NICOLA STURGEON paid a visit to Oor Clacks Voices on Monday evening as part of her 1,000 Voices campaign.

The first minister had dinner with the young people in Alloa and discussed a range of issues – both local and national – relating to the current care system.

Oor Clacks Voices is a participation group for care-experienced young people in Clackmannanshire.

Morag Cantwell, advocacy and participation worker, Who Cares? Scotland, said the visit will have a positive impact on the Wee County youths using the service.

She said: "To have the first minister, their chief corporate parent, listen to their stories is extremely important to our young people.

"Effective, lasting change can only take place when care experienced people are involved.

"This commitment by our first minister is incredible, and by working together we can shape the care system to appropriately meet the needs of our children and young people.”

After engaging with the youngsters, Ms Sturgeon underlined her personal commitment to the cause.

She said: “I want to thank the staff and young people from Oor Clacks Voices for their warm welcome and hospitality.

“By listening to our young people and hearing their first-hand experiences, we can bring forward improvements which will make a positive difference to the care system.

"This evening’s discussion only makes me more determined to ensure children and young people in care get the same support, stability and life chances the rest of us take for granted.”

In September last year, the group was welcomed to the Scottish Parliament by Keith Brown, MSP for Clacks, Ellen Forson, the leader of Clackmannanshire Council, with Ms Sturgeon also meeting with them on the day.