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SPL Awards Show Scheme Has Right Stuff

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Renfrewshire’s award-winning Street Stuff scheme has been honoured at Scotland’s most prestigious footballing awards ceremony – for the second year in a row.

The Street Stuff team picked up the trophy for Best Community Initiative for their Kick and Collect programme at the Clydesdale Bank Premier League Awards 2012.

Street Stuff is a youth diversionary scheme run by partners including St Mirren and Renfrewshire Council which has helped reduce youth crime by offering activities such as street football.

This week’s success means the programme has now won 11 different awards since it kicked off in 2009 – meaning it now has its own football team worth of honours.

Kick and Collect is a programme run by Street Stuff which sees youngsters given tickets for days out as a reward for taking part in voluntary work in the community.

Over the past year, young people have taken part in work around Renfrewshire such as litter-pick-ups, as part of the council’s Clean Renfrewshire campaign, plus painting and graffiti cleaning.

In return, they have earned prizes including St Mirren tickets and fun days out at places such as paintball and Xscape at Braehead.

Street Stuff was named the Best Community Initiative award at last year’s SPL awards for its work in reducing youth-related anti-social behaviour in the area.

The glittering black-tie ceremony at Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel on Tuesday saw Street Stuff representatives rub shoulders with the stars of Scottish football.

And the evening marked a double celebration for St Mirren, who also lifted the Clydesdale Bank Family Champions Award for the quality of matchday experience offered to families at St Mirren Park.

St Mirren general manager Brian Caldwell said: “Winning this award is well-deserved recognition for our community coaches and partners as a lot of time and hard work goes into this.

“With Kick and Collect, we are helping youngsters to have more pride in themselves and their community, which is a win-win situation for everybody.”

Alan McNiven, chief executive of Engage Renfrewshire, and chair of the Street Stuff Management Group, said: “It is fantastic the Kick and Collect programme has received this prestigious national award.

“Renfrewshire is leading the way in this type of youth engagement, and many other local authority areas have approached the team to find out why we have been so successful.

“The joint working of the partners and the high-quality delivery of the Street Stuff coaching staff have been key to that success.”

Street Stuff is a partnership between St Mirren, Renfrewshire Council, Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, Engage Renfrewshire, McGill’s, and Reid Kerr College.

The programme attracts more than 20,000 young people a year and has led to youth disorder dropping between 18% and 40% in each area where it operates. The Street Stuff timetable for the next two months can be viewed at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk