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Schools go head to head!

Winners Fordbank Flames

Six schools from Renfrewshire and one from East Renfrewshire took part in the annual Intergenerational Quiz last week, organised by Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

Winners Fordbank Flames

The event, held at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley, sees a team from each school matched up with a group of older people to go head to head in a quiz featuring everything from sport and history to general knowledge and music.

The teams for 2018 were:

Fordbank Flames – Fordbank Primary School and Johnstone Seniors Forum/Altpatrick Sheltered Housing
Ralston Rebels – Ralston Primary School and Ralston Day Centre
Newmains Renfrew Rainbows – Newmains Primary School and Renfrew Day Centre
Mossy Monkeys – Mossvale Primary School and Springbank Sheltered Housing
Todholm Turtles – Todholm Primary School and Springbank Sheltered Housing
SJO Sharks – St.John Ogilvie Primary School and Glentanar Court Sheltered Housing
Neilston Brainboxes – Neilston Primary and Kirkton Services

The teams meet regularly in advance of the quiz to learn from each other, as well as learning new things that will help them on the day. The project aims to break down the barriers and stigmas between the generations and help build relationships which continue after the event has taken place.

This year’s quiz came down to a tough tie-break between the Todholm Turtles and the Fordbank Flames, with Fordbank pulling ahead to be crowned the overall winner.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron was on hand to give out the trophies. She said “The Intergenerational Quiz is one of my favourite events. The atmosphere is always fantastic with both old and young alike getting involved in the fun.

“I especially love the dancing round, where we were entertained this year by some fabulous routines to the ‘Macarena’ and ‘Baby Shark’.

”It’s inspiring to see the relationships that form between the generations and I can’t wait to hear what else the participants get up to.”

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Putting the fizz into Christmas

could it be take that

REVELLERS can put the fizz into their Christmas party night with a special offer from Renfrewshire Leisure.

A special ‘Four 4 Fizz’ ticket deal is being offered for a fabulous Christmas Party Night featuring tribute band, Could It Be Take That, being held from 7pm to 1am, on Friday, December 21 at Johnstone Town Hall.

could it be take that

Anyone buying four tickets for the show will be charged £20 per ticket with a free bottle of fizz thrown in to help get the party started. Individual tickets are £27 each.

The night begins with a red carpet entrance, bubbly, a delicious three-course meal and entertainment from Scotland’s one and only Take That tribute band, followed by a glittering disco.

Victoria Hollows, Renfrewshire Leisure’s chief executive said: “This is a great deal for family, friends and work colleagues to get together and enjoy a fun, festive night out.”

Call the box office on 0300300 1210 to book your ‘Four 4 Fizz’ tickets.

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Brave pupils aim to improve bereavement support

Gryffe High School

Students from Gryffe High School are attempting to raise awareness of the issues facing young people who have lost a parent or loved one by sharing their own experiences, and pioneering a new approach to bereavement support in school.

Gryffe High School

In a collaboration between the Children and Young People’s Service at St. Vincent’s Hospice and Gryffe High School, the pupil’s own words and experiences of some of their hardest moments after the loss of a significant person in their life, and attempting to readjust to school life, have been shared as part of a new set of support and information materials, aimed at teachers, parents and other pupils.

Gryffe High School

Children and Young Persons Bereavement at St. Vincent’s, Alison Provan, said “Being a teenager is a difficult time for anyone, there are so many changes going on in your life that it can be overwhelming at the best of times. Now imagine going through that after the death of a parent or someone close to you.

“Sadly, for most schools and teachers, the resources simply aren’t available to provide proper training and development to give staff the confidence and knowledge to effectively manage issues around bereavement.  The students felt so passionately that they wanted to help people to understand, that we thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with Gryffe High School and develop materials which can make a real difference and offer tangible, practical support.”

As well as being a specialist provider of palliative and hospice care for people with life limiting conditions in Renfrewshire, St. Vincent’s Hospice also offers bereavement counselling and support for children and young people aged 2-18, helping them come to terms with major changes in their lives.

As part of the project, which included creating practical guides and advice for teachers, pupils and staff, the group created an “Advice from our Pupils” booklet. This listed significant incidents, issues, worries or concerns that the students had experienced while coming to terms with loss, written in their own words.  This has now been made available to all teachers and support staff across the school.

 

 

Andrew Findlay, Principal Teacher for Guidance at Gryffe High School, said: “The collaboration with St. Vincent’s is something that has been in development for a couple of years. Gill Brand, a fellow Guidance Teacher at Gryffe High School, and I identified a large gap in the universal support offered to young people within a school setting. As we supported pupils who were experiencing loss and bereavement, we found that there was no specific guidance for all pupils, staff and parents to follow to ensure the pupils and their families received the best, and most appropriate support required at such difficult times.

“Through conversation with Alison, who already supported a number of pupils within the school, we discussed the possibility of creating resources to aid that process. The relationships and confidence that she had built with the pupils, allowed a unique insight into the approach staff members could take to ensure an environment is created in which a pupil would feel safe and supported.”

These materials have now been rolled out across the school, and are available for all members of staff, pupils and parents, to help them gain a more meaningful understanding of bereavement and loss for children and young people. The materials, and more information, can be found at: http://www.svh.co.uk/services/supportive-care

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Hundreds march to raise awareness of domestic abuse

Campaigners marched through Paisley on Tuesday 27 November to mark the beginning of Renfrewshire’s 16 Days of Action campaign, which aims to eliminate violence and sexual abuse towards women.

The Reclaim the Night march left from the University of the West of Scotland and marched to Dunn Square where Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron led a two-minute silence in memory of those affected by domestic and sexual abuse.

reclaim the night

The assembled campaigners also heard speeches from Renfrewshire’s Year of Young People Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell, and from White Ribbon Scotland Ambassador, Gavin Newlands MP.

The theme of the march this year was “Year of the Young People let’s talk about it” reflecting on the statistic that young people experience the highest rates of domestic abuse of any age group.

Provost Cameron said: “For far too long, fear, silence and stigma have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions – and one in three women worldwide now experience gender-based violence.

“It was inspiring to see so many people, including a huge turn-out of men and young people at the march this year. They are breaking the silence on this issue and giving hope to those who are suffering.”

The 16 Days of Action takes place from 25 November to 10 December.

Anyone suffering from domestic violence can get help via two national helplines, which are available 24 hours a day and are free to call from a landline.

Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 027 1234

Abused Men in Scotland Helpline – 0808 800 0024

Locally, Women and Children First can be contacted on 0300 300 0345

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Festive fun comes to Johnstone

Johnstone Christmas Lights 2018

Thousands descended on Johnstone town centre to mark the start of the festive season this weekend at the annual Christmas Lights Switch On.

Johnstone Christmas Lights 2018

The Pulse FM DJs hosted a main stage in Houstoun Square packed with young up-and-coming talent who helped get everyone in the festive mood.

Youngsters in attendance were spoilt for choice with the chance to visit Santa’s Grotto as well as take part in free festive face painting and Christmas crafts.

Johnstone Christmas Lights 2018
Kids could also meet some of Santa’s reindeer and enjoy the funfair rides in the square.

A Christmas market was run by St Vincent’s Hospice with a selection of goodies available for those early Christmas present ideas.

At 5pm, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron was joined by lucky competition winner, nine-year old Jonathan from St Anthony’s, on stage to push the button and light up Johnstone

Provost Cameron said: “It’s been another fantastic event and I was so pleased to see such a great turn out in Johnstone this year.

“I was honoured to have Jonathan with me to switch the lights on and I hope he had an incredible day that he will remember forever.”

The lights switch-on was organised by Renfrewshire Council as part of its town centre events programme.

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Thorn Primary School take the 30 for 30 challenge!

Thorn Primary School

Pupils and teachers from Thorn Primary School in Johnstone have taken part in a “30 Challenge” for St. Vincent’s Hospice as part of their 30th Anniversary celebrations, raising an incredible £1,664.50.

Thorn Primary School

Primary 7 classes, teachers and staff each committed to walk, jog or run for 30 minutes every day for 30 days straight. Regardless of weather conditions, they faithfully brought their running kit to school every day to make sure they took part.

The primary 7 teachers, Mrs McLeod, Miss Murphy and Mrs Adams, were proud of all of the pupils for taking on this Challenge and giving it their all.

They said: “We noticed as the weeks went passed that there was an overall improvement in fitness and willingness to complete the challenge for such a worthy cause.  Our runs involved looping the entire school grounds which meant other pupils and staff could see our efforts, and often encouraged them to keep going. This definitely gave pupils the feel good factor.

“Pupils also did their own 30-minute walk, jog or run during the weekends and were supported greatly by parents in order to complete the Challenge.

“As teachers, we have felt really inspired by this 30-day Challenge and thoroughly enjoyed participating in and out of school. We are thankful to everyone who sponsored us and feel a great sense of achievement for the P7 pupils of Thorn and of course the money raised for St. Vincent’s which is such a worthy, local cause.”

If you would like to take part in your own 30 challenge, contact the Hospice directly info@svh.co.uk.

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Johnstone set to get festive this weekend

Johnstone Christmas Lights

Johnstone will officially mark the start of the festive season as the Christmas lights in the town are switched on this weekend.

Johnstone Christmas Lights

 

Saturday (1 Dec) will see Houstoun Square transformed in to a winter wonderland with a variety of entertainment to put everyone in the festive spirit.

From 12noon, the Pulse FM DJs will host the main stage – set in the Houstoun Square bandstand – accompanied by a host of local performers including The Logans, Todi and the RockUs Community Choir.

Johnstone Christmas Lights

Santa will arrive in style by vintage fire engine, provided by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Heritage Trust, and will be taking a break from his busy schedule to hear what all the children are hoping to find in their stockings this year. You can find him inside his grotto, run by St Vincent’s Hospice. Don’t forget to say hello to his reindeer friends.

The children’s entertainment doesn’t end there however with free festive face painting and Christmas crafts running all afternoon. Thrill seekers can also take a spin on the funfair rides.

Johnstone Christmas Lights

At 5pm, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will be joined by lucky competition winner, nine-year-old Jonathan from St Anthony’s, on stage to push the button and light up Johnstone for the Christmas period.

Johnstone Christmas Lights

Provost Cameron said: “The winter events have all been incredible so far and I can’t wait to bring the festivities to Johnstone.

“The town will be buzzing all afternoon with Santa making an appearance and lots of entertainment to keep young and old entertained.

“I’m looking forward to turning on the lights with our lucky competition winner and I hope to see you all there for the big moment.”

The lights switch-on is organised by Renfrewshire Council as part of its town centre events programme.

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Step forward for new Johnstone Castle homes

Plans to deliver 95 newbuild Council houses that meet the needs of local people in Johnstone Castle have taken a step forward as Councillors approve the project’s contractor.

A report recommending ENGIE Regeneration Limited are awarded the newbuild contract was given the green light at the Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board.

Work is anticipated to start this summer to build a mix of two and three bedroom houses and own-door flats that will replace the tenement flats approved for demolition in 2014.

Councillor John Shaw, convener for the board, said: “We have given approval to appoint a contractor to deliver new, affordable, high quality Council houses for the area.  The construction costs of almost £13million will be funded from the Council’s housing investment programme and a Scottish Government grant.”

Communities, Housing and Planning Convener, Councillor Marie McGurk, added:  “We are delighted to be moving onto the next stage of this regeneration project, which will provide modern, energy efficient Council houses of the type we know people want to live in.”

Housing staff continue to work closely with residents in Johnstone Castle regeneration area to keep them up-to-date and informed on progress.

For more information, residents can contact Evonne McMahon, Regeneration Housing Officer, on 0141 618 6003 or visit the team based at Johsntone Castle Community Centre on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

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Renfrewshire’s dog owners called on to lead by example

Dogs of all shapes and sizes are set to undertake their daily walk in new surroundings as part of a push to remind owners of their responsibilities.

Taking place on Sunday 8 April at 1pm, dog owners from all across Renfrewshire are invited to Robertson Park in Renfrew to take part in a special dog walk which will bring together like-minded people to tackle the issue of dog fouling.

A key strand of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, responsible dog owners are being asked to join together to illustrate what the majority of owners recognise – that picking up after your dog is essential and failing to do so is against the law.

There will be the opportunity to learn more about the dog fouling campaign in Renfrewshire and how to support it both individually and collectively, including the chance to sign up to the Responsible Dog Owner’s pledge.

As well as the opportunity to meet many other furry friends, dogs and their owners will have the chance to see dog agility in action as the Phoenix Flyers showcase the talents of their four-legged companions, as well as providing tips on how best to train your pride and joy.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, was joined by local dog trainer Graeme Hunter of Blackmuir Dog Training and Behaviour Centre at Robertson Park to promote the dog walk.

Councillor McEwan said: “We recognise that dog fouling is a real problem on our streets, which is why we made it a key focus of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

“We’re working hard to change the behaviour of those who fail to pick up after their dog, as well as those who do pick up but fail to dispose of the waste into a bin afterwards.

“We do recognise though that the majority of dog owners in Renfrewshire are responsible and it’s those owners that we want to lead by example and make it clear that failing to pick up is unacceptable.

“So come and join us for this special walk, meet other responsible owners and make your Sunday dog walk a bit more interesting!”

As part of the dog fouling campaign, streets throughout Renfrewshire with an identified problem are being targeted with luminous spray paint, street stencilling, informative posters and increased warden activity.

The new approach aims to shock those who are failing to pick up after their dog into thinking twice the next time they take their dog for a walk in the local area and be aware if the potential £80 fine should they be caught.

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup and for the event visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamupdogwalk.

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Kids egged on to exercise

Kids are being egged on to get active after the chocolate-filled Easter long weekend.

Street Stuff will run its new spring programme over the school holidays from April 3-12 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

St Mirren Football Club, St James Primary School and Linwood High School will host the free activities for 8-16 year olds.

The daily program consists of:

  • St Mirren FC – Football, dance and youth bus from 1-5pm
  • St James Primary School – Football and dance from 1.30-4.30pm
  • Linwood High School – Football from 1.30-4.30pm.

Consent forms must be completed for all participants on the first day of arrival. Lunch will be provided.

Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “The Easter break is an ideal time to encourage our children to get outside and get active.

“Hopefully they will enjoy themselves so much over the two weeks that they’ll continue on with good habits once school starts back again

“I’d like to thank the Street Stuff volunteers and coaches for their continued commitment over the break to bringing free, fun activities into our communities.”

The new spring timetable is available on the Renfrewshire Council website at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/spring