Girvan Youth Trust

Girvan has a population of around 7,250 and acts as the service centre for South Carrick. Due to its rural location and poor transport links, young people often face additional barriers to access services, job opportunities, social activities and further education.

Girvan Youth Trust (GYT) was established in 1999 to try to tackle some of these issues. It works in partnership with other service providers to enable young people to fulfil their potential by building confidence, self esteem and skills.

The Trust works with around 400 young people and provides a range of services including; a weekly youth club, health clinic, informal drop ins, one to one support and employment training programmes.

It also set up and runs the Z1 Youth Bar, a popular non-alcoholic bar, which is equipped with an IT suite, arts & crafts space and function stage area - a safe haven where young people aged 13-18 can come to socialise with friends, learn new skills and have fun.

GYT has been awarded a number of grants from Carrick Futures to help towards a range of events, projects and running costs.

In May 2013, GYT was awarded £3120 towards the hire costs of a professional sound system for the annual community ‘Gig on the Green’ music event, which attracted in excess of 500 local people and visitors.

The youth committee and volunteers organised all aspects of the event; from contacting and securing performances from professional musicians to creating posters to publicise the event in the wider community and helping prepare the stage and site on the day.

Taking ownership of Gig on the Green provided youngsters with a valuable opportunity to develop and enhance their skill set – learning how to manage their time effectively and work together as a team to achieve success. Planning and delivering an event of this size also harnessed a real sense of pride and achievement in them, helping to build their confidence and self esteem. They received fantastic feedback from local families, visitors, performers and businesses. One community group stall holder said, “Another excellent fact it was so good, that the same again next weekend would be brilliant!”

Aaron, aged 13, was a member of the youth committee for the first time in 2013 and helped organise the event. Despite being nervous about taking on this responsibility at first, he quickly grew in confidence and didn’t look back. He said, “After a few weeks at meetings I got comfortable talking in front of people and giving my ideas and listening to others...all round it was a fantastic experience and I enjoyed every second of it and I would love the chance to do it all again!”

‘Gig on the Green’ is just one example of what GYT is doing to support young people in South Carrick. Supporting young people to develop their personal skills and values, as well as giving them essential work experience; which will increase their chances of securing further employment opportunities.

In addition, the event itself engaged and involved the local community; families, individuals, community groups and small business owners, as well as bringing about economic benefits for the town through tourism.

Bill Logan, project manager at GYT, said “The experience gained in organising the Gig on the Green annual events has led to the young people of GYT having now successfully delivered a 2014 summer season of family entertainment and events on Girvan Esplanade. The young people’s commitment and dedication towards this 7 week programme and subsequent new role has proven of great benefit to local tourism, economy and the ongoing regeneration of the Girvan area.

The financial investment provided by Carrick Futures has certainly given local young people a recognised voice and valued presence in the local community. It has allowed young people to continue to make a significant positive difference for themselves and others.”