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The Community Resource Centre remains the hub of the majority of services on offer. Due to the ever increasing demand for office space and meeting areas the upper floor office has had a refit to make better use of the space. We have also converted one of the many toilets into a meeting room and two small breakout rooms to give areas for private and confidential meetings. On the lower floor the previous record store has been converted into a meeting room/ come hot desk area. All these alterations have expanded the use of the centre for the clients using it and at the same time freed up office space for other services that may be required in the future. We are also actively involved in supporting some key initiatives for the community out of the centre, as outlined below: Conversation café – This pop up cafe was set up to break down the barriers of mental health/loneliness/isolation and to encourage everyone in our community to come along enjoy a free cake and cuppa and have a chat. This helps us to get to know new people, be able to support each other and help develop a stronger community spirit. We have been running the cafe now for over 2 years and it continues to do well and has also produced spin off clubs e.g. book club. Floral art, singing group, gentle exercise class. M.A.S.A (Minds Applying Stem Activities)- This is a new initiative being set up to encourage our young people of the community (5-18year olds) to get involved in Maths and science in a fun way. It is free to come along and starts on the 19th September 2016 with the first project being to get Teddy into space!! The Massage Therapist- In October we will be welcoming a massage therapist into the Resource centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays she specialises in massage for better health and wellbeing and can do pregnancy and baby massage along with other more massages like the Swedish massage.
The gym continues to be a popular facility in the community and is constantly evolving to include new classes and fitness support for all users. The classes are well attended and offer a varied menu of fitness options.
Our Health Referral Scheme – the ABC project (Active Buchan Community) has been adopted by Aberdeenshire Council and included in the community plan as a way of encouraging those with poor fitness levels and poor physical health to access exercise, with one to one support and tailor made fitness programs. MACBI has joined with us to strengthen this project and we are currently in talks with Peterhead leisure centre to roll it out there to. The take up for the project has been very positive and the health benefits to those on the scheme are immeasurable.
Crèche continues to offer a break for mothers wishing to either use the gym or just have some time to themselves. It is still operated on Friday mornings and opens to all who wish to use the facility.
The Community Service Centre – Remains fully occupied with one change that being a video photographer in place of Heather’s Crafts who vacated the unit in April.
The café business has continued to grow so much so that we have even put ourselves on Trip Adviser: where we have received great reviews. We are fortunate to have some of the best cooks in the area which is reflected in the food and attractive cakes and home bakes. Despite other food businesses opening in the area our sales remain constant, due to the good reputation our staff have built up. The orders for outside catering have also increased which is another good reflection on the café’s standing.
We are looking at developing the small area adjacent to the Service Centre into a heritage area. It was considered putting a heritage centre on the land but it was felt that running costs would be too high and would override the benefits. A much more cost efficient and effective idea suggested was to place information boards across the site which describes the history of the mart and the layout of the land before. This would in turn encourage visitors to walk around the site to really appreciate the development and changes that have taken place. We will also look at putting some larger pieces of memorabilia around the site.
The Brighter Village Scheme –We were awarded 3rd prize this year in the Village in Bloom competition. The gardens and planters did seem to struggle with the poor weather earlier in the summer but all the same did give the village a brighter look. Unfortunately, there are areas of the village that do not look very inviting and I am sure these areas were considered when the judging took place. Again our thanks go to those dedicated people who have helped to maintain gardens, planters and grass areas their efforts are very much appreciated.
Once again the help and support the Trust receives to maintain the services that we provide is very much appreciated by the Directors and Management team alike. It is our intentions to offer a good service to the community and at the same time examine ways to improve. Thank you.
Report prepared by P. Buckman – Director/Company Secretary. V. Brown – General Manager. 24/09/2015