Our Young People

Tain Youth café

In 1994 the Tain and District Youth Café was formed as a registered charity. This was in direct response to the tragic loss of life of a young person following an incident in Tain High Street.

Local residents, churches and organisations initiated the Café to provide a meeting place for young people after school hours. They achieved this in 1996 by leasing a disused shop in Tain. After securing additional grants for equipment and staff the Tain and District Youth Café opened its doors in 1998. In 2002 the Board and community were successful in raising over £83,000 to enable them to purchase the whole premises including the ‘back yard’ building attached to the shop.  

Towards the end of 2002 the voluntary Board of Management was successful in securing a three year grant from the BBC Children in Need Appeal to employ a full time professional Youth and Community Worker. Since his arrival in 2003 and with the continuing support of over 25 volunteers, the numbers of young people using the cafe has risen considerably. Funding was secured through the Scottish Community Foundation in 2008 to ensure the employment of the Youth and Community Worker for a further 3 years.

Following a ‘needs analysis’ undertaken by the Board with the young people it became clear that whilst sports and music offered to young people in Tain is of a high standard, the more creative side of personal and social development could be developed. The Board decided to therefore use the experience of the new youth worker to set up a far reaching programme of art’s based programmes including workshops, dance and drama group, live music venue, and an under 18’s disco operating every Friday. The ‘back yard’ building would allow the Café staff and volunteers to work with approximately an additional 100 young people each week. 

Funding of £53,000 was secured in 2006 to extend the Cafe and fully develop the 'back yard' area to allow the Board and Youth Worker to put in place the new programmes.  The newly extended and refurbished Cafe was officially opened by Fiona Robertson in 2006.

In 2003 Tain Youth Café were successful in the BT Community Computer and Internet national competition and took possession of a new modern computer and free internet facilities for 1 year.

The Café and some of the young people who use the venue have also won a number of national awards for their community works and have undertaken exchange visits with Sweden and Prague.

More recent introductions to the Café have included a weekly Junior Club for primary school aged children and the expansion of the weekly mother & toddler group.  This group is particularly aimed at young mothers, many of them single parents, and provides not only social facilities but is also an opportunity for young parents to meet health professionals and mix with the older generation within the community who help run the group.

For more information visit www.tainyouthcafe.co.uk or email tainyouthcafe@btconnect.com

Tain Skate Park

The development of the Tain Skate Park was in direct response to the young people of Tain approaching the Tain Initiative Group to ask for their help in raising funds and getting a park in the town.  Together, the Tain Initiative Group and Tain Skateboarders raised £43,000 in 2002/03 to enable the park to be build.  The design was based entirely on the wishes of the young people and much of the labour was provided either free of charge or at reduced rates by local tradesmen.

Tain Skate Group have organised a number of ‘skate jams’ since its opening with young people travelling from all over the Highlands to take part.  Prizes have been donated by local businesses and the Community Council.


Tennis Club – Tain boasts a thriving Tennis Club at the edge of the town centre.  This includes high standard courts, equipment and a clubhouse, although the clubhouse is now in poor condition and requires upgrading.  The Club has recently raised over £23,000 to build a new high-standard clubhouse.  The Club provides both youth and adult coaching and has had a number of successes with young people winning national championships.

Bowling Club – Tain St Duthus Bowling Club has thrived for a number of years with a large membership.  However this year the Bowling Club has been particularly successful in attracting young people to the sport, offering an alternative sport for young people who may not wish or are not able to take part in the more usual youth sports.  The Club act as excellent ambassadors for the town both at home and on visitations to other clubs throughout Scotland and always offer a warm welcome to visitors to Tain.

Golf Club – Recently Tain Golf Club was successful in raising funding to assist the redevelopment of its junior facilities.  The club now possesses 2 new par three Clubgolf short holes on its practice ground, specifically for junior beginners, plus new greenside and fairway bunkers.  The former practice area has had an extension of 30 metres and new mats put in place.  Nine new Clubgolf junior tees were also put in place on the 18-hole course.

Basketball Team – the Tain team have enjoyed a number of recent successes with the boys’ team making history by retaining their title of Highland Champions and the girls’ team winning a previous Scottish Championship.

Badminton Team – Tain junior badminton team won Scottish badminton tournaments and a number of local tournaments.

Football Clubs – Tain has three football clubs: Tain Thistle, Tain St Duthus and Tain Juniors.  The Juniors Club has over 100 young members who receive weekly coaching.  The club also arranges regular soccer tournaments: the June tournament attracted over 50 teams from as far afield as Portree to Lochinver.
The three clubs have recently formed an umbrella group to raise funds to upgrade the two Links pitches and to build a new Links clubhouse.  It is intended that the clubhouse could also be used a community facility by other community groups in Tain.

Highland Dancing – Tain has a highly successful Highland Dancing school who meet in the town hall every week.  The school provides lessons for both juniors and seniors and has been successful in many national competitions.  The school also regularly take part in community events and dance for the residents of Tain’s old folks home and sheltered housing complex.

Multi-purpose Gym - based in Tain Royal Academy and open to the community, a state of the art fitness room was opened in 2005.  For opening hours and more information call 01862 893767.


Tain’s all weather pitch opened to much applause in 2003.  Over £500,000 was raised through grants and community fundraising to enable this project to be completed.  The fully floodlit pitch is available to the community for a range of sports for all ages.  To book call 01862 893767.


Youth Orchestra - Tain is recognised throughout the area as being hugely successful in music provision.  Tain Royal Academy has an orchestra with over 100 members who regularly play for the community and travel throughout the area.  There is also a junior youth orchestra who meet in the local school, with lessons provided free of charge.  Both the junior and senior orchestras entertain the community with wonderful concerts each term.

Pipe Band – Tain pipe band welcomes younger members to join the band and receive coaching.  The talented band is made up of males and females of all ages.

Gizzen Briggs - Tain has a highly successful music group, Gizzen Briggs.  The group have performed throughout Britain and abroad and played as part of the opening ceremony of the Scottish Parliament.  The group have also produced 6 CDs which have sold all over the world.

Tain Choral Group – this group have a large membership of both young and old from both Tain and surrounding towns in Ross-shire and Sutherland and regularly perform sell out concerts in the town.

Tain Garrick Singers – again, a group with a large membership of varying ages who stage wonderful musicals in the local town hall.  Such is their reputation that people travel from far and wide to attend their musical performances.

Tain Drama Group – led by a local teacher and community councillor this group have won a number of awards in Scotland for their performances.  Much of their work is locally written, produced and directed.

Tain Pantomime Group – the group hold an annual Christmas pantomime with a large number of the cast being made up of young people from the local primary and secondary schools. 


Tain After School Club has been running for a number of years, indeed it was one of the first such clubs in Scotland.  In recent years the club has grown in size and offers a range of activities and entertainment in both term time and school holidays.  For more information call 01862 893767.

Tain Breakfast Club is run by Tain Royal Academy pupils and teachers and in now in its 3rd year.

Nursery Provision – Tain has three nurseries: a council run nursery with a voluntary board of management, a private all day/holiday care nursery and a Gaelic medium nursery.  In 2002 due to demand a baby unit/crèche was opened offering full day care for babies and toddlers.  The town also runs a playgroup and 2 mother and toddler groups.

Schools – Tain has two primary schools, one secondary school and one special needs school.  All four schools work very closely together and enjoy many shared activities.  All schools have active school boards and parent/teacher associations.  Tain Royal Academy, the secondary school, also has a thriving ‘Friends of Tain Royal Academy’ group who actively fundraise for the school.


Tain is proud to have two members of the Scottish Youth Parliament and the Community Council have sponsored the members to take part in youth exchanges linked to their membership. 

The Community Council also welcomes pupils from Tain Royal Academy and Tain Youth Café Youth Forum (a regular monthly agenda item) to represent the views of the young people in the community.

Young people are regularly involved in events in the town from town ‘clean ups’, Gala events, street sales and fairs to organising dances and parties for both old and young.

Tain Royal Academy pupils, Tain Scouts and Tain Guide Association regularly take part in youth exchanges, charity raising events, third world awareness days, remembrance events and act as ambassadors for the town on many occasions.

Tain also has active members of the Highland Youth Voice and has set up a successful Youth Forum group.

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