Annbank is a small ex-mining community in the heart of rural Ayrshire. It is made of two little villages, Annbank and Mossblown. Annbank is a close knit community and not without its problems due to lack of employment. Back in the 1960's a young teacher, Sandra Tanner, fresh from teacher training started teaching there and started up an SU group. Today the SU group is still going strong, still led by Sandra (who is now retired) and helped by me, each Thursday. Due to the large numbers at the SU Group, I really felt it would be a great place to start up a holiday club for the local children, there isn't a huge amount else for them during the school holidays. To cut a long story short we worked alongside the congregation at Annbank Parish church and 3 years ago started our first holiday club in the community centre. We were really blessed by God in everything. The local minister, Rev Alec Shuttleworth couldn't have been more enthusiastic. Rev Shuttleworth has a joint charge with Annbank and another village 8 miles away, Tarbolton. It was agreed that we should have a holiday club there too.
This year at Annbank we expanded the age range from P4-7 to P1-7 and had our biggest numbers ever. The children were great and very keen to volunteer and get stuck into whatever we were doing and they turned up super early (while the team were still having devotions!). Many of the children came along looking very unhappy on Monday morning but by Tuesday morning they were so enthusiastic, many even refused to go on a school trip to Glasgow because it meant missing holiday club for a morning.
One of the highlights of Annbank this year for me was one of our young helpers, Anna*. Anna came from a non-Christian home and attended the SU group at Annbank for 2 years. She came along to our Ayrshire Primary weekend camps at Lendrick Muir and at the first Annbank mission she attended every day! Anna became a Christian as she found out about God's love for her. She wanted to go to church so took her family to a local church and they all became Christians too. It was lovely to watch her help with the little ones this year and explain to them how she knows that God is real and he cares for them just as he does for her.