Plan­ta­tion as­so­ci­a­tion’s plea for vol­un­teers

The Oban Times - - News -

A FORT Wil­liam com­mu­nity group is ap­peal­ing for vol­un­teers and sup­port­ers to help with fundrais­ing and or­gan­is­ing projects to ben­e­fit res­i­dents, writes Katie Carabine.

The Plan­ta­tion Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion has been try­ing to drum up sup­port for projects such as im­prov­ing the play­park fa­cil­i­ties, youth groups and trips for the young­sters, as well as events for el­derly res­i­dents and work that goes into the up­keep of the Plan­ta­tion area.

At the as­so­ci­a­tion’s AGM on Satur­day April 29, Kara El­der, who was act­ing chair­woman but is now vice- chair­woman, told the Lochaber Times: ‘ We’re look­ing for new faces to get in­volved with fundrais­ing and other things.

‘We nor­mally hold meet­ings on a Thurs­day. We’ve tried other days but no­body comes, so we thought we’d try a Satur­day to see if that makes any dif­fer­ence.

‘We ad­ver­tised the meet­ing on Face­book and knocked on all the doors in the Plan­ta­tion to tell peo­ple about the meet­ing.’

She went on to ex­plain that she and her fel­low di­rec­tors – sec­re­tary Re­becca Wil­liamson and trea­surer Les­ley Boath – had pro­vided home­bak­ing and laid on tea and cof­fee in an­other bid to en­cour­age at­ten­dance at the meet­ing.

How­ever, de­spite sev­eral peo­ple show­ing in­ter­est dur­ing their door-knocks and say­ing they would be happy to help out and at­tend the meet­ing, pos­si­bly be­com­ing com­mit­tee mem­bers, the turn out was again ex­tremely low, with only one res­i­dent at­tend­ing along with Nigel Pat­ter­son, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Lochaber cam­pus of West High­land Col­lege UHI, who was act­ing as honorary sec­re­tary.

Mrs El­der said the lack of sup­port and com­mit­ment was ‘so dis­heart­en­ing’.

The AGM still went ahead and Mrs El­der gave a chair­per­son’s re­port, ex­plain­ing that the past year had been a ‘ roller­coaster ride’. She out­lined the events they had or­gan­ised over the months, in­clud­ing a spon­sored walk to fundraise for the youth club in May, with the an­nual fam­ily fun day hav­ing taken place in July.

They had also had their an­nual Christ­mas lunch for the pen­sion­ers in the com­mu­nity, which she noted had been par­tic­uarly dif­fi­cult due to lack of funding and sup­port, and that the num­ber of at­ten­dees had re­duced.

Brian Mur­phy be­came the new chair­man, hav­ing pre­vi­ously agreed this with di­rec­tors, with Mrs El­der be­com­ing vice- chair­woman. Ms Wil­liamson and Ms Boath re­mained in their po­si­tions.

The di­rec­tors then took the de­ci­sion to re­duce the num­ber of meet­ings over win­ter and also in the sum­mer to fit in with the school hol­i­days.

Mrs El­der said: ‘ We’re not ask­ing peo­ple to come to ev­ery meet­ing. We don’t want to put any­body off by ask­ing for a huge com­mit­ment, we just want peo­ple to help out when they can.’

The next meet­ing is on Thurs­day May 25 at 7pm in the Plan­ta­tion Hall.

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