A RESIDENTS’ group has received a grant of almost £10,000 to improve the neighbourhood and equip young people with employability skills.

Whitebirk Tenants and Residents Association was awarded £9,980 from Awards for All England’s Big Lottery Fund.

The cash will be used to run a project called Whitebirk Community Hub, which aims to provide help and support to those that want to develop their employability skills.

The group said their work aims to bring the community together by holding events as well as reducing anti social behaviour by working with the police and council.

Jacqueline McGrew, chairman of Whitebirk Tenants and Residents Association, has run the group for 20 years.

She said: “I honestly couldn’t believe it when I was told the centre had been awarded the grant a month ago.

“I would like to thank Brian Holliday, who is our secretary and Wendy Spokes, a volunteer, who have both helped us in getting the grant.”

Mrs McGrew said they aim to use the money to purchase equipment for future events, such as the annual fundraising carnival to be held on August 12 at the community hub.

Mrs McGrew said: “We are spending the money on new computers, a fax machine and other office equipment.

“A bit of it is also going to buy a gazebo, two generators and a BBQ for events all year round.”

Mrs McGrew said the funding from the National Lottery’s Big Lottery Fund would make it easier to help people in the community.

She said: “We have a lot of children who come in and use our facilities and we are trying to get young people onboard.

“Our membership has also gone down. A lot of the older volunteers are no longer with us.

“We are working with Community Voluntary Service who are trying to get volunteers in to teach people to use computers.

To register your interest in volunteering contact by email on jacqueline.mcgrew@sky.com.