I’d have the world around, To see just whatever happens…

In 1981 the brilliant Kraftwerk included the song ‘Computer Love’ on their ‘Computer World’ album. The song includes the line (translated from German) ‘Stare at the (TV) screen, I don’t know what to do…’ On Saturday I went along to celebrate my eldest brother’s birthday – a milestone one, by the way – and he was suggesting that while he was delighted with the new android tablet he had received as a gift other than switching it on he wasn’t that sure what else to do with it… he did note that his grandaughter (who is 5) would help him…Even in 1981, Kraftwerk new that the world around us was changing profoundly and that digital networks would impact on the way that people work, live and play.

There is a stereotypical view that older people are not interested in new technology or that they are not able to ‘catch up’ but there is in fact a growing awareness among all sections of the community around the benefits and importance of digital engagement. Locally therefore we need to remain committed to digital participation and inclusion – with the needs of local people at the core.

A week ago we had our first Renfrewshire One Digital Event at Johnstone Town Hall. Presentations from David Amos, Head of Policy and Commissioning from Renfrewshire Council, Maddie Stark, One Digital Development Officer from SCVO Digital and Darran Gillan, Youth Work Manager from Paisley YMCA were warmly received by the 50 delegates in attendance.

A presentation on the value of Social Media to local organisations – ‘One Digital in Action’ – by Volunteers (Billy Pollock and Zoe Rice) from the ‘Environmental Training Team’ demonstrated how digital engagement can quickly become a key resource for local people.

John Turley, Development Manager at SITE Scotland (http://www.sitescotland.org/) gave a wide demonstration using tools and aids that described brilliantly why those managing digital support mechanisms need to work to remove barriers, create solutions and expand possibilities so people with sight loss can achieve their full digital potential.

A successful event I would suggest – check out Beth Murphy’s (@Betty_Murphy) Storify which covers the day here: https://storify.com/Betty_Murphy/one-digital-and-digiren?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=email&utm_medium=email


Maddie @StarkMadelaine from SCVO ‘Backing the Bid’ #Paisley2021 by wearing the badge!

Paisley 2021  

As always the Team at STAR have been busy backing the ‘Paisley 2021’ bid – in fact this week saw the PREMIERE! of their ‘Back The Bid Vid!‘.. If you feel inspired please share your ‘Back the Bid Vid!’ on all platforms using #Paisley2021 .

Take care – speak soon.


And at the fall of night – This city’s made of lights

Ah the wonders of digital…

Next week our fourth #DigiRen meeting will take place. What’s that you may ask… Well, it’s an event aimed at sharing digital ideas and practice with the aim of promoting digital participation in Renfrewshire. At each meeting we have some great guest speakers and this time on the agenda is @lauren_gilmour1  & @sparkybrain . Lauren & Paul have been working had across Renfrewshire during the last few months to promote all things @Digi_ren –  including the promotion and recruitment of digital volunteers – see DigiRen Volunteering . Encouraging people to get online can be difficult and we’re aware that sometimes digital exclusion can be linked to economical exclusion. Lauren & Paul are looking to help local people benefit from going online – and the more willing volunteers they can attract the better. If you’re keen to help or just want to know more tweet them.


If you’re in Paisley at any time over the next few weeks you’re bound to bump into the ‘Pride’ – fantastic multi-coloured lions that have popped up all over the centre of town if you want to know more check out Pride of Paisley . You’ll love them…


A few wee bits and pieces for note…

If you’re involved with Youth organisations the link below will be of interest – ‘Roshni’ have developed, with the Scottish Government’s support, a series of courses aimed at Youth Workers and Volunteers working throughout Scotland to develop their knowledge and skills when working with young people from Minority Ethnic Communities. Click here: http://www.engagerenfrewshire.com/content/resources/Roshni_Free_Training_for_Youth_Workers.pdf

Our good friends at @ramh_scotland are looking for your support with their bike ride – Get on your bike and ride! : http://www.engagerenfrewshire.com/content/resources/RAMH_-_Bike_or_Hike_for_mental_health.pdf

And finally – Funding – As part of the Scotland-wide celebrations of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, the Heritage Lottery fund is looking to inspire people to get involved in learning about and enjoying their heritage for the first time. A good one for all those working around the @Paisley2021 bid: http://www.engagerenfrewshire.com/content/resources/Heritage_Lottery_Fund_-_Year_of_History_Heritage_and_Archaeology_2017.pdf

Speak soon – all the best




It’s good to hear your voice, you know it’s been so long…

Renfrewshire’s digital communities leading the way on Paisley 2021

Communities are what make places great. It is people that bring streets to life, that make things happen and change how we do things.

So it is Paisley’s people that are the catalyst for the town’s regeneration. So far, we’ve held two community planning conferences on Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021. Both events were great ways for people to feed into the bid as well as finding out about the social and economic benefits for Renfrewshire that can come out of bidding.  We’ve also held smaller community led “Have Your Say” events where discussion around Paisley’s bid was also extremely positive.

There are some great ideas in Paisley about how we can transform the town for the people and attract tourism and investment. We have some great grassroots cultural and community organisations, and Paisley 2021 is a time to put a spotlight on them. Showcasing Paisley and Renfrewshire’s diversity is key – it’s about involving older and younger people, people in poverty, with disabilities, of varying religious beliefs and sexual orientation. Renfrewshire has a wealth of ethnically diverse people and that’s key to our success.

Paisley 2021 will build on the fantastic platforms for engagement already operating across Renfrewshire – including our Third Sector Network with over 360 members, Renfrewshire’s Volunteer Managers Forum and our local Social Enterprise sector. We also have examples of nationally celebrated best practice to draw on – Street Stuff for example – which engages young people in a range of sports and cultural activities including football sessions, on-line gaming and ‘Street Stuff Dance’. The fast emerging plans for wider engagement around Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 are exciting and – more importantly – they look like fun! Watch this space!

The bid is closely linked to other local strategies such as the Tackling Poverty agenda, emerging health and social care approaches, and the digital strategy for community participation. Digital engagement is definitely one of the key themes and everybody should have the opportunity to reach their digital potential. If you’re not sure how to use all the fantastic resources that are available to promote the bid get in touch – help is available! We are looking to organise training for local organisations and individuals who want to promote Paisley 2021 so we hope to hear from you. Creatively using social media is vital to develop the widest and best community engagement on Paisley 2021, ultimately delivering a digitally connected cultural community.  If you’re just starting off on your ‘tweeting’ journey here are some key ‘2021’ folk to follow – tweet us – we’ll tweet back!











Hopefully speak soon.



That’s what it’s all about…see…

I’m at the Town Hall in Paisley today for the first of the Paisley 2021 cultural weekends – February 20th & 21st – 2021 – see? – pretty clever. Fantastic morning and into the afternoon. Right now I’m participating in a workshop with local cultural champions – hearing some great stories relating to what people are achieving within the cultural sector and what opportunities the City of Culture bid may bring.

Jean Cameron, the bid Director has been making sure everyone gets to know everyone else…

Not that we need much encouragement – a lot of connecting going on. Jean has made sure that while its been a fun morning she has reminded us all that it’s a competition and we have a lot of work to do. Again no one seems to be shirking away from that – in fact at the table I’m at it’s being embraced. We’re talking now about what is world class about Paisley and Renfrewshire. Although there are great suggestions – manufacturing, fashion, buildings, – I can’t get away from the thought that it’s the people that are the fuel of the bid – a fact confirmed by the energy here today.

A lot of chat around the table regards the perceptions attached to Paisley – and we all agree  that collectively part of our repsonsibilities for driving the bid forward is to talk positively – something again that at my table at least hasn’t been a difficulty at all! 

Just about to listen to all of the feedback from the other tables – so I’ll finish – but it’s been a great start to a range of early local coversations on the bid. If you can get along to the next one it will be great to see and hear from you. Bring your dancing shoes – Jean’s keen on the dancin’!

All the best


Well I’m moving down that line. And it’s been so long, But I will be there…

Santa’s on his way! Good tidings to you and your kin. 

 Paisley is bidding for UK City of Culture 2021 – and everybody in Paisley is invited to be part of it.
The bid is taking place as part of a wider push to use heritage and cultural assets to transform Paisley’s future. 

It will aim to take the town’s unique story as the home of the Paisley Pattern and the one-time centre of a global industry and retell it to the world. A successful bid would mean a transformation for the town – a year of major national events, which would put the town in the international spotlight, attract tourism, create jobs, generate town centre footfall, and help build a new sense of pride in Paisley. The bid was launched in November with an event in Paisley Abbey which helped achieve widespread publicity, and over the next 18 months the bid team will be pulling together a bid which showcases everything Paisley has to offer. But they can’t do that alone. If Paisley is to win the title, it needs the whole community to help shape the bid and make it unique to us.

 We have a well-established Creative Network in Renfrewshire and the members of that group will be working hard to support the bid, but we hope all community organisations and local forums see the Paisley 2021 bid as something they can get involved in.

 We are looking for representatives of all local groups to join us in supporting the community engagement part of the bid – and that support can be everything from simply pledging your support or even hosting events which promote the objectives of the bid. 

 If you would like to get informed or get involved, please reply to info@engagerenfrewshire.com letting us know. We will be looking at dates in the New Year to hold a large get-together to see what’s possible and the best way forward. We expect social media and on-line engagement to be a big part of this approach so even if you’re unable to attend we’d still love to hear from you.

 You can find out more about the bid at the new website at http://www.paisley2021.co.uk

 You can also keep up to date on Facebook (/paisley2021) and Twitter (@Paisley2021) and even show your support by using #Paisley2021

 We look forward to hearing from you!

Here’s to a wonderful festive season – all the best.



If you jump into your bed, Quickly cover up your head

Click here for our lovely Christmas card! Merry Crimbo!

My, my it’s dark out there. Next week we’ll have the winter solstice and then the light will start to creep back into the day. Then it’s Christmas of course. Shopping done? Family coming to your house?  Weans going berserk? It’s my youngest’s nativity tomorrow at the school and I’m looking forward to that – always a few parents greetin’ – me included. Yes, Christmas is busy, stressful, and expensive  – but it’s also fun – right? Well it should be, and this year I’m looking to remind myself of what’s really important about the festive period… TV & chocolate.

Our good friends at RAMH @ramh_scotland have produced a Top Tips for good mental wellbeing over Christmas and into 2016. Just follow the link below:


What ever you’re up to over the festive season, have a peaceful time.

All the best


While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping…

Ah! The bogles are aboot! Halloween tomorrow and my kids are nipping aboot in their Ninja & Witches costumes. I’m digging oot my skeleton socks…

I was delighted to be invited along to particpate in the the Renfrewshire Disability Arts Forum and Disability Resource Centre exhibition “Art and Health” in the Tweedie Hall, Linwood this week. All of the artists have different health conditions but share the same passion for creative art. In May this year the Art Group took part in the Creative Competition run by the Alliance Health and Social Care Academy ( @ALLIANCEScot ) which invited people across Scotland to share their perspectives on the theme of “My Wellbeing, My Future.” Over a hundred entries were received in a variety of artistic forms – poetry, short stories, arts and crafts, photography, videos and music – and all will be now be shared with the Scottish Government to help shape a refreshed long-term vision for health and social care in Scotland.

The Art Group were delighted to win the Arts and Crafts section of the competition with their piece ‘Rainbow in Motion’ and Marianne Brennan and Justine Duncan from the Academy presented the winners with their certificates at the opening. This is a must see piece! The exhibition is on till Monday 30th November. Admission is free and all the work on display is for sale.

Thanks to Diane Webb @dianeeva the artists can be seen at the hyperlink below!


As you may already be aware, Paisley is bidding to be UK City of Culture in 2021. Work is already under way on the bid behind the scenes but the public launch will take place on Saturday 14 November alongside the town’s annual Christmas lights switch-on. The event will allow everybody to unwrap Paisley’s City of Culture bid in time for Christmas. We want you to come along show your support for the bid by using #Paisley2021 on social media. So if you’re a tweeter get tweeting!!

And of course if you’re going along today or tomorrow get tweeting those #PaisleyHalloween pics!!


Date: Friday 30 and Saturday 31 October
Venue: Paisley town centre
Entry: Free

Have a great Halloween and watch oot for the Bogles…

The Bogle
There’s a bogle by the bour-tree at the lang loan heid,
I canna thole the thocht o’ him, he fills ma he’rt wi’ dreid;
He skirls like a hoolet, an’ he rattles a’ his banes,
An’ gi’es himsel’ an unco fash to fricht wee weans
W. D. Cocker

All the best