AN ALLOA youth group is looking ahead to a busy 2023, having moved premises for the next three months.

Youth group Connect Alloa, simply referred to as Connect by many young people who attend, last week returned after the Christmas break with two busy sessions, all at a new space thanks to funding support.

Project manager Dave Crozier and the team kicked off the year on January 12 at Unit 10 at Carsebridge Court in Alloa, just across Whins Road from the business centre.

It was a busy session with 16 already attending the first session.

Connect's 2023 offering will see activities each Thursday and Friday.

Thanks to funding from Clackmannanshire Family Wellbeing Partnership's Clackmannanshire Wellbeing Project, there is a homework club and social time opportunity, with food provided, from 4pm to 6pm while a range of activities take place from 6.30pm to 8pm for young people from P7 to 19 years of age.

With a new venue secured, Dave told the Advertiser: “It's literally what I've always envisioned what a youth group should be.

“There's stuff all up on the walls already and we only ran one night – everything is instantly accessible.

“It's got a place for everyone which is Connect's ethos.”

On top of activities available at all times, Dave is bringing in renowned award-winning chef Billy Campbell, who heads up the community café at St Mungo's Parish Church where the group enjoyed a social space before the move, for some cookery classes.

“Because we have this money, we can put it back towards the church essentially; it's not like we are gone forever, we want to really support them,” Dave added.

“If you are going to have anyone doing a cooking session with you – it's got to be Billy.”

Stepping things up a gear, Dave is also hoping to organise a residential weekend trip for the young people for two nights.

The Carsebridge Court venue has been secured until the end middle of April.

Speaking about the first night back, Dave said: “I was really surprised, Thursday is actually our quiet night and we had probably double the numbers of our core group.

“We had a new young person, we had a young person come back after a break with us as well – we had 16 young people on our first night back which is kind of unheard of.

“Usually with a youth group you'd expect them to forget for a couple of weeks, but we pushed it enough and we had kids come back excitedly.”

The space is truly beginning to feel like a home for the group – find Connect on Facebook for details on how to get involved.