Creative and adventurous young people won’t be at a loss for activities this Easter thanks to the efforts of two Kilmarnock-based charities


EASTER is set to hit a high note at an East Ayrshire arts group with music camps for children and young people and hitting dramatic heights in a different way will be kids taking part in activities at Ayrshire’s only indoor climbing centre.

Both CentreStage and Above Adventure are charities based in  Kilmarnock and have plenty to offer during the holidays as well as all year round.

Above Adventure was formed ten years ago and has just completed a £4.5m conversion of a Victorian Church in Kilmarnock into an indoor climbing centre offering rope climbing, bouldering, a state of the art sensory room and a café.

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Above Adventure is accessible for all users. Its aim is to bring the sport of climbing to those at a disadvantage who may not have had the opportunity, along with groups and climbing for all adults, kids and families. 

“Climbing is quite a unique sport in that it has a variety of benefits,” said chairperson Gayle Watson. “It’s good for your physical health but also helps build confidence and communication skills as well as the ability to work in a team.” 

Above Adventure welcomes a variety of groups such as brownies, scouts and local sports teams. 

The facility also welcomes a variety of outreach groups with children and adults from disadvantaged backgrounds. After their sessions they leave with their confidence boosted, communication skills improved and feeling accomplished, according to Gayle. 

“We get kids with quite extreme backgrounds at times – maybe children who have suffered severe trauma – but when they come here, they forget about it as climbing is quite an exhilarating sport and all their problems disappear for a while,” she said. 

“Kids love it because it is something they haven’t done before and a safe challenge. There are a lot of benefits and it is a brilliant asset for Ayrshire.”

The Herald:

The Easter holiday camps offer a variety of different types of climbing and instruction suitable for beginners to more experienced climbers from 
age 5-15. 

The camps will run on each week of the Easter holidays on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am until 5pm and the price includes lunch and snacks.

Parents can watch the fun on screens in the café which serves homebaking and hot and cold snacks.  The sensory room is also available to hire.

BASED at the former Kilmarnock Academy, CentreStage operates with an ethos that anyone can gain life changing and social benefits through active participation in the arts.

It presents a range of performing arts and creative industry activities, together with a full programme of well-being activities which are fully funded for people of all ages, abilities, and circumstances. 

After operating from a variety of venues, all CentreStage’s work is now based at the former academy, which was the 
UK’s biggest asset community transfer in 2019.

The building has been turned into a fully accessible community village and houses a popular licensed café bar which is open every day, along with a 250-seat 

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This will be the setting for a special concert on Easter Saturday from CentreStage’s six community choirs, followed by a charity performance by folk music group Hoolit on April 12 and a sell-out show by Skerryvore on April 21.

The S1–S3 musical theatre group will stage Beauty and the Beast at the end of May while the adult musical theatre group will perform Hairspray towards the end of June.

During the Easter holidays there is a songwriting camp for teens, giving them the chance to write, perform and record their own song, and a music camp for children aged 9-12 where they can learn to play a new instrument. 

Along with the special events run by CentreStage during the school holidays, there are plenty of other groups and classes held throughout the year for all ages and abilities. 

Many are free while scholarships are available for others such as drama and musical theatre.

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“CentreStage has been at the heart of Kilmarnock since 2006, bringing people together by providing access to music and the arts and removing barriers to participation, whether these are financial, social or physical,” said CentreStage Fundraising Manager Caroline Lyon.  

“Everyone is welcome and now, within the regenerated and fully accessible former Kilmarnock Academy, over 2,500 people, aged from just weeks old to 103 years young, are part of our community which also now provides a home to over 20 
private, third and public sector organisations”.