Ferguslie Prince’s Trust Team 25 celebrates success!

A huge congratulation go to The Prince’s Trust Team 25, whom have just completed their 12 week personal development programme at West College Scotland’s Paisley Campus. The course, which is designed to help young people identify their hidden talents and improve their confidence, as well as gain a nationally recognised qualification has been immensely successful since the first team started just a year ago at the Ferguslie Learning Centre.

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Pictured (L-R): James Pearson, Stuart Blythe, Lewis Gillies, Sean O’Donnell Koren Taylor, Paul Wilson

The team celebrated their achievements at an award presentation with family and friends last week in the Abercorn Conference Centre.

Jackie Shirley, Princes Trust Team Leader said, ‘Team 25 worked hard to complete all projects as well as putting back into their community.  All team members have developed and worked on their skills which has allowed them all to progress onto further training and/or education.’

Koren, 19 from Paisley who was the sole female on the Team this time around said, ‘It was a really worthwhile experience as I pushed myself to do things I didn’t think I could do. The residential and placements were my favourite parts as we got to help in the community.

Lewis, 17 from Paisley said, ‘I enjoyed it because I really lacked confidence in group situations. I feel happy in myself that I’ve been able to cope a lot better – the outdoor activities such as abseiling, zip wire and rock climbing were great to do.’

Both Koren and Lewis have applied to study NC courses at the College this August with Koren also securing a part-time job.

If you are looking for the chance to improve your confidence and self-esteem, make new friends and learn new skills through a range of outdoor activities, community activities and work experience, then don’t wait a minute longer!  The next Prince’s Trust Team programme starts on Monday 16 May from the Ferguslie Learning Centre and you can apply via the College website www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk or call Jackie for more information on: 07881 783790.

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The first groups in the frame to benefit from a £500k culture fund have been named – after applications totaling an incredible £1m worth of funding were lodged.

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The first groups in the frame to benefit from a £500k culture fund have been named – after applications totaling an incredible £1m worth of funding were lodged.

The Renfrewshire Culture, Heritage and Events Fund is key to Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, aimed at unlocking the area’s creative potential by helping the cultural community run its own events and projects in the run-up to the bid.

And bid bosses were deluged with applications for the first round of grants – receiving 72 requests for funding, totaling £994,829.

Renfrewshire Council last year set aside £500,000 for the fund – but that is intended to last five years, with three funding rounds each year.

That left the panel with a tough task to sort through the applications – before eventually agreeing to recommend 12 awards totaling £62,634.

The council’s Leadership Board will be asked to approve those awards when it meets later this month.

The nominated groups and individuals range from grassroots to professional, and cover a wide range of sectors – including music, dance, theatre, art and Gaelic culture. Those set to benefit include school pupils and disabled people.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “We were overwhelmed by the volume and quality of the applications received – it was just incredible.

“The applications were a wonderful showcase of the scale, quality and ambition of the cultural scene in and around Renfrewshire. There were some inspirational ideas and a real enthusiasm for the bid.

“On the other hand it gave us a problem – even though the council has made a massive financial commitment, demand far exceeds the money available and we will never be able to fund every good idea.

“Ultimately we had to select projects which best met the criteria at this stage in the process and which we thought would make the biggest positive impact on the bid.

“So while some people will be disappointed not to be funded, we may be able to help in future.

“We noticed a lot of similar themes in the applications and will host an event before the next round of funding in August to discuss how we can help people form new creative partnerships which may lead to more projects coming to life in future.”

The assessment panel also identified a longlist of additional projects which scored highly and which could strengthen Paisley’s UK City of Culture bid, but where more information would be needed before a final decision could be made.

The council’s Leadership Board will also next week be asked to delegate the authority for an additional £65,000 worth of awards to be made from that longlist, to be announced in April.

The twelve applications which have been recommended for approval so far are as follows:
– Right2Dance (£13,946) – to run a new free weekly dance class;
– Al Seed (£9,990) – to produce a solo work of visual theatre which ties in with Paisley Halloween Festival;
– Feis Phaislig (£8,837) – for a year-round programme of music tuition for young people;
– Renfrewshire Disability Art Forum (£6,000) – a number of projects using creativity to improve health and wellbeing;
– PACE Theatre Company (two awards of £4,750 and £3,060) – for Paisley 2021 drama workshops in schools, and free street theatre workshops for young people;
– West College Scotland (£4,052) – to create and commercialise Paisley artwork
– Morgan Spence (£3,200) – to create animation workshops for schools and an animated Paisley Lego film;
– Bushes Primary (£3,000) – to create permanent communuty artwork;
– Hobigoblin (£2,689) – to create a space for learning new crafts and skills in Paisley;
– Dates-n-Mates (£2,160) – to take members of group for learning-disabled adults on a drama course and produce a pantomime
– Lisa Kowalski Music (£950) – to work with other musicians to produce an EP

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is due to be lodged in spring 2017. For more information, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk

Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall went back to school in the name of charity – spending the day working at West College Scotland in Paisley.

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The challenge saw the Provost earn the living wage, with the donation going to the Provost’s charity fundraising scheme.

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Provost Hall spent the morning working with student support workers who examine the needs of each student on a case by case basis in order to support their learning effectively.

The afternoon saw the Provost meet with both students and employers to discuss work placements and their importance in providing real life job skills as part of their course.

Provost Hall supports four charities within Renfrewshire close to her heart – Renfrewshire Carers Centre, Recovery Across Mental Health (RAMH) and both Accord and St Vincent’s Hospices – and has raised over £25,000 during her time as Provost.

Provost Hall said: “The working challenges give me a great opportunity to see the terrific work which goes on within Renfrewshire whilst also raising money for my four chosen charities.

“West College Scotland are providing thousands of students with the opportunity to learn, develop and improve their career opportunities; which they will hopefully come to utilise within Renfrewshire.

“It was great to gain an insight into one of Renfrewshire’s foremost educational facilities and I was delighted to raise money for my chosen charities at the same time. The money raised will allow them to continue the vital work they undertake within Renfrewshire.”

Paul Martin, Curriculum & Quality Leader for Learner Development at WCS Paisley Campus said: “It’s brilliant that the Provost has given us her time so that she can see the fantastic work put in by all students and staff in the Learner Development here at West College Scotland. She made a great contribution and everyone involved will benefit from her time with us.”

For further information on the Provost’s charity fundraising visit:http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostcharity

Renfrewshire is set to become one of Scotland’s digital trailblazers after the council approved a £1m investment in public wifi in its three largest towns.

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The innovative move was given the seal of approval today as part of the council budget and will deliver a two-pronged drive to achieve major economic and social benefits.

Plans to roll wifi out to Paisley, Johnston, and Renfrew town centres are currently being developed in partnership with University of the West of Scotland, West College Scotland, Paisley First and the Chamber of Commerce. Work is expected to start by the end of summer.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council said: “This bold and transformational step will offer residents, visitors, businesses, and students free, unlimited, wireless internet access in Paisley, Johnstone and Renfrew town centres. We have a vision for a digital Renfrewshire and our investment will return major social and economic benefits.

“Renfrewshire deserves to be one of Scotland’s most connected areas and this will help to revitalise our three largest town centres, encourage shoppers and visitors to spend more time there – giving businesses a much needed boost.

“Paisley is already a well-established student town with thriving university and college campuses, and this investment will let us build on that by making sure students here can stay connected to online learning across the town centre.

“As Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 gathers pace, we will be looking to attract new trade and visitors to the town, and its important we can offer them 21st century facilities when they are here.

“For Johnstone and Renfrew this news follows the major investment in town halls in recent years and will boost the continued regeneration of both towns.

“Internet access is also widely regarded as the ‘fourth utility’ – a basic right and absolute necessity to allow people to fully take part in everyday life – and we know the most vulnerable are often the most digitally excluded, so this move will let us take our fight against poverty into the digital era.”

This move will build on the already established free public wifi in Renfrewshire’s local libraries.

The council has been nominated for two Digital Leaders 100 for 2016 awards in the categories: ‘Digital Leader of the Year’ and ‘Digital Inclusion and Skills Initiative of the Year’ for its work to drive forward digital participation in Renfrewshire.

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Community groups and voluntary organisations from across Renfrew can find out about opportunities provided by Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 at a special event on 11 March.

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The event is one of a series of community planning conferences organised by Renfrewshire Community Planning Partnership that will take place over the next four months. It will focus specifically on how the culture bid can provide a platform to help local groups and charities achieve their goals.

The event will take place in the Abercorn Conference Centre, West College Scotland, Renfrew Road, Paisley, 9.30am-2.30pm.

Representatives from charities, voluntary organisations and community groups across Renfrewshire are warmly invited to attend. For those who cannot come along, a second event will take place on 9 May, 5.30pm – 8.30pm in Paisley Town Hall.

Delegates will get the chance to hear from guest speakers about opportunities for community groups and take part in discussion groups and workshops.

Participants are also being asked to bring along photographs or other items that open up a personal cultural or historic connection with Paisley or the surrounding area.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, leader of Renfrewshire Council and chair of Renfrewshire Community Planning Partnership said:

“Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is a huge opportunity for communities across the whole of Renfrewshire, not only those that are Paisley-based.

“I would urge local community members and organisations to get along to these events to find out how they can back Paisley’s bid and further their own aims.”

Anyone who would like to attend can sign up by calling 0141 618 4168 (9.30am – 4.00pm, Monday to Friday) or by emailing communityplanning@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Or book a place online at:

http://paisley2021day.eventbrite.co.uk (Abercorn)
http://paisley2021evening.eventbrite.co.uk (Paisley Town Hall)

Further details of these and other community planning conferences running in May and June can be found on the Renfrewshire community planning website www.renfrewshire2023.com

For more information on Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

 

Approved by the Leadership Board, the move will allow the council to strengthen links between classroom learning and the world of work, and reduce the impact of poverty and inequality on young people’s opportunities.

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Councillor Mark Macmillan, Renfrewshire Council Leader, said: “We have made significant strides in our efforts to create work and training opportunities for 18 – 24 year olds with Renfrewshire now the fourth highest council in Scotland for youth employment. Youth unemployment has fallen further and faster in Renfrewshire than anywhere in Scotland

“That is fantastic progress which we will absolutely build on. Our effort to close the achievement gap is one of our top priorities and underpins our aspirations to achieve full youth employment and tackle poverty.

“This investment will deliver work to strengthen links between schools, further education and local employers for young people from low income backgrounds. It will also let us develop work experience opportunities, boost vocational skills, work with employers to build skills in young learners and create more opportunities for recruitment directly from education.”

The funding forms part of a wider employability action plan funded by the council’s £6m Tackling Poverty fund, and has been drawn up by the council, West College Scotland, University of the West of Scotland, Skills Development Scotland, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, and Engage Renfrewshire.

The £117,000 will deliver:

  • £43,000 to West College Scotland to support the Parents in Partnership programme, provide taster sessions and employability and personal development courses for young people with additional needs.
  • £28,000 to University of West of Scotland to provide taster sessions for S2 to S4 pupils and a module called ‘step up’ for S5 and S6 pupils. Step up will be delivered in May 2016 to let pupils experience university and its opportunities. Parents will also be part of the programme.
  • £22,000 to Princes Trust to deliver the Achieve and Future Starts Programme that works with schools to ensure pupils employment, training or further education in place before leaving school.
  • £18,000 to the Chamber of Commerce for a Skills Ambassador Programme which would provide group business mentoring in every secondary school – targeting the most vulnerable young people.
  • £6,000 to Engage Renfrewshire to offer supported work experience and volunteer opportunities within the voluntary sector to young people with additional support needs.
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An event is being held on Tuesday 19 January for parents and pupils to inform them about the school-college options for 2016/17.

There will be staff on hand to answer any questions regarding courses, qualification, progression etc.


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A tour of the facilities at West College Scotland’s Paisley Campus will also be available on request.

The event which is open to pupils who will be in S4/S5 and S6 in August runs from 6pm to 8pm.

Contact Alison Mitchell, Schools Liaison Manager by email alison.mitchell@wcs.ac.uk or phone 07787 985 618.

Action on Hearling Loss

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has backed a campaign that helps support young people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Action on Hearing Loss have set-up a ‘Moving On’ service which provides specialist assistance to 16-25 years who are deaf or have a hearing loss to take up work experience and move in to full-time employment, training or education.

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

“Finding a job, training course or getting into university or college can be a difficult task for anyone but it is more challenging for those youngsters who are deaf or have a hearing loss.

“I have recently met with staff from Action on Hearing Loss who advised me that many children who suffer from a hearing difficulty will be disadvantaged in a number of ways and therefore are not able to achieve their full potential.

“That’s why I’m happy to lend my support to the ‘Moving On’ service; a project which aims to help young people prepare for the world of world,  or assist them in finding a university or college course to study.

“It’s important that we do as much as we can to support our young people find their way in the world, and the ‘Moving On’ service will help ensure that we support young people who suffer from a hearing difficulty find a job , training course of educational opportunity.”

Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to have Gavin Newlands MP’s backing for our new specialist Moving On service which can provide information to help employers in Renfrewshire to be accessible for job-seekers who are deaf or have hearing loss.

“We look forward to supporting young people across Renfrewshire who are deaf or have hearing loss to gain valuable work and volunteering experiences which meet their individual needs and help them achieve their aspirations.”

The British Cycling Youth National Circuit Race Championship Paisley 2015

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Photographs from the British Cycling Youth National Circuit Race Championships which was hosted in Paisley on Sunday 12 July 2015 for the first time Scotland had ever hosted the prestigious race.

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All photographs taken courtesy of Ian McDonald Photography for www.paisley.org.uk

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A new joint approach in Renfrewshire is set to boost training and job opportunities in the social care sector.

Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership, and West College Scotland are teaming up to provide work and placement opportunities.

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The initial focus is likely to be on developing skills so that people can gain jobs in looking after residents in their homes.

In addition to increasing employment opportunities, the new Social Care Employability Partnership will tackle high staff turnover in the care sector.

Councillor Ian McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Social work, Health and Wellbeing Policy Board, said: “The organisations involved in this new approach want to increase the availability of training and jobs in what is a growing sector given the demands of an increasingly elderly population.

“We also want to address the high level of turnover which means we constantly have to recruit social care staff on either a permanent or temporary basis.

“There are good opportunities for people who may have the personal skills and qualities needed for care work and would benefit from a structured programme of training and work placements to turn those skills into a career pathway.”

Anne Campbell, Assistant Principal, Care and Life Sciences, West College Scotland said, “The College is delighted to be working in partnership with Renfrewshire Council in order to provide innovative solutions to meeting the challenges of an ageing population.

“This partnership will provide those looking for a career in care with practical work experience while undertaking their learning at College. Ultimately, this will result in a well-trained and motivated workforce able to deliver high quality care to the people of Renfrewshire.”