YOUNG volunteers in Hawkhill have been out and about spreading festive goodwill to those in the community.

The boys and girls at the Hawkhill Community Centre spent their Saturday helping to clean up the area, before giving out holiday greetings to residents nearby.

In an attempt to strengthen community ties, the youngsters wished others a merry Christmas and delivered newsletter to keep them informed of what's going on in the area.

They also handed out a story-telling book, filled with recollections of Hawkhill from members of the community, as well as a festive poem.

The group also filled three bags of rubbish with items discarded on the ground near the centre.

Members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service also came out to show their support to the youngsters, who gave up their weekend to help spread some Christmas cheer.

Shirley-Anne Smith, youth development worker at Hawkhill Community Centre, said: "The kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It was fantastic to see them out there; I'm really pleased.

"We're trying to instil in the children a sense of being responsible citizens, which will hopefully follow through when they are adults.

"The older kids, those who attend the youth club, they are out there every Saturday with their litter pick and planting bulbs. They are giving up their free time.

"We'll also be offering help to residents in Hawkhill who maybe need their gardens tidied up or who want bulbs planted. All they have to do is get in touch."

There are around 40 kids signed up with the community centre, which runs a number of regular clubs for young people throughout the week.

In addition to the homework club, there is a dance class, an art club and a Pokemon club, while the centre is preparing a showcase event later this month.

A lot of the community work at the centre is supported by Police Scotland's violence reduction unit.

Inspector Keith Jack said: "The whole thing is about community and kinship. The young people go around chap on the doors of their neighbours and wish them a merry Christmas.

"And with this simple act, the young people see that these people are just like their mum or gran or someone else they know.

"The other side is that an elderly person looks out their window one night they might not be scared out of their wits because they know the kids playing in the streets.

"It's about making those connections which help to build a safe and happy community."