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Mikeysline charity's dream one step closer thanks to £10,000 council grant

By Philip Murray

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Mikeysline founder Ron Williamson.
Mikeysline founder Ron Williamson.

Mikeysline plans to open its Hive Project in Academy Street in December.

More than half of the site’s expected £90,000 annual operational costs have already been raised and it has now received another £10,000 after Highland Council signed off on a grant through the city’s common good fund. Minutes of the sub committee which awarded the cash are expected to be discussed at the latest City of Inverness Area Committee meeting on Thursday.

Mikeysline’s founder Ron Williamson was delighted to hear that the charity had been successful with its application.

“We are more than grateful to the council for this boost to the Hive Project,” he said. “It is now full steam ahead. We’re looking to open on December 4 and the city’s provost Helen Carmichael has very kindly accepted our invitation to officially open the Hive Project.”

The minutes set to go before councillors on Thursday will highlight that the common good fund grants sub-committee approved the £10,000 application after members “highlighted the need for additional mental health services” and noted the strong community support for Mikeysline. However, the grant was approved on the basis that discussions take place with the charity to avoid any unnecessary duplication of services provided by the likes of the Samaritans and Poppy Scotland.

It also noted that the Hive Project will be provided with a trained mental health nurse by NHS Highland and that it was “important that they also contributed to the staffing costs”.

When it opens, the Hive Project aims to offer a safe, supportive and therapeutic environment for people with mental health issues.

It is being modelled on five centres located in Aldershot, Farnham, Guildford, Woking and Farnborough which promote recovery in the community.

Some Mikeysline volunteers spent several days at two of the centres this summer, where they shadowed members of staff in a bid to take back what they learned to other volunteers at the line.

Mr Williamson stressed that although fundraising had gone well enough for the centre to get up and running, there was still a long way to go to cover the £90,000 needed to fund it for the whole of its first year of operation. And even once that target is reached, further funds will also be needed to cover costs going forward beyond the initial 12 months.

Meanwhile, Mikeysline is gearing up for its next fundraiser. Tickets are on sale now for a Christmas ball in Inverness.

The event will be held on November 24 at the Drumossie Hotel. For more information and to buy tickets for the event visit the Mikeysline website or the charity’s Facebook page.

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