Orkney Youth Cafe (OYC) suffered an unexpected cut to their funding back in February when the Alcohol Drug Partnership withdrew their funding, so on Friday afternoon they held an event which was opened by Liam McArthur and included a presentation given by Malcolm Graves with a short talk from Mac Cook; all hoping to raise awareness within the Orkney Community of what the Youth Cafe actually is and what it does which they hope shall lead to local investment securing the future for everyone involved.
The OYC has been on the go now for nine years and is a registered charity. They have four permanent employees comprising of youth workers and support workers and several relief staff all offering support, chat and confidential advice. They run workshops and also work with Women’s Aid and Healthy Eating groups.
Although they do not receive funding from the Local Authority, they have been given the use of the hall at a reduced rent, but without future funding the OYC are under real threat of closure; so an appeal is being sent out to the community for ideas to help secure this wonderful base for young adults, whose age range is from 12 to 21 inclusve. Here are some of the quotes from the people that attend the Cafe.
Mac Cook aged sixteen has been attending the OYC for around eighteen months who especially enjoys the socialising aspect of the cafe. He says the cafe gives a positive outlook offering an alternative to hanging around on the streets. It also helps with drug and alcohol prevention as it offers an alternative. He states that he can still feel lonely in his house, so being able to socialise is a great benefit. One of the great things about the group is the fact that issues like bullying are always resolved and he specifically praised Tom, Carrie, Vicky who sadly left and Lynn; whom he says are wonderful, with the question, “I don’t know how they do it?”
Regular activities at the club include ball games, band practices, arts and crafts, pool along with learning skills such as; cooking and baking and if their mint tiffin was anything to go by the baking skills are certainly paying off.
Although their hours have had to be slightly reduced recently youcan come along at the following times.
Fri: 1pm – 8.30pm
The group facilitates between 70 and 120 young people, some of whom have been on outings recently to Skara Brae, The Ring of Brodgar and The Ness of Brodgar. They have also been involved in chamber debates, all helping them to build up confidence of public outings and public speaking.
If you are able to help in any way they ask that you please get in touch:
You can find them on Facebook at The Orkney Youth Cafe
They also now have a Facebook Support Group