Funding to help Arran’s hidden drug problem

Graeme Johnston

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An Arran youth group is one of six projects in North Ayrshire to have been awarded funding grants to tackle drug abuse in a public vote.

Arran Youth Foundations has been given the joint highest award of £10,000 to fund the initiative by the North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership.

A number of community groups and organisations submitted applications for funding after the launch of ‘the substance of our communities’ participatory budgeting scheme in late February.


An online poll last month saw members of the public vote for which of the shortlisted projects they’d most like to see funded in their communities, and the applications that received the most votes were awarded the funding.

Arran Youth Foundations will use the funding to provide drug and alcohol services for young people on Arran. They will do this through working with young people and partners to achieve the best outcome for affected young people. As the only youth work organisation on the island, AYF work with the majority of young people of high school age. Through these relationships, they are well placed to support young people with substance misuse problems.

Youth work project manager Graeme Johnston said: ‘Arran Youth Foundations were delighted to receive this funding. Drugs and alcohol use amongst young people can be a hidden issue on Arran and as an island we haven’t always been able to access the whole range of services that would be available on the mainland. As ever, AYF are keen to help our young people in any way we can. This funding will allow us to confidentially provide individuals with solutions that meet their needs, whatever that might be; counselling, addiction services, therapy.

‘We can also be proactive and preventative in hosting drugs and alcohol workshops – for instance, inviting relevant speakers to come and speak to young people about the risks of drugs and alcohol.


‘We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone in the community who voted for us. Our project topped the vote by quite some way, which goes to demonstrate once again what a fantastic community we have on Arran,’ Graeme added.

Councillor Louise McPhater, cabinet member for participatory democracy, said: ‘It is so important to us that members of the public are able to have their say on how funding is allocated within our communities.’

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