Youth project marks a major milestone

First minister Nicola Sturgeon visiting Cupar Youth Cafe
First minister Nicola Sturgeon visiting Cupar Youth Cafe
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Former users of Cupar Youth Café are being invited to help celebrate a significant milestone in the project’s history.

It’s been 15 years since the cafe was set up as an outreach project under the umbrella of Cupar YMCA-YWCA – and since then hundreds of young people from all over Cupar and the Howe have made use of its facilities.

Now the management committee is planning to acknowledge the anniversary by helping current young members organise a celebration on September 22.

And it’s hoped that as many former members as possible will attend the event.

The café was opened in 2001 by the then First Minister, Henry McLeish, and in the intervening years it’s been visited by both local and national politicians keen to see for themselves the innovative work undertaken there.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has visited twice in the last year alone.

Two members of the original committee, Charlie Milne and Norma Graham, general secretary of the YMCA-YWCA, are still involved on the management committee.

Charlie recalled: “Back in 2000, after three years’ work, it was still touch and go if the project would get off the ground but the local YMCA-YWCA, supported by Fife Council and the local community council, assisted myself and Norma in finding premises.

“Seedcorn funding from Lloyds TSB lead to long-term funding from Fife Council, who also provided funding to extend the premises four years ago.

“We have also had a number of grants from local organisations and we shall also be inviting them along to the event .

“Though we have enjoyed success to date we are not resting on our laurels,” Charlie continued.

“Current Youth Cafe co-ordinator Gemma Frail is finalising the details of the summer programme, which this year will also see a number of events being planned in conjunction with local partners and Fife Council’s youth workers throughout north east Fife.”

The youth work, delivered by its experienced youth work team and volunteers, is underpinned by the notion of supporting and encouraging young people to develop their confidence, grow as individuals and at the same time experience new opportunities.

Recent activities have included tutored music sessions and gigs, transition support to high school and for those aged 16-plus, healthy lifestyle choices, LGBT, and Duke of Edinburgh Award.

If you previously attended the cafe, no matter what age now, or have been involved in any way and would like to come along on September 22, email Gemma Frail at cuparyouthcafe@hotmail.co.uk.