A LINNVALE gran who looks after a vulnerable teenager has described cuts to social care and invaluable services as “heart-breaking”.

Angela Rae became her grandson’s kinship carer after he lost his dad in 2015.

The then 13-year-old arrived at his gran’s home with various issues, meaning Angela has sought help from social work and mentoring services.

The 60-year-old came across Alexandria-based project All 4 YOUth, a branch of third sector organisation Alternatives, which aims to support the emotional wellbeing of young people between 12 and 18.

She praised the impact one particular staff member had in her 15-year-old grandson’s life, when she said: “He’s not got a lot of trust in people because he’s been let down, but Karen has made a big difference in him.”

However, she says the particular staff member had moved to another position within Alternatives after claims that the service had been told funding was to be cut.

“We lost her,” Angela added. “And I saw my wee grandson backslide. He was falling into the same circles again.”

However, Angela claims the staff member is now back working with her grandson temporarily, after the carer highlighted the difference she was making.

Angela led a group of protesters outside Clydebank Town Hall before a meeting of West Dunbartonshire’s Health and Social Care Partnership last Wednesday, where social care cuts were approved.

One of the savings was to reduce externally based community support for children from third sector organisation Includem.

Another was to cut the contract with the addiction service offered by Alternatives by 50 per cent, or £41,730.

Angela said: “I’m doing my damned best to give my grandson some support. If families had the support, they might not have ended up in care. It’s heart-breaking.

“By losing supported services from the various groups, there is more pressure placed on our police force for involvement with drugs, alcohol, youth disorder and so on.

“Councillors should be fully aware of the deprivation in the area. The police are having to pick up the pieces.

“There’s so many kids out there needing help and families needing support. To cut the funding rather than invest is shocking.

“We don’t want any cuts at all in West Dunbartonshire. The children are our future and their future.”