Does your granny always tell you that the old songs are the best?

What a year it’s been. An amazingly exciting, busy, tiring (!) year – but great! Really looking forward to the break over the festive period – expect you are too!

Last week our Social Enterprise event – #renfse14 – was a fitting climax to our 2014 sector ‘get-togethers’. The speakers were fantastic – especially the local organisations who participated. Presentations from the event can be found here:

And photographs are available here:

Throughout the year hopefully we’ve kept you up to speed with local activities via our monthly bulletins. Our latest one can be found here and includes a ‘Desert Island Disc’ feature – worth a look!

No doubt by now you’re up to your eyes in Christmas cards. Our in-house marketing assistant, Adam Phillips, designed an exclusive ‘on-line’ (how Hi-tech are we?!) Christmas message to share with you – just press ‘Play’!:


Don’t forget that you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter over the holiday period.

Some of you may already be tired of winter – well here’s some good news! – this Sunday (December 21st) is the Winter Solstice. This is the moment when we have our shortest day and longest night of the year. The solstice marks the official start of the winter season but after that the days will begin to grow longer – so you could say after Sunday that we’ll be heading towards the Spring!

In ancient lore the solstice is seen as a time of a new beginning – when Nature’s powers are renewed. The Feast of ‘Juul’ was a festival observed in Scandinavia when fires were lit to symbolize the heat, light and life-giving properties of the returning Sun. In homes at this time a Yule or “Juul” log was brought in and burned on the hearth. In Scotland we have our own version of this – bringing a lump of coal into a home when you’re ‘first footing’ is a symbol of fire and good health for the home – keeping coal in your fire and smoke going up the chimney is aimed at ensuring that you would be happy all year – ‘Lang May Yir Lum Reek’ as they say.

All the best to you and yours – roll on 2015!



Engage brain, take deep breath, and speak when you’re sure that you’re not going to regret it…

So – boom! – first few days of December and the radio and tv stations are filled with crimbo tunes… I made the stupid mistake of saying to my better half that I couldn’t think of one good Christmas song… ‘Fairytale of New York?’ she said’ or ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ by Slade? Aye well… ‘Or what about ‘Stop the Cavalry’ by Jonah Lewie? or ‘Blue Christmas’ by Elvis?’ or what about Darlene Love doing ‘White Christmas?’… Aye well…

Christmas is almost, sort of, upon us and it’s just over a week to go until ‘Social Enterprise in Renfrewshire’, a one-day conference focusing on developing local social enterprise, mutual and cooperative organisations.

We’ve got some first-class speakers lined up from social enterprises and support organisations in the local area and from national experts in the field of social enterprise. To whet your appetite, have a look at their social media profiles:

• Iain Cunningham, Engage Renfrewshire – @IainMACunningha
• Kim Wallace, SENSCOT – @Kim1507
• Foster Evans, Renfrew Community Development Trust – Renfrew Development Trust
• Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union – @RWCREDITUNION; Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union
• Councillor Mark Macmillan – @markmacmillan12
• David Fogg, Ready for Business – @RdyForBusiness
• Melanie van de Velde, University of Glasgow – @melvandevelde
• Jaqui Reid, Alliance Scotland – @reid_jaqui

The event is free but numbers are limited, so If you haven’t booked your place yet, don’t miss out.

To reserve your place call Engage Renfrewshire on 0141 887 7707. If you turn up the hashtag is #renfse14

And if I had to choose a Christmas tune it would probably be…

All the best