ADT grant helps launch new games club for Alyth

L-r: Game Square founders Jamie Stewart, Laura Rodger and Grant Train

Alyth has a new club for teenagers and adults interested in gaming, thanks to a grant from our Community Projects Fund.

Game Square, which launched with a covid-compliant outdoor scavenger hunt in mid-May, will create spaces for adults and young people (aged 13+) to meet and connect in four main types of gaming:  video-games, tabletop role-playing games, board games and card games.

The £2,000 grant from ADT will pay for games consoles and equipment, venue-hire and administrative costs for the first year.  The group aims to get fully up and running once Scotland emerges from lockdown, and plans to run regular club events in a safe and fun environment catering to the varied needs and preferences of its members.

Game Square organiser Laura Rodger explained:  “We will provide a space to connect those in the community through a shared interest of gaming.  Online gaming has become more popular throughout the various lockdowns as a way for people to stay connected and in touch with friends.  Coming out of lockdown, we aim to provide a space for people to game and socialise in person, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.  We’ll be open to all who have an interest in gaming, from complete beginners to seasoned players, creating a welcoming environment for all who have an interest gaming, regardless of skill level.

Fellow founder Grant Train added: “We would also be looking to collaborate with local groups such as the Alyth Youth Partnership.  It is also important to highlight that by having this club, we will be providing a safe alternative space for young people. Additionally, there are not currently many clubs in Alyth which cater to the 18+ demographic. So our club will provide a secure environment for inter-generational socialisation, improving relations within the community.

Jamie Stewart, the third founder member, said:  “There’s nothing else like this anywhere nearby, so we hope to attract anyone who would like to give gaming a go, or who doesn’t currently have a club to attend, not just from Alyth but from surrounding communities like Blairgowrie, Rattray, Meigle and so on as well, hopefully creating extra business for our town and strengthening inter-community connections.”

Game Square will be run as a non-profit club, with any surplus being invested back in the group, eventually becoming self-sustaining within two-to-three years.  Once established, Game Square hopes to run an additional club for 8 to 12 year olds, as well as community events such as family game-days, taster sessions and game tournaments.  Find out more on the group’s Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/317308696485299\

Overwhelming support for Jubilee Park plans

The results are in for the recent community survey on Jubilee Park, and the verdict is a resounding ‘Yes’ for a new path and possibly other improvements in the future. The Jubilee Park Working Group has expressed huge thanks to everyone who took the time to give their views.

More than 170 people replied, which is about one in 14 (or 7) of the town’s population – a pretty good result for this sort of thing. There were responses from all age groups, from under 10s to over 65s, and the Working Group think the results are a good representation of the view of the community.

Eight out of 10 people said they visit the Park at least one or more times per month, most of them one or more times per week. Nearly 60% listed walking, particularly dog-walking, as their main activity. Jubilee Park’s role as a community asset was emphasised by almost 40% saying they met friends, took part in organised activities, sports and games, or took their children and grandchildren for fresh air and exercise.

More than 150 of the respondents (88%) strongly welcomed the idea of a new path, saying it would encourage them to visit more often in wet weather, or to take buggies and wheelchairs there, and that they would likely visit more often. When asked to say what improvements they’d like to see, lots of people called for more play facilities for children, more seating, toilets and dog-waste bins among other things. Several people said Larghan Park in Coupar Angus could be a good model for the Jubilee Park.

The Working Group said they were very encouraged by the response, and will now be talking to Perth & Kinross Council and looking for sources of funding to turn Alyth’s shared vision into reality.

The full survey results, including individual comments, can be viewed here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-YFW8PXDL9/, and you can keep in touch with the Working Group on Facebook.