Doors open on new chil­dren’s care home

The Oban Times - - News -

A CHIL­DREN’S char­ity has opened a res­i­den­tial home for young­sters in Fort Wil­liam.

Aber­lour, a na­tional char­ity sup­port­ing vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren and their fam­i­lies, has set up the home in a for­mer guest house in Lochy­side.

Plan­ning per­mis­sion to con­vert the build­ing was ac­cepted by the High­land Coun­cil in Fe­bru­ary.

Lochan Cot­tage, a sev­enbed­roomed prop­erty, will house up to five chil­dren, aged be­tween eight and 18, who will be su­per­vised by two staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Aber­lour chief ex­ec­u­tive Sally Ann Kelly said: ‘ We are de­lighted to have found ac­com­mo­da­tion to pro­vide safe, sta­ble and car­ing homes to chil­dren who re­ally need one. We have had great sup­port from our neigh­bours and the chil­dren have al­ready been made to feel part of the com­mu­nity.

‘We could not have hoped for a warmer wel­come.

‘These are fam­ily homes and the chil­dren are part of our fam­ily. For some, this may be for a short pe­riod, be­fore re­turn­ing to live with their own fam­ily. Oth­ers will grow up with us into adult­hood. All our chil­dren will be en­cour­aged to look for­ward to a hap­pier fu­ture. Ev­ery child de­serves the chance to flour­ish.’

Two houses, in Fort Wil­liam and In­ver­ness, have been opened in part­ner­ship with the High­land Coun­cil. They sup­port chil­dren who have of­ten ex­pe­ri­enced trauma, which could in­clude wit­ness­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence or drug and al­co­hol use in the home.

The coun­cil has wel­comed the char­ity’s new houses. Councillor Alas­dair Christie, chair­man of the Peo­ple Com­mit­tee, said: ‘ We are ex­cited to be work­ing with Aber­lour and hope this will be the start of a long part­ner­ship, bring­ing both innovation and high qual­ity ser­vices to fam­i­lies and chil­dren in the area.

‘Aber­lour is fo­cused on im­prov­ing the lives of chil­dren and young peo­ple and has brought a fresh per­spec­tive to the care of the most vul­ner­a­ble young peo­ple, in­clud­ing them in how ser­vices are run.’

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