Youngsters at Shortlees SKY (Stuff for Kids and Young People) project were delighted when a famous entrepreneur dropped in for a visit, with a film crew in tow.

 Local business leader Sir Tom Hunter and the crew were filming for the STV Appeal, giving SKY the chance of winning a cash boost from the fund, which is backed to the tune of £100,000 by Sir Tom.

 STV is airing a week of programmes for the appeal, supporting children affected by poverty in Scotland. Programming started on 11 September and concludes with a live studio show on Friday 16 September.

 The kids from Shortlees Primary School enjoyed the SKY summer playscheme and many are members of various clubs run by the organisation.

Sir Tom dropped in to hear from the youngsters themselves about what they had been doing and how the project helped them.

 Project Manager Sarah Hall said: “When Sir Tom arrived, the kids were all really good at chatting about their activities. He seemed very impressed and interested.

 “In summer, we took the children on trips to places like the Science Centre and the Comedy Club, where they took part in workshops on how to be comedians.

 “SKY is in danger of closing down if we don’t get funding, so we really need this money just to keep going.

 “We work with any Shortlees young people who want to come and we have a policy that we never exclude anyone”.

New SKY projects include a programme with Kilmarnock Football Club, offering coaching to Grange Academy pupils from Shortlees and a befriending project in partnership with Shortlees Primary School.

 The SKY Project provides access to a grass-roots, cost-free service, offering youth work, life skills and opportunity for personal growth to young people in Shortlees. SKY aims to combat any restrictions placed upon the children by their circumstances.

Councillor Hugh Ross, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, said: “Shortlees school children enjoy a good range of varied after-school activities with the SKY project and I’m delighted that the initiative is in line for a cash boost from the STV appeal. I look forward to hearing more about the projects in Grange Academy and Shortlees Primary in the future”.

Pictured is Killie Star James Fowler who popped in on the ‘Sky Project in Partnership with ‘TACC’  as the youngsters enjoyed a meal in the Park Hotel at Rugby Park.