Plantation association’s plea for volunteers
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.