Youth Club looks for a home of its own

By Dawn Black / October 2, 2022
Sea Cadet Hall High Street Stonehaven

From Kincardine and Mearns Youth Clubs

Stonehaven Youth Club is looking for support on their proposed Community Asset Transfer of the old Sea Cadet Hall in Stonehaven’s High Street.

Kincardine and Mearns Youth Clubs (KMYC) are a new charity, registered on 19th August 2022 (charity no: SC050255) whose purpose is to aid in providing Youth Clubs in the K&M area of Aberdeenshire. They have three youth clubs: Portlethen (PYC), Mearns (MYC, at Laurencekirk) and Stonehaven (SYC).

Initially, the clubs will rent rooms in existing community premises, like the Stonehaven Community Centre, The Porty Cabin in Portlethen and The Venue in Laurencekirk. However, sharing spaces limits what can be offered to our young people.

The capacity of these rooms is limited and there is no storage available for the Youth Club to keep their stock, games etc which means our volunteers must bring them back and forth each week. The limited capacity of the rooms limits how many young people can be catered for with varied and different age appropriate activities. As a renter the club is also competing for the space with other community groups. The cost of rent also restricts how often the club can run on a weekly basis. Also the young people cannot be allowed to “make their mark” and take ownership of the space as they could should the club have its own dedicated space.

Hence, KMYC is working towards applying for a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) of the old Sea Cadet Hall on the High Street for Stonehaven Youth Club. The recently vacated building, though old and needing investment, has huge potential. It has various rooms which can facilitate the many and varied activities the club wishes to provide and will facilitate the club’s ability to run specialised sessions for youth with varying needs. It will also keep a community asset in community hands rather than being sold off to developers.

Currently in Stonehaven there is very little for young people that are not sporty and not interested in uniformed organisations to do bar hang around the streets and parks. This is especially concerning for those that do not necessarily feel home is a safe place to be. Stonehaven Youth Club’s aim is to provide a safe and welcoming youth club where the young people can chill out, meet friends and take part in informal activities. They will also provide opt-in sessions on life skills such as basic cooking, budgeting etc. as well as having digital devices on hand for use by those that do not have access to computers/tablets at home.  With the Sea Cadet Hall, SYC allows them to have somewhere to go, something to do, autonomy with a place of their own and a place to get advice and signposting to help should they need it.

SYC is looking for support for this proposal and would appreciate any letters of support for their Community Asset Transfer request either by email to stonehavenyouthclub@gmail.com or in writing to Dawn Black, KMYC Chairperson, 7 Farburn Drive, Stonehaven, AB39 2BZ.

Letters have been already delivered through the doors of neighbouring residents and businesses in the High Street and New Street.

There is also an online survey that can be completed which will assist the evidence of need required for the application:

https://forms.gle/reAiuGQzRkeBe4BUA