Group helps stimulate village

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A youth group in a small Deeside village is going from strength to strength.

It was set up in Strachan nearly two years ago following the closure of the local shop, post office, church and mothballing of the primary school.

Retired local primary school teacher Anne Horsfall and three volunteers decided to form the Village Children Youth Group.

It meets in Strachan Hall every two weeks during term time and attracts of youngsters from the village primary, Finzean and some Banchory Academy pupils.

Mrs Horsfall said: “We are trying to build the community into it.

“The reason for forming the group was that we had lost our village shop, post office, church and the school had been mothballed, which it now has for a second time).

“There was nowhere for the children to meet and form friendships in the village.

“We were always aware that children go to swimming, guitar, dancing and such like, but this is where they learn a particular skill and they are not social settings.

“The youth group has gone from strength to strength and we now attract some children from further afield, like Banchory.”

The group has a variety of crafts on offer, along with games, toys, construction and at most of the sessions there is a guest, such as a magician or skilled craftsperson and this term Satrosphere, the Aberdeen-based science musuem, will visit.

Mrs Horsfall added: “We used to collect voluntary donations at the door but now feel that it is reasonable to charge £3 per child at each session, though if a family is unable to pay this the fee is waived.”

The children are provided with food and each 
session ends with traditional games.

The group was recently selected one of the three charities for the local Tesco store’s ‘Bags of Help’ in September and October.