AN ALLOA youth group has been utilising outdoor spaces to keep activities going during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ever-adapting Connect Alloa is looking to make the best of restrictions, taking meetings outside while indoor gatherings are not permitted.

It comes after the youth group took its offering and services online at the start of the pandemic months ago.

Weather depending, Connect Alloa has launched its Walk & Talk Friday meet ups, socially distanced and making the best of outdoor spaces in a bid to get some fresh air and reduce isolation.

Dave Crozier, the youth worker behind the group, said: "It's just for an hour and a half but it gets out, gets us all a bit of exercise and re-introduces that face-to-face contact."

Having spoken to members of the Connect Alloa board, Dave added: "We discussed that things aren't going to be the same for a while so we are looking at things such as how we could do the John Muir Award with the kids in time, maybe introduce that to see if schools are interested in us providing that when we have a bit more capacity with staff as well.

"We are looking at that route as well because it's a case of: we can't provide everything that we want to, but what can we provide that's going to fill the gaps that are there right now and meet the young people's needs?"

A recent outdoor meeting saw some of the group walk down to Alloa's Wimpy Park for a bit of bowls, with thanks going to the Wimpy Park Community Group who have been working hard to spruce up the area.

Dave mused: "I was told by the young people it would be boring and they were loving it!"

He added: "It's a good space to go to; it's a good, pretty well-lit and safe walk [from outside our usual base at St Mungo's Parish Church].

"On the way back it's obviously a bit darker but we can take safe routes on the way home as well – it's a good green space to do different things in."

Dave was particularly keen to bring back activities.

While the group was successful in taking much of its offering digital, online chat or virtual games are not for everyone and many were longing for face-to-face interaction.

Dave said: "We are trying to adapt, we are trying new things and they are not always working but then we just see what comes next.

"And we are constantly asking the young people what they want as well."

Moving forward, Dave has plans to offer a programme of activities on a Saturday during daytime on top of Tuesday and Friday evening meets – when permitted and able.

Young people looking to join the group can find Connect Alloa on Facebook where they can ask for an invite to the Discord server as well.