A VOLUNTEER at a Garelochhead youth group has made his debut in the world of stand-up comedy - and raised hundreds of pounds to help local young people in the process.

Route 81 volunteer Lewis McMartin took to the stage at the Drygate Brewery Event Space in Glasgow to help fundraise for the group.

Lewis was inspired to give stand-up a shot after he found the Ultra Comedy programme, which gives attendees the chance to train for two months before hitting the stage for a five minute set.

He said: “I saw a post online about the Ultra Comedy challenge, which involved eight weeks of classes with the incredibly talented Viv Gee, before being let loose to perform five minutes of our own material in front of a live audience.

“This year they opened it up to allow you to raise money for your chosen charity, and I immediately thought of Route 81.

“The classes were great fun, aimed at finding your funny and teasing out your inner comedian.

“I had a couple of wobbles where I thought I wouldn’t be able to make a room full of people laugh but my partner and family encouraged me to continue – plus I was raising money for charity, so there was no backing out!”

Lewis’ efforts paid off as he gave a confident and well received set on the night and smashed his fundraising goal of £100 - with £343 donated at the time of publication.

He continued: “When the final night arrived, I felt oddly calm, perhaps because I had 10 of my favourite people in the audience.

“I stepped out on the stage, performed my set and loved hearing the laughter coming from the crowd.

“My five minutes flew by, and I received a lovely round of applause which absolutely made my night and all the hard work worthwhile.

“People have been incredibly generous, and every penny is appreciated.”

Route 81 development co-ordinator Michelle MacDonald attended the show to support Lewis and was impressed by his talents.

She said: “Lewis is absolutely fantastic. Every fundraising challenge he takes on is unique, but this one was a tough one and really did push him out his comfort zone.

“I was really excited to go and see him perform on stage and he was absolutely brilliant.

“He had the audience eating out of his hand and provided loads of laughs.

“We are really grateful for all of the fundraising and support Lewis gives to Route 81.

“As a charity with limited funds, every penny counts - and he has just raised a whole lot more pennies.”

Route 81 is based in Garelochhead's Centre 81 and organises activities for children aged 11 to 17.

Donate to Lewis' fundraiser here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/some-random1.