Dance Ihayami

Seeing things differently

Share the unique and extraordinary journey of an Indian dancer when Dance Ihayami’s Seeing Differently arrives at Paisley Arts Centre next month. 

Incorporating film by BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Krish Shrikumar and music by classical composer Ash Madni, Seeing Differently combines these two art forms with Indian classical dance, depicting its transformation from its roots to present day. Played out through the eyes of an Indian dancer, Seeing Differently blends rhythmic footwork and meaningful hand gestures to create an energetic, evocative and powerful dance spectacle. 

Dance Ihayami
Dance Ihayami’s skilful performers will treat audiences to a variety of Indian classical dance forms, Indian martial arts and yoga in this thoroughly modern interpretation of Indian dance.

Seeing Differently will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Thurs 7 March at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£6 conc) and can be booked by calling our Box Office on 0141 887 1010 or visiting

For further information on Seeing Differently, future events and shows log on to or follow us on

Picture of reading group

Reading together is fun
Families taking part in a family learning project in Renfrewshire have said the sessions are proving to be a life-changing experience.

Families from Ferguslie, Moorpark/Renfrew West, and West Johnstone have taken part in a series of workshops and events in Cochrane Castle Primary School, St David’s Primary School, Glencoats’ Primary School and St Fergus’ Primary School.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education Policy Board said: “This project not only gives support to families in developing reading skills, but it improving their confidence in helping their own children.
Picture of reading group

“Parents are being encouraged to develop new skills to support their children’s learning and to have a positive outlook on learning.

“Everyone who is taking part in the project has shown real enthusiasm and a desire for learning. It was useful for senior officers to hear at first-hand about what the project meant for the families taking part.”

The project provides parents an opportunity to work with their children, around the use of language and the activities include reading, storytelling, arts and crafts, poetry, games and singing songs.

The families are also being encouraged to use the latest technology by using i-pads to download stories and activities that will help children to learn.

The project is supported by a range of services from Renfrewshire Council, the University of the West of Scotland and is funded by Education Scotland.


Loretta Reid swings back in to town!

Sell out singing sensation, Loretta Reid will return to Paisley Arts Centre this spring with a new show incorporating ‘Jazz ‘n’ Swing with a little bit ‘o’ Zing!’. Playing on Friday 1 March, she will be joined by a new line up of tremendous Scottish musicians for what promises to be another fabulous show! 

loretta_4471Loretta has a natural ability to sing and through her influences and determination, has developed her voice to produce an individuality that is hers today. From the earliest age, music has been a major part of Loretta’s life, with her father’s love of jazz, big band sounds and particularly Frank Sinatra. Coming from such a musical family where a day without music would be strange to say the least, creativity is a large part of Loretta’s persona. 

Loretta’s performances are always extremely popular, and we would encourage audiences to book early to avoid disappointment.

Loretta Reid will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Friday 1 March at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £12 (£10 conc) and can be booked by calling our Box Office on 0141 887 1010 or visiting

For further information on Loretta, future events and shows log on to or follow us on


Renfrewshire Council offers owners home improvement help

Hundreds of private owners could be in line for help to upgrade their homes under Renfrewshire Council’s £138million, five-year plan to ensure its own properties meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS).

The SHQS is a government standard that all local authorities and housing associations must meet by 2015. It is designed to make sure all their homes are in good condition and meet minimum energy efficiency ratings.

Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said, “Our goal is to make sure every council tenant is living in a home that meets the SHQS by 2015. The financial help we are offering to private owners is vital to allow our improvement programme to go ahead without leaving out substantial numbers of council homes.

“A lot of council tenants bought their homes under the right to buy. Many of them live in blocks of flats, rows of terraced homes or four in a block closes side by side with council properties.

“Much of the work we’re doing can’t be completed unless it is also done to the adjoining private homes, especially in high rise blocks like Gallowhill Court. In a few cases the improvement work can be worth more than £10,000 and this is clearly beyond the means of some owners.

“The package of measures we’ve put in place will allow home owners to enjoy the benefits of our SHQS programme in an affordable way, without our tenants having to miss out because they live next door to an owner-occupier.

“This package is all the more important given the Scottish Government’s planned National Lending Unit has failed to materialise.”

The National Lending Unit was a government-backed scheme which was intended to give private owners access to affordable loans for home improvements through the SHQS programme.

By 2015 the council’s SHQS programme will have installed up to 8,000 new kitchens; fitted up to 7,500 new tile laser bathrooms, rewired up to 8,000 homes and upgraded up to 6,000 heating systems in council homes. The programme also includes major external work, such as enclosing high rise blocks with energy efficient cladding, and replacing gutters and drainpipes.

The package of measures available to owners includes:

* Flat rate grants to owners of 25% for non-resident owners, 35% for resident owners and 50% for resident owners who receive income support or similar benefits

* An extended period to pay invoices by instalments

* A 10% discount on the administration fee for early repayment up to a maximum of £150 if paid within one month

* Advice on getting grants to improve the energy efficiency of the property through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding programme

* Signposting to banks or credit unions for loans or ways to tap into the value of the property such as equity release.

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Scotland’s top civil servant visits Renfrewshire Chamber

The permanent secretary for the Scottish Government, Sir Peter Housden today met with the Board of Directors from Renfrewshire Chamber at the Chamber offices in Glasgow Airport in Paisley. During the 2 hour meeting Sir Peter learned a great deal about how Renfrewshire Chamber is helping local businesses grow and prosper.

sir peter2

Commenting on the meeting Chamber chief exec’ Bob Davidson said “Sir Peter came across as a very knowledgeable and approachable person; this was very encouraging to see. Going by the responses to questions and the notes he took – he was impressed by the breadth and depth of activity in Renfrewshire. We certainly flew the flag for Renfrewshire as a great place for business and an area that could do more with additional support by from the government – including Air Passenger Duty, youth unemployment and business rates. Additional topics of discussion included procurement, international trade, access to finance and connectivity.

The Chamber regularly has meetings with senior figures from the private and public sector – most recently welcoming John Longworth the Director General of British Chamber in late 2012.

For more info on Renfrewshire Chamber please visit their website at


Carers told to take a break by Renfrewshire Council

Carer’s in Renfrewshire are being told to take a break after the local authority set aside £200,000 to pay for a new home-based respite care service.

Respite care gives carers a break from the daily routine of looking after loved ones who have long-term health problems or disabilities. It allows them the chance to have a night out, a weekend off or a short holiday.

renfrewshire-carersAs the name suggests, the new home-based service allows the person who is being cared for to stay in their own home while their carer takes a well earned rest. The person who is being cared for needs to be over 65 to access the new service but the carer can be any age.

Respite care – away from the home – is available to all carers who look after someone who is either over 16 years old, or who is a disabled child, and needs regular help with their personal and social care. There may be a charge in some cases.

It’s estimated that there are over 20,000 carers in Renfrewshire.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work, Health and Wellbeing Policy Board, said, “Carers do an amazing job and our aim is to provide them with as much help and support as possible. Being a carer is a massive commitment and for many it’s more than a full time job.

“The council recognises someone has to care for the carers. The help and support we provide to people with physical and learning disabilities, has to extend to the people who look after them. This includes addressing the impact that being a carer has on their jobs, education, health and leisure time.

“We asked carers what we could do to help and the new respite care at home service is what they came up with. It allows people to recharge their batteries and continue in their caring role.

“Supporting carers is critical so we’ve allocated £200,000 from the Renfrewshire Change Fund Partnership to provide this new service. Now it’s there, we’re telling carers to take a break!”

The council is also encouraging anyone who regularly provides a substantial amount of care to someone else to have a carer’s assessment done. A carer’s assessment looks at:
*       How being a carer affects the person
*       How much care they can realistically provide without it adversely affecting their life beyond being a carer
*       What help they may need.

Anyone who cares for someone over the age of 65 years old, can ask for free, home-based respite care. More information about the service is available on  0141 207 7777 or  0300 300 1199.

Information about both home-based respite care and general help and advice for carers is available from the Renfrewshire Carers Centre on 0141 887 3643 and the council’s website


Pupils serve up success to reach Scottish badminton competition

Forty six talented young badminton players from 13 high schools swung into action at a recent Renfrewshire badminton championship.

The players came together to take part in the Renfrew Area Schools Badminton Association (RASBA) competition with a team of top players now set to represent Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde at the Scottish Secondary Schools Championship at Perth in March.

badmintonThe pupils took part in singles and doubles events in under 14, under 16 and under 19 age groups at the end of January at the Lagoon Sports Hub.

The winners were:

  • U19 boys: Luke Fossett, St Ninian’s
  • U19 boys doubles: Luke Fossett and Leon Masia, both St Ninian’s
  • U16 boys: Leon Masia, St Ninian’s
  • U16 boys doubles: Graeme O’neil and Matthew Ross, Mearns Castle
  • U16 girls: Sarah Findlay, Park Mains
  • U16 girls doubles: Julie Eve and Soumya Lanke, both Williamwood
  • U14 boys: Calvin McGrory, Eastwood
  • U14 boys doubles: Calvin McGrory and Scott Johnston, both Eastwood
  • U14 girls: Julie Eve, Williamwood
  • U14 girls doubles: Hannah Cumming and Lucy Ross, both Williamwood

And the team that’s been selected to represent the area is:

  • Luke Fossett, St Ninian’s
  • Dean Kennedy, Glennifer
  • Allan Cowan, Glennifer
  • Leon Masia, St Ninians
  • Sarah Findlay, Park Mains
  • Graeme O’neil, Mearns Castle
  • Matthew Ross, Mearns Castle
  • Emma McAughtrie, Williamwood
  • Rebecca Mayer, Williamwood
  • Julie Eve, Williamwood
  • Sean McCallum, St Andrews
  • Jonathon Paris, Gryffe
  • Scott Johnston, Eastwood
  • Calvin McGrory, Eastwood

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, said: “This fantastic event brought together pupils from three areas to showcase their talent in badminton and give them a chance to go forward and compete at national level. Badminton is a great sport that helps our young people be more active while developing a range of physical skills. My congratulations go to all who took part and I’d like to wish those who will represent the area at national level the very best of luck.”

Eight Renfrewshire schools took part in the competition (Bt Bennedict’s, Gryffe, Park Mains, St Andrew’s, Glennifer, Linwood, Castlehead, Paisley Grammar); four East Renfrewshire schools took part (Eastwood, Mearns Castle, Williamwood, and St Ninians) and one Inverclyde school took part (Notre Dame).


Wanted: Young people with important opinions
Renfrewshire students are being urged to come along and have their say on local issues that are important to them later this month.

Renfrewshire Council is urging Reid Kerr College and University West of Scotland students to drop in to the UWS Brough Hall on Wednesday 20 February and voice their opinions during an interactive question and answer session.

Their views will help the council and its partners to shape the next Renfrewshire Community Plan.Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1

Information stalls will also provide advice on community safety, student services, career and job opportunities including internships, volunteering, health, equality and human rights.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Young people are our future and it’s so important that their views help to shape the next community plan for the area. The plan will set out the key areas that the council and our partners need to focus on to make Renfrewshire a better place to live, learn, work and do business. I would urge all young people who go to university or college here to some along and tell us what’s important to them.”

The drop-in session will be open from 12noon until 6pm. Refreshments will be provided.

There will be a free return bus service every half an hour between the main entrance of Reid Kerr College and Brough Hall from 12pm until 4.00pm.


Job-seeking Recruits reach for the skies

A group of young jobseekers are hoping their careers will soon take flight after they were given clearance for take-off from a senior airport boss.

The latest batch of hopefuls in Renfrewshire Council’s highly-regarded Recruit programme packed their bags for Glasgow Airport, where they were given a glimpse into the world of high-flying.

recruit 18to24s airport challange feb13

The Recruit is a youth employment programme loosely based on telly favourite The Apprentice, where entrants take part in a series of challenges, with a job on offer at the end for the overall winner.

This version of The Recruit is for people aged between 18 and 24 who have found themselves out of work and are looking to improve their CVs to get back in.

Also running is a programme for unemployed 16 and 17 year-olds. Both programmes started in January and will conclude with a grand finale in March, where the overall winners will be revealed.

Craig Martin, head of human resources for Glasgow Airport, gave the 18-to-24-year-old Recruits a presentation showing how staff there hit the heights of customer service.

He said: “We focussed on customer service skills, as we have had a major focus on that in the airport, and wanted to share our experiences with them.

“Customer service skills will be important in any job. I was impressed by the group – they are all volunteers who are trying to improve their situations.

“The Recruit is a fantastic programme and it is great they have an involvement with so many local employers.”

Councillor Roy Glen, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board, said: “Tackling youth unemployment is one of the key priorities of this council.

“The Recruit is an innovative and fun programme which has been a fixture in the council calendar for a number of years now.

“During this time, it has provided a direct route into work for many local young people, while equipping plenty more with the skills to do so.

“As always, we are grateful to the individuals and organisations such BAA who give up their time to help run challenges. Their help and input is hugely valued.”

The Recruit is run by Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Employability Services.

Since January, the fifteen young people in the 18-to-24-year-old programme have enjoyed a variety of business-related tasks, helped by organisations such as St Mirren and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

They have also been given training relating to CVs and interviews, and taken part in a challenge to create their own team logos.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at

renfrewshire chamber

Inchinnan Business get together a success…

Renfrewshire Chamber recently held an event for Inchinnan based businesses at the European HQ of life science company, Life Technologies.

The event gave companies based in the Inchinnan business park, the opportunity to meet each other, make connections, and learn more about their local chamber and Life Technologies. The group also discussed ways of working together and how to make life for businesses in Inchinnan better including:

renfrewshire chamberSharing catering & gym use
Improving transport links
Improving security
Improving roads / landscaping

Life Technologies were the winners of the 2012 ROCCO Award for Excellence in Manufacturing – and a site tour was provided by Operations Director and Site Leader, Jim Carswell – a Paisley man himself. All attendees were very impressed by the high standard of operation and the warm reception from Jim and the team.

Commenting on the event chamber chief exec’ said “… this was a great 1st meeting. Everyone that said they would attend did – so they understand the value of learning from others and working together. There was a real desire to engage with each other and share ideas and best practice.”

The next event will be in May 2013 (exact date tbc) at Rolls Royce. Any business in Inchinnan Business Park can attend – you don’t need to be a Chamber member. Companies interested should contact

Bob Davidson chief exec’ at Renfrewshire chamber on

In pic – attendees after the tour at Life Technologies

life tech pic