Tues  26th July 2016 (June & July blog)
The new conference room.
 Foundations in.  Walls going up

"When God calls you to be involved in something exciting that you really care about, you don't have to be pushed - the vision pulls you."  

We’re really excited that work on the new conference room started in mid-June. The foundations have now been laid and the walls are going up. Exciting! Thank you so much to everyone who has prayed & donated over the past months (and years) to make this happen. Your faithful support is amazing. God has also blessed us with grants great & small from a number of Trusts as well as Scottish and European government funding (LEADER), a loan from the Baptist Building Fund to help with cash flow and a bequest which made the timing of this build come together.If it were not for this bequest we would not have made the deadlines for securing match funding and would have lost a good deal of the money we had been promised! We continue to fundraise to cover unexpected expenses, so don't stop yet - we already had to have BT in to move a telephone pole- and our Thrift shop last week raised over £800. So a big thank you to everyone who donated and helped out.
Our Polish volunteers: Paul, Erik & Damien

Ani & Sally from Georgia
2 Polish lads, Erik and Paul came to  volunteer with us in June and have been a big help with painting & decorating.The TV room has had a makeover! Damian also from Poland joined them in July and a couple of weeks later Ani and Sally came from Georgia through our contact with the Christian charity for the disabled Stand International. Celia our French intern has now returned home. She really enjoyed her time here and she & the boys were a big help preparing for the wedding.
Tea & scones to say goodbye to Celia
What wedding? I hear you say. Iain & Anne's son Callum married Daisy (芝) in PItlochry Baptist church on the 2nd of July  and they used the Atholl Centre as their wedding venue. The bedrooms were filled with family guests (including Daisy's parents who came all the way from China), the foyer took on a Chinese theme, and the dining room was transformed (with the help of Make I Do and lovely friends) into a sparkling wonderland. Nel did a wonderful job with the catering and local band Ballinceol made the ceilidh go with a swing. Iain & Anne took 2 weeks off to get everything ready & clear up afterwards!
Callum & Daisy chat at their wedding meal

Having fun at the ceilidh

But that was just one weekend ! In June we had 3 church groups: YF, family & OAPs plus B&B for the Rob Roy way Fundraising Challenge weekend and as well as doing B&B, July has been a MECOPP month (Minority & Ethnic Carers) with Gypsy travellers and 2 groups of UK based Chinese as our guests, but the first group after the wedding was Persona counselling course  who had a graduation ceremony at the end of their week. 

The first Mental Health Training Day for Scottish Christian Centres took place in July too. Iain's brainchild, it was led by Kathleen Shearer who runs 1 of our 3 mental health support groups and was attended by 12 delegates from Christian outdoor & conference centres across Scotland. What did they think? "A most informative & interesting morning" Emily, Ardgour   "Most useful &  a good reminder of  the basic principles of caring for people with complex & varied issues." Andrew, Abernethy. Now to plan next year's!

Jenny from Destiny shows off her produce

Another of our mental health groups:PLUS Pitlochry (now renamed Destiny) has transformed our growing area. What a harvest this year! And they gave us a brilliant write up in their last newsletter. It's Your Neighbourhood (from Beautiful Scotland) came to judge our garden, so our brilliant volunteers came to the rescue again with a quick paint job for the raised beds and a busy weeding party to help Alastair our gardener make everything look spick & span. Thanks to Andrew Walker from Arran Baptist we now have some tree slices for the kids to sit on or use as stepping stones or as their fancy leads them. So the garden's looking great - in spite of all the construction work - and we're now making concrete plans for the development of the sensory garden once the outside work for the build is complete. In fact we hope to do a bag pack at the co-op to make sure we have enough for that project so keep an eye out on facebook for the dates.
Children's play area

Painting the raised beds. Look how they've grown

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