renfrewshire chamber

A New Year, a New Start….offer extended
Renfrewshire Chamber is offering local businesses a great start to 2013 with 25% off membership – now extended to the end of February. The Paisley based Chamber is almost 600 members in size and has won several awards in the last year including:

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


Commenting on the opportunity, Chamber chief executive Bob Davidson said “our new member  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


Graduate Career Zone & Recruitment Workshop – Paisley

Renfrewshire Chamber, who deliver the Graduate Recruitment Incentive, (a wage subsidy of £3k to companies that recruit a recent graduate into a new position) is holding a free Graduate Career Zone Workshop to bring graduates and potential employers together. Graduates will be able to access the latest thinking in how to secure that ideal job, including:

·         How to prepare your CV & cover letter to make you stand out from the crowd.

·         How to prepare for different formats of interview, e.g. competency based interview techniques.

·         How to network and find positions that aren’t advertised.

graduateSMEs will discover how to find the best young talent for their organisation and: 

·         Register for free access to our unique online recruitment support program.

·         How and where to advertise to attract the best graduate candidates.

·         How to prepare a job spec.

·         How to sift & match CV’s.

·         How to structure your interview questions.

Following the workshops there will be the opportunity to network between local companies and potential candidates in an informal setting. A light buffet & refreshments will be provided.

Graduates and employers from all over Scotland are welcome.

The event will be held at UWS Paisley Campus, P Block on Thursday 28th February 5PM-7PM (parking available via Lady Lane entrance)

To register your free place please email Bob Grant, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce on or tel. 0141 847 5455


Glasgow Airport helps football club get amongst the goals

A football club set to launch academy classes for young people has netted eight new sets of goals from the Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund.

Drumchapel United provides grassroots coaching for children and allows them to play Scotland’s national game in a safe and organised environment.

The club hopes one of its current crop of youngsters will follow in the footsteps of former Scotland internationals Danny McGrain and John Wark, both of whom hailed from Drumchapel.

A donation of almost £3,000 from the Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund will allow the club to launch its ‘Drumchapel United – Coaching in the Community’ project, which is specifically for those who do not play in any of the club’s competitive teams.

Drumchapel Utd 2

It will run for eight weeks and the club is confident it will become an annual event, reaching an increasingly wider audience every year.

The new equipment will be used in matches and practice sessions during the project, benefitting hundreds of children every week, but they will also be an important resource for the club going forward.

One of the reasons Drumchapel United has been a success is the efforts of coach David Smith who, at the age of 28, picked up the sportscotland Young Person Coach of the Year Award, following a nomination from one of the parents.

Among David’s finest achievements is raising £12,000 to take his team, Drumchapel United 2001s, on a trip to Denmark earlier this year. While the trip primarily involved coaching and training, time was put aside for sightseeing visits, following which the youngsters were tested on what they had learned about a different culture.

Drumchapel United focuses on education and personal development in addition to just football training, and this rounded approach impressed the FlightPath Fund Board as education is one of three areas where funding is primarily targeted.

Craig Martin, Glasgow Airport’s Head of HR, said: “Drumchapel United is the kind of football club we need in every community. It is always looking forward and finding new ways to get young people involved in the game. Coaching in the Community project is an ambitious idea but it will benefit hundreds of local children and we are delighted to assist in getting it off the ground.”

Drumchapel United’s David Smith added: “Our committee and team of coaches are dedicated to youth football and the development of the game at grassroots level, with many individuals giving up their spare time on a weekly basis.

“Dedication only goes so far though, and in order to move forward with innovative projects like Coaching in the Community we need to invest in new equipment. These goals will make a huge difference and we are delighted Glasgow Airport has agreed to fund them.”

For more information please visit


Facebay Fundraising donate to the PDSA in Glasgow

Irene and Ian McDonald from Facebay Fundraising donate £826.40 and pet items to the PDSA in Glasgow.

This was a FANTASTIC DAY. The staff were very grateful for the donations and we were shown around the PDSA pet hospital and had the opportunity to see the vets at work and how the donations will be used.

facebayThe cash was raised by people donating their unwanted items via .

Facebay fundraising has been operating since April 2012 and currently supports five charities via their site which are: MACMILLAN CANCER SUPPORT, Alzheimer Scotland, R.A.H CHILDREN’S WARD, PDSA and (MND) Motor Neurone Disease.

Facebay Fundraising has raised over £5000 to date, £3000 of which has been given to Macmillan cancer support.

How the group works: People donate their unwanted items to the site and they choose which charity they want the money raised from sale of their items to go to.

There are ‘Just Giving’ links on the site for each charity if people want to use this method of payment.

The site is doing really well and we are looking to add a few more charities to the site.

Everyone is welcome to join the site using the link above, if you are having a clear-out don’t throw unwanted items out, PLEASE give to Facebay Fundraising and help charity. Anything someone else can use is appreciated on the site, clothes, household items, toys etc.

Thank you to everyone who donated unwanted items.

Also a big thank-you to our admins Genevieve Watt and Anne Clark, also to Teresa Martin and her son Peter who collect and deliver items.


Facebay fundraising is run by Irene McDonald and Ian McDonald.

The group was set up in April of 2012 to help people who are struggling to buy household items, while at the same time helping charities.

So far we have raised over £5000 in total by selling items donated to the group.

We have also taken part in sponsored walks and cycle rides.

Recruitment drive pays dividends but more foster carers still needed
Last year 15 new Renfrewshire families opened their hearts and their homes to vulnerable children by deciding to become foster carers.

The figures are contained in a new report from Renfrewshire’s Fostering and Adoption Panel. The rise saw Renfrewshire Council increase its pool of active foster carers by 19% during 2011/12.

Despite the increase, Renfrewshire still needs more foster carers and is actively recruiting potential adoptive parents and foster carers – especially for children who are 10 and over and children who need more intensive parenting.

fosterCouncillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work, Health and Well-being Policy Board, said, “As of 31 March 2012 the council was looking after 794 children. While many of these children will go back to their own parents after a short time in foster care, others won’t be able to go home and may move on to either permanent fostering or adoption. This can be because of neglect or abuse or because their parents have drink or drug problems which mean they no longer put their children’s needs first.

“But whatever the reason, life has not been easy for these children and they need love and stability to grow into happy, confident people. While we have been very successful in recruiting foster carers and adoptive parents, we still need a lot more.

“We rely on foster carers to provide homes for over 200 children and young people who come into our care.”

Renfrewshire Council provides its foster carers and adoptive parents with ongoing training and full support.

Carers need to be over 21 but there is no fixed upper age limit. Carers can be married or single, home owners or tenants. They can be working or unemployed. Carers don’t need to live in Renfrewshire – they can live up to 25 miles away. Importantly, they do have to have a spare room.

Councillor McMillan said, “Our aim is to get the best possible match between the child and the person who cares for them. The most vital qualification we are looking for is someone who can offer a child a stable, loving home when they need it most.”

People who are interested in fostering or adopting should call  0300 300 1199 or email They can also visit

Case study

Jim and Charlotte Telford are from Johnstone, Renfrewshire, and have been fostering since 2007. They are registered with Renfrewshire Council to care for children aged 0 to 12 years old on a short term basis.

Charlotte said, “We love having children round us and are a very child minded family. Plus, having had five children and five grandchildren, we are used to our house being filled with kids running about!

“We had always thought about fostering and now that our children have grown up we have the space to start taking in foster children. Now our house feels like a home again with the hustle and bustle of family life. The foster children have been brilliant and we feel blessed that we are able to offer them a loving and stable environment for the time that we have them.”

Jim and Charlotte’s five children, who range in age from 24 to 35, have been very supportive of their parents’ decision to start fostering. “Our grandchildren have really enjoyed getting to know our foster children and the kids love to play together when they visit us at the weekends,” Charlotte said.

Although both Charlotte and Jim admit that their application process was thorough, and at sometimes quite personal, they both felt they were well supported throughout the process and received valuable help and advice from their dedicated social worker.

“I would advise anyone who is interested in child care or a career in care to think about fostering,” said Charlotte. “It is extremely rewarding to see the children you’re looking after developing and thriving, and the support we have received has been great.”

business doctor

FREE Business Health Surgery

Every business understands the importance of the constant need to change, whether it be sales, marketing, people, financial or operations. Business Doctors, in association with Renfrewshire Chamber, will be hosting complimentary Business Health Surgeries on Tuesday 26th February and Tuesday 5th March in the Chamber Offices at Glasgow Airport.

business doctorThe surgery will be held between 9am and 4pm when businesses will receive a free 45 minute one to one session with Business Doctor, Gordon Barraclough. The consultation will provide a sounding board to discuss the key challenges and opportunities that currently exist in your business. Business owners who exhibit high levels of entrepreneurial spirit and ambition will benefit most from these sessions, whether striving to achieve sustainability or moving the business up to the next level.


To book a place please visit the events section of or contact Gordon direct on 07803 586180 /

weaving musical thread

West End Wurdz

West End Wurdz presents Upside Down Heart – An afternoon of poetry & song at the Ashtree House Hotel, 9 Orr Square, Paisley PA1 2DL Sunday 10th February, 2-4pm

Featuring Graham Fulton reading from his new collection, “Upside Down Heart”, Derek McLuckie poet and playwright shares his unique take on romance and Gwen McKerrell gives a lyrical look at love. Music from Pauline Vallance and Coleslaw. Open mic with prize and raffle.

Contains adult material.With support from Weaving Musical Threads & Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

weaving musical thread

Paisley Photographs of the Paisley Museum Exhibition..

Photos from the Paisley Museum Exhibition, read more below! Also in one of the pictures are some staff and pupils from the Clippens School, Linwood, Renfrewshire.

All photographs taken by Alex Kyle for click here for Alex’s Facebook page..


Inspired 2013 : Creativity from Renfrewshire’s young people 

The annual exhibition of artwork from children and young people in schools and nurseries across Renfrewshire opens in Paisley Museum and Art Galleries on Friday 1st Feb 2012 and runs until 12th April.

The aim of this free exhibition is to showcase the work developed in art and design in all education establishments and to profile how children’s skills progress from the early works of 3 and 4 year olds through to the sophisticated and talented pieces which form a Fifth or Sixth Year pupil’s folio for national qualifications.

Inspired is intended to be exactly that – a reflection of the personal perspective of the young artist and the things which inspire them.

The exhibition continues to gain in importance with the ongoing development in Scotland of A Curriculum for Excellence. The arts are now recognised as key to children and young people’s growing self confidence, self awareness and self esteem and ultimately in meeting their potential as successful learners, confident individuals and effective contributors.

There are a number of special features in the exhibition this year including exciting pieces of 3D work. And thanks to an innovative new partnership with the National Galleries of Scotland, schools who submit to the Inspired exhbition will automatically have the chance to have their work considered for the National Galleries schools exhibition.

Councillor Henry will officially open the exhibition on Friday at 12.30pm, within Paisley Museum and remarked “This year’s Inspired exhibition is a fantastic showcase for the creativity of Renfrewshire’s young people. From pre-school to senior students, they have created work which is both fun and engaging.  These young artists are to be commended for their creativity, hard work and high standards; I am sure that all who visit the exhibition will find it as Inspiring as I have.”

Provost Anne Hall will also select images from this exhibition to form the Renfrewshire Council calendar for 2014.

For further information on Inspired or any of our future exhibitions and shows log on to or follow us on Facebook


Inspired by a true event, new drama ‘In an Alien Landscape’ will play Paisley Arts Centre.

Birds of Paradise are back out on the road with their new production, In an Alien Landscape, by Liverpool writer Danny Start. 

In an Alien Landscape enters the world of brain injury, consciousness, memory and creativity and uses humour and irony to tell the story based on a true event. Albie is an ordinary man who experienced ‘a scuffle with death’ which unleashed his inner creative genie. He can’t stop painting since emerging from his coma. The extraordinary chaos of Albie’s life and the sound of a continuous rushing white noise in his head drives his compulsion to paint. What is happening to him? There’s no escaping who he was as his past still haunts him; but what lies ahead?

in an alien landscapeThe cast includes Paul Cunningham who plays the central role of Albie. David Toole plays Klang/Dad and Morag Stark plays Suze/Dr Jill. Scottish audiences will be familiar with both Cunningham and Stark’s work. Actor and dancer, David Toole, recently performed as part of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony and has worked with a large number of theatre companies including the RSC.

This performance will be surtitled and an audio description programme will be available for the visually or hearing impaired.

In an Alien Landscape will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Tuesday 26 February at 2pm. Tickets cost £10 (£6 conc) and can be booked by calling our Box Office on 0141 887 1010 or visiting 

For further information on In an Alien Landscape, future events and shows log on to or follow us on Facebook




We would like to invite you to come along to our open rehearsal for a brand new Jazz Choir, drawing on the excellent jazz singing talent to be found in the West of Scotland. We have worked hard over the past few months to get the background work done, and we are now recruiting singers!

We are looking for strong voices, people who can read music fairly well, have a good sense of rhythm (and humour) and work well in a group.

jazzThe aims of the choir are  to bring great jazz songs to a wider audience, and also, very importantly, to have fun creating high quality music together.

We are going to start building our repertoire with jazz standards,and move soon onto original arrangements and compositions.We will sing both a cappella and accompanied pieces and will use a variety of musicians as and when the need arises.

Our founding members of 4 voices performed as the support act for the wonderful Liane Carroll  at Brookfield last November, and they did it after only 3 rehearsals!

Here is a link to one of the songs they sang that night

The open rehearsal  on Friday is in Pace Theatre Company’s rehearsal studios in the Spires Building, School Wynd, Paisley, PA1 2DA  at 7.30 pm.

In the future the rehearsals will be held on Monday nights, starting on Monday 18th February, and will be based in both Paisley and Glasgow.

Hope to see you on Friday and do spread the word, the  more the merrier!

If you fancy getting involved but next Friday is no use to you, then let us know and we’ll take a note of your name – contact details are below.

…..and of course get in touch if you have any other questions with either of us :)


Outi Smith



Carol Smith