A NEW studio to encourage creativity and improve mental health looks set to be open this month – thanks to a bit of help from some Fit Ayrshire Dads.

The Allstar centre of Performing Arts is set to open in Irvine on November 18, and it is hoped it will be an inspiring space for the creative arts for the youth and adults of Ayrshire.

Allstar’s Tammy Harkin thanked the Fit Ayrshire Dads for helping to get it up and running with around 30 volunteers coming in in shifts to get the place prepared.

She also told the Times that with mental and physical health at an all time low, they hope to combat this with expressive arts and give young people a safe space to go.

She said: “We’ve had the dance school in Irvine for the last 16 years, but we’ve now got our own property down on Ailsa Road.

“It’s purpose built inside for two studios, which will include a safe creative space for all creative industries, whether it would be dance, singing, acting. We’re also going to use the space for mental health drop ins. Its really just a space available for youth and adults in Irvine and North Ayrshire.

“There is such a rise in mental health issues in young people in Scotland, but especially in this area alone, and I just wanted to have somewhere that kids can come as exercise is a massive part of feeling mentally fit.

“Actual face-to-face interaction I think is kind of going nowadays, kids struggle especially because they do so much online now through social media and gaming. I think it’s so important to have kids and young adults out there in amongst people and have a support network out there.”

“The work only started the other week, and what we really needed was bodies to get it up and running.

“My husband is part of the Fit Ayrshire Dads and they do a walk-and-talk, where they go for walks and chat away to each other to improve their physical and mental health, so instead of that they’ve been coming in and having a talk-and-build.

“We’ve had these guys from across Ayrshire, some are tradesmen, retired and unemployed, coming in and giving their time for free.

“There is no amount of words I could give to thank those guys enough for their generosity. This would not be possible if it weren’t for those guys and there’s been about 30 of them from the Fit Ayrshire Dads who have came down and spent nights here and come down on their day off. It’s all down to those guys. They understand what we’re trying to do and how much of a wee gem this place will be for people.”