In November 2015 over 100 people from our community attended a public meeting at the Damacre Centre to hear about the changes taking place in the health care provision in Brechin and the surrounding area. From that meeting Brechin Healthcare Group was formed.
After 6 years of some very challenging discussions and meetings we are now waiting to hear if we have been successful in our Community Asset Transfer (CAT) request to take over the former Brechin Infirmary site to create a Health and Wellbeing Hub for our community. Our initial request to NHS Tayside was refused, and we now await the result of our Appeal to the Scottish Government.
Over the last 6 years we have been so grateful for the wonderful, unfaltering support we have received from you, especially at times of numerous knock-backs and the need to raise significant funding to demonstrate the community’s support for the Group and the Hub.
The success of the Jenner Centre, which opened in July 2020, has been amazing. The wide range of agencies requiring accommodation locally in the midst of the pandemic, have been so grateful for the Centre being able to meet face-to-face with people struggling with different challenges in their lives. The agencies and their clients continually express their gratitude to us for the wonderful, friendly welcome given to them at the Centre. As well as the agencies and their clients meeting at the Centre the Hearing Aid service and the Footcare service have been invaluable to many, many folk.
The development of the Jenner Centre has given a glimpse of what is possible at the Hub where a wide variety of help and support will be available in a, ‘One Stop Shop’, improving the lives of people needing that help and support for a range of issues affecting their health and wellbeing.
A week ago, on 16 December we had a TEAMS meeting with Michael Marra, MSP, who set up the meeting, Angela Constance MSP (Minister for Drug Policy) and Kevin Stewart MSP (Minister for Mental Health Services and Social Care) at which we were able to give them a flavour of the good things happening at the Jenner Centre and the real possibilities of what can be offered at the Hub. Whilst the two Ministers could not comment on our CAT request and appeal they were very impressed by the Jenner Centre and the example of a community group addressing the health and wellbeing needs of its community. Angela Constance made it clear that what we are doing at the Centre and our longer term plans fit with her plans, and she offered support and information about funding. She said she would get back to us in the new year. It was not just another meeting when we tell people what we’re doing, but we got a response indicating further steps along the way with those in control of developments. A positive meeting.
We will let you know the decision on our Appeal as soon as possible which hopefully will not be too long.
Once again thank you very much for your wonderful support and we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2022.
Keep safe, well and virus free.