Fri 7th Aug 2015

July was a combination of rest & very hard work. While the Irish Scouts had a great time on their self-catering break Iain & Anne were on holiday and Michal & Lucas our summer volunteers arrived from Poland. Immediately after that we opened for summer B&B. We’ve had a variety of guests from many countries and have had a few chances to practice our foreign languages, with quite a few guests from France & even a family from Brazil. The weather hasn’t been very welcoming, but it’s surprising how many people from hot countries like the cool & the green. We’ve also had folk in the flat and the chalet. It’s good to see the chalet come into its own as an accessible apartment and as accessible B&B. 
A recent guest commented," Our room was the best disabled room ever - you wouldn't get that even in a top hotel and the colours are gorgeous."

A couple of weeks ago we had a Free Church girls’ camp, again self-catering, so our staff  had some time off & a chance to be refreshed & ready for the next lot of B&B guests. The girls had great fun visiting the Highland Wildlife Park & Landmark amongst other things & it was lovely to hear them singing as they did their chores first thing.

Pitlochry Arts & Crafts sale is on again  in the dining room and 20% of sales go to local charities. This is a great place to do some very early Christmas shopping and a good rainy day activity! Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm Sundays 2 to 6pm, on till 15 August in the dining room.

A big Thank You to everyone who gave and helped with our Thrift shop. We raised over £700 and then a further £800 arrived from the Fargher Noble trust fund. Then we got news we had been awarded £6,000 from the Rank Foundation and another £500 came in anonymously. All this will help towards the new accessible conference room we hope to build this year.

We’d like to create a new conference room downstairs by extending & dividing our current dining room with a movable soundproof partition to create 2 large rooms, each seating 60, or when the partition is opened one enormous room, ideal for very large conferences & ceilidhs. The extension will have built in AV to bring our conference facilities into the 21st century and a loop system for the deaf which in combination with it being a ground floor room will make it as accessible as possible for all abilities. Having a completely accessible conference room will be a boon both to our residential and our community groups and we hope having up to date AV will also help us to generate more income through day conferences, making us more sustainable & enabling us to be there for those in need.

Currently we have raised £81,000 towards this project through grant funding & community fundraising. We still need a minimum of £29,000 and as well as waiting for news about a grant request for £20K we hope to raise the remainder through crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is where we reach out to people through the internet using social media like facebook, twitter etc. to publicise what we’re trying to raise money for & ask for donations. We will also be running local events to help us reach our total e.g. the Thrift shop here in July. Could you put on an event where you live to help us raise those last few thousands? We’ve a whole list of ideas if you need some inspiration…

Our big news is that we have at last recruited a social media intern to help with our crowdfunding campaign too. Thanks for your prayers. We had 7 applications and 2 people came for interview, but Michal impressed us with his creativity & video making skills & his understanding of how to get people engaged. Thanks to Michal we're now on Pinterest, Youtube and Instagram as well as Facebook and Twitter, making the Centre much more visible online.
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