Fri 26th June 2015

Thank you for all your support. The Open Days were a great success. Over 60 people came for the Open Day on the 6th July where we were celebrating our new accessible accommodation. Deputy First Minister John Swinney  made a really encouraging speech:
He said, “The key ingredients to success are absolute tenacity & determination, which Iain & Anne have shown. The Atholl Centre is not just fulfilling its potential in its locality but reaching out to people from other localities, surprise guests & to people in need, which is at the core of the Christian mission, and what this Centre does is make sure that whatever happens to us in our lives, we’re all able to come through the doors here & fulfil our capabilities, both for individual & collective benefit, which is something profoundly important.”                             

He came with his disabled wife Elizabeth & their young son. Local Councillor Kate Howie commented ““It was truly a lovely afternoon & felt like having your extended family round.”

We did get a Centre video done in the end, just in time for the Open Day & left it running on loop in the TV room for people to take in on their tours of the building, while Fiona Johnstone from PKAVS encouraged people to fill in community surveys. Thanks to Peter from the Media Trust  who answered our last minute pleas for help with editing with great grace & skilfully selected 5 minutes worth from an extensive file of material. 

On the 7th we had our Eden Project Big Lunch. Although after a wild & wet week the sun had actually deigned to shine, our gazebos had been totally destroyed by high winds overnight, so we ate inside and then visited the garden. The brilliant thing about Bring & Share is that everybody brings what they can and you end up with a feast. Mildred commented “ I really enjoyed a meal I didn't have to cook" and June said “ I had a lovely time “ Leila who runs Herbal workshops here gave us some new plants from her garden and Alastair showed off the new space which he & David C. & Timo have worked so hard to complete. It’s now ready for use folks!

Clara, our French Intern, who has been with us for 6 weeks left today.  “I am really glad to have met people too generous, kind & funny like you” she wrote in her thank you letter. “ I hope for you the sun will come in Scotland” A big thank you to Rosetta for offering her a bedroom with a cat & to the Stewarts for making her part of their family during her stay. Michael from Poland is back this summer and he’s bringing his friend Lucas to work here too (arriving next week) so we’re all set for summer B&B which starts just after the Irish Scouts  leave on the 6th July. Last year we had guests from over 30 different countries.

We continue to welcome day groups and community groups throughout the summer. Please pray as they offer support to vulnerable members of our community.

Being part of the Pitlochry Art Walk has increased the number of visitors to the Rotary Young Artist display and Arbroath Town Mission Lunch club enjoyed the colourful & imaginative display during their stay too.

The Community Portable Loop which we've been asked to buy and look after so it can be lent out finally arrived. It's been a bit of a saga as the first one we sent away for turned out to have no loudspeakers, so if folk were in a public meeting it still wouldn't be much use as lots of people still would have difficulty hearing, so we sent away for a different one. This one is designed for small conference rooms so it does have a mike & speakers as well as a loop. Now we have to work out how best to lend it out as it's quite complicated to set up and didn't come with a carry case.

We’re still working on securing a Social Media Intern for the summer to help us with a crowdfunding campaign to hopefully complete the funding for the new accessible conference room we’d like to build downstairs. We held one set of interviews but the stand out candidate had to decline due to last minute family reasons so we're holding another set  in a couple of weeks. Please pray we get the right person.

We’re also running a pop–up charity shop to help us continue to upgrade the Centre for disabled people with this new room. This is from the 11th -17th July (Excluding Sunday 12th). As usual we welcome donations of bric–a-brac, toys, books etc and invite you to come & see if there’s anything you’d like to buy.

Our next newsletter is just coming out. Please pick up a copy at reception or coming soon on our website.