Youth Project receives funding

Pitmedden Youth Cafe members.
Pitmedden Youth Cafe members.

The Formartine Youth Project has received funding for another three years from the Church of Scotland.

The project works alongside Tarves, Barthol Chapel, Methlick and Pitmedden/Udny Green churches.

We connect with the whole community and work with young people and develop them as individuals

Claire Bell Project Co-ordinator

It is also involved with the village primary schools and pupils at Meldrum Academy.

Children and youth worker, Claire Bell, who co-ordinates the project said it aims to effectively collaborate youth work with the four churches, with a focus on team work.

Claire, 30, said: “Initially we thought it was just to try and freshen up the way the church communities with young people in the community.

“But we connect with the whole community and work with young people and develop them as individuals.”

After two years of research, the project was officially launched as a pilot scheme last August.

The pilot project was funded by Go For It - the Church of Scotland funding body- the four parish churches, The Udny Community Trust and the David and June Gordon Memorial Trust.

The project is available for all youths ranging in age from newborn babies to teenagers leaving secondary school.

There are a variety of groups and activities available in all five of the villages. These include the youth cafe in Pitmedden and the popular group Messy Church in Tarves and Udny Green.

Claire said: “We do have weekly clubs and groups but we also run things such as Belong which is a joint church event once a month.

“On a weekly basis it must be around 100 children and teenagers that we work and interact with.”

The youth project also gets involved with activities outside of the church.

Currently, the project is working with The Udny Community Trust to help with the completion of the skatepark in Pitmedden.

Working across rural areas, Claire explained that there are occasionally some challenges.

“It’s a bit of a culture change from working in cities to rural areas and also it is a change for the churches themselves.

“It takes some time to make things consistent.”

She added: “We are really grateful, anything that we have done has had a really nice welcome from everyone.

“It’s amazing how it has come together over the year.”