A SOUTH Ayrshire parenting group for families with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder was last week announced as one of the 2019 winners of the Social Innovation Competition.

Delivered by social enterprise agency Firstport and with a different theme each year, the Social Innovation Competition uncovers exciting, innovative and enterprising new ideas that tackle Scotland’s most pressing issues.

The competition offers three £5,000 awards - including the Young Social Innovator category open to applicants aged 16 to 30 - combined with tailored support to develop these ideas.

The 2019 theme ‘Individuals affected by disability’ attracted a wide range of ideas offering solutions that support individuals directly affected by disability, as well as those indirectly affected, such as carers and family members. Ayr-based Paula McPhail of Oshay FASD was presented with their awards by Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, at the annual Social Enterprise Scotland Awards held in the Scottish Parliament on November 12.

Oshay FASD runs parenting groups for families affected by Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, a group of conditions including physical, behavioural and learning problems that affect children if their mothers drink alcohol in pregnancy.

Currently the only parenting group of its kind, it supports families to provide effective parenting, as well as children affected by the condition.

Paula McPhail, winner of the Young Social Innovator category, said: “To win the award is an honour and boost of confidence. As a 19-year-old with FASD, I struggled with school, I couldn’t make friends and teachers didn’t understand me. I know how other kids feel, that’s why I am confident that our parenting groups will be a much needed and welcomed service to families and children affected by FASD.”