Carol Burt is the founder of I Am Me Scotland – a charity that was born in Renfrewshire in 2013 to help raise awareness of disability hate crime.
Here, she tells you more about the work of the charity and what makes this area a great place to live, work and visit.
Tell us about yourself and what you do
I Am Me Scotland is a Renfrewshire born and based charity which works with a range of partners to raise awareness of the range of disabilities, the effects of bullying and the consequences of hate crime.
There are three full time and one part time staff who are all Renfrewshire residents. The charity is led by a fantastic community committee and a Board of Trustee’s who bring an extensive range of personal and professional experience and expertise.
We have two key initiatives; I Am Me, a wide range of training resources and accompanying films, and, Keep Safe, a partnership with Police Scotland to create a network of Keep Safe places for anyone feeling lost, scared or vulnerable when out in the community.
What makes Paisley/Renfrewshire a great place to visit/live/invest/study/work?
We love working in Renfrewshire, not only does it reduce our travel time, but we get to work in a community that we care about and are very much a part of.
What makes the area special?
Paisley is a great place to live and work. We are spoilt, not only with the beautiful architecture, namely the Mills and the fantastic Abbey – which we can see from our office window – but also the wonderful people. The community and business support we have received for the charity has helped us develop from a local charity to a nationally recognised charity with Keep Safe currently being rolled out across Scotland.
If someone was visiting here, where would you recommend they go?
There are lots of places to visit in Renfrewshire, but we would definitely be recommending downloading our free Keep Safe Scotland phone app (shameless plug) where you can map out all of our Keep Safe partners across Renfrewshire. Keep Safe places are volunteer community buildings and businesses who have been checked, approved and trained to be a safe place for anyone who may be lost, scared or vulnerable when out in the community. Keep Safe places range from café’s, Bar’s, Libraries, shops, restaurants etc and are all definitely worth a visit. We would also recommend popping in to see Buddie the Lion at Paisley Museum. That Lion is older than us…. And that’s saying something!
The best hidden gem or untold story in Paisley/Renfrewshire is…
Oooohhh there are lots, but definitely the story of the witches, the French toast and bacon from Woodlands café, the wee Spanish restaurant on Silk Street, Bernies in Bridge of Weir, the accessible cutlery at Hamishes Hoose, the Ski slopes at SOAR, the Beer Festival, the Food and Drink Festival and Redss home made cupcakes.
When we say ‘Paisley is…’, how you would finish the sentence?
Our wee Town 🙂