28th September, 2012

So it's time for another blog. Bravehearts (young adults with heart disorders) arrive today for the weekend.The sun may  not be shining (yet) but we hope they'll have a relaxing and fulfilling stay nevertheless.  It's a chance to get together, share & learn from experiences & have fun together in an atmosphere of acceptance & understanding.  We've just waved goodbye to 6 Circles, a mixed group of disabled & disadvantaged folks rebuilding their lives. Again acceptance & a home from home atmosphere are important to them & it was great to see so many smiling faces. People wonder: what's the point of group holidays - isn't it just a bit of a jolly? What most people don't realise is that group holidays are valuable because they are a focal point for nurture and development of relationships and can be a transforming influence in people's lives. Going solo ( a nurture group for single, divorced & widowed people)and the ME Holiday (self explanatory), who  also came this month,  find great encouragement in their holidays & always look forward to next year.
We  were enriched musically this month by visits from Irish Youth Pipe band taking part in Pitlochry Highland Games - great to hear them practice here - and the African Children's choir ( yes, the same organisation who sang to the Queen for her Jubilee) who came for a rest week after arriving from the States & before going on tour. They sang their thanks and a blessing on us as they left - quite an emotional experience.They wrote," Thank you kindly for all the ways you have cared for us this past week and helped us to get on our feet. Your flexibility, generosity and good pleasure have been a gift! The food was delicious and the rooms were comfortable and warm. It has been a pleasure getting to know you." Check out their tour schedule here.

Superb Choice (an offshoot of SU holidays for adults) came for the day last Saturday. It meant catering for 80, something we haven't done for a while, but it all came together well as our team of young weekend helpers (usually only there in ones or twos) came in numbers and together with Nel's expert cooking  successfully served a wonderful lunch and evening meal.It was great to see them all sporting our new Atholl Centre T-shirts & looking very professional :)

 Achievements - a successful fire inspection, a profitable conference learning about business practices, a post ex-project visit from LEADER who part funded our wood pellet boiler and solar panels - very impressed that we're not only benefiting from the eco heating, but building our eco profile through double glazing as well,  & the figures for the business plan completed at last (following brief crash course in Excel).
Coming soon - another Thrift Shop in the first week of the October holidays (8th - 12th). Please bring your bric-a brac, old clothes and books for sale. We can also recycle mobile phones (with charger & instructions), empty brand name print cartridges (except Epson) and CDs & DVDs (in original boxes with artwork intact). Pitlochry Arts & Crafts sale on at the Centre  from 14th - 26th Oct and we are still available for B&B  - Oct 8th - 11th, 15th, 22nd- 24th, 29th & 30th.   £25.75 pp ( child discounts available).This is during the Pitlochry autumn festival which includes The Enchanted Forest (son et lumiere at Faskally) 5th - 27th Oct and Perthshire Amber (Scottish Traditional & contemporary music festival) 26th Oct - 3rd Nov -  so well worth a visit.
PS The sun just came out - Welcome Bravehearts:D

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