Pavilion at Voluntary Park to be given new lease of life as a Community Hub

AUGUST 22, 2022

Pavilion at Voluntary Park to be given new lease of life as a Community Hub

The old pavilion located at Whitletts Activity Centre in Ayr together with the 3G pitch, has been taken over by Vic’s In The Community. VICs are a charitable organisation established in 2018 with a proven track record of providing free organised football training to more than 250 children locally, as well as school holiday sessions. It has provided more than 15,000 meals to local people in need and is providing a Mental Health support programme to many individuals and families.
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The dream, they say, is for local businesses to join them in a kind of local “DIY SOS” by donating skills, products or money via sponsorship to help the pavilion regenerate. Phase one of the Pavilion is already underway, with a new roof currently being applied. Phase Two plans are advanced to provide modern changing facilities for players, plus spaces for referees and physios within the building.


It is hoped that Phase Three will see the space develop even more to an asset for the wider community. Plans are underway to create a community hub, offering space for meetings, functions and an all round facility that includes something for everyone, eventually bringing people together, reducing isolation, creating training and employment opportunities for local people.


Ed Hanna is a Trustee of Vic’s In The Community, as well as a volunteer football coach and team manager. He says, “We are hugely grateful to South Ayrshire Council for the long term lease of the facility. To move forward and achieve our ambitions we are asking for help from local people and businesses to be able to meet our plans within a reasonable timeframe.

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“Ayrshire has many contrasts, including huge disparities in wealth and amenities. We know times are tough for many and are asking local people and businesses across Ayrshire to work with us to create something of genuine community value. They can do this simply by buying advertising banner-space around the park – or by donating a kitchen, appliances, construction materials and building skills to help us restore the pavilion to its full potential.”

Vic’s In The Community has been in existence for 4 years, providing emergency support to more than 350 families during Covid, Christmas meals, and currently helping with cost of living support  to those most in need. The children’s football programme launched in earnest four years ago, and continues to grow weekly. A new 3G pitch has already been laid, where around 250 young people play football from “Fun Fours” up to the semi-professional West of Scotland Football League and other activities such as walking Football which is due to be added shortly.


With assistance from Our Community Development Manager and coaching staff, the Charity has been running free football summer camps 5 days a week through the holidays which include free lunches. The free lunches were donated by South Ayrshire Council as part of it’s Holiday Hunger initiative. To show them the impact the Club is making at the recently re-named, New Voluntary Park, it has also hosted visits from Allan Dorrans MP, Siobhan Brown MSP and the local Ayr North Councillors who have vigorously supported every stage of the Charity’s journey.  


Ed Hanna adds, “I work with a great bunch of Trustees and volunteers. Our clear focus is to provide opportunities for people within our local community that they would not otherwise have. Our work in the community over the last couple of years has led to significantly increased awareness of our work, increased demand for provision.  Our focus started in 2018 by providing football activities for children but we now have an increasing amount of adult activity programmes, of which we will shortly be adding walking football to our schedule.  We are proud of our ability to offer something for everyone with our focus on fun, health and fitness, reduced isolation and overall improving opportunities and life chances for all.


We have an extensive Community support programme ongoing providing much needed support with group and 1:1 support, assistance with the cost of living crisis and signposting to services. These services are provided on an outreach basis but the vision is to bring these together with our football programmes and all be based within the Community Hub, providing long term support for the community.


This is our Vision, “We need your Help” This is very much for the community and we are hoping for as much support as possible to realise our ambitions.


“We can’t bring you Nick Knowles and the whole DIY SOS team, but we offer a guarantee to local businesses that every penny or man-hours they donate will be used to improve lives and benefit the local community long term.”