A GROUP of young apprentices visited by the leader of the Scottish Conservatives have been put forward for a national award.

The apprentices from The Ridge Foundation in Dunbar have been nominated for the ‘Enhancing Education’ category at the Young Scot Awards.

The prize is awarded to “a young person or group who have truly influenced education in their community either by providing access and opportunities for others, or by influencing change in education for their communities”.

The work of the apprentices caught the eye of Douglas Ross MSP, Scottish Conservative leader, and also Craig Hoy, South Scotland MSP, who visited them last month.

The pair thanked the apprentices for their work in transforming derelict space to the rear of Dunbar High Street into an education, heritage and horticultural centre for residents to enjoy and learn from.

Mr Ross, who is also an MP, said: “This project is a fantastic example of community working in action.Those involved in helping to transform this area should be extremely proud of all the work that they have carried out.”

The apprentices have conducted restorative work on some of the town’s oldest buildings, providing residents with the opportunity to explore first-hand Dunbar’s architectural heritage and history.

The group is in the process of renovating a time capsule flat in Dunbar which was previously closed off from the 19th century.

Mr Hoy nominated the group for the award. He said: “All that the apprentices have been doing has improved the lives of people from the local community, as well as developing key skills.

“In addition to providing fantastic learning opportunities for people of all ages, the apprentices have helped to give people an insight into the town’s heritage and provided a space for people to reflect at The Ridge’s dementia-friendly Sanctuary Garden.”

Kate Darrah, founder and managing director of The Ridge, said: “We are so proud of the achievements of our apprentice team.

“In the process, they are building their own skills and making a start on a really satisfying, high-quality craft career.

“Many of these youngsters struggled in school and have amazed themselves with their stunning success in a practical setting.

“Their skills are now contributing something wonderful to the wider community, which will endure for many years to come, and which provides an additional layer to our shared sense of pride in these hard-working and talented individuals.”