A music project that works with young people in the rural Highlands is looking for cash to continue its work.
Community-run RocksKool, based in Kinlochleven and Ballachulish, is looking for £16,000 for its three-times-a-week sessions offering opportunities to those who may otherwise be marginalised, lonely or isolated.
Last November, RocksKool put on the biggest show of raw talent the area has ever seen when it showcased pupils from across the area at an open air event, Fort Rocks, in Fort William along with similar groups from Mallaig, Fort William and Strontian.
Volunteer Aileen Hornby who organises RocksKool as part of a not for profit group ICE – Inspire, Create, Empower, said: “We work with young people from any background and we have a special place for young people who maybe don’t go to school, or who need more support, and we pay special attention to them.”
The group run three classes a week for learners and more experienced young musicians and run a jam session every Wednesday night.
Organisers take the group for one recording session a year at Watercolour Music in Ardgour, and are always on the look out for opportunities for the youngsters to play gigs, such as Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival where they played in 2018.
Ms Hornby continued: “The project has been established for about 25 years, and ICE recently took over the running of it.
“We have discovered that funding that was available to the group in the past is just no longer available to us. Grants from the council, and from the National Lottery have dried up and that means we might find it difficult to continue in 2020.
“So this year we decided to take a new approach and fundraise the money we need through a crowdfunding page.
“The money will pay for all the basic things that go towards creating our project – room hire, music tuition fees, for equipment that we need and for our once a year recording at a Watercolour.
“There are three volunteers on the project, and one worker as well as music tuition. We know from feedback that the project is vitally important to the young people who take part.
“We are inclusive to all and provide tuition and experiences for young people from all walks of life and backgrounds. We pay particular attention to vulnerable young adults and offer them the chance to improve their quality of life.”