(Photo and information provided by BIC Treasurer Peter Furniss)
The Fortrose lunch club, now part of Black Isle Cares went on a lovely trip with Seagull Trust Cruises last Wednesday.
Seagull Trust cruises operate in four centres in Scotland, three in the central belt and one up here in the Highlands. In the Highlands they offer return trips to needy groups of all ages on the Caledonian Canal from a point near Tomnahurich Bridge Swing Bridge on the A82 Glenurquart Road, to Dochgarroch Locks, a total distance of 4.5 miles.
They use a purpose built boat that has internal lift and disabled toilet. It is manned by local volunteers including many from the Black Isle. Tea and coffee are provided and quite often, as was the case on Monday one of the volunteers leads a sing song accompanied by an accordion.
The Fortrose Lunch Club consists of 25 elderly ladies together with myself as the only man. For many years they have received an invitation to apply for a trip and this year we were lucky enough to be asked again. There is no charge for this service and the only cost is the transport to and from the boat mooring point.
I organised this trip. Most unfortunately this year our numbers were down because the funeral of Mary Macdonnell was held in Fortrose at 1.00 pm on the same day so only six attended. It was nevertheless a delightful way of spending a Monday afternoon enjoying a couple of hours in the early summer sunshine.
The BIC AGM last week was a huge success. We had a visit from our newest volunteer: a dalmation called Jimmy! Also there were some great guest speakers Ron Taylor and Ruth Mantle, Brian Devlin (chair) says:
“We had a great turnout on the night. People were very interested to hear from Ron Taylor about the plans for the new Parklands nursing home in Fortrose and Ruth Mantle on dementia initiatives across the Highlands. It was a night of celebration and thanks to the volunteers, staff and members of staff whose efforts make BIC the great service that it is.”
In his speech Brian talked of the successes from BIC; it’s employees, trustees and volunteers in the last year:
“We deliver MoW three days a week. An average of 29 meals per day – that’s 87 meals per week. On average our volunteers spend conservatively 9 hours/ day talking and preparing food.
Let me add that up for you. Your charity – BLACK ISLE CARES – has delivered around 4350 meals over the last year. And here’s something that we didn’t consider when we were starting out: we have also delivered 1350 hours of volunteering over the year.
That’s selflessness, that’s community spirit in action. That’s what is going on in this wonderful community…”
Brian also talked of the great work of the care team that operate in partnership with Highland Home Carers:
“Over the last year we have carried out approximately 17,300 hours of care to the service users – on average 360 hours of care per week.
As numbers of service users decrease, new clients come on board. As of March, we are sitting with 30 service users. We have care going on in Culbokie, Munlochy /Tore, Avoch, Fortrose and Rosemarkie.
We have now met all the unmet needs from NHS so therefore no-one is waiting to receive care as far as BIC are concerned.
We have sufficient staff to accommodate these clients and have 30 paid carers to date.”
Thank you to everyone who came and well done to everyone involved in making Black Isle Cares do it’s best work for the elderly in the community.
Scam Warning: Just to make people aware that the HMRC phone-scam is very prevalent at the moment. You get a recorded call saying that HMRC are taking criminal action against you, press button 1 to speak to your case officer. It’s really important to get the message out that this is a scam – this message is NOT from HMRC – and that people should just put the phone down. Many people are not online – so it would be great if people could share this information with friends and relatives who may miss it. Thanks.
Thank you to Gary Miller and his colleagues at the DWP for choosing Black Isle Cares to receive the profits from their dress down day in January.
We all appreciate your support.