IT’S staff have all been moved to Viewmount and its doors remain firmly locked – and our community councillors are resolved to fight any proposed closure of a centre that opened in 1995 to give our older residents a social hub.
In 1999, the first ‘Invercarron News and Views’ newsletter proudly described the Resource Centre as: ” A purpose-built edifice, tastefully furnished, warm and comfortable, with friendly, helpful and caring staff and volunteers, always ready to help.
”The aim of the centre is to provide facilities to enable fit and frail older people to mix.”
Around 30 groups were using the Invercarron
Before Covid struck, a huge range of activities took place – Stroke Club, Macmillan Gentle movement class, Visual Impairment Group, Carers Support, Carron Club Day Care, Lunch Social Club, Alzheimer’s Scotland Day Care, Alzheimer’s Yoga, Weekend Respite, Coastal Health Carers Support, Arthritis Care Stonehaven, Samson Art, Stonehaven Art Club, Floral Art Club, Yoga, Craft Group, board games, friendly teas, Music and Movement, Bridge Club, gentle exercise class, Knitting group and our Talking Newspaper. There was also occasional use by our Community Council, Horizon, Fireballs, and other local groups.
So many people have been asking when the Centre will be re-opening.
Councillor shared update
At Tuesday night’s meeting of Stonehaven and District Council, members discussed an update shared by Councillor Wendy Agnew, who made enquiries about the future of the Centre on behalf of her ward colleagues.
It states: ”Thank you for your query. To clarify the situation, the building at Invercarron is owned by the Council, however it is operationally managed by the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP). We have a small in-house day service that was held 2 days per week and a number of HSCP staff were based in the building. As working practices have changed, due to the pandemic combined with the refurbishment of the Viewmount building, HSCP no longer require to use Invercarron as a staff base. The day service is currently in process of being reviewed due to the lack of demand for the service.
”There has been no decision made about the future of the building, however I am about to take a report to our senior management team to ask permission to commission a review on its future use.”
We are all going to be old
Our community councillors clearly felt a review was merely a step closer to closure of the Invercarron Resource Centre.
David Lawman said: ”That a building that was designed to support our senior citizens is under review and might be lost is frightening – worse than losing the Mackie Pool.
”We are all going to be old.”
Mr Lawman added: ”Surely we should be sending the message out to our councillors and the officers that closing it should not be a consideration.”
Centre ‘murdered’ by Council
Alistair Lawrie said the community council should convene during its summer break if necessary. And, as the Centre had become difficult to access and was poorly staffed, he said he felt it was already being undermined. Mr Lawrie said a public meeting should be held.
And Ian Hunter, who was instrumental in the development of the Centre echoed Mr Lawrie’s sentiments.
He said: ”I was the first chair of the Older People’s Forum, who pushed for that hall and really wanted to have it.
”Then Aberdeenshire Council took over and minimised the input of the community. To be honest, Aberdeenshire with its policies murdered it.”
Mr Hunter added: ”The possibility is there, we just have to get it going again.”
Feature image – community councillor David Lawman