Plea for volunteers at youth café

An appeal for volunteers has been issued to help Cove and Kilcreggan Youth café reopen this autumn.

Launched two years ago, the café closed in July because of a lack of funding.

This week Argyll and Bute Council’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee agreed to donate a grant of £1,040 to cover minibus hire for access to football, watersports and snowboarding, as well as a contribution towards running costs.

But chairperson Susie Will said the project was still ‘strapped for cash’, with regular bills including the lease of the former tennis pavilion, as well as wages for the part-time youth worker and helped who could spare even a small amopunt of time would make a big difference.

“What I really need is some volunteer committee members,” she said.

“All that would be expected of them would be to attend a couple of meetings per year, or to help with the accounts or to apply for grants.

“It would also be great to get some of the younger men in the village to come and do things like football with them.”

Susie said she decided to start the café when she returned to live in Kilcreggan with her teenage son after a spell in France, where there had been a lot of activities available for young people.

“I remembered being a teenager here and having the youth fellowship, youth club and a café with a jukebox – there had actually been quite a healthy teenage thing going on.

“But it was just woeful

“I just thought, that tennis pavilion is where they hang out so we will use that.”

A committee was formed, and with help from groups including Argyll and Bute Council, Cove and Kilcreggan Community Council, the Awards for for All fund, Argyll Community Housing Association, Rotary and the Lions the kitchen was upgraded, new wiring and wall heaters installed; the café now has a TV, PS2, pool table and football table.

“The real turning point was having enough money to get the skate ramps paid for and to fund the part-time youth worker,” said Susie.

Drama and music workshops have been held, as well as street dancing and a bike project; the next aim is to resurface the tennis courts and install skate ramps.

The Armed Forces Community Covenants Grants are a potential funding source and Susie is keen to hear  any families of naval personnel who have been involved with the café; there are also opportunities for young people to join the Saltire Awards scheme by volunteering.

A registered charity, the cafe normally runs on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons, and Susie is to hear from anyone how might want to use the building to run a club for older people or a Sunday school, or even  pre- or after-school club.

She can be contacted on kilcregsusie@hotmail.com

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