Project information

The Ark - main project

The Ark is a youth nightclub and centre, based in Ayr but serving young people from all over Ayrshire. We seek to engage, equip and empower young people through our weekend diversionary events, outreach, schools work and more. We work with partners to deliver the best service to our young people.

This project is ongoing.

Charity information

The Ayr Ark

The Ayr Ark logo
  • Need


    The level of underage binge drinking amongst 11-18 year olds is of national concern. Statistics released in 2006 showed that in Ayrshire and Arran, the number of teenage discharges from Accident and Emergency for alcohol related causes was the highest in Scotland. This was updated in 2010 to reveal that the region continues to be higher than the Scottish average.


    The Ark runs and hosts diversionary weekend events for young people to keep them away from the pressures of drugs and alcohol. We also have an outreach team who seek to engage with young people out on the streets; many of whom who are at risk and/or involved in the consumption of alcohol. The Ark seeks to engage, equip and empower young people to see a different path, away from alcohol and drugs, into safer lifestyle choices and a more positive future.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To engage with young people, where they are at.


    » We will welcome young people into our weekend events in our trendy, state of The Ark nightclub and centre. We will also run a midweek lunch cafe.
    » We will reach out to young people by way of streetwork at the weekends and midweek.
    » We will work in partnership with schools, churches and other organisations to reach out to as many young people as possible.

    Success will be hosting 70 weekend events in 2012 attended by young people. We will aim to work with 700 young people (repeat engagement included) though weekend outreach.

    Aim 2

    We will equip young people with knowledge and choices at the point of need.


    » We will provide advice and support to young people attending our weekend events at The Ark.
    » Our outreach team will educate and positively challenge young people on the streets, delivering Brief Interventions where appropiate.
    » We will maintain good relationships with partners to provide additional or more specialised support for young people where appropriate.

    Success will be discussing issues important to young people during outreach and weekend events and documenting these. We will monitor the number of Brief Intervetions delivered.

    Aim 3

    We will empower young people to take control of their lives and develop skills and confidence.


    » We will strive to work with young people at risk of exclusion through schools and encourage them to set their aspirations high (and achievable).
    » We will provide the opportunity for young people to take part in learning (e.g. workshops) to grow and develop their talents or learn new skills.
    » We will grow and develop a team of young volunteers, encouraging them to be positive role models in the lives of our young people.

    Success will be running at least 15 workshops in 2012 in which young people can develop. We will grow and develop our work to engage with partners to deliver the best service.

  • Impact


    We keep many young people off the streets every year and into safer lifestyle choices. One young person said that without The Ark he would be "a drunken bum with no future." We show young people that they do not need to turn to alcohol, discuss consequences of drinking and direct them to heathier options. We will develop transferable skills in young people which will equip them for their future. We demonstrate success by consulting with young people, parents and partners and evaluating our work.


    The greatest risk to The Ark (as with many charities) is funding. We deal with these risks by making sure that we continually apply to various funders and trusts and ensuring this need remains a priority. We have also received grants from funders in the past for a three year period and we consistently communicate with the local authority to discuss areas of funding and how we can make The Ark even more sustainable than it is already.


    Donors to the project will receive regular updates on the work of The Ark, as well as regular newsletters and a copy of our Annual Report as it is published.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £107,945

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      Amount Heading Description
      £18,050 Operations / Events Hosting and running events in The Ark venue
      £56,300 Personnel Salaries and associated costs
      £9,625 Property and Capital Equipment This includes rent and insurance
      £7,510 ICT, IT and utilities Bills to light and heat The Ark. Also includes costs for computer suite
      £8,090 Janitorial, waste and cleaning This includes salary for a part-time cleaner
      £8,370 Other, office and contingency Entertainment licences, marketing, auditors fees, office supplies and equipment, marketing

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    The Robertson Trust £15,000 Guaranteed
    The Gannochy Trust £10,000 Guaranteed
    The R.S. MacDonald Charitable Trust £10,000 Conditional
    Local Churches £3,246 Guaranteed
    SmithKline Beecham £800 Guaranteed
    Fort, Seafield and Wallacetown Community Council £50 Guaranteed
    The Co-operative Membership Fund £2,000 Guaranteed
    South Ayrshire Council £700 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Ark is based in Ayr but seeks to reach out to young people from all over Ayrshire. Unfortunately the south west of Scotland has a bad reputation concerning alcohol and under-age drinking. We exist to challenge that behaviour, encourage young people away from such pressures and temptations and encourage them to become effective contributors on their local area.


    We are open to all young people regardless of of sex, sexuality, race, creed, physical or mental ability. Ayr is a town of contrasts, with leafy suburbs near areas which rate highly in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. We seek to engage all young people whether it is on the streets, in schools or in our venue. We also seek to bring young people from different areas together,; breaking down barriers that may exist across local boundaries. Young people from all backgrounds will benefit

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Ark was born from the voices of young people, asking for a youth nightclub and was followed up by more thorough research in the area which proved in favour of the project. Local and National Government strategies indicate that our work is in line with evidence based priorities in volunteering, youth work, alcohol, drugs and anti-social behaviour. We now have eight years of experience serving young people in Ayrshire and continue to learn from our experiences and diversify our service.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Tracy Baird

    As the Senior Project Worker, Tracy is responsible for the overall management and operation of the project.

    Michael Mills

    Mike is the Youth Project Worker and he is responsible for assisting the Senior Project Worker in the management and operation of The Ark

    Youth And Outreach Staff - Mark And Morag

    To engage with young people on the streets of Ayr; providing support and advice at the point of need.

    Gillian Aitken

    Gillian is the Administrator / Event Organiser and is responsible for much of the administration; including organising events and maintaining records.

“your group’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of our local community; and the dedication of your volunteers is an inspiration to us all.”