24th April 2015

We’re having an Open Day on Saturday 6th June at 1 pm here at the Atholl Centre. Why? To officially open our new accessible facilities completed this year (to be opened by our local MSP and Deputy First Minister, John Swinney), and to thank you for your generosity and give you a chance to be nosey and take a look for yourselves. We’ll start with a buffet lunch, then a couple of speeches and a chance to take the tour. Preparations are in full swing and already several people have signed up to come. If you want to come please get your name on the list so we have numbers for the lunch.

As I mentioned last month we’re also having a Big Lunch (Eden Project scheme) on Sun 7th June to launch the community garden where we hope to be eating some of our own produce! You’re very welcome at either or both events for this big celebration of what God has done & is doing through us, but do let us know if you’re coming. Any volunteers to bring food to share at the garden lunch?

We had the last soup lunch of the season today & Fiona Johnstone was busy interviewing people with her i-pad. We’re making a video for the open day to showcase all the community groups who meet here, so if you’d like to take part let us know.

In April we welcomed 3 brand new residential groups: A group of Iranian asylum seeker families came with the Tron church. This was a group which grew arms & legs. We started off thinking there would be 10 and ended up with 52, 42 of whom slept at the Centre! As well as bible study they had great fun playing badminton & football in the amazing sunshine. Persona counselling group spent the week here and kept us on our toes and we also had MECOPP disabled folk & their carers from the Travelling community as a mid-week group. They not only loved our new accessible en-suites, but really enjoyed that their folk in wheelchairs could be equally involved in every activity because of our inclusive space. That week the Centre was full of music, laughter and creativity led mostly by Pitlochry specialists.

The thrift shop to raise money for the new meeting room with AV & loop went disappointingly slowly this month, but praise God we were awarded £30,000 towards it from the Community Innovation Fund. Only £35K to go! Have you tried easyfundraising? Do pick up a leaflet from us next time you’re in to find out how you can raise money for the Atholl Centre at no cost to yourself when you shop on-line.

The garden continues to develop and we’ve now started to buy plants. However if you have colourful or scented shrubs, herbs and ground cover plants you could donate from your own garden please get in touch. This way we make our budget go further and you share in making the community garden. 
                                      24th March 2015

The great news is the garden’s started and they’re even here in the snow today (White in Moulin but no snow on the ground down the street here). We’re looking forward to seeing the finished article. 4 volunteers from Scottish & Southern Electricity are using their Help in the Community day to give us a hand in April and we’re applying to Dobbies in the Community as well. Liz enjoyed her Trellis conference & is now doing a risk assessment for us.

March has been a busy month residentially with groups every weekend and the Baptist Ministers Continuing Ministry during the week too. They all had successful conferences with us and seemed very impressed with our new rooms as well.

Anne went to a workshop on creative breaks last week to find out how we can help more disabled people & their carers come for a holiday here and this week we’re exhibiting in Perth at a Self Directed Support showcase. Self Directed Support is where disabled and elderly folks who need support are given control of their own Social Work budget so they can choose where they get their help from, including respite breaks.

Last month Comic Relief celebrated huge fundraising success on Red Nose Day and we’re planning a big celebration of our own to thank God for the money He has given the Atholl Centre through you and others. We’re meeting this week to plan our Open Day on the 6th June  (John Swinney our local MSP is already booked to come) and have signed up to join the Eden Project’s Big Lunch on Sun 7th to open the Community Garden too. Please put these dates in your diary & join us for this big celebration of what God has done & is doing through us.

Meanwhile we continue to raise funds so we can get on with phase 3 – making a new accessible conference room by extending & dividing the dining room. Please remember our Thrift shop on from the 11th – 16th April (11-4, except Sunday) and if anyone is interested in joining in with Etape Caledonia to raise money for the Centre, do let us know. It’s only 5 weeks away!