Cathcart youngsters get straight to The Point

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HIGH school pupils are being asked to get to The Point this weekend, as a new after-school drop-in service launches in Cathcart.

The Point — based at The Gateway, on Merrylee Road — has been open since April, but Saturday marks its official unveiling with a visit from Newlands and Auldburn councillor Stephen Curran.

The scout hall has been renovated and equipped with internet access and the latest computer games, a tuck shop and a chill-out room, all courtesy of a £9,500 grant from Glasgow city council’s Newlands and Auldburn area committee.

The scheme is run by the Cathcart Youth Ministry Project (CYMP), formed by three of the area’s churches — Cathcart Trinity church of Scotland, the Baptist church and the United Free church — in 2007.

Running the show is senior development worker Cara Wightman, alongside youth worker Craig Morris.

Cara told The Extra: “The idea of The Point is to create a safe environment for young people to hang out after school.

“There’s nothing in the community for young people, but this is creating a space that’s especially for them.

“It’s a place for homework, playing games or doing whatever, and we hope that more young people will come along after Saturday”.

Anyone in S1-6 can use the centre, which offers everything from the latest Xbox and PS3 games to homework help — and more activities are on the cards, as Cara and Craig take suggestions from the youngsters involved.

Cara continued: “It’s up to them what goes on here — some of the girls have said they’d like to do dancing, and we’re hoping to get a dance instructor in.

“We’re just providing the space, and we’d like a core group of young people to shape what they would like The Point to be”.

As for the scout hall itself, the interior has come on leaps and bounds with the help of CYMP — which Cara is particularly proud of (and which the scouts appreciate too).

She added: “If you look at pictures before and after, it’s 100 times better.

“We’ve created a calm and relaxing space so that we can be there with the young people involved – that’s why one room is set up like a living room, to remind them that it’s a place for them to chill out”.

Although an after-school club, The Point will be running various activities later in the summer, as well as its established annual holiday club at the end of July (this year with an Olympics theme).

But for now, the hope is that the southside community will join the opening celebrations on Saturday, from 11am — and CYMP even promise cookies and cupcakes thrown in.

To find out more about the after-school club, visit the Radiate Cathcart website.