May has been a busy month with residential groups in every weekend. It was great to have a full house with families of children with heart disorders and to see them enjoying themselves so much. The weather was brilliant so they got out for lots of walks as well as clay pigeon shooting and other activities. We welcomed old faces and new when the See Hear Conference for the Deaf came. People are now travelling to this conference from all over the UK - but then there are no regional accents in sign language. Etape was incredibly busy as usual with over 5,000 participants again. The race was a great success as the weather stayed dry and the organising team were really happy with the support we provided. Do look at our facebook to see some photos of the event. The Centre was well used. Not only were we race HQ, but all the motor marshalls slept here and physio massage took place throughout the weekend to help people prepare for & recover from the race. We ended May with the African Children's Choir. Here initially for a week it was extended to 2 to give them time to prepare for filming for Disney's new Peter Pan movie. Exciting stuff! So they're still with us and having had a nice relaxing time last week with baking, hide & seek, movie night, lots of football and a mini concert for each other ( they wrote all the songs and sketches and choreographed the dances themselves) it's back to practice this week. A young family staying with us for a mini break were invited to play football with them.One of the girls from the family made them each a wee friendship bracelet to say thank you. So lovely - we were all touched by these kindnesses.
On the community side the new set of computer classes is going well and English as a Second Language has come back, so we’re really pleased this provision is returning to Pitlochry. Eve from P&K community learning is taking both classes as well as adult literacy, so she has her work cut out. Art classes finished this month for the summer and all agree that Dee has done a fantastic job. Now we’re looking forward to next month’s Young Artist of the Year exhibition. Don't forget to come and see the amazing talent of our local young people. Open from the 16th - 21st June.
Renovation of the Chalet roof has been completed ahead of time and attention has turned to the drains. It took some real detective work to sort out where all the new drains should go so we can take the capacity of the new en-suites when they are built, and they had to call in the mini digger when the ground proved too rocky to dig by hand, but we got there in the end. Work starts on the 9th of June on the inside of the Chalet to make it into a disabled friendly self-catering apartment with 3 disabled en-suite bedrooms ( 1 wheelchair bathroom and 2 ambulant disabled) and a disability adapted kitchen/diner.
After the successful funding of the chalet renovation we hoped and prayed more would come in for the conference room. We’re pleased to report that another £5,000 came in from the Robert Barr Charitable Trust last week. We have also been pleased to receive quite a few private donations. More applications for that project have been made this month. Please pray they are successful. We've a visit from the Robertson Trust and the Baptist Building Fund this month re funding, so please pray for good visits. Last Friday Anne went to a social value lab in Edinburgh to help us prepare our feedback for the Enterprise Ready Fund. So the fundraising work doesn't just stop when the funding requests have been sent out, if they are successful there's a huge amount of monitoring to do for accountability purposes - so if we ask you to take part in a survey when you come (or when you've been) we' d really appreciate your help in taking the time to fill it in.
Last month the new post of marketing development officer was advertised (for which we got 9 months funding from the ERF) and this week we hold the interviews. Please pray we choose well.
It's been a time of change for our Trustees. Maureen Russell moves on from being a Trustee at the Centre to become Chairperson of BMS World Mission - a huge challenge. Norman McNeish who's been our treasurer since we re-opened in 2007 has retired due to ill health. We thanked them for their faithful service at the last Council of Management with a wee farewell presentation and wish them both well for the future. Jonathan Innes, a chartered accountant, is our new interim Treasurer and Bill Slack, a former General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Scotland, has also joined the council. Earlier this year Alastair Dixon from our local community, Derek Murray who used to work in a hospice and Richard Tuckley who is an IT expert came on board too, bringing our Board of Trustees up to 8 people. We hope as the board develops to be even fitter for the challenges of the next few years as we grow the Centre and its work.