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02/10/2020

Calmac Community Fund offers a social space to Bute youngsters

Young people on the Isle of Bute using a youth club funded by CalMac have described it as "brilliant" and "the best part of the week".

An award of £2,000 from CalMac's Community Fund last year helped set up a regular Friday night club, which allowed children from across the island somewhere to go to relax and socialise.

The youth club in Rothesay is run by Achievement Bute. Other comments made by the people attending include:

"There used to be nothing to do on a Friday night but now there is youth club!"

"You can come with your friends and just chill - and nobody tells you what you have to do."

Dorothy McDonald, the Director of Achievement Bute, said: "From conversations with the young people themselves and their parents, it is very clear that the club has been highly valued on the island. It has allowed young people from all backgrounds to come together in a relaxed environment and create something that is truly their own.

"We have observed first hand that the young people attending the club have not only developed their own sense of independence but have also created new friendships and bonds that have continued to strengthen, even outside of club hours.

"This has been one of the major success of the club, particularly for the more vulnerable young people in attendance who, in many cases, didn't have such a peer group previously."

Due to covid-19, the youth club had to move online, but Achievement Bute hopes that when restrictions ease, the face-to-face club can re-open.

Now in its second year, the Community Fund is open to non-profit groups across the CalMac network for projects which have made a difference to local communities. Applications for the latest round are now open.

In 2019, the CalMac Community Fund supported 76 groups across the west coast, benefiting the lives of children and young people. Projects included access to swimming, Highland dancing, sailing and video skills.

This year, the fund is seeking applications from organisations which are tackling social isolation, poor mental health, loneliness and/or poverty. They can apply for an award from the fund from between £500 and £2,000.

To apply, visit the CalMac website - https://www.calmac.co.uk/community-fund

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