Leven Youth Club looks to start new committee

Leven Youth Club with youth worker Jackie Taylor. Picture by Fife Photo Agency
Leven Youth Club with youth worker Jackie Taylor. Picture by Fife Photo Agency

A long-running club in Leven is looking to create a new committee to ensure its sustainability into the future.

Leven Youth Club was set up at The Centre, Leven, in 1972, and has offered play to kids (and peace to parents) on a Saturday morning ever since.

The Club is currently funded by the Centre management committee, but given financial constraints as budgets tighten, club organisers are looking to set up their own committee which can then seek funding of its own.

Last month, parents whose youngsters attend the club, aimed at children aged around six to 10, were invited to express their interest in becoming a member of the committee. While they did receive some response, organisers are now hoping that more people in the community might be willing to get involved.

Currently, the club welcomes around 15 to 18 children every week, but long-time youth worker Hamish McKay, who was there to help get the club off the ground, says numbers have fluctuated over the years, with the number of kids coming every week once peaking at around 40.

Hamish explained that in order to ensure the future of the club, the best way forward was to set up a committee of their own.

“The Centre has always supported us, which we’re really grateful for, but they can’t sustain the club indefinitely.

“So if we form our own committee, we can look for funding elsewhere.

“It’s a shame that we can’t get funding from Fife Council, as many similar projects to ours do receive money, but because of the age group we cater for, we’re told that there isn’t funding available.

“For me, this is the age that we should be investing in, because it’s so important to support our kids.”

The club has already started the groundwork, visiting Leven Community Council which has agreed to assist them with an application to the Leven Common Good Fund.

Jill Pringle, community education worker, who helps to oversee the running of the club, added: “We’re trying to reach out to parents of the kids that attend the club to form the committee, so that they can perhaps help to organise fundraising events for the club, and work on funding applications.

“It can be difficult to speak to the parents, as some of the kids live locally and walk to the club, or are dropped off by grandparents.

“But even if the grandparents wanted to get involved, or aunties or uncles, that would be great.”

The club – one of three youth groups that are run out of the Centre – offers kids the chance to socialise and stay healthy, with a range of different activities on offer.

“One week, we’ll play football, then rounders, or badminton or circuit training the next,” said Hamish. “It’s all part of health and well-being, and it’s about getting them into these things at this age so that they understand the rules and carry that interest into later life.”

Hamish has seen just how successful the club can be in a career that has spanned over 40 years, and has welcomed generations to the clubs.

“It used to be they would say to me, ‘You know my brother’, then it was ‘You know my mum or dad’, and now it’s ‘You know my granny!’ he laughed.

And after a history of more than four decades, Jill said it would be a shame to see it disappear now.

“We want this to be sustainable. We know Fife Council is trying to save millions over the next few years, so you want to try to safe-guard against those cuts and help to keep things like this going.”

Leven Youth Club meets every Saturday morning at The Centre, Leven, from 10am to noon. Admission is priced at £1 per child.