Statistics released last week by The Trussell Trust show that 8,681 families in Renfrewshire had to rely on foodbanks and emergency aid between April 2017 and March this year.

These statistics show in black and white that people across Renfrewshire are suffering due to the Tories and their austerity agenda.

It is an absolute disgrace that over 8,000 local families are having to rely on emergency food parcels.

Millions of families across the UK are suffering through rising prices, stagnant wages and cuts to social security. The Tories are pushing more and more people into poverty and debt.

My office regularly provides foodbank vouchers to constituents who are destitute because the system has failed them.

We also accept donations of food and toiletries in the office and then drop them off at the local foodbank.

I do not believe that foodbanks should exist but, while we have a Tory UK Government actively putting more and more people into poverty, they will continue to be a necessity.

The Tories are letting the very people down that they are supposed to protect. Families cannot afford another year of cruel Tory cuts. It is vital that the UK Government listens to the SNP and takes meaningful action to boost people’s incomes.

This must include delivering a real living wage, ending the public sector pay cap and reversing the benefits freeze to help ensure families have enough money not just to barely survive but to live a respectful life.

Everyone deserves that.

On a brighter note, I was pleased to see that the Scottish Government has commissioned a study to improve mental health services for young people through a youth commission supported by organisations such as Young Scot and the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

This is a fantastic initiative as, by letting young people guide the research, it will help to reshape how we deliver support for those who have issues with their mental health.

Giving young people a voice in this way will only make the research gathered more applicable in the real world.

Improving mental health services, removing the stigma that surrounds mental health and raising awareness of the treatment available are all vital if we want people to get the correct help that they need.

This is the Year of Young People in Scotland. However, empowering commissions such as this and finding innovative ways to improve services, while letting young people have an input in issues that impact them, will make every year the year of young people.

Another positive development recently was the success of the Big Spring Clean in Renfrewshire.

More than 1,000 volunteers took part in 31 clean-ups across the local area as part of the SNP-led Renfrewshire Council’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

Well done to all the volunteers, schools, businesses, council staff and councillors for getting involved with the campaign.

You can already start to see the difference on our streets.