1st November 2013
So Iain's at the Assembly as I write & hopefully  we're going to have some new readers of this blog as a result. He's handing out a leaflet asking for help to fund transforming our chalet (the first 4 bedroom block to be built - 1970) into a disabled friendly self-catering apartment with 3 en-suites, one of them for wheelchairs & the other 2 ambulant disabled, and the 4th bedroom becomes a disability adapted kitchen/diner, while the spacious entrance becomes a lounge area. We hope to build this next year, but still need funds to come in to cover the costs. The Trustees took a step of faith however, by starting the tender ready process now ( we have to pay the Quantity Surveyor, architect & Structural Engineer as well as pay for a building warrant for this stage). This is so we can get our 3 quotes from builders and have an accurate idea of how much it's all going to cost in the end and it should help us as we approach more Grant Making Bodies for funding. We really appreciate all of you who have helped so far with gifts, fundraising events and prayers - our thrift shop last month made over £500. Keep up the good work:) If you haven't had the chance to help before, it's not too late. We'd love to hear from you.
October has been mostly a B&B month this year. Between the Enchanted Forest Son et Lumiere event, which seems to go from strength to strength, and beautiful autumn colours we had a steady stream of guests - some of them coming to work, not just to enjoy. The apartment was busy all month with ladies from the Steamie( now performing at the Festival Theatre till the 17th Nov) in Pitlochry for rehearsals.  A group of minister's wives  came for a weekend retreat and we also had a few day groups in for meetings.  
We had the Atholl Craft fair on for 2 weeks as well  - full of colourful gift ideas - and the WA lunch club, now taking place on a weekly basis has got off to a good start. A group of Duncan of Jordanstone masters students came to Pitlochry to help survey the elderly population so they could put together a picture of where they can get support now and what it could look like in the future. They stayed for 2 days, sleeping over here and using the Centre as their base. The walls of the conference room were absolutely covered in post-its as they assembled all their data. This is part of an initiative to help social & health services work with voluntary bodies & community groups to support older people better.  You can see their blog on blogs.iriss.org.uk/pitlochry.
In November we still have one weekend going begging, so if you'd like to have some time away with your group or church try the 15th -17th Nov.There is still some mid week availability for residential groups too - could be a family group, friends, church or charity. The self catering apartment is  also available for most of this month. There's still lots to do here, so well worth a visit. After the Steamie finishes, It's a Wonderful Life opens at the Theatre on the 29th Nov. Birnam Arts also has a few musical events including  Breabach and Black Umfolosi 5. It's a quieter time of year to visit, but the scenery is still breathtaking and we've had some wonderful mists, making the Ben (Ben y Vrackie our local mountain) look like a floating island in the air. We're having an advent fair here at the Centre on the 9th November - a great opportunity to start your Christmas shopping.
November is also Perth Business Month and we've already booked into a few events to help us in our own training  & development. It's also a great opportunity to meet folks we could help or who could help us in the future. At one event Anne will be presenting the Atholl Centre to business angels (investors) and asking them to consider philanthropic investment. It's good to try new things:)
Chris just came back from 2 weeks in Uganda with a team from Pitlochry Baptist Church. Read our facebook to find out what he got to do & get some of his impressions. He'd definitely like to go back. 2 weeks was too short! We're glad to see you back safe & sound Chris. You've been missed:)