Photo by Clive Grewcock
A FUNDING boost has enabled an East Sutherland group which looks after young carers to purchase its own transport.
The Young Karers East Sutherland (Tykes) received £21,000 from YouthLink Scotland ? an organisation that supports the youth work sector ? towards the cost of a vehicle.
Tykes project manager Myra Clark took possession on Monday of a brand new, seven-seater people carrier bought from Ness Motors in Inverness.
She and field workers Magi Mackenzie and Steve Murray will use the vehicle to take Tykes members on outings to Inverness to go swimming, ice skating, bowling or enjoy other leisure pursuits.
The group, which supports around 58 young carers aged up to 18, with the youngest member only about six years old, also plans to organise short respite breaks throughout 2007.
Mrs Clark said: ?We?re absolutely delighted that our application to YouthLink Scotland was successful. Up until now we?ve been using our own cars to take our youngsters out, but that is not entirely satisfactory as we usually have to take more than one car and it is also very expensive.?
She said the link with Ness Motors had been made when the firm took a table at a black-tie fundraising ball that Tykes held in Dunrobin Castle, Golspie, last October.
?They took a corporate table and during the course of the evening we spoke to them about our hopes of getting transport through YouthLink. They told us that if the funding came through they would give us a good deal on a vehicle. They have been very supportive.?
She praised Ness Motors for not only giving a huge discount on the price of the black people carrier but also equipping it with a first aid kit, fire extinguishers, two fluorescent jackets and the booster seats required for youngsters under a certain height.
Another Inverness firm, Acorn Signs, painted the side of the new car with the group?s name and logo free of charge. The firm previously painted the windows, also free of charge, of the Tykes office in the Sutherland Estate building in Duke Street, Golspie.
Enough money was left from the grant award to pay for the vehicle?s insurance and running costs for the first year.
Mrs Clark added: ?Everyone has been very supportive. People are becoming more aware that we are here and of the work we do. The project is going from strength to strength.