Thursday 13th October (September blog)

Life is full of ups & downs & the Atholl Centre is no exception. 
The bad news:The new conference room is running well behind schedule. 
The good news: The roof problem has at last been sorted out and the section of the roof which was giving us problems has now been completely replaced.

Half of the old dining room roof is replaced

The new roof lights finally go in
The Bad news: This unexpected eventuality has cost us over £10,000, so we have had to cut back on updating all the electricals in the foyer and corridor. So - no new lighting, no new power points in those areas, meaning the approach to the new room won't be as bright and well presented as we'd planned.
The Good news: The conference room will still be amazing with lots of natural light, well insulated for both sound and heat, with the loop and built in AV (including bluetooth technology) as planned. Choosing the carpet now. The dining room floor will also be updated as planned with new lighting and a new wooden floor. There will be a smooth & level transition when the soundproof partition is open allowing the 2 rooms to be used as one when greater space is required. So that part is all good.

We're currently fundraising for new curtains and chairs. This is primarily because the old conference room will not be transformed into 3 bedrooms in the immediate future, so that furniture will still be needed there. We are taking a break from big transformations for the moment, now we have achieved everything we had aimed for on our ground floor, and are going to be concentrating on consolidation now i.e. focusing on doing what we do best - serving you and encouraging even more of you to use our new & improved facilities.
However there is the small matter of the roof... Iain will be at the Assembly at the end of this month with all the details.

 In September we had a mixture of familiar faces and new groups coming to stay.
Pony therapy
The highlight of the ME group's stay must have been the pony therapy as local riding display group Riders of the Storm brought in Dainty the Shetland pony to say hello. Art therapy and physiotherapy (massage) was also part of the  week's programme. How could we help your group to enhance their stay?  Ruchill Church & Going Solo also brought well kennt faces. New this month was a visit from the Aboyne disability centre and the month ended on a high as Stand International brought a sizeable group of disabled young people from Eastern Europe for 10 days with wheelchairs whizzing up & down the corridor & lots of fun & excitement. As they are a self catering group  Atholl Centre staff made the most of the opportunity to take a well earned break after their busy summer.

The weather has been glorious and we  are enjoying a beautiful autumn with gorgeous colours. The month began with fantastic weather for Pitlochry Highland games. Great to see the bands parading through the streets.

Our last volunteer of the Polish trio, Paul (Pawel), left before Stand International arrived, but Hannah
...and it's goodbye to Paul
(interning  here through Stand Int.) was pleased to see all her friends again. Paul hopes to go on to Mexico next, but only a couple of weeks after he left his little sister Kasia  arrived,
keeping it in the family. Damian came back with big smiles & hugs - it was so lovely to see him -  with new girl Anya, also from Poland, to help us out in October. So we praise God for sending help at the right time keeping us going strong over the busy summer & autumn.

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