Trying Childhoods exhibition at Scottish Parliament

The Centre for Drug Misuse Research at the University of Glasgow is hosting a special viewing of the Trying Childhoods exhibition from 5.45pm – 7.30pm in Committee Room 3 at The Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 30 January 2008.

The Trying Childhoods exhibition, which ran at the Glasgow School of Art last summer, is the culmination of two years work by vulnerable Scottish children living in families and communities shaped by drugs and alcohol.

Under the sponsorship of Cathy Jamieson MSP, the exhibition is now to be shown to MSPs at the Scottish Parliament.

Cathy Jamieson said: "I visited the exhibition last summer and was immediately struck by the very powerful expression of the feelings of young people who grow up in households affected by drug and alcohol misuse. The artwork shows the difficult situation that these young people find themselves – many had witnessed violent incidents. However it was hope, rather than despair, that was prominent in the artwork in the exhibition.

“As Justice Minister I took forward a number of initiatives following on from the ‘Hidden Harm’ Report. There is still a lot more we need to do to support vulnerable children in Scotland. I want to see action from the Scottish government to build upon the work that has already been done."

Trying Childhoods evokes more powerfully than words the blight of drugs and alcohol in these young peoples’ lives. These young people show the costs to them of living with parents addicted to drugs or alcohol and in communities dominated by substance misuse with its often associated violence and criminality.

Professor Marina Barnard, who organised the exhibition, said: “The Trying Childhoods exhibition at the Scottish Parliament aims to underline the importance of hearing and seeing the child in policy and practice. The images these children and young people have created show their struggles to grow up well in the face of such profound disadvantage. They also remind us of our obligations as citizens and Parliamentarians to help.”

To register in advance to attend this event contact: Clare Laidlaw, Corporate Communications, University of Glasgow on or 0141 330 4978

Further Information:

Professor Marina Barnard – 07753 776383
Professor Neil McKeganey - 07764 659006
Centre for Drug Misuse Research University of Glasgow - 0141 330 3616

First published: 28 January 2008

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