An Angus charity has scooped a major lockdown boost with a near five-figure windfall to help it transform an old cadet camp into a youth activity centre.
Hedzup has been awarded almost £10,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund to support its work, including the creation of the outdoor centre near Edzell.
The charity was established in 2008 by its chairman, Ian Pert, supported by Euan Stewart, a local police officer, and Hazel Coutts, who were members of Angus Council Local Multi Agency Resource Team.
It forged its name on motorcycle circuits including the legendary Isle of Man TT course after developing a race team which was the driver for a project to encourage teenagers to learn new individual and team-working skills.
Young people from Angus schools are involved in every aspect of running the team, from seeking sponsorship to building the bikes and racing in competition.
The race team has a Forfar base, but the lottery grant will be used to continue the revamp of the former cadet camp on land belonging to the Myles family, who are keen supporters of the initiative.
Mr Pert said: “Hedzup runs as often as seven days a week when race season is on, and our projects can be attended by up to 50 young people a week.
“The sessions with the younger age groups help the children to make friends, while learning new skills and having fun.”
He said children gained greater confidence, self-belief and important collaboration skills.
Older groups can be learning important skills to help them start on the employment ladder with some youths leaving with qualifications in health and safety, first aid, manual handling and other industry recognised certificates.
The new funding will allow Hedzup to improve the development of the outdoor centre and give it a base to be able to improve its activities and range of learning possibilities.
Mr Pert said: “We are obviously waiting on confirmation of when we can resume our activities, but I have been working away at the centre during lockdown and this funding will allow us to really move forward with it.
“This will mean we can get the dining room and classroom done, and hopefully a good bit of the first accommodation block.
“The centre is really going to broaden the activities and opportunities we can offer and we’re delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way.”
The group is also exploring developing its client base to include work with families and adults.