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Community Fund boost for Arran youth groups

Three Arran youth groups are set to benefit from ferry operator CalMac's Community Fund.

The Arran Youth Foundations (AYF), Arran High School Mountain Bike Club and Shiskine Primary School Parent Council were all given awards to help them develop projects that will engage the island's young people.

AYF's award will enable the group to organise 16 weekly activities, including intergenerational activities, art psychotherapy, LGBT+ club and one-to-one mentoring. Based in Lamlash the group has been giving young people a place to go and offering support and activities for young people since 2008.

'We were delighted to learn we were successful in securing funding from the Calmac Community Fund. The activities we provide really help the young people of Arran to develop and these funds will go some way to supporting that work,' said Arran Youth Foundations, Project Manager, Graeme Johnston.

Arran High School Mountain Bike Club began as a community group six years ago and aims to encourage young people to choose cycling as a sustainable form of transport through mountain biking. The award will enable the group to organise free bicycle workshops in primary schools and villages on the island and also allow them to undertake trail maintenance in partnership with other community groups. The third award, to Shiskine Primary School Parent Council, will be used to organise swimming and life saving lessons and give pupils the opportunity to maintain and grow a school garden.

CalMac's Community Fund drives social value by supporting non profit organisations, based in a mainland port or island the company serves, delivering projects to benefit the lives of children and young people living in west coast communities. Organisations can apply for an award between £500 to £2000.

So far the Fund has supported 76 projects from woman's football in the Outer Hebrides, to the Campbeltown Sea Cadets and a Gaelic youth club on Skye. Each application was judged by a screening panel of young people recruited from across the company's network, in partnership with Young Scot.

'I hope these three awards go some way to removing barriers that young people living on an island face and opens up new some opportunities for them,' said CalMac's Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Gordon McKillop.

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