A GROUND-BREAKING development in the fight against bullying has been launched in Renfrewshire.

The ‘Keep Safe Kids’ app, which lets young people report incidents of bullying directly to their schools, anonymously if necessary, is the latest project by award-winning Paisley charity I Am Me.

It is the first of its kind in Scotland and has been supported by the LENS project and Celebrating Renfrewshire – a funding initiative that gives children and young people a voice in deciding how cash is distributed.

I Am Me worked with pupils from six schools across Renfrewshire to design, develop and pilot the app.

It has been designed to be easily replicated, so other councils across the UK and beyond can adopt the Renfrewshire model.

Carol Burt-Wilson, founder of I Am Me, said: “The Keep Safe Kids app provides an opportunity for easy access to a range of organisations who can provide support, advice and guidance.

“It also gives children and young people the control to report bulling at a time when they feel ready to do this.”

Chief Superintendent David Duncan, Police Scotland Divisional Commander for Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, has welcomed the initiative.

He said: “This app empowers children and young people to stand up for their rights and, where necessary, to get help from expert organisations based on their specific needs.”

Fiona White, health and wellbeing development officer for Renfrewshire Council, said: “I Am Me is to be congratulated for its work in developing such a fantastic resource to help schoolchildren and young people in the fight against bullying.

“The vitally important element of the app is that it is very much pupil-led.”

Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP Gavin Newlands added: “I’ve been a long-term supporter of I Am Me and so I’m especially delighted at their latest initiative and the support they’ve received from local agencies, in particular Renfrewshire Council.

“The more routes of support and help that are out there for children and young people, the better, and the new Keep Kids Safe app is a tremendous resource – made all the more relevant by the fact it was designed by children and young people themselves.

“It was great to come to the launch and meet some of the young people who were involved in its development and who I know will be spreading the word amongst their peers and giving it the best and biggest launch possible.”