A SPECIAL report on East Renfrewshire’s refugees that featured in the Barrhead News has caught the eye of judges ahead of a media awards ceremony.

The article, published last August, told how a number of families were looking to the future with a sense of hope after fleeing war-ravaged Syria to start a new life in Barrhead.

Written by news reporter Niall Christie, the feature revealed that, since late 2015, nine Syrian families had been housed in the Barrhead area.

Almost all of the new arrivals were carrying out voluntary work at least once a week and a number of them had signed up for college courses to learn new skills so they could find work to help them pay their way.

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Now the article has earned Niall a place on the shortlist in the print news category at the Refugee Festival Scotland Media Awards, which honour the work of journalists covering refugee and asylum issues in a responsible way that contributes to greater understanding of issues around forced migration.

The awards are co-ordinated by the Scottish Refugee Council in partnership with the National Union of Journalists and British Red Cross, with winners to be announced later this month.

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