Galashiels youngsters at TD1 Youth Hub were visited by its charity supporter BBC Children In Need and the town’s own rugby star Chris Paterson last week.
The Ladhope Vale facility, which receives a three-year grant of more than £77,500 from the Children In Need charity, welcomed the former Scotland internationalist on a visit to his hometown to show how that funding makes a difference to disadvantaged youths, ahead of the annual BBC Children in Need appeal show last Friday.
Formed in 2013, TD1 works with young people aged 11 to 19 years old, particularly those who come from chaotic backgrounds or who may be disengaged with the community.
It offers a range of youth work opportunities, including drop-ins and one-to-one support.
However, in particular, it offers a space where those youngsters can focus on activities and sports that boost their confidence, allowing them to socialise and make friends.
For Chris, Friday’s visit to TD1 was also a welcome opportunity to return home.
“When BBC Children in Need invited me back to my hometown of Galashiels to visit TD1 Youth Hub and see first-hand the work that the charity supports, I couldn’t resist,” the 39-year-old said. “I got to teach some of the young people a few rugby tricks, and it was great to see how even a warm-up game brings them such joy.”
The former Galashiels, Edinburgh and Scotland rugby star retired from international play after the World Cup in 2011 and from professional rugby in 2012, taking up a dual role as a Scottish Rugby Ambassador and specialist coach with Scotland and Edinburgh.
He added: “Being involved in sport from such a young age was brilliant; it gave me a chance to broaden my horizons through travel and gave me the opportunity to meet lots of new people, not to mention the many health benefits to staying active.
“Sports, fitness and spending time outdoors are just some of the many opportunities available at TD1, and it’s all thanks to you.”
Children in Need currently funds 290 projects across Scotland, to the value of £17.7m.