The much-valued Renfrewshire-wide Winter Connections programme has returned with a brand-new programme to help connect people in their communities this winter, building on the success of the first programme held last year.

Developed by local community groups and organisations with Renfrewshire Council, and including OneRen libraries, the programme provides free fun activities and events open to everyone where people can get a warm welcome, come together, make friends and build community connection. Every Winter Connections venue will offer people refreshments.

So far, 22 applications for grant funding have been successful from the Winter Connections Fund, the fund that supports the Winter Connections programme.

The programme currently includes movie afternoons, cooking sessions, arts and crafts, family gaming, circus activities, exercise and fitness classes, music, dancing and singing, community choir, cheerleading and other fun activities for young people, activities in OneRen libraries, and much more to be added to the programme shortly.

Groups and organisations who can offer a community venue, run an activity, or want to open up their existing activities to more people can still apply to the council’s £85,000 Winter Connections Fund. Part of the funding for this year’s programme comes from the Recovery Change Fund and the council is looking for groups supporting people in recovery or those living with mental ill-health running activities over the festive period to also apply for Winter Connections funding.

Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, depute leader of Renfrewshire Council and chair of the Fairer Renfrewshire sub-committee, said: “Winter Connections is all about community and bringing people together to connect during the winter months. We got such positive feedback from last year’s programme from everyone involved and that’s a testament to the many amazing community groups and voluntary organisations who took part.

“We have a variety of fun, welcoming activities open to everyone listed on the council website, and this list will continue to expand as more local groups and organisations get involved.

“The total grant funding available to groups and organisations has been increased to £85,000, so if you are part of a group who can support an activity in your local area, I would encourage you to look at applying.”

Full list of events so far:


By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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