You will see from previous blogs by the CEO that there is always a multitude of activities taking place across both Centres, however, having been asked to write the blog for this month allows me to the opportunity to inform you all on activities that are specifically taking place at Castlebrae.
I will start by updating you all with the progress of the building of the new fitness facilities at the Centre. It is an exciting time for us all at Castlebrae as there is not a day goes by where you cannot see progress being made with this project. The foundations for our much needed hydro therapy pool and new treatment pool are in place and the steel framework is up. You can now see the design of the build beginning to take more of a shape aligned with the drawings and can identify each section as it is being constructed.
This is an important time in the building schedule as you want the shell of the build to be up and built before the weather starts to turn. With all the steelwork now in place you really do get an indication of how big the project is and the potential the new build has to enhance the treatment and services we already provide.
To make sure the project is going according to schedule I meet with JG Associates (Project Management Team) every two weeks. This permits everyone that needs to be involved in any decision on the project to be fully briefed and up to date on where we are with the build. As a result of these meetings I am pleased to report that all is going ‘swimmingly’ well and there have been no ‘waves’ of disruption with the building of the treatment pool and hydro therapy pool.
Both pools have now been tested to see if they are water tight and both passed with flying colours. We are already beginning to focus on some of the smaller details and you know when a build is on schedule when you have to start thinking about fixtures and fittings and colour schemes. As I said, exciting and busy times.
Has the build caused much disruption to the Centre’s daily activities? No. So far any disturbance has been to a minimum and I update the patients at the welcome meetings on a Monday if there are going to be any major potential disruptions during their stay, but all credit to J.G. Associates and Marshall Construction for their mindfulness as to what the Centre is about and making every effort to keep the commotion to a minimum.
The temporary arrangement we have with the local 20m swimming pool in Crieff while we are without a pool at Castlebrae is working out really well. We are still offering the opportunity to swim two days of the week and the gym and the physiotherapy departments are still functioning as per normal with treatment programmes and fitness classes remaining unaffected where possible. Well done to Pauline and Douglas and their teams.
Castlebrae is also currently going through a much needed refurbishment programme of some of the bedrooms and public areas. The majority of this work is being undertaken in-house by our own team of maintenance staff to keep costs at a minimum. All this is being achieved under the watchful eye of Alison Daly, the Centres Operational Manager, Abbie Ramsay Maintenance Supervisor, and Lynn Donaldson housekeeping Supervisor. This work is all aimed at maintaining an environment of comfort and wellbeing.
On the 8th of September Graeme Addison, Fundraiser, and Steve Greenall, Physiotherapist, attended another of the Equality for All forums at the Scottish Police College. These take place four times a year. It is important for the Charity to attend such events as it allows us to meet up and network with other police associations, meet with the new intakes of police probationers and inform them of the Charity and what services we provide, and it gives us the opportunity to maintain a close link with the Scottish Police College.
As well as many other fundraising activities such as writing to Trusts and Foundations for grants, Graeme Addison is involved at the present with a project called ‘Youth Philanthropy Initiative’ through our local secondary school, Auchterarder Community School. A group of third year pupils have chosen the Police Treatment Centres as their local charity and now have to look at the work of the charity and what benefits its brings to the community. The project culminates with a dynamic presentation from the group on the charity to their fellow pupils and a panel of judges.
The pupils were keen to be involved in some way with the work the PTC does or to interact with the officers attending, so they visited Castlebrae on the 10th September where they were shown around the premises to see first-hand the work we do. They were also able to meet with and interview a few of the Patient’s attending the centre. The team that is judged to have given the best and most informative presentation will win a prize of £3000 for their charity so their efforts are well worth encouraging. It is important to network with the community where possible and the school is a good example. I wish them luck with their presentation and thank them for their interest in our charity.
On Tuesday the 15th September Mr Penman, HMIC Scotland, was on site and I was able to catch up with him. Mr Penman fully supports the work the Charity does and I was delighted to see him using the centre as a venue to facilitate one of his meetings.
In terms of generating income there has been a steady uptake in the number of people using the Centre for B&B at the weekends, despite the weather. Also our recent involvement with T in the Park, which now takes place in Strathallan Estate just next door to Castlebrae, may well prove to be a good source of generating income for a good numbers of years to come.
I also want to mention the Patient Committees that have been organised at the Centre and thank them for their fundraising skills. Their support and efforts are very much appreciated.
Well I hope I have been able to give you all a flavour of what is happening at Castlebrae and the various activities that have been taking place.
‘Happily We Serve’
Deputy Chief Executive /Centre Manager Castlebrae.