New Portree Youth Club set to launch

The logo for the new Portree Youth Club

A new youth club is set to launch tonight (Friday 24th September) at the Skye Camanachd shinty clubhouse in the island capital.

The Portree Youth Club had originally been earmarked to start last August but its opening was postponed due to the pandemic.

Speaking to the Free Press about the initiative, High Life Highland Youth Development Officer Roddy MacLeod, who has assisted with the formation of the club and will be helping to run the weekly sessions, said he hopes that the club could follow the positive examples of community engagement set by established clubs in Broadford and Staffin.

Roddy added that as well as providing a safe space where people could enjoy themselves and interact with others their own age, the youth club will also offer continuous support for young people in the area on a range of issues such as educating on drugs, alcohol, social media, sexual health, employment opportunities and training.

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Earlier this year, a competition was run in conjunction with the Free Press to design a logo for the youth club, with Portree High School pupil Hannah Davidson’s creation chosen as the winner.

Winning designer, Hannah Davidson displays her logo for Portree Youth Club alongside Roddy MacLeod and Emma Gordon of High Life Highland.

As well as the prestige of having her design picked for the new logo, Hannah has also been assisting Roddy and Emma Gordon, High Life Highland’s new assistant youth worker for the North End, with preparations to get the Portree Youth Club up and running.

Looking ahead to Friday’s big opening, Roddy told the Free Press: “We can’t wait to finally get started. It’s been nearly a year of behind-the-scenes work from the brilliant working group we’ve got.

“Emma and I will be working with the youth club to get sessions running regularly and it’s been great to hear positive feedback from the community and the excitement for us to get going.”

The youth club’s weekly sessions are due to begin this Friday (24th September) at the shinty clubhouse from 7.30 – 9.30 pm. The club is open to youngsters of S1- first year – age at high school and upwards, entry is £1.

Article by Adam Gordon, images courtesy of Roddy MacLeod.