Teen preg­nancy cam­paign short­listed for award

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A coun­cil project to re­duce teenage preg­nancy rates in Bar­rhead’s Auchen­back has been short­listed for a UK-wide award.

The LGC Awards, run by Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Chron­i­cle, recog­nise the best of lo­cal gov­ern­ment in­no­va­tion and ser­vice de­liv­ery.

Nearly 100 or­gan­i­sa­tions have been short­listed as fi­nal­ists in the awards, with East Ren­frew­shire’s project nom­i­nated in the Pub­lic Health cat­e­gory.

Coun­cil­lor Colm Mer­rick, con­vener for Com­mu­nity Ser­vices and Com­mu­nity Safety at East Ren­frew­shire Coun­cil, said:“I’m de­lighted to see the project to re­duce teenage preg­nancy rates in Auchen­back short­listed at a UK level.

“The project has made a mas­sive im­pact. Not only has it al­tered the life and health out­comes of many young peo­ple in Bar­rhead for the bet­ter, but it’s also led to East Ren­frew­shire hav­ing the low­est num­ber of teenage preg­nan­cies of a Scot­tish main­land coun­cil.

“A mas­sive well done to East Ren­frew­shire Coun­cil’s Young Per­sons Ser­vices and in­deed all in­volved in this very suc­cess­ful project. I wish them ev­ery suc­cess with the LGC awards.”

The project to re­duce teenage preg­nancy rates saw a part­ner­ship with lo­cal young par­ents and high schools, us­ing sci­ence, data and youth work to make a huge dif­fer­ence.

Auchen­back had con­sis­tently above av­er­age teenage preg­nancy rates for a decade and ac­counted for 21 per cent of East Ren­frew­shire’s teenage preg­nan­cies.

This project re­duced the teenage preg­nancy rate in Auchen­back by 60 per cent.

The per­cent­age of first-time mums ages 19 or un­der in Bar­rhead is now nine per cent, hav­ing fallen from 22 per cent – a fall far faster than the na­tional rate.

LGC ed­i­tor Nick Gold­ing said:“To be short­listed for an LGC Award shows a coun­cil ser­vice is among the coun­try’s most in­no­va­tive, and do­ing the most to sup­port the needs of lo­cal res­i­dents as coun­cils face con­tin­u­ing bud­get cuts. We should salute the coun­cil of­fi­cers and coun­cil­lors do­ing the most to en­sure our vi­tal pub­lic ser­vices thrive in the era of aus­ter­ity.”

Win­ners will be an­nounced in March.

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