YOUNGSTERS involved in a project designed to boost their self-confidence have been visited by the group’s patron – internationally renowned actor and travel writer Charley Boorman.

The author, who has presented a series of travel programmes involving motorcycles, returned to The Bridge Centre Motorcycle Project in Haddington last month.

It was the second time the 51-year-old had visited, having first been at the project three years ago.

Rowan Mitchell, senior project development worker, welcomed the television presenter, who is perhaps best known for his enthusiasm for motorbikes and his travel documentaries with Hollywood actor Ewan McGregor.

Mr Mitchell told the Courier: “A brilliant day was had by all.

“Charley is our patron and spent the afternoon hanging out with the project’s club members. He spent quite a lot of time chatting with the kids about his biking career and he spoke about his recent motorcycle accident and his road to recovery.

“He also spoke to us about his latest book The Long Way Back.

“We had shown the kids a video of him as a wee bit of history and a video of him with Ewan McGregor.

“A lot of the club members knew him and did some research and knew the guy coming to see us was a real bike enthusiast.”

The motorcycle project was formed 25 years ago by Phil Godek and Alec Aitken and is based at The Bridge Centre at Poldrate.

The group aims to use off-road training motorcycles as a means of engaging with young people, aged eight to 25, to help run activities aimed at promoting inclusion and social welfare.

Mr Mitchell thanked Mr Boorman for attending, with the group of youngsters presenting him with a batch of cupcakes to mark his upcoming birthday.

Mr Mitchell described him as “an easy-going guy” and added: “Not only is it great to have a celebrity who likes and supports our project but it is awesome to have a celebrity as passionate about motorcycles as we are and that the kids can look up to him and what he has achieved.

“Charley showed a genuine interest in all the club members’ achievements and interests. He was particularly impressed by the riding level of some of the newer members.

“His general wit and fun banter creates a great atmosphere for all.”

Now, Mr Boorman is getting ready to swap East Lothian for Africa as part of an upcoming tour.

Mr Mitchell added: “We are really grateful to Charley for taking the time out of his busy schedule and spending it with us. A massive thank from all of the Motorcycle Project staff and club members.”