Aberdeen charity marks 100 years of helping young people and families

Set up in 1924 by local businesses, Aberdeen Lads Club has played a pivotal role in the lives of many local children.

An Aberdeen charity is marking 100 years of helping young people and families.

Aberdeen Lads Club has been providing vital services in the east end of the city since 1924 and says demand for its services is continuing to grow.

Chelsea Davie has been coming to the club since she was a young child. Both her parents were volunteers and now her son attends the group, making him the third generation of his family to be supported by the service.

Speaking to STV News, Chelsea said: ”They looked after me when I was younger so I knew he would be safe, and I knew he would get taught the way I wanted him to get taught.”

Located at the heart of the community, the services have been essential for hundreds of families. Chelsea says the club was a huge part of her childhood growing up.

She said: ‘It’s a safe place. You’re learning new things all the time, the sports, the bouncy castle, that was my favourite part when I was younger. All your friends were here, and it was just fun to be here all the time really.”

Set up in 1924 by local businesses, the club has played a pivotal role in the lives of many local children.

John Struthers, president of Aberdeen Lads Club, has been involved with the club for almost 50 years. During that time, he has seen many young faces come through the doors.

”Denis Law. who started here when he was 13, started the actual football team itself. Obviously, Denis went on to become a professional footballer’’ John said.

‘‘We also had Dave Smith from Rangers and Scotland, and Ron Yeats from Liverpool, so we have had many notable people and many more.”

From early years nursery to after school clubs and youth clubs, the charity provides a range of invaluable support to families in Tillydrone and further afield.

The club’s manager, Angie Johnston, has been involved for 33 years.

”When children come to our services, we’re not just there to support the children but the family as a whole’’ Angie said.

‘‘The financial crisis has absolutely had an impact on families’ lives. Families are facing many different challenges.

“One of the things we try and do is to be as inclusive as possible – making sure we can open our doors for anybody, removing financial barriers where possible and making our fees as low as possible.”

As the club marks its major centenary milestone, its aim remains the same as it did in those very early days – to support, inspire and encourage the next generation to reach their full potential and believe they can be anything they want to be.

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