A GROUP of young men, who completed the ‘Rite Of Passage’ programme through a Kirkcaldy-based drugs and alcohol project have spoken of their life-changing experiences.
The Clued-Up project is one of several which may lose its vital funding next month - despite the testimony from the people it sets out to help.
Last week they attended a graduation ceremony at the Coal Wynd headquarters where they were congratulated by Gordon Brown
The six young men - only three could be present on the day - recently completed the 13-week personal development programme funded through the Big Lottery’s Awards for All fund.
During the programme, they were involved in outdoor education and the Px2 course, with activities including a six-day residential in Glen Doll and a community project at the Benarty View Care Home.
Staff from Clued Up worked with the Zone and Lochore Meadows Outdoor Education staff to deliver the programme.
Matthew Harvey, who completed the course, told family and friends gathered at the ceremony: “This has been a life changing experience for me.
“The whole experience, going up the mountains, pushing ourselves to the limits, it’s been an inspiration.
“It’s given me confidence to move on in my life.”
And his thoughts on the course were shared by the others at the event.
Dean Walls told the Press: “The whole course was fantastic. It really helped us a lot.”
Michael Tutton added: “It gave us confidence, ambition and self belief.”
Matthew (24) also took the opportunity in the MP’s presence to mention the difficulties faced by projects like Clued Up in sourcing continued funding.
He said: “If it wasn’t for the funding provided for Rite of Passage I would never have got the opportunity to do this - I would like to see other people getting the opportunity to do this as well.”
Matthew, Michael and Dean were joined on the programme by Allan Williamson, David Graham and Craig Thomson, who were unable to attend the presentation.
During his visit, Mr Brown was impressed by the presentation and the young men’s achievements and showed his continued support for the project.
He said: ““I’ve been to Clued Up three times in the last few months and the work that goes on here gets better each time.
‘‘You should really be proud of yourselves. I can only congratulate you. .
“As for funding, I want to thank all the staff for all their hard work.
“We will continue to fight for the funding for this project that’s gone from strength to strength, to help more people get the opportunity.”