It all began in 1964 when a young Watson Moyes, who had a vision to build a Youth Centre in Scotland, was sent to give pulpit supply at the Church and he noticed that the northern part of the Church site was vacant, covered with rubbish and brambles - ripe for development!
In August 1965, Watson was called to the Pitlochry Baptist Church as its minister. Atholl Centre Ltd, was formed in 1969 with the aims of ‘youth work, training and education and work with disabled people.’ Watson married Kathleen, a teacher of the deaf, who shared these aims. They were determined that the Centre should be accessible to all, as Watson had a younger sister who was confined to a wheelchair, so in 1971, the first building was opened: a four bedroomed chalet with disabled access.
BUILT FOR CONFERENCES, RELAXATION AND RENEWAL
“The Atholl Centre seeks to show respect, consideration, and hospitality to all who visit, wherever they come from.”
Over the years, the Centre has been upgraded to increase the facilities for Conferences. The latest additions are the multi-purpose Watson’s Conference Room and the smaller Tummel and Faskally Meeting rooms. For Conferences and seminars; holidays and weekends away; respite breaks and family celebrations there is residential accommodation to suit your needs as all of the rooms, separate units or only one room could be booked, when available. Whatever your reason was for coming to the Atholl Centre, it is hoped that you will feel welcome and able to feel relaxed in your surroundings and leave feeling refreshed, renewed and inspired.
BUILT TO SUPPORT THE COMMUNITY
“The Atholl Centre welcomes all as human beings loved by God, and it seeks to share His acceptance and care with everyone who comes through its doors.”
To mark the 50th Anniversary of the Atholl Centre, a Changing Places Toilet was installed. This can be used by the many disabled people who have no access, in public settings, to toilet and changing facilities in Highland Perthshire. Such a facility can change the lives of people frequently excluded from the everyday enjoyment of being able to go out for the day or to travel to a holiday location further afield.
The local Foodbank for Perth and Kinross has, for six years now, been operating from the Atholl Centre. The Coronavirus pandemic made a big change to the numbers of families requiring help and the way of working at the Centre.
The local Pitlochry community has been outstanding in its support, along with a number of local businesses, who have continued to provide either food, which they cannot sell within its best before date, or with financial contributions. The local Co-op Store, has chosen the Food Bank as one of its deserving charities to receive financial support from locals who use the Store. Further support has been gained from funding organisations and individuals in the Community. All of this support enables the Centre to support others in their time of need.
The Centre is used regularly by many groups in various ways. For example:
• Recovery Café
• Garden Share
• Community Kitchen
• Climate Café
• Welcome All Soup Lunch
• Perth Autism Support
• Pitlochry Partnership
• SNP Local Group
• SNP Surgery
• Pitlochry U3A