FUSION youth zone in Bo’ness is toasting its first year in business with an awards hat-trick the icing on the cake for its dedicated team.
On Saturday evenings at the recreation centre you’ll find between 45 and 60 secondary school age children doing sport, chilling out in the youth cafe or enjoying the music room.
It’s a joint venture by Falkirk Council, Falkirk Community Trust and St Andrew’s Church and aims to plug a youth provision shortfall in the town, based on young people’s input. Now it’s the highest attended club of its kind in the council area.
Organisers - mainly volunteers - have been named winners at the council’s Celebrating Success 2012 awards in the community involvement initiative of the year category.
This follows them taking top spot for arts, culture and sport at the council’s education services’ Learning to Achieve Awards 2012.
The Fusion programme also got ‘significant achievement’ recognition from the local authority’s community learning and development branch.
Falkirk Council community education worker Gordon Baxter co-founded Fusion with local volunteer Owen Griffiths.
He said: “The programme was never really designed to get awards, it was solely for the young people.
“The main aim was to give the young people of Bo’ness something they could be part of and engage in.
“Beforehand, outwith the church’s programme on a Friday night, there was nothing.
“It’s nice people have recognised the programme. It gives the volunteers a lift. Without them, it wouldn’t be possible and I thank them for their hard work.”
While awards are welcome, with youngsters’ attendance the crucial sign of success, users’ feedback is encouraged.
Gordon said: “We’ve had a good year and in the future we are looking to expand the programme, certainly the activities, and possibly to open more than once a week. We want to encourage as many people to come along and take part in the programme as possible.”
Tomorrow (Saturday) is Fusion’s Christmas party but at other times of year, you’ll find some youngsters mixing their socialising with gaining youth accreditation and skills.
Call Gordon on 01506 778550 to find out about volunteering or if you’re in S1-S6, drop in to Fusion between 6pm and 9pm (50p entry).
lSome of the Fusion team are pictured (above) with the accolades gained.