An award-winning youth programme is seeing record numbers of young people through its doors thanks to a Renfrewshire Council investment to combine free hot meals with fun activities.

The new approach to give healthy food as part of the innovative Street Stuff programme has dished up 1,500 hot meals to local kids since being launched eight weeks ago – with hundreds more free meals set to be served up during the Christmas school holidays.

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More than 500 healthy lunches were enjoyed by young people in Paisley’s Gallowhill and Glenburn areas during the October week. This was so successful, meals have been since offered at several evening drop-in sessions with the finishing touches being put to the festive Street Stuff menus.

Renfrewshire Council’s Depute Leader, Councillor Mike Holmes, said: “A £250,000 investment from our £6m tackling poverty fund means we’ve been able to boost the successful Street Stuff youth diversion programme, which is great news for young people.

“Our new approach to offer free, hot lunches during the October holiday sessions was so successful, we’ve since been offering hot meals in the evenings too – twice a week in Gallowhill and twice in Shortroods. The feedback we’re getting from the kids is fantastic.

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“And we’re gearing up to expand this over the Christmas holidays with lunches planned again for Gallowhill and Glenburn with evening activities including a hot meal at The Paisley 2021 Stadium – all completely free of charge. This will be the first time we’ve taken this approach over the festive holidays.

“We estimate our new and enhanced Street Stuff service will have offered local young people around 2,100 free, healthy meals between October and the end of 2015.”

The boost from the tackling poverty fund has also delivered two brand new Street Stuff youth buses.

Activities set to be delivered during the festive period will include football, dance, table tennis, FIFA tournament, and the youth bus, with lots of prizes to be won including St Mirren match day tickets, signed shirt, and match day footballs.

For the full Street Stuff timetable visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/streetstuff

Street Stuff is an award-winning youth diversion programme, delivered in partnership between Renfrewshire Council, St Mirren Football Club, Police Scotland, Engage Renfrewshire and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue.