Friday 22nd May 2015

Preparations for the Open Day (Sat 6th June) have been intense. We’re trying to put a short video together to be shown on the day so please pray it turns out all right. The open day is 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. As it starts with a buffet lunch please get your name on the list if you’re coming so we have numbers for the lunch. The BU retired ministers had a sneaky peek when they came for their annual day trip & we were so pleased when  Rev Watson Moyes, the Centre's founder, saw our improvements for the first time & thought they were wonderful.

We’re also having a Big Lunch (Eden Project scheme) on Sun 7th June to launch the community garden. 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?

Alastair’s been working hard in the garden & we’ve been asking volunteers to help to get the work done. There’s still work to do, so please let us know if you can help. If you have plants to donate from your own garden please tell us too. This way we make our budget go further and you share in making the community garden. Eric nominated us for the Asda bags community scheme and we’ve been shortlisted, so please vote for us at the Perth store (every customer can get a green token in store to put in the box & then they’re all weighed to find the winner).

Anne has been busy publicising the Centre at stalls in Perth supporting Self Directed Support – at the end of April, end of May & coming up in mid June, so this is helping us become more widely known to new groups and this month we had another minority ethnic disabled folks & carers (MECOPP) group in for a short break and they’re really impressed. Looks like they’ll be regulars in the future, and as they’re an umbrella group this could mean quite a few more midweek groups each year which is brilliant news. Another new disabled group -  international athletes - is due later this year, but their leaders arrive today to check the Centre out & hopefully give their approval. 

Children with heart disorders were also here this month for their annual break. Check out their photos on our facebook. They had great fun in spite of the rain :) Another faithful group the See Hear conference for the deaf also enjoyed their weekend & it was sunny that week! Etape was here too. They're a regular feature now. The motor marshalls stay here so they can be up first thing on Sunday morning to make sure the course is still safe and to guide the cyclists & help out if there are problems, the course management and safety HQ is upstairs in the conference room and the dining room is full of tables for sports massage. Again it was raining but thankfully not as heavily as the forecast had predicted so the race went ahead without major problems, although the cyclists had to watch their speed on the wet roads. One of the motor marshals commented " You're everything we need". Nice to be appreciated:) Pitlochry Baptist, the church next to us, which is right at the start/finish line opened their doors to Etape participants & bystanders with free cake & hot drinks during the event, which was much appreciated in the cold & the wet. Great job PBC!

Wilma is now full time looking after the office, housekeeping & being deputy for Iain when he's not around, so you'll see a lot more of her. Iain & Wilma are both learning how to work SAGE accountancy programme as we update our systems and Iain & Anne have been learning about reporting on social media. We've been awarded funding for a social media internship from Santander for 3 months. This is to help us set up a crowdfunding campaign as we try to complete the fundraising for the new conference room. If you or someone you know would be interested please get in touch. Clara arrived last Monday from Limoges in France as our new foreign intern. She'll be here for 6 weeks to improve her English & learn about managing a small business.
The Atholl Centre is taking part in the Pitlochry Art Walk Festival (June 20th -28th). The Centre will be one of numerous places in town with art exhibitions. We’ll also have an artist in residence, Maryann Ryves, who’ll be exhibiting landscapes done in oil at the Centre reception. Why not come & look round to admire the Rotary junior Young Artist of the Year exhibition here (starts 21st June) and give your support.