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Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard


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The Hub in Strachur is an excellent example of what can be achieved when a community comes together to improve the quality of life for its members.  The Hub was the idea of Nurse Practitioner Sister Kate Paton who joined forces with Heather Grier to raise funding for a centre where people can come along and benefit from the stimulation of company, exercise, and a blether over lunch.



The initiative was helped by Lorna Alquist of the Cowal Community Care Forum who helped Kate and Heather put the funding bid together.


A typical Thursday morning at the Strachur Hub begins with Heather, Ian Asher and others setting up the village hall and getting it ready for the day’s activities. Trainer Angela Wilson from Dunoon then takes the attendees through strength and balance exercises; a short walk, and then back into the hall for a Tai Chi session. The morning ends with lunch of soup and sandwiches, with everyone sitting round the table. The soup is generously donated each week by the Bay Cottage Tea Room, and volunteers make the sandwiches.


It’s a full programme and one that the attendees really enjoy.


Eddie MacNeill told the Standard: “We all love it and really enjoy coming here on a Thursday. It’s good to have a blether with folk. I wouldn’t miss it!”


There’s a core of around 29 attendees, some of whom have challenges, but all have benefited from what the Hub has to offer.


The Hub is grant funded by NHS Highland though the Improving Care Fund, which was set up to improve community health and well-being.



Heather Grier told the Standard: “Over the months we have been operating we have had 494 attendees, and it averages around 27 to 29 at any one time. We originally thought would only get about 16.”


Heather explained that the health benefits had been “fantastic”. People who had been reliant on two sticks to get around, now only had to use one; and one woman’s confidence had been built back up so that she was able to go on a cruise – something that she used to love doing, but had been unable to do for some time.


Other classes deal with weight management, help with diabetes, and others in the pipeline include a chronic pain clinic and mindfulness training.


Heather concluded: “It’s not just our guests who benefit. Each week we give 3.5 hours of respite to carers as a result of their charge coming here. Thanks to Cowal Befrienders, who let us use one of their vehicles, we are able to bring isolated people here, or ones who can’t drive.


A lifeline to its attendees in terms of health, fitness and general well-being; the Strachur Hub is a perfect example of the real meaning of ‘care in the community’.


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