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Callander Youth Hostel leader named Social Enterprise Champion

Chris Martin, Managing Director of Inspiring Scotland-supported charity Callander Youth Project Trust (CYPT), has been named Social Enterprise Champion by Social Enterprise Scotland.

CYPT runs the Callander Youth Hostel and Bridgend café in Callander as a social enterprise offering training and employment for young people in the hospitality industry.

Chris, pictured above with Angela Constance MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, said: “I am overwhelmed at receiving the award for Social Enterprise Champion.  It was exciting to simply have been shortlisted for the award but to actually win it with such outstanding competition was amazing.”

The Stirlingshire-based charity joined Inspiring Scotland’s 14:19 Fund in 2009. The fund aims to help disadvantaged young people aged 14 to 19 access employment, education or training. Inspiring Scotland focuses on helping charities that support those young people to become more successful, more innovative, and more sustainable so they can help more young people gain the confidence and skills to change their own lives for the better.

Under Chris’s leadership, and with support from his Inspiring Scotland Performance Advisor, CYPT purchased Callander’s Bridgend Hotel in 2012, establishing the Bridgend Café and using the remaining space for a youth centre for local young people.

Keen to develop the space further and create more opportunities for the area’s young people by developing the hostel, Chris sought advice from Inspiring Scotland pro bono supporter Rory Malcolm, a tourism industry and marketing consultant. CYPT also benefitted from pro bono photography and design support through Inspiring Scotland.

In 2014, after months of feasibility studies and development work, the Callander Youth Hostel was opened, providing high-quality training and employment opportunities for young people and providing the CYPT with a sustainable revenue stream to continue its work. Within a few months of opening, the hostel was awarded 5 stars from VisitScotland.

Chris said: “We have managed to create a model of youthwork that supports not only employability but also sustainability and support young people whilst offering 5-star visitor accommodation.

“Our goal is to always insure maximum impact of our interventions for young people.  I believe youth work changes lives and we have a significant role in increasing the employability and resilience of our young people – particularly those furthest away from the labour market and I feel picking up this award give us the profile to further enhance our work.”

Duncan MacKechnie, Inspiring Scotland Performance Advisor to CYPT, said: “Chris’s vision, leadership and determination are what have made the Callander Youth Hostel and Bridgend Café such a success.

“It is fantastic to see his dedication to provide the best possible opportunities for the young people of Callander recognised with this award. Well done Chris and the CYPT team.”

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