DD8 Music’s community youth work strikes a chord at Voluntary Arts awards

DD8 Musics contingent at the BBC Salford awards ceremony.

An Angus community group has scooped a memorable double in the voluntary arts Oscars.

Hot on the heels of rocking the town with a record-breaking BonFest, Kirriemuir’s DD8 Music landed an Epic Award for their exceptional work with young people through a project that provides free music lessons, jamming sessions and recording facilities.

For good measure, DD8 were also announced as Scotland runners-up in the Voluntary Arts-run national award scheme, which aims to spotlight excellence and achievement in the voluntary and amateur arts.

Organisations across the UK involved in projects as diverse as the transformation of a flyover into a cultural space to a graffiti art group for the visually impaired were honoured at the Epic Awards ceremony, hosted by BBC Outreach at Media City UK in Salford, Manchester.

At its Bellies Brae base in the Angus town, DD8 Music offers a range of opportunities for musically-minded local young people.

It also organises a range of community events, the annual highlight being May’s BonFest celebration of AC/DC frontman Bon Scott, who spent his early years in Kirrie.

The weekend event regularly attracts fans of the group from across the globe and the latest celebration saw a record-breaking visitor influx to special exhibition of AC/DC memorabilia at the town’s Gateway to the Glens museum.

DD8 development officer Graham Galloway said: “The Epic Awards winners’ reception was fantastic, really great fun and great that we were able to bring some of our young people down to it as well.

“It’s always great to get recognition for the work we do, and seeing the calibre of the other people who won an award, some of the other projects are phenomenal, so to be in the same category as them is just great.”

Kieran Hollins, 18, said: “I feel much more part of a community than I did before I joined DD8, because it brings lots of young people together. “My music skills have improved greatly I played a little bit of guitar before I came here, but being around other people who play music it really pushes you.

“It was a great feeling when we won the Young People’s Award.”

Scotland’s cabinet secretary for culture and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP said: “DD8 Music is led by some truly inspirational young people in the town of Kirriemuir.

“I wish them all continued success.”