Men­tal health char­ity’s wind­fall de­light

The Oban Times - - News -

A WESTERN Isles men­tal health char­ity has re­ceived a wel­come cash boost of £2,500.

Wind farm char­ity Point and Sand­wick Trust do­nated the money to The Western Isles Association for Men­tal Health (WIAMH).

WIAMH says the money will help pay for ac­tiv­i­ties at its Catch-23 drop-in ser­vice and re­tain three sup­port work­ers. Del Gunn, WIAMH man­ager, said the tim­ing of the fund­ing was ‘fan­tas­tic’ with the end of the fi­nan­cial year fast ap­proach­ing.

He said: ‘It gives us a level of flex­i­bil­ity. If we have got a new idea then we can run with it straight away in­stead of hav­ing to chase the money.

‘It’s an ab­so­lute god­send be­cause we can plan now. It en­ables us to re­tain staff who are in re­cov­ery them­selves from men­tal health is­sues.’

Western Isles Association for Men­tal Health is the largest ser­vice user group of its kind in the Outer He­brides and re­cently cel­e­brated its 20-year an­niver­sary. The main project run by WIAMH is Catch 23, a re­cov­ery-based, drop-in that caters for peo­ple with men­tal health con­di­tions and ad­dic­tions. It re­ceives around 5,500 drop-ins ev­ery year and is open six days a week, from noon till 4pm, Mon­day to Fri­day, and 11am to 3pm on Satur­day.

Most of the ac­tiv­i­ties or­gan­ised by WIAMH take place un­der the ban­ner of Catch 23. These in­clude two arts groups, a writ­ers’ group and an ad­dic­tion sup­port group, as well as gar­den­ing ses­sions and so­cial events.

The do­na­tion to WIAMH is the first in­stal­ment of £ 5,000 a year sup­port, de­pend­ing on the prof­its from Point and Sand­wick’s com­mu­nity- owned Beinn Ghrideag wind farm.

It is also part of a jig­saw of sup­port cre­ated by Point and Sand­wick Trust for vul­ner­a­ble is­lan­ders, fol­low­ing re­cent do­na­tions of £15,000 each to He­brides Al­pha and Western Isles Foyer.

An­gus McCor­mack, chair­man of Point and Sand­wick Trust, said: ‘ We are delighted to be able to help Western Isles Association for Men­tal Health and sup­port the very im­por­tant work it does.’

Point and Sand­wick Trust chair­man An­gus McCor­mack, right, with Del Gunn, Western Isles Association for Men­tal Health man­ager, and Cathy MacArthur, WIAMH chair­woman.

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