Friends come up trumps for Oban’s Dove Centre

A donation of £30,000 from the Friends of Oban Hospice was handed over to help towards the running of the Dove Centre in Stevenson Street.

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Friends of Oban Hospice have handed over £30,000 towards the upkeep of the town’s Dove Centre.

The wonderful contribution from the past year’s fundraising efforts will be a boost to paying running costs of the service that, although closed for drop-in sessions, is still supporting up to 60 people every week offering advice and companionship through telephone calls and WhatsApp groups.

The cheque was handed over by David Evans, vice-chairperson of the Friends group, and was gratefully received by Oban Hospice Ltd board members Sine MacVicar and John MacKenzie.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Friends group had to postpone its annual general meeting but will  fix a new date once lockdown is eased.

Anne May, the Friends chairperson, said the group did not want to delay donating the funds until then and this week paid tribute to the hard work of her colleagues in the group and to the ‘unstinting generosity’ of the community for supporting their fundraising.

The money raised by the Friends will be used by Oban Hospice towards the running costs of its centre in Stevenson Street. It costs about £75,000 a year to run, including salaries all funded by donations and legacies, it gets no money from the health or social service.

David Entwistle, chairperson of Oban Hospice Ltd said: ‘Once again, the Friends of Oban Hospice have raised a substantial amount of money in continuing to support the work of Oban Hospice Ltd.

‘The local community continue to make numerous donations and attend fundraising activities throughout each year. Every penny raised locally is spent locally on supporting residents and their families.

‘A big thank you to the Friends, for their great efforts and to the wonderful people of Oban, Lorn and the Isles for their amazing generosity.’

Last month Mr Entwistle appealed for people to help fill a funding shortfall due to COVID-19 inevitably putting a block on some fundraising activities for this year.

Plans are to re-open the Dove Centre as soon as it is safe and following government advice but he has warned it is likely to be ‘a gradual process’ which means the WhatsApp groups will probably have to continue for a while and it might be just one or two people coming into the centre at one time wearing face coverings.

For the time being, the centre’s two workers, Peter Darling and Lucy Hunt, are keeping in contact with service users and others needing a chat or advice, and they are helped by volunteers and therapists.

To contact the Dove Centre for help or to make a donation call Peter Darling on 07483 116185 or Lucy Hunt on 07592 633251.