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Arran Youth Foundations have had a welcome boost with the news that BBC Children In Need have granted them another three years funding.
The charity, based behind Arran High School in Lamlash, submitted an application at the end of 2020 and were delighted to learn last week that it had been successful. Along with other grants Children In Need have helped fund the organisation since 2012.
Graeme Johnston, AYF’s youth work project manager, said: ‘It’s great news. They have been such fantastic supporters of us for so long now. In the last eight years, AYF has gone from running a couple of nights a week, to running several sessions five days a week from a well-resourced youth centre and really helping the young people of Arran. That is in no small part thanks to their support.
‘Many young folk have told us AYF has had a huge impact on their lives and some have said that without the organisation, they don’t know if they would still be here today.
Having support from a major funder to continue that work is a positive thing for the island.
‘With mental health and wellbeing funding recently secured from the Arran Locality Partnership, we aim to start weekend youth work, initiatives for upper primary kids and 18-25 year olds, and more counselling and therapy.
‘Coming out of the worst year many of us have had, it puts AYF in a strong position to support Arran’s young people,’ Graeme added.
With indoor youth work permitted as of May 17, Arran Youth Foundations have been able to open their doors to the young folk of the island once more, albeit with limits on numbers, relaunching both their lunchtime drop-in sessions and their after-school groups. They have all the relevant Covid safety measures in place and have taken care to ensure the youth cabin is as safe an environment as possible.