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Plans for new Dunbeath and District Centre take a step forward after visit from MP Jamie Stone Published on 25th July 2024

Check out this article in the John O’Groat Journal >>Click Here<<

The pieces are starting to come together for the Jigsaw Project to create an expanded community hub in south-east Caithness.

Those behind the scheme will turn out for a Platinum Jubilee celebration in Dunbeath on Saturday with an extra spring in their step.

Good progress is being made with the preparations for the planned new community health and well-being hub in the village.

It is earmarked to go up on ground close to the current centre.

Dunbeath and District Centre (DDC) secured the ground from Highland Council in March after a successful community asset transfer bid.

Since then, it has engaged architects to work up a detailed design with a view of submitting a planning application later this month.

It is also using its business case to support a number of funding applications.

Last week, the plans were given the seal of approval from constituency MP Jamie Stone during a visit to the current base.

The £1 million project is viewed as ‘a game-changer’ for the service DDC provides for elderly, infirm and other vulnerable individuals and families.

The existing base, built 30 years ago to serve as a day care centre, can no longer cope with the extra demands being placed on it.

Its replacement on Auchorn Road will almost triple its size and enable it to expand its catchment area.

DDC’s value was underlined during the pandemic when three part-time members of staff and 30-plus volunteers delivered more than 50 meals a day and made hundreds of phone calls to check on and chat with centre users.

It also established a Sharing Shack which provided food, toiletries and sanitary products.

Recently appointed full-time manager Daniel Macleod is encouraged by the recent strides it has made with the plans.

He said: “The vision for the Jigsaw Wellbeing Hub is that it will be able to reach out to the wider community offering space for more activities and services.

“The provision of smaller consultation spaces will enable external service providers, such as hairdressers, podiatrists and physiotherapists to bring their service to the community and will also offer a venue for the Near-me service run by NHS Highland.”

Mr Macleod is crossing his fingers that they will be able to move into the new centre by March 2024.

The existing building in Neil Gunn Road is earmarked to be used as a holiday/respite break for individuals with special needs.

DDC meanwhile will be celebrating the Queen’s 70th year on the throne with a party in the John Currie Playing fields in Dunbeath on Saturday.

Tea and cake will be on offer along with various games and activities for all ages. DDC will also be distributing information packs about its plans for the new hub.

Dunbeath & District Centre would not exist if it wasn't for the generous support of the following funders

Dunbeath & District Centre
7 Neil Gunn Road

Tel:01593 731335