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Anne to ‘make a stand’ with youth centre plan

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Anne to 'make a stand' with youth centre plan

A KIND-HEARTED businesswoman from Dumfries has revealed plans to establish a centre in the town to support young people.

Fresh from handing over more than 340 Christmas gifts collected for distribution by The Salvation Army, Anne Armstrong of AA Fitness has revealed her long-term charity ambitions.
Speaking this week, Anne said: “Every month this year I’ve donated £1000 out of my profits to different people.”
But switching from an original plan to launch a trust fund in the new year, she added: “I’m going to try and wait for a building and open up the Armstrong Angel Centre and use this place to help young people.”
Anne explains she is set to halt the monthly donations in 2017 — reserving the funds for this ambitious project.
And with a location already in mind, Anne said: “It’s going to be like a community centre, but it’s not going to be run by the council.
“It’ll be me that sets it up, and I’m going to fund it, and then over the years hopefully people will come into it and help to make it successful.”
Anne already works with young people at her gym in the town’s Academy Street, where she hosts martial arts and boxing classes.
She said: “Lots of families come who struggle with their children, or are single parents with kids who have ADHD or Asperger’s or are autistic, kids who come from broken families, their parents have been on drugs — you name it.”
However, she notes that provides structure and activities for people who can afford to pay to take part.
Arguing the need for a new facility aimed at helping vulnerable young people, and who perhaps suffer bullying, Anne said: “It’s going to be used to help all young vulnerable people in this area who don’t have much, who struggle, and they just have somewhere to come to get help and advice and guidance, and just get help molded into being great human beings.”
Concerned about trends in society, and children facing bullying, Anne added: “Somebody needs to make a stand and somebody has to do something, and that somebody’s going to be me.”

MORE than 340 Christmas gifts are headed to some of the region’s most vulnerable people.
Anne Armstrong of AA Fitness has been running her annual Christmas Angel Gift scheme, collecting donations which will be handed out by The Salvation Army.
Smashing last year’s total of 230 gifts, Anne said: “It’s a lot of the same people, but with more people taking part this year.
“And a lot of people who donated this year have given even more gifts.”
Having run her appeal within her gym in Academy Street and on social media, Anne added: “Not everybody comes in with just one or two gifts — I’ve had a lot of families that have come in and handed me ten gifts.
“It’s phenomenal.”
Anne says she had requested gifts for all ages, for people ranging from old age pensioners to widows and widows, families and single parent familes.
She said: “It’s people that maybe get forgotten about — a lot of people get lost in the system.”
And paying tribute to ‘angel’ Major Terri Holdroyd of The Salvation Army and a band of volunteers, she said: “That’s where the Salvation Army come in.
“They’re the ones that pick up the people that just get forgotten about, and they get them out to these sorts of people.”
Anne says she would like to thank all those who contributed gifts ‘from the bottom of her heart’, with an aim to try and collect 500 next year.

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