TODAY'S trip into the Advertiser's archives recalls a story from 10 years ago when we spoke to members of the Teen Challenge network about their visits to the Kirkmichael area of Helensburgh.

Here's how we reported on their work in the Advertiser on February 5, 2009...

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IT has been called the greatest inspirational story of all time - and it spawned the largest international voluntary operation in the world.

And members of that organisation, which grew from the work of the Rev David Wilkerson, who wrote the world famous book The Cross and the Switchblade, have been working quietly in Helensburgh for three years.

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Jan McKerrow and her helpers are members of the Teen Challenge network who have been bringing the organisation’s bus to Buchanan Road in Kirkmichael every Wednesday evening for three years.

The vehicle provides a place where people affected by drug and alcohol addiction can find a place to relax and talk to sympathetic people who understand their problems.

And now they are planning to expand their work to take in another area at the west end of the town.

Jan - a member of Helensburgh Baptist Church - said: “Teen Challenge was founded in 1958 by David Wilkerson who was working with young people in New York.

“It has now developed into the largest volunteer organisation offering help to young people in the world and it works in more than 90 countries.”

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Teen Challenge Strathclyde was founded 15 years ago by Roy Lees when he saw the desperate need to help young people addicted to drugs in Glasgow.

A bus was fitted out with a kitchen and was taken to various locations around Glasgow where troubled people were able to get free food and coffee and help to overcome their addictions.

Today there are four buses. and operates in 15 locations across Scotland each week.

Over the years they have referred hundreds of people to residential programmes and have seen many able to live drug-free and fulfilling lives.

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Jan has been volunteering with Teen Challenge for five years and she said: “I am a Christian and I wanted to do something outwith the Church.

“Someone told me about a church in Port Glasgow working with Teen Challenge and I asked them if I could get involved in someway.

“I used to travel to Port Glasgow to a bus there every Wednesday. Then when I was speaking about the work at a ladies meeting there was a suggestion that the bus should come to Helensburgh and I approached Roy Lees and asked if it could.

“Now we are in our third year in Helensburgh and until now we have been in Buchanan Road in Kirkmichael every Wednesday evening but we feel the need to reach out further and we are going to start going to Jutland Court.”