Big plans for AYF in 2017!

Arran Youth Foundations continues to grow, with the addition of three new weekly activities and plans in place for more sessions to launch in 2017.

AYF has for some time opened the youth cabins during Monday-Wednesday lunchtime breaks for a popular drop-in group. At a recent meeting, members of youth forum raised the point that Thursday and Friday lunchtime drop-in sessions would prove popular. Youth Work Project Manager Graeme Johnston explained the only reason AYF didn't currently provide this was lack of funding to do so - he explained the costs involved and gave them a fundraising target which if met would allow the sessions to be provided.

Over the course of two fundraising events in September and October, the young folk more than met their target. As a result, Thursday and Friday lunchtime drop-ins will commence from Thursday 12th January 2017.

Also new is the group's LGBT+ club, open Thursday from 4.45-6.45pm in the cabins behind the high school. Members of the club meet every week to provide support to each other, discuss issues, have fun, watch films and to take positive action which helps further LGBT+ rights and equality in their community and beyond. The group is open to young people of any sexuality and gender.

Other plans afoot include more guitar tuition sessions on a Monday, in addition to those currently provided on Thursdays, and the launch of an after-school girls football club. This has been inititated and organised by one of the female S5 pupils at Arran High School who needed a responsible adult or organisation to ultimately be responsible for this. AYF will happily help facilitate this young person starting her own club in early 2017.

All of these exciting developments come amidst a very busy time for AYF. The latter half of 2016 has seen the group achieve the following:

* a group of young people climbed Goatfell
* the launch of our after-school lacrosse club in August 2016
* visits to cooking club from local chefs Duncan from the PHT, Andy from the Lighthouse, Kenny from the Douglas and Colin from the Auchrannie.
* Youth Work Project Manager Graeme Johnston nominated one of our young members, Ross Dobson, for North Ayrshire Council's Alex Pettigrew award (given to a young person who does a lot of work in their community), with Ross proving to be a worthy winner
* awarded £1,500 funding through Young Persons' Participatory Budgeting, where pupils of AHS were asked to vote for projects to receive money, with AYF topping the vote
* a trip to Kilmarnock for the Scotland v Georgia international rugby match.

Posted 08/12/2016