BUDDING actors and actresses from Linwood have been promoting how culture can boost mental health.

Members of Linwood Youth Voice staged a show called How Amdram Changed Our Lives at Paisley Town Hall, which consisted of four films and a specially-written play.

The project received financial support from Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, which aims to boost the area’s creative capacity as part of Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021.

Seventeen-year-old Nathan McCuaig, chair of Linwood Youth Voice, told the Gazette: “Drama is a fantastic way to boost your confidence and come out of your shell as a young person.

“Performing in front of our friends and family has been nerve-wracking but it was great to show them what we have achieved in the last few years and that their support is helping us to achieve our creative goals now and also in the future.”

Youngsters in Linwood are able to attend one of two drama groups, depending on their age.

There is the CLASS Acts group, for those aged between eight and 11, and LADDS (Linwood Area of Dance, Drama and Song) for secondary school pupils.

Both are run by Renfrewshire Council’s youth services team.

Sixteen-year-old Kirsten Walker, leader at CLASS Acts, said: “The drama groups started in Linwood for young people in the area and I’ve seen first-hand how these can help young people feel confident and build a community where everyone feels welcome.”

Casia Wilson, also aged 16, was involved in the production of How Amdram Changed Our Lives and was delighted with its success.

“We made everything for the show ourselves,” said Casia. “The support from Paisley 2021, Renfrewshire Council’s youth services team and Linwood High School helped us to make it all possible.”

Jean Cameron, director of Paisley’s 2021 UK City of Culture bid, added: “We know culture has the power to make people’s lives better and it is fantastic that Linwood Youth Voice have shown what it can do for young people.”

For more information on creative youth work activities in Renfrewshire, send an email to youth@renfrewshire.gov.uk.