Breakfast club is a massive hit
We pay a visit to project aiming to start the day right
Over 100 people turned out to the Big Free Breakfast in Rutherglen last week - as Universal Connections brought a little magic to the dinner table.
The youth project has spent the summer opening its doors to the whole community, offering free breakfast to people of all ages three mornings a week.
And last Wednesday, the organisation celebrated the mid way point in the initiative with a feast of rolls and a healthy helping of magic.
Staff and volunteers served up rolls with bacon, sausages and eggs before magician Gary Dunn delighted youngsters and adults alike with his ever-popular show.
The entertainer made a stop in Burnhill before he took up residency at the Edinburgh Festival.
Victoria Barnett of Universal Connections, who organised the Big Free Breakfast, said: “The idea of the breakfast club is to bring the whole community together.
“Some of the kids get breakfast at school which they miss over the summer. We figured that by running the club they would get that great start to the day. There was clearly a gap there to do that.
“We are aware of the local statistics, there are pockets of poverty in the area, but it is not about money, for people it is about getting out and people getting to know each other.
“What we want is people of all ages to come and see what it is that we do here.”
Explaining Universal Connections is open every week day and typically caters for young people of secondary school age up to 25 years old, Victoria said the club had a packed schedule of activities planned over the summer, as well as trips away.
“This is the time we are opening it up for everyone to come in,” Victoria added. “I would like to say a big thank you to the breakfast club volunteers for coming in throughout the holidays to run the club, and for cooking and serving the food today. We couldn’t manage without them.”
The breakfasts have been attended by people of all ages and there are activities, such as arts and crafts for children while the adults enjoy a chat over a cuppa.
And whilst some mornings of the breakfast club have been quiet on the Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays they are run, the Big Free Breakfast was a great opportunity for locals to learn more about it.
Parent Suzanne McCourt said she would definitely be back with her girls aged four and 10.
“It is my first time here,” she said. “I stay in King’s Park. We saw it advertised on Facebook and it’s great to get out and about.
“I struggle to find things to do, with the two of them being different ages, but this is for everyone.
“We are going to come next Thursday now that we know about it.”
Margaret Wright, who stays in Bankhead, took her grandchildren to the Big Breakfast and said she too would be back.
“I never knew what was in here,” she said. “Someone put it on Facebook about the magician. I never knew there was so much in it.
“I would come back, you are always looking for something for them to do and everywhere you go costs a fortune.”
Fellow grandparent Cary McAteer from Burnhill added: “I have been bringing my granddaughter normally on a Thursday with my grandson and great niece.
“The last couple of weeks I came it has been quite quiet but she has enjoyed it. She really looks forward to coming.
“When you’re taking them anywhere, like soft play, you don’t get to speak to many people, it’s just in passing, but this is different.”
The breakfast club will run for the remainder of the summer holidays between 9.30am and 11.30am on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Anyone can attend, but children must be accompanied by an adult.
Volunteers running the club have all gained their food hygiene qualifications and been trained in first aid.
Bread and rolls for the breakfast club are provided by Warburtons, the meat is given by by James Campbell Butchers and cereal is provided by staff at Greggs Bakery.
Magician Gary’s show was a hit with the audience