9th January, 2012

Happy New Year!  Hope you had a good time in the holidays.We got back to the office on the 4th Jan but Iain has popped in a few times over the holidays as we had a self-catering group of 10 staying in the flat and a few rooms next to it, the church has used the Centre over the holidays (of course) and Dave, our volunteer electrician, came to do our PAT testing for us between Christmas and New Year. Thanks Dave. Four Ways elected to keep up their meetings over the festive period, so they were in too. Then, just before we got back another family came to the flat for a few days. so the flat's been well used. In the beginning of December we had East Kilbride Youth Pipe Band for a practice weekend. Using our flexi tariff, we gave them breakfast and lunch and they went out for their evening meal, which seemed to suit them fine and they were very happy with their stay. It was fascinating to watch them beat time on the dining room tables with their fluffy drumsticks. It's almost like a dance. That's the 2nd Youth Pipe Band to use us in a year, so it looks like we're getting on their map.

In December we had the bulk of our single glazing replaced with A rated double glazing. It's already made a huge difference to the Chalet - the oldest part of the building, built in 1971, which had those cold, metal framed windows, which gave us condensation problems. Now all of that is gone and the rooms even smell better. The new double glazing is calculated to save us over 6 tonnes of CO2. We've already had the pleasure of seeing a significant reduction in our energy bills over the last few months due to our new heating system and insulation and this should save us even more. This month we're due to have our main entrance replaced. It will not only be double glazed, but also have push button entry for wheelchair users, so it will be a significant improvement. The dining room roof lights are also being replaced with  new triple skin ones, which will be much more energy efficient.

In December I discovered a new free way of raising money. It's called easyfundraising.org. All you have to do is to register on their website as an Atholl Centre supporter (we're already registered with them) and then when you want to do your online shopping you use them as your browser. The store you buy from then gives them a percentage of the sale as a donation, which they pass on to the Centre. They work with  huge number of big brand stores such as Boots, M&S and Amazon. So please give it a try and register with them here now. You could even make it your New Year's resolution!

Did you get one of our fundraising packs? 100s were given out at the Assembly and have maybe got forgotten in the Christmas rush, but now New Year's here, so why not take a look and see if you can help us by setting up a fundraising event in your church. We've given you 100 fund raising ideas from car washes and bring & buy sales to sponsored adventure challenges. See if there's something that suits you & let us know. We'll give you as much help as we can. If you didn't get one or have lost yours, just give us phone (01796 473044) or email and we'll send you a new one.