BAFTA-winning film-star Paul Brannigan has announced his support for Scotland’s children’s charity Aberlour.
The 28-year-old, who won the Best Actor award for his role in The Angels’ Share, has come out in support of the charity’s Getting It Right campaign, which launched this month.
Paul, who has supported the organisation for several years, has become a patron after giving up his time to volunteer at Aberlour Youthpoint – Glasgow, which reaches out to young people living in areas of high deprivation, where they are at risk of getting involved in drug and alcohol use, criminal activity and gang culture
Paul said: “I am pleased to announce my support for Aberlour’s ‘Getting It Right’ campaign, as I truly believe this charity is getting it right for the children and young people of Scotland.
“I’ve seen this with my own eyes, having volunteered a number of times with Youthpoint, a service that looks out for young people who hang around on the streets and are at risk of coming to harm.
“The work of this project really speaks to me, as I grew up in a community that was torn apart by gang culture, drugs and violence. I’ve experienced first-hand the devastating effect that kind of environment can have on children growing up.
“No child is born to become a criminal or do bad things, but many are conditioned by factors out-with their control, and they deserve our help and support in order to grow up safely and achieve their ambitions.”
Paul shared the details of his own life story with young people from Youthpoint this week, at a dedicated workshop that explored the complex reasons behind violence and gang culture.
He described his life growing up in Barrowfield, in Glasgow’s east end, an area that was renowned for two gangs known as the ‘Torch’ and the ‘Spur.’ Against a backdrop of violent clashes in the community, he also had a difficult time at home, where his parents were both heroin users.
Paul talked about his feelings of isolation, stress and anxiety as a child, and how this led to him taking to the streets himself when he should have been in school, and getting deeper into criminal activity.
After a number of offences, Paul spent time in a Young Offenders Institution, where he threw himself into learning to read and write. When he was released, he became a volunteer football coach and youth worker, where he was discovered by director Ken Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty, who later cast him in The Angels’ Share.
Paul decided to support Aberlour after learning about the work the charity carries out across Scotland, not just with young people, but with children of all ages and their parents and families.
Aberlour helps families through challenges like living with a disability, growing up in and leaving care, and the impact of drugs and alcohol on families.
It is committed to ‘early intervention’, which means tackling problems as soon as they emerge to give children and young people the best chance in life, as well as ‘early years’ services, which focus on families with very young children.
The charity is now seeking donations towards its ‘Getting It Right’ campaign, to help its continued work across the country.
£100 allows a traumatised child to take part in specialist art therapy sessions
- £75 helps train volunteer befrienders supporting vulnerable women through pregnancy and birth
- £50 provides after-school activities for children impacted by a parent’s drug use
- £20 buys cinema tickets for a child and carer attending an autism-friendly film screening
- £15 pays for ingredients for a cookery lesson for a young person who lacks a positive role model at home
Aberlour Chief Executive SallyAnn Kelly said: “We are delighted to have Paul on board as a supporter of our work, and we are very grateful to him for the hours he has spent volunteering with our Youthpoint service.
“Paul’s own life story has a great resonance with the work we carry out across Scotland. He also shares in our vision, which is to transform the lives of the children and families we work with and, through this, contribute to building a fairer and more equal society.
“Giving children the best start in life is at the heart of everything we do – we are committed to getting it right for Scotland’s children.”
To donate to Aberlour’s ‘Getting it right’ campaign, visit www.aberlour.org.uk/gettingitright.
Notes to Editor
- At Aberlour, we are there for children, young people and families across Scotland, helping transform lives for the better. Our vision is to transform the lives of the children and families we work with and, through this, contribute to building a fairer and more equal society.
- We support families through challenges like
- Living with a disability
- Growing up in and leaving care
- The impact of drugs and alcohoL
3 We offer support at the earliest opportunity, working with families with very young children (aged 0-3), to give them the best possible start in life.
4 We are committed to early intervention, tackling issues as soon as they emerge to improve long-term outcomes for children, young people and families.
5 We are committed to getting it right for our children by tailoring our services to help each child, young person and family achieve their own personal goal.
About Paul Brannigan
Paul was announced as one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow in 2011 and went on to win the Best Actor Scottish BAFTA for his performance in The Angels’ Share as well as being nominated for Best Newcomer at both the British Independent Film Awards and the Evening Standard Film Awards. He’s gone on to appear as Ronnie in Dexter Fletcher’s film Sunshine on Leith, as well as opposite Scarlett Johansson in Johnathan Glazer’s feature film Under The Skin and the long-standing Scottish drama River City. Paul also helped create and film the documentary Born to Lose? in conjunction with STV Charity Appeal, exploring the links made between addiction and genetics. The programme was watched by over 3.5 million Scottish viewers and helped contribute to raising over £2million for the charity. Paul was selected as a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit 2013 for their new initiative that mentors the best and brightest newcomers to the industry. Last year, Paul was seen in a leading role in the critically acclaimed Irish drama Love/Hate and recently appeared in the independent feature Scottish Mussel. Paul Brannigan on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4834796/.