Charity team staging fundraiser to enhance gardens at Banff Castle

CLAIRE BANCROFT OF REACH  WITH  CLASS MEMBERS (L TO R) MORAG MCDONALD, PAUL LANGE, LORRAINE SUTHERLAND AND VALERIE BINNIE
CLAIRE BANCROFT OF REACH WITH CLASS MEMBERS (L TO R) MORAG MCDONALD, PAUL LANGE, LORRAINE SUTHERLAND AND VALERIE BINNIE

A group of people in recovery from mental and physical health problems are preparing to host a fundraiser so that they can improve the gardens at Banff Castle.

Their event, “rock and roll bingo”, takes place next week and will help them purchase flowers so they can add an extra dash of colour to the historic property.

The group of nine organisers are attached to the Foyer Reach charity, which hosts regular sessions in the town to help people become more employable.

Team leader, Clare Bancroft, said: “This whole course is tailored to helping those involved move on to apply for jobs and hopefully find employment.

“We’ve decided to tackle Banff Castle gardens and have taken pictures of the four areas we really want to improve, so it will take a lot of weeding.

“Hopefully we can just give the place a facelift.”

The Foyer Reach course is open to anyone aged 16 to 65 who is stable in their recovery from challenges related to their physical health, mental wellbeing or addiction struggles.


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The participants who are organising the fundraiser are in the midst of 10 weeks of team building during which they learn about how to act properly in the work place and develop their interview skills.

They will ultimately graduate with a qualification in employability which should help them land jobs.

Debbie Skinner, 33, says that her confidence has soared since joining the Reach team.

She said: “It’s really increased my confidence. This has been really valuable to me so far as I’ve got anxiety and its really helped with it socially.

“I still have it, but not as bad.”

Teammate Murray Crawford, 24, has enjoyed learning skills he can use when he volunteers.

He said: “I volunteer just now so my favourite part so far has been re-learning the skills I use there.

“The course is amazing and is helping me so much.”

The bingo event will take place in the Deveronside Social Club on Monday with doors opening at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.

Tickets cost £5 per person, with all proceeds going to the community project at Banff Castle gardens.

The group will graduate from the course on Wednesday, August 7, and hope to obtain jobs after that.

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