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Culture Minister visits Auchinleck Summer Project

13 June 2008

Culture Minister Linda Fabiani MSP visited members of Auchinleck Summer Project today (Friday).

The 18 young people built a garden as a memorial to the men who died working in Ayrshire’s mines over the past two centuries. A local competition to design the garden was won by Jay Spiers from Auchinleck Primary School and Jamie Dabronski from Auchinleck Academy.

In March the project which was managed by the leading charity NCH Scotland was named the winner of the Young Scot Heritage Award 2008.

Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture, Linda Fabiani MSP, said: “From design to completion this garden has taken a lot of hard work and the results are incredible. Everyone involved in this project should feel very proud of themselves.

“It is a moving tribute. When people visit here they will remember the miners of this area but they will also see the respect and compassion you have shown their memory and families.”

The Miners’ Memorial Walk was officially opened in November and was managed by  NCH Scotland in partnership with East Ayrshire Council. The site it now covers was originally in a state of disrepair and a target for vandals.

Andrew Girvan, Director of NCH Scotland, said: “Many of the young people involved in this work had a history of problem behaviour and were being helped by the NCH Chances project. This demonstrates how young people can be helped to change and make a positive contribution to the communities in which they live.”  

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council also presented the young people with a Quaich. He said: “ It is important that our young people remember and appreciate the sacrifices that were made by local mine workers and that their memory lives on through such worthwhile projects. It is also very important that our young people take pride in their communities and respect the environment around them; there can be no better example than this.

“I had the pleasure of meeting with the young people involved in the project last month. They are excellent ambassadors for the community of Auchinleck and East Ayrshire and they really appreciate the incredible support and recognition they have received.”

Denise McDade of BCTV said: “Our BTCV group in Auchinleck, who are all ProjectScotland volunteers, have worked incredibly hard over the past year on a variety of projects in their community and gained a great deal of satisfaction from improving their local surroundings.  The highlight of their placement was the Miner’s Memorial project, which they completed in the Summer of 2007.

“The group, all aged between 16 and 25 gained a real sense of achievement and their confidence has increased significantly as a result of volunteering with BTCV Scotland.  Each volunteer had the support of a line manager and a mentor, and a training allowance, to equip them with the knowledge to work on varying types of environmental projects in Auchinleck.”

Notes for Editors

  • NCH is one of the leading children’s charities in Scotland, working in partnership to run more than 65 services for more than 7000 of Scotland’s most vulnerable children, young people and their families. Across the UK it runs nearly 500 services.

  • NCH was previously known as National Children’s Home. It rebranded in 2000 to become NCH, the children’s charity

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit

  • The Young Scot Awards is organised by Young Scot and the Sunday Mail. Historic Scotland has sponsored the Heritage category for the last three years.

  • Register for media release email alerts from If you wish to unsubscribe at any time, please email  or telephone on 0131 668 8603

NCH Scotland
Contact: Bryan Christie
Direct line: 0131 653 2750
Mobile: 07788 583037

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873