IT WAS a day of celebration at the Bowmar Community Centre in Alloa last week as Clax 1400 gathered for their first birthday.

Volunteers and locals came together to celebrate the group's one-year anniversary and for an awards presentation.

Those in attendance included the volunteers who have made the centre, which used to lie unused, into a thriving community space and a platform for learning, communication and growth.

Since the café opened just 12 months ago, there have been more than 2,000 people through the door for a roll, tea or coffee and a chat.

One woman who is thrilled with the progress made in the first year is Lillian Gray, who lives just around the corner.

Lillian, a Community Learning Development worker, said: "It's making a huge difference. The café has got the community back in the door, they're coming here for a social place to meet and they're able to access services they maybe wouldn't have access to."

Kelly Folan was also in attendance and is overjoyed with the difference the group has made to the community.

She added: "The first year has been amazing; excellent. The café is somewhere to meet and gather for people."

The 1400 group has plenty planned as they look to make the second year even better than the first.

Kelly continued: "We're looking into doing the community fridge, working in partnership with the Wimpy Park Community Group, discos, grow fruit and veg."

Awards were given out to volunteers who have made such a huge effort for the group and to three Syrian women who have completed an English language course as part of Clackmannanshire Council's English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programme.

There were also awards given out to locals who have been working with Columba 1400, a group which works to help those from tough realities to discover their true potential.

Colin McKerchar works for Columba 1400 and was on hand at the Bowmar Centre to give awards to those who have been working with the group.

He said: "We do different teambuilding activities, go for walks.

"It's really allowing them to check in with themselves personally, get them to have a think about what is important to them and then working towards that."