Funding needed for kids’ art club

Cllr Margot Russell and Donna Strachan with local youngsters.
Cllr Margot Russell and Donna Strachan with local youngsters.

A crowdfunding appeal has been launched to provide a weekly arts club for children in one of Midlothian’s most deprived areas.

The Bill Russell Youth project is running the club at the Marc Bulding in Woodburn, and yesterday (Wednesday) launched a crowdfunding appeal to make that a reality, asking for £1 to £30 a month and one-off donations.

Local artist Donna Strachan will run the Art Club every Monday evening with other local artists, teaching the young people particular skills.

She said: “If we can raise £500 a month in sponsorships we can run a basic art club.

“Councillor Margot Russell gave £3000 of her own money to start the pilot project. We took 14 kids for that, which was four over what we had budgeted for. We decided to shorten the pilot to 10 weeks instead of 12 and run two sessions.

“On the first week we had a waiting list of eight, that is just continuing to grow. If we raise £500 in sponsorship we can take 20 kids, running two sessions every Monday.”

Donna added that the local community are very much behind the project.

She said: “They have given over £200 in donations already. Our video on Facebook has been shared over 50 times, and has been watched by over 2000 people. This is before the official launch. I am continually approached by members of the community asking about and expressing their support for this project.

“There is no other creative outlet for young people in the area. They asked for this and have worked hard to make it happen. It is a grassroots movement by young people in Woodburn, I think we as adults should be supporting them in any way we can.

“These young people have so much potential, I don’t want to see the talent in Woodburn go to waste.”

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