A huge thank you to Angus!

Today, we take a moment to give a massive THANK YOU to Angus Adamson, the driving force behind the charity from its inception.

In the 14 years since its formation, there is no doubt that Arran Youth Foundations has changed (and in some cases saved) the lives of many young people on Arran for the better, with plans to continue to do so for many more years to come.

At our meeting on Friday (4th February 2022), Angus announced that he plans to step down as a trustee of AYF and from the committee, on which he has very successfully served as Chairperson for many years.

In 2008, then-minister and retained firefighter Angus - along with Helen Kerr (still a trustee and active member of the committee), David Christison, and Lexie Andrade - incorporated Arran Youth Foundations at Companies House and registered it as a charity. This was born out of a few things, most importantly the amount of teenagers on the island reporting feeling bored, getting in to 'mischief' and turning to alcohol (particularly on a Friday), and the success of a Friday night after-school club in Brodick church hall - football, PlayStation, etc.

It was obvious to concerned members of the community that young folk were looking for something to do, and for an organisation who listened to them and who cared about them.

A charity was started thanks in large part to Angus' drive and determination; premises secured (an 8ftx20ft portacabin next to the tennis courts); and volunteers were recruited, mostly from the churches on Arran, in order to host a Friday night youth club, with some success. However, it soon became obvious that employing a dedicated youth worker on a full-time basis was necessary in order to build relationships with the young people and for the charity to fulfill the role that the founders hoped it would. Funding was secured through donations from the church congregation and grants from the Church of Scotland.

This is where Graeme came in, joining in his role as full-time Youth Work Project Manager after a successful interview with Angus, Helen, Lexie and two of the young people.

We soon moved from the portacabin to St Bride's church hall, where volunteers helped us to grow from that one weekly night, in to what AYF is now - something that provides activities every weekday and often on weekends and school holidays. Angus volunteered his time when he could, and young adults who still enjoy close links with Arran Youth Foundations talk very fondly of this time, with Angus a part of many of their fond memories - fundraising days at Strabane House, movie nights in the church, filming zombie horror films wearing his minister's robes, or seeing Angus join in with hectic games of football and rugby.

We are proud of how the charity has grown in this time - what it has grown from, and in to - but we are very clear that this has been thanks to the support the AYF team has had from an excellent committee, led very ably by Angus.

For Graeme personally, Angus has been an important figurehead in his time with Arran Youth Foundations - whether giving Graeme and his wife a tour of the island before he had even officially started in post, helping him make important connections in the very early days, or being on the end of the phone for advice (many a phone call was made to Angus when we used to deliver Christmas cards around Brodick, to clarify who cards were intended for and where on Earth they could be found!)

Crucially, when there have been one or two bumps along the way, Graeme has always felt that Angus has had his back 100%; which is a very important thing in any job.

His modesty will prevent him from acknowledging some of the above, but after 14 excellent years with Angus at the helm, it's only right that AYF marks the end of an era properly.

Please join us in passing on a massive thanks to a key founder member of AYF, Angus Adamson, for his immense contribution over the years.

Posted 07/02/2022