JEREMY Corbyn and Richard Leonard joined activities at The Playz in Kilwinning this week.

The UK and Scottish Labour leaders were given a tour of the centre, which included a private drum and guitar lesson.

Mr Corbyn and Mr Leonard were visiting the area to see the difference North Ayrshire Council is making in giving young people the best chance in life.

Mr Corbyn told the Herald: “North Ayrshire has problems, of course, because of its underfunded local authority – it has low wages, it has high levels of unemployment, it has serious levels of poverty – but this community project here, done by the community taking over a pub that was formally boarded-up and empty and turned it into a community centre, what a great message to everybody living around, what a great message to the whole community.

“Well done all these people.

“We were talking about the stresses and joys of managing community centres.

“I’m a trustee of four community centres in my own constituency.

“I go through the joy and pain of it just like everybody else – how do you fund this; how do you fund that? Who do you get to fix the roof ?

“Where do you get the money from? Which charity to do what? – but it brings the whole community together and you know what?

“When you achieve these things of opening a community centre – kids doing well, kids going onto college who wouldn’t otherwise have done so – the whole community celebrates.”

North Ayrshire Council Leader, Joe Cullinane, said that the transformation of The Playz from “that old derelict pub to that new thriving community centre” was “really inspirational”.

The Playz is a community hub run by PRYDE, a team of dedicated local residents and professionals.

The facility offers a range of activities for children, young people and adults from all over North Ayrshire.

During Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Leonard’s visit on Tuesday morning (February 13), ‘Jiggy Wrigglers’ was in full swing.

The group is a musical session for babies and toddlers and can see up to 25 families at its busiest.

Willie Duffy from PRYDE told the Herald about some of the fun sessions kids enjoyed during the school holidays recently.

He said: “When the schools are shut the council provide us with school meals. We have lots of activities.

“We had a pizza making workshop, which was a laugh.

“We played at Bushtucker Trials and they had to find stars inside porridge. What a laugh.

“They pretended they went to sleep for 30 seconds and when they ‘woke up’, they were in the jungle.

“We used chocolate logs to build a campfire. It was a superb afternoon and so much fun.”

Neal McHarg offers music therapy at The Playz.

He said: “On Tuesdays, we have a drop-in service for young people in the community.

“We recently did song writing workshops.

“Everybody did fantastic; the actual songs they came up with were brilliant.