Generous staff at Paisley’s university are helping a Houston teenager clinch a coveted award.

They have rallied round 15-year-old Mirin Thomson’s bid for the Duke of Edinburgh Award through her support for a project run by the Mary’s Meals charity.

Mirin, a member of 1st Houston Girls’ Brigade Company, is collecting education supplies such as pens, notebooks and colouring pencils for the charity’s Backpack Project.

The backpacks are sent to Africa to help children attend school, gain an education and escape from poverty as they grow up.

Staff at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) have provided a range of items that will be a big boost to Mirin and her Girls’ Brigade colleagues in their support for the Backpack Project.

Mirin’s mum Jacqueline works at UWS and, once colleagues found out about the charity drive, they were more than happy to help.

Jacqueline, the university’s insurance and risk officer, said: “I asked colleagues if they had any items they could donate to Mirin’s backpack collection and the response I received was fantastic.

“Colleagues have been so generous and both Mirin and I are so grateful.”

Mirin, who is in S3 at Gryffe High School, added: “I would like to thank everyone at UWS for their generosity. Their support has been brilliant.”

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS, is full of praise for Mirin.

He said: “The work she is doing is great and we all wish her well.

“The way in which colleagues from across the university have come together to support Mirin’s charity drive has been tremendous and reflects the university’s ethos of supporting staff, students and members of the community.”

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is the world’s leading youth achievement prize, giving 14 to 24-year-olds the opportunity to be the very best they can be.

A spokesperson for the awards said: “Millions of young people in the UK have already taken part, pushing personal boundaries, gaining new skills and enhancing their CVs and university applications.”