TALENTED pupils from a Paisley school are set to put their peers in the picture after winning a national anti-knife crime competition.
The team from St Andrew’s Academy landed top prize in the coveted We-CTV Awards at a packed Oran Mor, in the West End of Glasgow.
They had produced a film aimed at showing the dangers of carrying a knife.
Louise McCourt, Nicole Lynch, Spiwe Mazomba, Lucy McGee and Ryan McFarlane were presented with their awards by Still Game star Sanjeev Kohli (Naveed) and Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill MSP.
St Andrew’s teacher, and the pupils’ mentor, Matthew Crammond, told the Paisley Daily Express: “I’m so proud of Louise, Nicole, Spiwe, Lucy and Ryan, because they have worked so hard and deserve this success.
“When we won the Renfrewshire heat, our five pupils were asked to go away and make a video. What they returned with was just breathtaking.
“They spent a lot of time together and that showed in the finished product. They earned their place at the awards ceremony.
“It was a fantastic evening and the St Andrew’s ‘delegation’ had a great night. Winning was special and only good can come of this success.”
And Matthew revealed how the winning film will now be shown to all year groups at special school assemblies.
He said: “We’re hoping to get the message across to everyone at the school that carrying a knife is wrong.
“We also have a former offender coming into the school to give a talk on knife crime.”
The St Andrew’s film, ‘One Knife Can Change More Than One Life’, was declared the best after an extensive process.
Ten teams made the final – which is part of the Scottish Government’s No Knives Better Lives campaign – and their films were put to a public vote.
Over 25,000 votes were cast to determine the three finalists and they were then judged by a panel of experts from the BBC, Young Scot and Scottish Youth Parliament.
And, after being crowned winners, the fab five will now spend a day working on a creative project with the award-winning LEITH Agency.
They will also receive new laptops and a digital video camera to allow them to continue their fledgling film-making careers.
The runners-up, from Ardrossan Academy in North Ayrshire, won laptops, while the third-placed team from Calderside Academy in South Lanarkshire won a digital video camera.
Grant Costello, chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: “My congratulations to St Andrew’s Academy – they produced a powerful film which speaks so well about the horrors of knife crime.
“They are a superb example of how effective young people can be when delivering a crucial message to their peers.
“We-CTV gives talented young people the tools to explain the consequences of knife crime to their friends and colleagues.
“Rather than being lectured by teachers or preached at by politicians, young people are being given the chance to find their voice and make a difference.
“That’s exactly what SYP is about, giving young people the skills and platform to explain their vision for a better Scotland.”