Project Freedom makes it to Iceland

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News of a successful carers’ project run from Oban is about to reach international ears in Iceland.

Earlier this year Project Freedom took eight carers to Tiree for a short break and the results it produced are in a photographic and creative writing exhibition on show in Oban upstairs at Waterstones until Saturday June 30.

Project Freedom was the brainchild of Mairi Fleck, an activities co-ordinator for North Argyll Carers’ Resource Centre, and Leonie Charlton from Taynuilt who runs a monthly creative writing group at Oban Library.

The Hebridean Trust at the Hynish Centre on Tiree offered the project a five night stay. The carers who went there spent time taking photos and writing poetry.

The Project Freedom work they produced will go on display at the Hynish Centre next and it is hoped the exhibition will also be seen on Mull.

‘Being offered time at the Hynish Centre was a perfect opportunity for Project Freedom. It gave people time for themselves. Tiree is like another world. It’s amazing,’ said Ms Fleck.

Ms Fleck has now been invited to talk about the success of Project Freedom at an international conference in Iceland in October focusing on the importance of short breaks for carers. She is hoping to make a special film about it to take with her.

‘You can’t put a value on these short breaks. It’s so special for people,’ said Ms Fleck who is looking for local businesses to gift to a Respitality scheme she is co-ordinating.

It can be anything from offers of a night away in a B&B or hotel, to meals out, a hair make-over or trips out. Loch Melfort Hotel and Finn Falconry of Oban have already become Respitality partners.

North Argyll Carers Centre joined Respitality Scotland earlier this year. Over the past two years, £36,000 worth of breaks from 116 businesses has been donated to Scottish Carers Centres.

Anyone interested in becoming a Respitality partner should contact 01631 564422 or email mairi@northargyllcarers.org.uk