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Counselling Care: Skye and Lochalsh has been awarded £14,612 from People’s Health Trust with money raised by Health Lottery Scotland for its Café Chat project.
Café Chat has been providing members in the local community an opportunity to meet on a weekly basis to try out new activities and create a space where people who are socially isolated can come together, make new friends and learn.
The vital funding has enabled the project to provide an enjoyable activity every week for those who are in need of companionship. Activities on offer include tai chi, yoga, gardening, quizzes, a book club, spinning and weaving classes.
The willow weaving class proved to be very popular. This provided Café Chat members with an opportunity to learn about the craft, and to weave fish and baskets made out of the willow grown on the island.
Diane Van Ruitenbeek, who coordinates the project, said: ‘It has been really great to see how enthusiastic the community is to get stuck in and try out the new activities we have been offering.
‘Some of our members have dementia and having a regular community group to come to is vital for their health and wellbeing.’
She continued: ‘Café Chat has helped to bring the community together to support one another. Many of the activities on offer have been suggested by our members and we have worked in partnership with other local organisations to provide a varied programme.
‘We have also arranged excursions to neighbouring towns and visitor attractions. It’s been fantastic to be collaboratively working together to promote what is on offer to local residents.’
Martin Ellice, joint managing director of The Health Lottery, commented: ‘It is great to see just how important Café Chat has been for local residents in need of some extra support and companionship. There is a great sense of community with this project, which is very heart-warming.’