Teenagers who take part in a project of activities designed to steer them away from antisocial behaviour will get VIP tickets to Paisley’s Christmas Lights Switch On.
The group of young people all regularly attend the activities run as part of the hugely successful Street Stuff project.
Street Stuff sees activities including street football with coaching from St Mirren FC, the Renfrewshire Youth Bus and the youth gym bus being taken out to communities across Renfrewshire. Over the last three years the project has helped contribute to significant reductions in youth disorder in communities across Renfrewshire.
Now the partners behind the project are working with the young people on projects which give back to the community, including clean ups of local areas, clearing graffiti and rubbish and during the Winter clearing snow from residential areas.
As a thank you for their efforts contributing to the community organisers are giving the teenagers the chance to take part in other activities through their Kick and Collect scheme.
The scheme encourages the teenagers to give back to communities and in return get the chance to take part in more activities. For example, one group recently enjoyed a trip to the SnoZone donated by Xscape after taking part in a clean-up with Renfrewshire Wardens Service. St Mirren are also providing free tickets to their matches for those who take part and another 30 will receive special passes from Renfrewshire Council and Paisley Vision Board to the Paisley Christmas Lights Switch On event being headlined by Stacey Solomon this weekend.
They will join other community groups in the VIP area for a prime viewing spot for all the acts performing and for the spectacular fireworks finale over Paisley Abbey.
St Mirren Manager Danny Lennon said: “Street Stuff has been a huge success and the Club are extremely proud to be able to play such a major role in it. But it’s about more than just keeping kids off the streets. It’s about giving them a sense of pride in their community and being a positive example to other young people.
“There are young people who have been coming to take part in the street football and other activities for a couple of years now so it’s great to see them giving up their own free time to give something back to their communities. The Kick and Collect Scheme is a great way to show our appreciation for their hard work.”
The Street Stuff programme attracts more than 15,000 young people a year and has led to youth disorder dropping between 14% and 30% in each area where it operates.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Brian Lawson, who is also chair of Paisley Vision Board, said: “Over the last couple of years I’ve had the chance to see first-hand the fantastic success of the Street Stuff programme and it’s brilliant to see it evolving into a wider community project with the teenagers themselves working with the organisers on projects to give back to their communities. This is a great example of partnership working being successful.
“The Paisley Christmas Lights Switch On is Renfrewshire’s biggest events and in appreciation of their efforts we wanted these young people to really feel like a part of it.”
Street Stuff is run in partnership by Renfrewshire Council, Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, Engage Renfrewshire, Arriva, St Mirren FC and Reid Kerr College.