After years in the planning Speyside youth group ready to go

Speyside Youth group to open this week in Dufftown

A SPEYSIDE YOUTH organisation will see their long held dream of opening a new centre for young people take its first steps this week.

Speyside Youth Ltd say that the initial phase of their plans are now ready to go thanks to funding from the William Grant Foundation Youth Opportunities Fund, administered through Foundation Scotland.

From Friday the project will be based at the Dufftown Community Centre – however, in the longer term it is hoped that a permanent facility can be established in the town.

Company chairman Fred Allan told insideMoray: “Speyside Youth Ltd. has been set up with the help and guidance of many organisations throughout the area and beyond.

“Our aim is to provide a safe, warm, fun place for young people to get together and access non-judgemental help and support, within the area of southern Moray district.  In the future, we hope to offer a range of free or low cost activities and outings, personal development courses such as the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and employability training for the young people of the area.

“Our vision is to establish a ‘bricks and mortar’ facility in Dufftown with the addition of pop-up sections in the surrounding communities so that young people have the opportunity to mix, socialise and help each other.”

Speyside Youth has become a Company Limited by Guarantee and has a Board made up of five local volunteers who have agreed to serve as Directors who will work alongside a committee of young people to develop and deliver activities.

The Youth Committee and Board are supported by Toni Taylor and Julie Oyarzabal who were appointed as part-time Youth Workers for the initial phase of the project earlier this year – they are employed by Moray Council with funding from the William Grant Foundation.

Nick Addington, Chief Executive of the William Grant Foundation, said: “The William Grant Foundation aims to support greater opportunities for all and strengthen the local communities in which William Grant & Sons Ltd operates.

“We’re interested in supporting young people in Dufftown and the surrounding area to help them develop resources and services locally that will enable them to develop their skills and interests to fulfil their potential now and in the future. It’s great to see Speyside Youth coming together to move this forward and we’re pleased to be supporting their first activities with young people.”

The Youth Committee is made up of eight pupils from Speyside High ranging from S2-S5 and representing different local communities. One of their first ideas is to hold a competition to design a logo for Speyside Youth – committee member Seb Squire said: “I’m so happy to be included in this project as it will be such a great thing for the young people in the local community and I’m glad I could be a part of this.”

From Friday’s opening at the Dufftown Community Centre the new initiative will target the S1 to S3 age group, with the youth committee currently planning activities for the Youth Café taking place each Friday evening from 7pm until 8.30pm.

Toni and Julie would welcome the chance for other members of the local communities in Speyside to become involved. Anyone who feels that they can give some time and wishes to support this local initiative should contact Julie on 07967 748835 or Toni on 07976 494827 or email