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Funders and tradespeople thanked after £60,000 refurbishment at Thurso Youth Club


By Alan Hendry

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From left: Helen Allan (chairperson of Thurso Youth Club), Alan MacDonald (Atec), Gemma Mackillop (Ashley Ann), Alan Gerrard (Rotary Club of Thurso), Lee Mackay and Mike Muir (M2PCS).
From left: Helen Allan (chairperson of Thurso Youth Club), Alan MacDonald (Atec), Gemma Mackillop (Ashley Ann), Alan Gerrard (Rotary Club of Thurso), Lee Mackay and Mike Muir (M2PCS).

Thurso Youth Club is enjoying a new lease of life after a £60,000 refurbishment including a complete kitchen refit.

Funders and tradespeople who contributed to the project were thanked by the management team at an event on Sunday.

The occasion marked a turnaround in the fortunes of the club after it faced the threat of closure in 2018.

In partnership with the Rotary Club of Thurso, the youth club took on the refurbishment project which involved replacing the roof and outside walls, putting in insulation and installing a modern commercial standard kitchen.

Funding came from Highland Council Coastal Communities Fund, the Adapt and Thrive programme, the Rotary Club of Thurso and M2 Procurement and Commercial Services (M2PCS). Ashley Ann and Lee Mackay Joiner Contractor donated equipment.

Atec was one of the other contractors involved in the project.

The kitchen is used to produce hot snacks and meals at the successful weekly Friday Youth Café for high school pupils and by Thurso Community Development Trust (TCDT) for its community hot meals service.

Chairperson Helen Allan said: "The kitchen is a resource that, along with the building, is available for use by the community.

"In 2020 the youth club building was the central point of the community response led by TCDT, providing over 100 hot meals five times a week and receiving and distributing hundreds of books, jigsaws, crafts and toys to the community.

Highland councillor Karl Rosie after receiving one of the framed cupcake pictures.
Highland councillor Karl Rosie after receiving one of the framed cupcake pictures.

"Since facing the threat of closure in 2018 the youth club has managed to source alternative funding to provide services for children and young people.

"Although having to close during lockdown, as soon as was allowed the club reopened under the relevant guidelines and continued to provide a vital service for children and young people."

There is currently a staff of seven paid leaders, running seven club sessions a week for children from P1 up to high school age.

As well as providing a safe place for children and young people to have fun and enjoy the various activities on offer, the youth club is offering youth achievement awards. These encourage young people to learn new skills, gain confidence and help their local community while gaining an accredited award in the process.

Those who supported the refurbishment were presented with cupcake pictures as thank-you certificates. Each picture was made by one of the youth club members then mounted in a frame.


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