Growing care and support in Pitlochry – funding update

shutterstock_129513047The Creative Care & Support project has funded six wonderful projects in Pitlochry from its funding pot of £10,000. We will follow the development of the businesses and projects on this blog. Here is an overview of the projects that have received funding (information about dates, times and contact details will be added when available):

1) Heartland Befriending

Heartland Befriending, owned by Gillian Gilchrist, seeks to find ways to keep people connected right across the spectrum of the Pitlochry community. The project will be helping people to establish and maintain strong social relationships and encouraging them to stay connected to their community. At the heart of business values is the passion to keep those later-­on in life living life to the full.

The rational behind setting up the company is that the older section of the population is vulnerable to loneliness, social isolation and poor mental and physical health with the resulting increase in early admission to nursing care. People who are well connected to their community are more likely to be able to remain in their homes. This benefits the whole of the community – it helps to keep people connected across the generations, and people accessing local volunteer groups, businesses and facilities generate energy. Improved quality of life for one person, at whatever stage in life, has a knock-­on effect on those with whom they come into contact.

2) Herbalist Clinic and Dispensary

This business, run by local herbalist and aromatherapist Leila Mayne, offers a number of opportunities for local residents to take their health and wellbeing into their own hands. Leila offers consultations, workshops, walks, massage, dietary and lifestyle advice and herbal medicine, including herbal prescribing.

Involvement with the business also offers an opportunity for practical learning through participation in a range of activities, together with fresh air, exercise and socialisation. These walks and workshops will be a form of therapy in their own right. They will bring diversity to the creative care and support on offer to the inhabitants of Pitlochry.

Initially Leila will be offering taster sessions within local residential homes as well at at the Atholl Centre. For more information: Leila Herbalist website.

3) The Art and Craft Club

The Art and Craft Club, run by Dee Bowman, has been established to offer an informal club for creative and arts interested carers left after the person they were caring for has gone into care or has died. The club is also open for people with Alzheimer’s or other conditions which make them feel less able to join a formal, taught, art class.

This community-led project hopes to encourage a ‘get-together’ every two weeks. Dee Bowman will be assisted by friends and acquaintances with specialist knowledge of e.g. silk painting, modelling, printing etc. At the moment the club is talking to the town’s Welcome All Soup Lunch and other community events to establish outlets where the club’s creations can be sold.

4) Reiki Therapy for current and recent carers

Isobel Wilson and Sarah Renwick, both qualified Reiki Therapists, are offering Reiki Therapy for three hours on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month, with the addition of one full day session by Sarah once a month. This project is available for carers and bereaved carers, that is people who have been carers but their cared for relatives have either been placed in a care home or have died. People can be referred to the sessions – by self-referral or by others such as family, social work or NHS.

The benefits of Reiki Therapy are multiple, as Isobel explains: “I was also involved with the set up of the Perth and Aberfeldy Carer’s Therapy Days and gave Reiki at Aberfeldy for the first few years. I continue to give Reiki at the Carer’s day in Perth. I have witnessed first hand the difference this makes to the carers who attend. Feedback from carers after their Reiki treatment is that they feel more relaxed, more able to cope and that overall they feel better within themselves. The benefits are many.

5) Welcome All Social Club and Games Library

The Welcome All lunch club has been running since 2011 within the Atholl Centre which is a local community hub and fully accessible. The group normally meets for an hour and the hope now is to run for two hours with the addition of a second hour for social and recreational activities. The club will establish over the course of the autumn and winter which games and activities equipment it should invest in. Suggestions currently are board games, quizzes, floor games, reminiscence activities, etc.

By physical and mental stimulation it is hope that these activities will contribute to the health and wellbeing of the people who attend the club and thus reducing social isolation and increasing connections within the local community. The Welcome All Soup Lunch and Social Club runs every Friday afternoon 12.30 – 2.30pm (October to Easter) in the Atholl Centre.

The library of games, once establishes, will be make available for use by other community groups, such as Friendship Hour, the Tryst, Sunnybrae etc.

6) Sensory and Community Garden

The Atholl Centre has received funding for the establishment of a sensory and community garden which will provide a refuge for people who are in a stressful situation or coping with a life changing illness or disability. It will be used both by locals and by residential guests as a refreshing haven and an opportunity to relax and experience peace. The garden addresses both the needs of social isolation and social integration.  The garden project will encourage people to work together and the garden will build bridges both amongst peers and across the generations, serving as an ice breaker to help people meet new friends, countering social isolation and promoting community cohesion. Produce will be shared out to help
people feel valued both as givers and receivers.

It is the aim of the project managers, Anne and Iain Walker, to explore all senses, so the garden will include “scented plants, plants with different tactile experiences, plants which add colour through the seasons and which are placed to be pleasing to the eye and plants which make noise as the wind blows through hem. Wind chimes and a small water feature would also provide aural stimulation”. The community focused area of the garden aims to benefit many community groups such as “4 Ways mental health support, carers support, young carers, adults with learning disabilities, art classes, new business start-up herbal workshops, bereavement support, U3A, Positive Choices (chronic illness support), WA elderly lunch club, youth club and His Kidz. Not only will they be able to enjoy the garden, it would be an opportunity for them to meet each other, working together and having fun together across the generations”.

To get involved please contact The Atholl Centre.

– Rikke

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In late April, Michelle Drumm from IRISS interviewed Fiona Johnstone and Rikke Iversholt about the Creative Care and Support: Pitlochry project so far.

Listen here:

– Rikke

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Fund launch – smiles all ’round…


This afternoon we launched the £10,000 seed fund to support the development of enterprise ideas seeking to support the improvement of outcomes for people who live in Pitlochry and surrounding area.


The launch open day at the sun-drenched Atholl Centre in Pitlochry has been full of smiles and optimism so far, with prospective applicants picking up their funding packs.

image_1If you would like to receive a funding pack please contact Fiona Johnstone – Community Engagement Worker (PKAVS): 01738 567076 / or Rikke Iversholt – Project Manager (IRISS):


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Planning projects and businesses

Workshop 4At the last of the workshops prior to the launch of the Creative care and support fund we worked in pairs to shape the ideas for projects and enterprises, and to focus these in such a way that application to the Creative care and support fund will be a straight-forward process.

For those of you who were unable to come along on the day, but wish to apply to the fund, you can find the forms below.

The fund will launch with an open day on Monday 28th April at the Atholl Centre. The launch will be a drop-in session between 2-6.30pm where anyone with an interest in the project or fund can come and receive information and a funding pack.

Fund poster


– Rikke


Business needs template

business plan template


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Firming up ideas

2014-02-25 15.26.31

At the workshop sessions on Tuesday 25th February 2014 we spent time organising all the ideas generated so far into clusters, in order to identify the main themes and the priorities of the people of Pitlochry, as well as to make connections between people with complementary ideas.

With over 80 ideas generated by local people with the view to improve the lives of Pitlochry residents there are a lot things that could be taken forward. So at the moment we are focusing on the ideas for which there is a person keen to dedicate their time and energy to make it into reality.

The first steps have already been taken for some idea, but it is never too late to add ideas, get involved, or adopt an idea and make it real. Everyone is welcome at the workshop sessions – the next will be on 8th April 2014 – but if it is not possible for you to attend, you can still follow the steps from home.

The first steps on the road to realising an idea are to define:

  • What is your product/service?
  • Where and how will it be sold?
  • Who will buy it?
  • How much will it cost you to get started?
  • How much do you need to earn?

2014-02-25 15.32.34

We will upload further questions to help you on your way. However, if you would like to speak to someone about developing your idea please contact:

Fiona Johnstone – Community Engagement Worker (PKAVS) on 01738 567076
or Joyce McQuilken, Growbiz on 01250 870170.

– Rikke


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Workshops, Tuesday 25th February 2014

At the next workshop we will be moving towards shaping the ideas from previous session into firm business ideas.
If you have an interest in creating a business, or want to help others with ideas to firm up their plans – please come along.

There will be two session on Tuesday 25th February 2014: 2pm and 6pm, each lasting two hours.

Ideas, Themes, Opportunities
Own an opportunity
Shaping the ideas
Towards a proposal for funding
Information about the next session, the open day and the funding window.
Feedback and End

If you would like further information please contact:
Fiona Johnstone – Community Engagement Worker (PKAVS) on 01738 567076
or Joyce McQuilken, Growbiz on 01250 870170.


– Rikke

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Pitlochry mapping

PmapAt the last workshop in Pitlochry on Tuesday 14th January 2014, we used huge dining table sized maps of the local area to identify four things:

  1. Problems / needs
  2. Things of note
  3. Ideas / opportunities
  4. Local assets

Participants took turns in sharing personal experiences that highlighted how they saw the needs and opportunities of the local area, and together provided a complex, but opportunity-rich picture of a possible future for Pitlochry and the surrounding area.

Pitlochry has a lot of good community assets that local people use and rely on. The groups listed the below places and organisations as playing key roles in the town. You might think of others – so please add these to the list by commenting on this post.

Assets identified

  • Sunnybraes residential care home
  • Shopmobility scooters
  • Fishersview Independent Living Facility
  • Station bookshop
  • Pitlochry Theatre
  • John Muir Trust
  • Hielan Hands
  • Tryst
  • Church of Scotland
  • Library
  • Atholl Centre – community hub
  • Balhousie
  • Welcome All soup lunch
  • Friendship Hour  – Aldour Gardens
  • Parkinsons Support Group – Aldour Gardens
  • Moulin Heritage Centre
  • James Court Sheltered Housing
  • Older People Community Transport
  • Incredible Walks
  • Boats + café
  • Fish ladder tourist attraction
  • Balhousie has meeting rooms
  • GP surgery
  • Adult education
  • School
  • Leisure Centre
  • Country walks

The problems that were raised by individual participants were recognised by the groups as affecting the town as a whole, and therefore important to address in order to add vitality and sustainability to Pitlochry.


  • Evening class opportunities are missing (or unknown)
  • High train fares
  • Job opportunities missing
  • Perception of the area as affluent restricts funding options
  • Communication between community groups is an issue – more collaborative work needed
  • Not knowing about all of the community groups in Pitlochry
  • No utilisation of facilities out of hours
  • Transportation links to surrounding area
  • Overloaded families who care for relatives
  • No allotments
  • No skills development opportunities for young people
  • Supermarket taking over local trade
  • No bus service, adults not allowed on school bus

The things of note pose less of a problem to the community, but were considered important to understanding the context of the problems and opportunities. Many issues raised are facts which help provide a clearer understanding of the local area, or questions which the participants would like answered in order to better move the Creative Care and Support project forward.

Things of note

  • Outdoor activities do exist but are not easy to just to try out
  • Bringing together younger and older people should be natural, not forced
  • Tourist activities should be more accessible for people to trial
  • Where do people advertise? How can this be better?
  • Better signposting of volunteering opportunities
  • Gap of service provision for unpaid carers across Pitlochry of all ages, some support present but does not meet needs of all carers e.g parent carers
  • Pitlochry community health and social care forum
  • Will the co-op support local producers?
  • No secondary school is a disadvantage
  • We need people to take responsibility for taking ideas forward in this project
  • Pitlochry website seems more for business than community groups
  • There needs to be something for people who have moved away to ‘come back to’ in adult age
  • Address the isolation issue
  • There is a high number of older people
  • Befriending
  • Respite – what are the different models possible?
  • Knowing all community groups in town is difficult

Many opportunities and ideas came out of thinking creatively about the problems raised, and others were private passions that people thought would fit in well in Pitlochry. Some ideas and identified opportunities have a person behind them who wants to drive them forward, but many still need a driving force, either a person, a group of people or a business to help it to become reality.

PassetsOpportunity / Idea

  • Community photography classes
  • Come and try sessions (of attractions for tourists)
  • Community social responsibility pledge (Community Commitment Pledge) – you can pledge money, a placement, supported work etc
  • Possibilities for people with same interests to meet up
  • If a market is established include craft stalls for community to contribute to
  • Volunteering to clean up green areas around town (outdoor conservation)
  • Make it easier to make links
  • Buddy system (to have people to do things with)
  • A fly-tying business run by local young person
  • Photoshop classes locally
  • Storytelling
  • Singing group / choir
  • Learn to cook lessons at the Atholl Centre
  • Moving and downsizing solutions for older people
  • Birks trip (cinema)
  • Herb walks
  • Local support mechanism for unpaid carers
  • Support for families of older / unwell people
  • Pitlochry could be a ‘work from home’ town, but super broadband needed
  • Community stall at the Co-op
  • Veg box scheme
  • Communicating with other communities that have established community ventures in their area
  • Community café / hub
  • Community power opportunities for small hydro
  • Community section on town website
  • Community allotments
  • Mobile community centre (like a play bus)
  • Market in the town hall
  • Wild food walks
  • Out of hours service (needs to exist)
  • Stronger linking between surgery/GP and community supporters
  • Independent living advice of solutions for older people
  • Vouchers for therapies
  • Supply local vegetables to local hotels and cafes

Creative Care and Support: Pitlochry is still looking for more participants, so please come along to the next session on 25th February 2014. Sessions will be held at 2.30pm and 6pm.

The upcoming sessions will take a specific look at how people from Pitlochry and the surrounding area can take steps to help shape the future of care and support in the town by starting new enterprises, be they private businesses, co-operatives, social enterprises, voluntary organisations or other.  The programme for the next session will be posted here in advance of 25th February 2014.

If you would like to speak to someone about the project, or about getting involved and starting a local enterprise yourself please contact:

Fiona Johnstone – Community Engagement Worker (PKAVS) on 01738 567076
or Joyce McQuilken, Growbiz on 01250 870170.




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Workshop, Tuesday 14th January

The workshops on Tuesday, 14th January 2014, will focus on mapping the assets that exist in Pitlochry, and identify the unmet needs and requirements of the community.

This information will help build a picture of the current situation and create opportunities to establish new, creative ways of providing care and support in the area.

To ensure that all that are interested in taking part can take part, we are running two sessions: 2.30pm-4.30pm and 6pm-8pm.  Both sessions will take place at the Atholl Centre (Atholl Road, Pitlochry, PH16 5BX).

All welcome!



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First ideas…

ploch 2611

Our first workshop were held on Tuesday 26th November at the Atholl Centre. We had two sessions, one afternoon and one evening, to ensure that as many people as possible could come along.

The format of the workshops was planned to ensure that everyone got from the event what was promised but with enough flexibility that conversations and the stream of ideas were not hindered. Fiona from PKAVS led us in activities to get to know each other better; Rikke gave a brief presentation of the project to date and the aspirations the partners have for it; and Joyce led us into discussing everyone’s expectations and aspirations.

From this we sought to address three questions about the future of care and support in Pitlochry:

1. How can we better support people in Pitlochry?
2. How can we think more creatively about how people are supported?
3. What could the caring Pitlochry look like in future?

We noted all answers and thoughts on post-it notes to document the full conversation:

1. How can we better support people in Pitlochry?

  • Feel supported by community whether you’re newcomer, old, young etc
  • Consider the feelings people have when they move to Pitlochry
  • Find out people’s assets
  • Address transport issues
  • Find out the needs of people who are ‘behind closed doors’
  • Get emergency / ‘points of reference’ information through people’s doors
  • Some people feel isolated
  • There is loneliness
  • Work with the ‘pockets’ of things happening

2. How can we think more creatively about how people are supported?

  • Get information out to people through existing routes: Newsround, Quiar, town blog / website
  • Bring young and older together
  • Bring different interest groups together
  • Share information / communicate better
  • Think of those who can’t or don’t leave their homes
  • The biennial newcomer event is very good – have these more often?
  • Create workshops for business aspirants
  • Create a forum to discuss a new, shared space
  • Bring together people with similar goals in business
  • Include young parents

3. What could the caring Pitlochry look like in future?

  • Good ‘neighbourliness’ (80-90%)
  • Address volunteering capacity
  • Take care of carers as well
  • Immigrants feel integrated in Scottish culture
  • Maintain lighting
  • Pitlochry Partnership – communicate what it does
  • Make connections / relationships
  • People to listen
  • Community café
  • School children having lunch in older people’s homes weekly
  • Happy to volunteer – but some work should pay
  • Create effective intergenerational community
  • Change culture – wide-spread informal volunteering
  • Use the environment – music, animals etc.

We also had an ideas wall on which anyone could jot down their ideas, need and offers for a better supported Pitlochry. The ideas wall will be a permanent feature in the workshops. The first sessions’ ideas are listed below.

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 14.58.38

The next workshop will be on Tuesday 14th January – at 2.30-4.30pm and 6-8pm.

– Come along, and bring anyone you think could help shape the future of support and care in Pitlochry.


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Workshop 1 – Tuesday 26th November 2013


The DJCAD students have now handed over to us: the project partners and the people of Pitlochry.

On Tuesday 26th November 2013, we will hold the first of four workshops to consider how more varied and personalised care and support options could be developed for people living in Pitlochry, and to help people develop ideas for new businesses that can be taken forward. To help businesses get off the ground there is a £10,000 challenge fund to support people to develop and test out their new ideas. This will be released in spring 2014.

The First Workshop session will be held on
Tuesday 26th November 2013 in the Atholl Centre. It will be run from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, and again at 6.00pm to 8.00pm.

If you wish to book a place or require further information please contact:
Fiona Johnstone – Community Engagement Worker (PKAVS) on 01738 567076
or Joyce McQuilken, Growbiz on 01250 870170.

– Rikke

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