Annual Report 2019

Cromarty Care Project Annual Report.     AGM 5th November 2019

As in previous reports I am going to remind us all that we became a charity in 2015 and then took on our first clients in February 2016.The aim of CCP is to make sure that there is home care in Cromarty ,so that when someone from the town is admitted to hospital they can come home because there is care for them, or suddenly a resident becomes unwell or frailer and needs care but wants to stay here in Cromarty. We are also keen to run other projects that improve the health and well being of residents such as getting funding for the trishaws and the table tennis sessions but more of those later.


It is becoming increasingly evident that providing home care in rural communities is very difficult to sustain because of the fluctuating numbers of clients and the fact that the funding for it is attached to those clients. Therefore when clients pass away or go into hospital the funding is lost and the income of the carers goes down. Carers naturally have to look for other work and of course wish for more regular work with a stable income. At present the system in place is of Self Directed Support Option 2  whereby clients are allocated funding for home care by NHS social work and that money goes to Highland Home Carers who are the employers and they pay the staff. Our staff work on a Zero hour basis with no job security at all.

Since we took on our first clients in February 2016 we have cared for 26 Cromarty residents. The highest number at anyone time we have looked after is 16. The Care coordinator meets with the Cromarty GPs on a monthly basis to liaise about our clients.We wish to thank the GPs for their willingness to work with us as a group.

As a Care Project we are very concerned about the working conditions of the home care staff both for their lives but also the sustainability of care within Cromarty. Our client number has gone down to 6 and we have one full time member of staff and two part time with myself and Simon Evans as relief carers. We need more local people willing to be trained as carers even if they do occasional visits or help out in the evenings so that daytime staff can get home. We need to raise this as an issue in the community – we need local people to care for those in Cromarty if we want to keep our loved ones at home and looking to the future, ourselves.

CCP is keen in the coming year to try to engage with groups that are working on social care policy to highlight the difficulties in small rural communities.

We need to thank our care staff who work day in day out ,keeping residents out of hospital; going the extra mile for clients; going back to check up on clients later in the day if they are concerned. We also need to thank Angie Macdonald who works as a coordinator of community groups supporting the work of our staff.

As Highland Home Carers are the employers where does CCP fit in? CCP provide an office space , wifi and phone for the staff. We have provided some extra uniform and now have an electric bike for the use of care staff. A key role is one of helping with recruitment – highlighting the need for home Carers within Cromarty. We act as advocates for care staff and the clients. We want the care staff to feel part of a community project and valued for the significant role that they perform. Simon and I are relief home Carers filling in when needed if we can.

After our AGM last year at which our need for a more affordable office was raised we were approached by the West Church offering us space within their hall. We want to say a huge thank you to the West church for providing us with an office which they have  redecorated beautifully. CCP moved into the office at the beginning of March this year. We are very grateful to Stuart Tickner from the West Church for his efforts in getting a new phone line for the office – we now have a date for its installation. I hope that the process of getting the phone installed has not been detrimental to Stuart’s health given the months of frustrating calls to Vodafone.

I now want to thank the trustees who have given of their time and skills this year for the benefit of our community. Moira Grigor and Ginny Hourston are stepping down as trustees and we thank them for all that they have contributed over the past few years. Both have nobly worked particularly on fundraising. We have wonderful memories of the Dog show that Moira organised and Ginny for her work for the Open Gardens events. Thank you. We will miss you on the committee but know that we can call on you for help if needed and that is much appreciated. We have welcomed Brenda Monk to the board as our new treasurer as Jim Templeton stepped down in the Spring.Brenda you bring a lot of skill and experience and we are very pleased to have you join us. I want to record our thanks to Jim for all his hard work and diligence in keeping our financial recording so carefully.Lynn Adam will be appointed as a trustee this evening and we welcome her. Lynn has experience both in hands on nursing but also in management – we look forward to working with her.

Fundraising. A quiz night was held at the Cromarty Arms and a good evening was had by all. We have received funds from the Craigie Urquhart trust and the Port Authority both to help with equipment and maintenance of the Trishaws. The Open gardens day also gave us a generous donation – again for the Trishaws. We thank all those who have worked on these events and to local people for supporting them and giving of their money. Last year we had received such a generous donation for the Trishaws from the Highland Cross – part of the condition of that donation is that the benefitting charity provides a team to help out on the day of the Highland Cross – which this year happened to coincide with the Open gardens day – Simon and I , Helen Webster , Andy McCann and Aidan went along to the event and had a great time helping the runners get changed and onto their bikes and we didn’t get ‘midged’.


Cycling without Age


Shirley Matheson who is heading up this part of the Care Project reports – 

Cromarty Care Project have two Cycling Without Age trikes. The trikes enable people with reduced mobility to get out and about in the community. Outings help to improve social interaction and reduce social isolation for the passengers, whilst allowing them to get some fresh air.

The trikes were fully funded by Highland Cross at a total cost of £16000. An additional £2000 was awarded by The Northern Meeting Charity. The Northern Meeting Charity money has been used to pay for extras such as paniers and blankets.

The trikes were officially launched during a community event in the Victoria Hall, with special guest Ian Rankin. The trikes are named Patsy and Gracie. From the late 1930’s to the early 1960’s Patsy and Gracie went around Cromarty every day delivering the milk. Patsy was the pony and Gracie was the milk lady. Patsy and Gracie are doing their rounds of Cromarty once again.

The trikes are stored in a garage in Cromarty. Many thanks to Susan and David Kent for their support in allowing us to safely store and charge the trikes.

We have 24 trike pilots trained up. Many thanks to Ian Mitchell for the training of all the pilots. All pilots have PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) clearance via Cycling Without Age Scotland.

The trikes are serviced once a week by Aidan McCann. Cromarty Care Project have supported Aidan through the Velotec Silver bicycle maintenance award.

To date the trikes have been out on 148 journeys, taking out a total of 368 passengers. They have been used for a variety of uses including social rides around Cromarty; taking people shopping; going out to Shoremills Care Home to take residents out and as trike taxi’s for community events including the Cromarty Open Gardens weekend and Gluren bij de Buren.  Although primarily for older people, the trikes have been used for ages from the playgroup to the elderly residents of the Care Home. There are smiles all round from passengers and the community in general. It’s a great way to get folk out and about, talking to neighbours and generally getting the wind in their hair once again.


Table tennis.

Simon Evans who has taken a lead in the running of the table tennis sessions reports –



We have had an eventful year with moving into a new office which has put us on a much better financial footing. We continue to need to work for the sustainability of home care in Cromarty and to recruit more home Carers and support our existing staff. We will continue to raise the issues of managing home care in a rural setting with those who are involved with making policy. Our wonderful Trishaws are such a visible presence of our project as they whizz about and always bring a smile to peoples’ faces. If you haven’t come to table tennis yet on a Monday morning then do think about calling in and hitting a few balls and definitely having a laugh.


Jill Stoner

November 2019




NHS Highland
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