Cafe keeps youths off the streets

A charity youth café in Torry will be in the hands of young people for at least another quarter of a century.

Principal volunteer and organiser, Debbie Greig, signed a 25 year lease from Aberdeen City Council at the end of January.

Debbie said that the café is “brilliant” and between 30 and 60 young people attend on Wednesday and Friday night when it is open.

She added: “On a Friday night I often can’t get folk out for yapping and can’t shut the building until 11pm.”

Funding is actively sought by Debbie but is boosted by fundraising activities like monthly car boot sales.

It is for youths aged ten to 17 and was founded by members of the Torry community and opened in 2005 by Kate Dean, former leader of Aberdeen City Council.

With the help of Debbie and a pool of seven volunteers the young people can do activities including painting, jewellery making and digital photography as well as trips out of Aberdeen.

Debbie said it’s down to “what the kids want” and meetings are held monthly to discuss what to save up for next.

The volunteers believe that the key to the youth café’s success is that they do not “preach” to the kids but still cover tricky modern issues.

Debbie added: “We speak to them about drugs and alcohol. We try to use games to make it more interesting for them. They get enough preaching at school.”

The volunteers agree that if the funding was provided they would open every night.

Debbie said: “The kids love coming in and it keeps them off the streets.”

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