Youngsters to benefit from new Callander Hub
AN independent voluntary youth organisation has secured the final funding to renovate its headquarters in Callander - providing a multipurpose café and hub for up to 800 youngsters in rural Stirling.
Callander Youth Project Trust (CYPT) offers training opportunities and activities for young people from diverse backgrounds. Activities include youth clubs, holiday programmes, art, health and sports initiatives and employability support for young school leavers.
The charity's philosophy is to support young people, including those who are vulnerable or excluded by geography, income, ability or health.
The new headquarters, formerly the Bridgend House Hotel, were purchased in February. With all the required funding now in place, renovations will take place over the next 12 weeks.
The soon to be named Bridgend Youth Hub will provide more financial independence for CYPT and will house a range of services including hostel accommodation, a youth café, organic gardens, event space and a multipurpose workshop studio.
The new café is the result of feedback from over 150 young people in Callander who were asked about what facilities they would be most likely to use. With a coffee bar, comfortable chairs, a television, pool table, table tennis and table football, the café will be open to the whole community, also providing space for zumba and yoga classes for parents during school hours.
Initial funding for the purchase of the building was provided by a £210,000 loan from Triodos Bank.
Social Investment Scotland, Scotland's leading alternative funder to the third sector, provided an investment of £140,000 via the Government's Scottish Investment Fund.
Chris Martin, manager of CYPT, said: "We are delighted we can now start the renovations to transform our new headquarters into a much needed youth hub.
"We are at the brink of a very exciting time for CYPT, our new youth cafe will allow us to offer young people the opportunity for formal training in food preparation, health and hygiene and prepare them for work in the hospitality or tourism sector, which our region is so dependent on. What's more, the cafe will provide a safe place for young people to meet with friends and also a one stop shop for advice and information from our support staff.
"As a charity, our business model is based on offering opportunities to young people. With the Bridgend Youth Hub we can develop CYPT, build a sustainable income and reinvest profits back into our project to support the youth work in our local community.
"Without the final investment from Social Investment Scotland, we wouldn't have been able to continue with the development of our café. We are so grateful to them for helping us embark on this exciting step forward.
"We will continue to encourage personal and social development as part of the school's flexible curriculum and will be able to offer SQA qualifications on site. Young people will be able to develop skills in information and communications technology, literacy and numeracy."
Chief executive of Social Investment Scotland, Alastair Davis, said: "We are delighted to have been able to provide the final investment needed to start renovations at the Bridgend Youth Hub.
"For years CYPT has been a lifeline to the youngsters of the Callander area and this building will deliver a wide variety of benefits for the community.
"Charities and social enterprises like CYPT make a huge difference to rural communities like the southern Highlands. CYPT's vision, enthusiasm and dedication to providing support for youngsters in Callander is highly commendable and the charity has a bright future ahead."
For further information about the CYPT, please visit www.callanderyouthproject.co.uk.
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