The retiring Chair of Crossroads, Mrs Catherine Morrison, presented Rebecca Jane Hutton of Northton with a Certificate and a voucher in recognition of her informal caring role. Crossroads Harris had nominated Rebecca in the Crossroads Scotland Carer of the Year Awards. Although the nomination was not successful, they felt that her considerable devotion to her caring role deserved to be recognised and named her Crossroads (Harris)’s Carer of the Year. Rebecca became the main carer for her brother who has complex support needs fifteen years ago when she was only 20, when their mother died suddenly. Rebecca was intending to enter teacher training college, but her own dreams and ambitions were put on hold to care for her brother. (The photo shows Rebecca Jane receiving her award from the Chair of Crossroads Harris, Catherine Morrison.)
At the Annual General Meeting which was held on 29 May, the Chair expressed the appreciation of the Committee to the community for their constant and consistent support to Crossroads ever since its inception 33 years previously. During the year there had been two major donations, one raised at the Charity Day at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle and the other from the senior pupils at Sir E Scott School as the prize for their Youth and Philanthropy Initiative. She praised individuals, organisations, businesses and churches who had given so generously to Crossroads throughout the year and to our fundraising efforts. This support had been demonstrated very clearly at the recent Sale of Work – the updated total raised being £3,480. This was the highest ever amount we raised at one event. She thanked John Murdo Morrison for his very successful role as Auctioneer at Sales of Work over the life of the Scheme. She paid tribute to the care attendants for their dedication and commitment, some who were with the Scheme for over 30 years. She thanked the Committee and Treasurer for their support. There were a number of challenges in the future, one being the new relationship with Crossroads Scotland and the other the need to employ a new co-ordinator, but she was confident the Scheme would overcome these and continue to care for people in need in Harris.
The Co-ordinator reported that there were 24 clients on the books at present and that 35 people had been offered support during the year, ranging from twice daily to occasional. Support provided included respite care in the home, emergency night cover, transport to activities, shopping, medical appointments and day care and assistance with rehabilitation. The domestic help service had to be suspended due to lack of staff. The Annual Care Inspection had resulted in 6 – Excellent grades for the ninth year and the Crossroads Scotland Quality Assurance Audit had resulted in the CROQAS award. The Scheme had a new website. You will find us on www.crossroadsisleofharris.co.uk .
We are very grateful to Catriona Campbell of Diracleit Designs for designing and maintaining our website free of charge.
The Treasurer reported that expenditure was down on last year and income was up, meaning that the deficit at £3,000 was a lot less than estimated. However, he warned that, although the Scheme was healthy at present, the gap between our grant funding and expenditure was widening year on year resulting in a reduction in our reserves – a situation which was not sustainable in the future.
Mrs Dolly Maclean was elected the new Chair and Mrs Cathy B Morrison was elected Vice Chairman.
The Guest Speaker, Mrs Ishbel Macdonald, Service Improvement Manager with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar spoke about the new Carers’ Act which gave legal rights to family carers with regard to assessment and support. It also placed duties on local authorities to assess carers in their own rights and to provide support to meet their needs.