A CHARITABLE youth project is hoping to provide much-needed activities for Alloa young people when it launches this year.

Work is underway to fully establish Connect Alloa, which will offer to local youngsters a space to meet and hang out as well as activities to keep them busy.

For Dave Crozier, the man behind the idea, work on the project had already started two years ago when he joined the Church of Scotland for an initiative that sought to map the needs and wants of locals.

Dave said: “I always wanted to start something up for young people and that’s what the results were: they wanted to do something with youth and young adults, they wanted to provide a place to reduce social isolation.

“And they just wanted to give them a place to just kind of be themselves as well.”

Connect Alloa is teaming up with St Mungo’s Parish Church, where the activities will be hosted.

The vision is for a long-term project working with local young people.

Dave added: “But, you have to start small and start with what people are asking for and build it from there, build relationships through this as well.”

Initial plans are to open the doors twice a week with drop-ins and activities including games as well as creative opportunities.

A team of trustees is in place and works with Dave as the group drives the project forward.

Connect Alloa will soon be looking for volunteers with an aim of officially launching the activities in a few months.

Dave is also hoping to link-in with schools in the near-future and was particularly happy he could bring in a young trustee to support a campaign in the wake of the Year of Young People.

Huw Sherrard, MSYP for Clackmannanshire, was happy to support the initiative.

He said: “The activities that we talked about running, and going forward, are all things that [also came from] the youth consultation we did this year – it reflected the same things the church consultation brought up.

“So we definitely know the things that they highlighted are still things that are needed by young people in the local area.”

St Mungo’s Parish Church minister Rev Sang Y Cha has also thrown his weight behind the idea.

“Both Dave and I share a deep passion for imagining what Alloa can be," the church leader said.

“Alloa may not be what it used to be in its glory days, but we understand that Alloa is not yet what it might be in 2019 and beyond.

“The Connect Alloa Board of Directors share with us the excitement of great expectations- to interpret the community's unarticulated yearnings and unrecognised needs and to give them a concrete place of welcome, safety and friendship within our church building.

“With our newly created social space, at the back of the church, we are now ready to welcome all those young people who are looking for a place of belonging and friendship.

“As I always say: ‘Something good is just about to happen’.”

Keep an eye on Connect Alloa on Facebook for the latest or email davecrozier.connectalloa@gmail.com for more details.