Positive steps to get youngsters off streets

OVER recent weeks there has been much concern about unruly youths in Borrowfield at weekends, congregating in public areas in the absence of anything else to do.

Now, however, a number of local groups have got together to provide alternative activities for the youngsters.

As a result, Borrowfield Football Nights start this Friday (November 23) for a four-to-six week block at the football field beside the community centre.

This runs from 7 to 9 pm and is open to those in the primary six to secondary three age-group.

There will be portable lighting so everyone can see that they are doing, and in attendance will be two coaches from the Links Park Community Trust, as well as two youth workers. There will be access to the community centre.

There will be no charge to those taking part, and the cost of the event is being met by the Montrose Children and Learning Partnership with Angus Council.

The partners in the event are local police, Links Park Community Trust, Borrowfield Centre, Angus Council and the YM.

Also on Friday, at the Borrowfield Centre, there will be an open doors discussion on what activities should be run in the centre on a Friday evening.

A pampering session on hair and make-up has already been agreed for Friday, November 30, aimed mainly at girls as there will be pool and other activities available and open to others.

On behalf of the organisers, Val Cooper of the YM said: “The week one open discussion in the Borrowfield Centre is our attempt at getting it right for the young people in the area.

“It is well recognised that unless the young people feel they are involved in the design of activities they will be less inclined to participate, and we are keen to work with them.”

The Friday night project will also see additional provision at the YM, which already attracts a number of older young people on a Friday night.

Live music gigs are planned for January and February at the YM, as are a number of additional activities.

Val continued: “We also acknowledge the existing youth provision through the various church youth groups which run at Hillside, the Old and St Andrew’s, and at Ferryden which, collectively with the YM, cater for approximately 75 to 80 young people on a Friday night.

“However, the need at Borrowfield is real - young people have long complained that there is nothing to do.

“Parents can be reluctant to encourage their youngsters into town and out of their local area, and ‘youth annoyance’ figures in the area do not bode well for the imagery wanted for young people.

“We no not promise that every thing the young people request will be possible, nor that there will be a youth club every Friday night, but we can promise that we will do our best to listen to the young people and come up with something along the lines of meeting their needs.”