Future is secured for VIP Academy

VIP Arts and Dance Academy has 150,000 reasons to celebrate
VIP Arts and Dance Academy has 150,000 reasons to celebrate
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The future of a Fallside charity has been guaranteed for the next three years after receiving a huge windfall.

VIP Arts and Sports Academy was presented with a bumper £150,000 from the National Lottery .

VIP was set up four years ago by Gail Smith, who has a background in dance, gymnastics and sport and felt there was little for the kids to do in the area.

She started off with 33 kids and this number has now grown to more than 100, including over 50 who attend classes in Fallside Community Centre every night of the week.

Alongside the likes of dance, gymnastic and musical theatre the range of classes has expanded to include health and beauty, guitar lessons and cookery.

Classes take place in the centre except for a new football group which meets at nearby St John Paul II Primary.

All the children attending are in P1-7 and have been recommended by Active School Co-ordinators who identify youngsters who could use a little help.

VIP also runs several school outreaches and Gail is now looking to expand VIP further.

She said: “When we started this we just wanted to give the kids somewhere to go as there was really nothing in Fallside, and I have to thank Councillor Bob Burrows for his advice as we’ve gone along this journey.

“At one stage we wondered if we could keep going, and then came the call from the Lottery to tell us we would be receiving £150,000. I can’t say how delighted we were.

“With our future secured for the next three years at least, we would like to start introducing the children to competitive events, while at the same time expanding to take in youngsters who are in S1.”