Local Councillor Welcomes Funding for Youth Projects

>> 18 February 2013

Local SNP councillor Joanna Strathdee has welcomed support from Grampian Police’s Community Initiative Fund for local youth projects in Huntly and Alford.

Grampian Police is supporting three projects for young people in the Marr area which will allow them to develop their creative skills. The Community Initiative Fund was set up to allow officers to put forward projects to receive funding which will in turn benefit the local community.

Since 2008 Alford Academy has been running the XL Club with the support of The Prince's Trust to help develop skills, confidence and motivation. Its membership is made up of secondary pupils who have exhibited disruptive behaviour, low confidence, low self-esteem or a lack of social skills.

Pupils are offered support through a variety of non-standard education experiences, such as first-aid training and studies of citizenship and personal awareness, building a portfolio which is then submitted for assessment.

Alford’s XL Club has already achieved success in allowing pupils to achieve more than they might using other, standard routes. The club has had a positive impact, not only on pupils and the academy, but also the local community.

Grampian Police's Community Initiative Fund will provide specially designed wooden tutorial boards on which joinery and painting skills are taught and practiced, then displayed.

A second project in Alford, run by the local Community Learning and Development team, has also received assistance from the fund.

The team actively works with local young people and runs a number of projects and activities.

One of these is the development of the Alford Skate Park, which has fallen into disrepair. It hopes to run an art project at the skate park, which will include a graffiti workshop employing a professional graffiti artist with panels being erected for the artwork.

During the project, those involved will document the activity on film, which they will then produce into a DVD to promote the young people of Alford.

The funding from the Community Initiative Fund will contribute towards the overall project.

The Fund is also contributing to a summer event at Cooper Park Pavilion in Huntly being organised by the Community Learning and Development Team from the Linden Centre. They are running a programme of activities for young people and families between July 17 and August 10. The event will be staffed and run by local young people supported by Community Learning and Development.

Police staff from the Local Policing Team will be working with them over two days to host a cycle safety and security day and a mini young drivers road show event, aimed at those not yet driving.

Funding is also being provided to allow the young people involved to create a DVD focusing on young people and risk taking behaviour. It will be produced and directed by the youngsters, under the guidance of Community Learning Worker Sandy Mack. The funding will allow the youngsters to produce professional copies of a DVD which they will then take out as workshops to local youth groups, primary schools and to the Gordon Schools.

Commenting, Cllr Joanna Strathdee said:

“This initiative confirms Grampian Police's commitment to supporting and engaging with young people and I congratulate them for choosing these projects in Alford and Huntly. These projects are a great chance for youngsters to work with the Police for the benefit of the community."

Marr Local Policing Team Inspector, Inness Coull, said:

"I am proud Grampian Police is able to provide funding to these projects and that a number of local police officers have eagerly given up their time to show support to the local community.

"These are great chances for us to work alongside local groups for the benefit of our communities and to give something back.

"It is also ideal for officers to engage with people living in their area while working together on worthwhile projects.

"Both these projects provide an opportunity for youngsters to develop new skills and positive attitudes towards life in their communities and we are happy to help with that."

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