Thursday 9th May 2013

It's an exciting time to be working at the Centre. Last month we were privileged to be the venue and take an active part in Enable's Big Plan  which took place every Tuesday afternoon over 3 weeks.  The Big Plan is a tool to help people take their lives forward. We had 8  participants and their supporters from Pitlochry and Aberfeldy, some of them young adults with learning disabilities and some with chronic illness, came each week to make their own Big Plan. It was a real blessing that there was such a lovely atmosphere of security, welcome & trust, helping people to open themselves up to dare to do new things.  Last week was the culmination when each participant made an action plan to make their dreams reality. 2 brothers hoped to attend Enable's Friends United Network in Perth to make friends and have fun independently. Sounds easy but the real challenge is learning and having the confidence to use the bus to get there - a challenge for their parents too to let them go unaccompanied. One supporter at the Big Plan was able to offer to meet them off the bus and another offered to drive them home as there would be no buses running by the time they were finished in Perth. Small steps, big solutions. Please pray for the whole group, participants and supporters- the hard work begins now- putting that and all the other plans into action. Starting later this month as a result we'll be holding a monthly community circle to come back together as a group and encourage and help each other.

At the Centre we have our own Big Plan  to improve our facilities, bringing them up to date and particularly improving our disabled facilities so we can be amongst the best providers once more. Over the past couple of months we have received a building warrant to change our former office to a staff bedsit with en-suite and kitchenette. This will allow someone to live on site without using up a guest bedroom, giving us the overnight supervision capacity to make us more available for individual and family breaks as well as groups. We're really pleased to have received a grant for £2,000 from Perth & Kinross Business Growth Fund towards the costs and hope to begin the building alterations soon.  We have also received a pledge for £12,000 from the Hugh Fraser Foundation towards the chalet being converted into a disabled friendly self catering apartment and towards converting our other downstairs bedrooms to disabled en-suite. Although we still have a lot more money to raise before we can start these projects, it's so exciting to have such a big name show confidence in us and what we are doing.

The last 2 months have been full of community fundraising. Just before Easter we did a bag pack at the local Co-op, then we had an Easter craft fair on Easter Saturday and a Thrift shop in the second week of April. Between them we  raised over £900. Brilliant:) Since then local performing arts group Madcaps have had a concert ( with a star turn from an elderly fairy singing " Nobody likes a fairy when she's old.") and the ladies of Pitlochry Baptist church had a coffee morning. Both are giving part of their proceeds to us and part to other charities, so we're looking forward to hearing how much they have raised. Thank you so much folks.

 It's not too late to sponsor Richard Underwood riding in Etape Caledonia this weekend (81 miles)Go to to sponsor him on-line, drop off your donation here in person or send it in to Atholl Centre, Atholl Road, Pitlochry PH16 5BX. 

A couple of weeks ago we had Olivia (primary 6) for the day in Take a Child to Work Day. She had great fun as you'll see from her blog below: 

   My Day at Take Your Child to work Day
On take your child to work day Iain Walker had me as his child and the first thing I did was the logo for my question sheet which is for school. I thought that the logo was awesome. Then I counted Iain’s money. After that Iain and I took the money to the bank. Then we had tea break and we had the cakes that I made and brought in and they said that they were wonderfulJ.    
Then we went back to the Atholl centre I helped Anne Walker cut up and laminate things that were important for a display on Friday. Then I had lunch with my mum and then I came back and I made crispy cakes in the kitchen with Mary. Then I sorted out the book stall then one of my favourite things was to write this day up. Anne is going to put this up on the Centre’s blog.
                    By OliviaJ   
Our other new arrival is Camille our newest intern from France who just arrived on Saturday. She's here for 2 months and beginning to get used to speaking English and understanding our accent:) She studying a BTS  in management ( a bit like an HND) and comes from Nimes. In July we have another intern, this time a young man from Poland, who's studying tourism, and in August Amaia from Spain is coming back to volunteer, so we're having an international summer. 

Must go. Retired Baptist Ministers are in the middle of their reunion & there's lots going on.