TWINS from Knightswood who spent part of their childhood in care have launched a new resource aimed at making life a little easier for young people.

Emma and Alan Johnson, who are 18, created a Glasgow version of Shannon’s Box, which was created by a young careleaver from Ayrshire.

The box will now be given to every child and young person entering care in the city.

Alan, who is studying mechanics at college, said: “These boxes are our own creative design, made with love and care to make them feel that bit more personalised.

“We hope these boxes help children and young people entering care feel safe and welcome and let them know that they are not alone.”

Shannon's Box was originally created by Shannon Brown.

In a letter contained in the box, Shannon explains: “I always remember the day I got taken into care. I was scared, angry, confused, all sorts of thoughts going through my head, thinking will the other children like me? Will the staff like me? Why am I here?

“I am involved in a group called Connecting Voices. It's a group for young care leavers.

"We are trying to get our voices out there to make the care system better. I came up with the idea of doing a nice hamper/gift basket for young people going into care to try and make your experience a little easier as I have been in your shoes and I know how it feels.”

Clydebank Post: The box is full of things aimed at helping children who are entering careThe box is full of things aimed at helping children who are entering care (Image: Glasgow City Council)

When Emma and Alan heard about the box, they loved it. Working with designers and illustrators from Brawtalent and KMG, they came up with their own ideas of how to introduce it to Glasgow. It was launched this week by Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership.

Emma said: “We wanted to make our own Glasgow version, that reflected lots about the city and our culture. We added in things like The Gruffalo in Scots, and a blanket - I love cosy blankets so I wanted everyone to have one.”

There are two versions, one for younger children and one for an older age group.

Other items include a teddy, a scrapbook for keeping memories, a night light, colouring-in books and pens, and a facecloth.

“We agreed with Shannon that it’s always nice to have something soft to wash your face with,” explained Emma. “Both colouring books, for young and older children are focused on wellbeing, with positive and inspirational quotes.

“Colouring is known to help the brain enter a meditative state, reducing stress and anxiety. So along with the inspirational quotes, it’s an all-round positive vibe book.”

She added: “These boxes will hopefully provide some comfort and emotional support for children and young people entering care, which can be quite a difficult time.

“This was a really lengthy process, but we’re glad we got there in the end and these boxes can start to help young people across the city.”

Councillor Chris Cunningham, city convener for health, care and caring, said: “The most important factor is that the box has been influenced by young people with lived experience and this is invaluable.

“This will be such a rich and powerful resource for children and young people during a very sensitive and anxious time.

“I am so thankful to everyone who is involved.”

Darren Osbourne, from Brawtalent, said: “It’s been a really enjoyable process working with these inspiring young people and it’s great to see such a brilliant idea brought to life.”