people able to take part from secondary schools, libraries and community groups.”

PUPILS at Renfrew High have created their own comic book with storylines inspired by the town’s rich history.


Now they have seen their work, called ‘A Trip ‘Frew Time’ printed and published with a special launch event at the school.

The project was in collaboration with Renfrewshire Leisure’s school libraries attainment and creative learning teams, along with West College Scotland and the Scottish Book Trust who provided funding.


The comic book’s fictitious stories written by 30 pupils and accompanying illustrations were based on events and historical places in Renfrew and was part of the school’s participation in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge pilot project, at Renfrew High.

Pupils were helped to produce the comic book by Magic Torch Comics, who held a series of workshops in the school.

As well as having a copy of their own comic book creation, pupils will also receive an accredited qualification from West College Scotland to add to their school record of achievement.


Renfrewshire Leisure’s chief executive, Joyce McKellar said: “The pupils have done a tremendous job in creating not only the storylines, but the publication of the comic book itself. It’s something they can be proud of.

“As well as learning about their home town, the project has also stimulated the pupils’ enthusiasm and engagement in reading for pleasure.”

PROVOST Lorraine Cameron helped make sure the malls were alive to the sound of music when she joined in with the Renfrewshire Carers Centre Choir for an impromptu rendition of a classic ABBA song.


The Paisley-based carers group had been given free space at the intu Braehead shopping centre to raise money and awareness of the work they do and then be treated to a slap-up lunch by mall management to help celebrate Carers Week.

Provost Cameron was due to present certificates to volunteers from the Carers Centre and when she arrived at the mall, the choir was in full voice entertaining shoppers.

The Renfrewshire Provost was asked to join the choir for a song and she immediately agreed, belting out a version of ABBA’s Super Trouper along with the other singers.

As Provost Cameron handed out certificates she told the carers and volunteers: “I’m delighted to be here today to recognise the essential part you all play in the Renfrewshire Carers Centre. It gives me great pleasure to present you with these certificates of thanks.”

Christine Macdonald, intu Braehead’s marketing manager said: “The carers and volunteers at Renfrewshire Carers Centre deserve huge credit for the work they do.

“Giving them a lunch and mall space to have a display stand giving people advice and raising funds is just one way we can pay tribute to the vital work they do.

“The Carers Centre Choir gave shoppers some great entertainment and well done to Provost Cameron for joining in with the singing.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson has set out his long-term commitment to help people most in need into work and improve opportunities for future generations.

The £4.5million funding plans for Invest in Renfrewshire – the Council’s economic development service – were approved yesterday (Wednesday 20 June 2018).

This will provide targeted job support to people, communities and local businesses over the next five years.

“We want to provide support to the people and places most in need, to make the greatest difference,” said Councillor Nicolson. “We must ensure the area’s economic growth benefits everyone and that’s why we are targeting our resources to communities facing deprivation and to help people unemployed and underemployed, changing their opportunities and that of future generations.”

The new service will start from 1 October 2018 and includes further development of a community based pilot project under way in Ferguslie which supports people facing a range of barriers to employment.

It is already achieving positive results for local residents like Ronnie Lockhart, who’d been out of work for the past 20 years, but is now working as a gardener with Linstone Housing Association thanks to the support from the Invest team.

The 49-year-old said: “I love it, I’m out cutting grass, using the leaf blower, strimming, litter picking and tidying places up. It’s the best thing that’s happened to me, I’m even out cutting the neighbour’s grass for them.

“I was in a routine of going out once a fortnight to sign on then back home to watch TV. Eventually I got sick of being in the house doing nothing. Now I never want to go back to that – I love the job and the team work. We have such a laugh and we get the work done. I’m learning every day and I’m hopeful I can get kept on.

“My mum is proud of me, my whole family are proud of me and I couldn’t have asked more of the support from Invest, they do their damnedest to get you into employment, they do a great job and I’m really grateful for what they have done for me.”

More will be done to support start-up and early stage businesses through the new service, with exciting plans in place to grow the creative business sector and increase the number of sustainable small businesses and social enterprises.

Local communities will also reap the benefits of staff working locally to grow services and support voluntary groups looking to secure external funding, with 40 applications already in development.

And there is a major focus on maximising key economic growth opportunities in Renfrewshire, including in manufacturing, care and the creative industries by working with local businesses to provide direct pathways into these job growth areas.

Renfrewshire’s economy has grown significantly in the last six years with 8000 more jobs across the local area and employment figures dramatically improved.

Councillor Nicolson added: “Renfrewshire is open for business and there are major areas of growth coming here, with new jobs in the creative and tourism sectors as we build on the legacy of our Paisley 2021 bid and in the care sector as we expand our childcare and nursery provision.

“We are also developing an advanced manufacturing district which will be home to Scotland’s manufacturing institute and a world-first medicines manufacturing centre. This all means new jobs and we want to make sure Renfrewshire people are best placed to seize these opportunities.

“We will tackle the challenges head-on and develop Renfrewshire as an attractive place to locate and do business, supporting local businesses to grow and improving the area’s economic, social and physical regeneration.”

Find out more at www.investinrenfrewshire.com

A campaign to boost foster care numbers in Renfrewshire has resulted in a seven times increase in the number of enquiries from prospective carers to the service.

During Foster Care Fortnight last month, carers shared their inspirational stories to help spread the word on their rewarding role, while a series of drop in events also helped increase its visibility.

Renfrewshire Council is aiming to raise the number in its foster care family from 81 to 100 and the campaign to boost numbers continues.

Foster Parents. Renfrewshire council

Education and Children’s Services convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “There was a great response to our campaign to make the role more visible, but the work very much carries on.

“If you think becoming a foster carer may be for you then we absolutely still want to hear from you.

“Our existing foster carers can talk you through every step and have incredible stories to share, but what comes through is that they are ordinary people just like you and me who have taken on an extraordinary role.

“If you want to help change the life of a child or young person for the better, please get in touch.

“By boosting the number of foster care family we can ensure that we give all our cared for children and young people the best possible start in life.”

Foster carer Nicola Hanvey said: “It’s great to hear the campaign has resulted in more enquiries but that doesn’t stop here.

“If you think you have something to offer, then pick up the phone. You’ll be guided every step of the journey and can end up making a huge difference to a child’s life.

“I also like working from home and as part of a team. I get involved in any training opportunities I can and I attend the support group for foster carers. We meet once a month and it’s important to get that support from people who understand the job.”

If you are over 21, have a spare room and are in good health, you can apply to help make a difference to a child’s life.

Children and young people of all ages need carers who will help them feel wanted, valued and safe.

As a foster carer, you can be in work or unemployed, be single, married, or in a same sex or heterosexual relationship, and can own or rent the property you live in.

You will receive advice, specialist training and peer support, as well as an allowance.

Anyone interested in more detail can call the team at Renfrewshire Council on 0300 300 1199 or email at childrenandfamilies@renfrewshire.gov.uk

If you have children aged up to 14, Renfrewshire Council is asking you to help shape future nursery and childcare provision for families.

The Council is seeking the views of parents in the area on the provision of early learning and child care, including before and after school services and school holiday cover, by competing a short survey,

Eligible children aged two and three to five year olds are entitled to 600 funded hours annually, which will increase to 1140 hours by August 2020.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “The survey is a great chance for parents to have their say on what they need going forward and even if this doesn’t currently apply to you, your views will help us plan for families in the future.”

The information provided in the survey, which is to be completed by Friday 6 July, 2018, will be treated confidentially and will be used to inform future service provision.

A link can be found here: http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/article/4622/Children-and-Young-People-Consultation-2018

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has welcomed the announcement that the £56 million Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will be based in Renfrewshire.

The industry-led centre will offer pharmaceutical companies from start-ups to multinationals a unique service to develop new manufacturing techniques which speed up bringing new drugs to market.

The global market is worth £98 billion and this investment will put Scotland at the forefront of technology and innovation in medicine manufacturing, aiming to attract £80million of research and development investment in the next ten years.

Eighty high skilled jobs will be established at the Centre by 2023 with a further 90 jobs created or retained in companies during the design and build phase and post-construction.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“This is a fantastic endorsement for the Renfrewshire economy and the skilled workforce that we have locally. Renfrewshire has a proud reputation for high quality manufacturing and I am delighted that with the announcement that the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will be based in Renfrewshire.

“This follows the announcement made by the Scottish Government a few months ago that the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland will also be in Renfrewshire. This is good news for the local economy and highlights the strength of the Renfrewshire economy.”

Making sure local communities benefit from Renfrewshire’s £274million City Deal projects was high on the list of topics discussed at Paisley North Community Council this week (Tues 12 June) attended by Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson.

The Council Leader is visiting community councils across the region to hear about their local issues and the visit to Beechwood Community Centre in Shortroods was the latest in the series of visits.

City Deal employment opportunities, engagement with the Council and grass cutting programmes were all on the agenda, which was well attended by councillors for the area.

Councillor Nicolson said: “When we were elected last year, I made a pledge to continue listening to communities and responding direct to their concerns and that is why I’ve been out and about attending community council meetings across the area, to hear for myself the issues that are being discussed and also where we can work more closely together to improve the quality of life for people.

“Being in close proximity to the airport, the investment in the City Deal projects will bring hundreds of jobs to the area and the investment in the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland will also create many training opportunities so we want to make sure we capitalise on this for local people so everyone can share in the benefit these developments will bring.

“We also discussed how we can work more closely together. We want to support communities to take pride in their place, tackle the issues that matter to them and have community backing. By hearing first hand their experiences and ideas, this gives us a great foundation to build on and I look forward to continuing these conversations as we move forward.”