A GROUP of talented young people from Inverclyde are to perform a theatre piece about anti-sectarianism at the Scottish Parliament next Tuesday.

The event, to be hosted by MSP Hanzala Malik, is part of an innovative partnership between Scottish Youth Theatre (SYT) and Inverclyde Community Development Trust.

The anti-sectarian campaign in Scotland was given a huge boost last week when Cara Henderson, founder of Nil By Mouth 15 years ago, was named as the Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year 2014.

Gie's Peace, run by the trust, is an anti-sectarian initiative funded by the Scottish Government's Community Safety Unit.

The project takes a community-led approach to working with individuals and groups throughout Inverclyde, exploring the issue of sectarianism using creative approaches.

SYT is currently working with Gie's Peace to explore sectarianism through drama, music and performance.

The workshops aim to raise awareness, spark discussion and debate.

The young people involved have been working towards a final performance containing the issues they have been exploring through the workshops.

One of the participants is 11-year-old Charlotte Smith, from Greenock.

She said: "SYT and Gie's Peace came to my school to deliver a workshop, and I thought it was really good, so I joined the group.

"It's really fun so I kept going and the next thing I know we're going to the Scottish Parliament!"

She added: "I've learned a lot about sectarianism and I think that's really important. I've also become more confident in performing."

The performance, which will also take in Greenock's Beacon Arts Centre on Saturday, February 28, will be presented as a double bill alongside "Cocktail: fear, pain, power" by multi-artform company conFab.

Karen McGrady-Parker, SYT's Associate Director, said: "As Scotland's national youth theatre, SYT always strives to develop partnerships across communities, highlighting the importance of theatre and drama in developing social awareness and responsibility."

Laura Mathieson, Development Worker at Gie's Peace, said: "Working with SYT has been a fantastic experience for all involved and has been so much fun.

"Our Scottish Government grant funding has allowed us the pleasure of welcoming SYT to deliver weekly workshops here in Inverclyde since September 2013 and we hope that what we create together will help to promote respect, celebrate diversity and encourage others to think about sectarianism and discrimination".

* On the web: http://www.the-trust.org.uk/index.php/volunteering/gies-peace; www.scottishyouththeatre.org (0141-552 3988).