CCAST Highland is a small independent
Christian charity based in Tain serving the Ross-shire and
Sutherland areas of Highland. We are grateful to the Highland
Cross organisers for choosing us as beneficiaries for this
year’s race. Our successful application is for a people carrier
to help us with our work with vulnerable people within many of
the remotest of Highland areas.
CCAST Highland works with the most vulnerable, marginalised, and
isolated members of the community and we provide the following
programmes for people to access.
Housing Support – covering
Benefit and budgeting advice
An advocacy service
Befriending - This includes accompanying
clients to meetings and assisting clients with
transportation to and from meetings especially those that
live in more rural parts of the community.
Addiction Recovery Groups
We have an evening recovery group, and we collect people from
their homes and take them to the group and take them back home
S1 – S6 over 400 Academy school pupils to receive addiction
awareness sessions in PSE classes – however, this work is
currently on hold due to COVID restrictions. The people carrier
will be used to transport notice boards and informational
Employability Service / Work club
Free laptop and Internet use – Transport assistance to and from
the DWP Job Centres, interviews and employment.
Five years ago, CCAST Highland took over an
old retail outlet on the Mansfield Estate and converted it into
a Community Hub. The Mansfield Estate is an area of high
deprivation, long term unemployment and high anti-social
behaviour resulting in imprisonment and eviction. We
employed a support worker who works closely with the Residents
Association to identify and address needs on the estate.
Tuesday and Thursday afternoon for food bank sessions in CCAST
offices. Referrals issued from many agencies in Tain including
Highland Council Service Point, Social Work Office, School,
Police, Youth Café, GP Surgery and people can also self-refer.
CCAST now supplies EFB (Emergency Food Box provision) to partner
agencies in Golspie, for local distribution but can go further
afield to more remote areas. e.g Golspie to Durness.
Boxes made up in CCAST Highland by volunteers are then
transported via a network of contacts. Food is donated by
local communities – Tain, Dornoch etc – schools, churches,
supermarkets, and individuals. This food will be collected using
the people carrier. During the pandemic we increased our
number of food distribution centres and we provided emergency
food box provision to these centres on a weekly basis. This is
only made possible with a designated vehicle.
Hannah House Project
A new and exciting development in our work is our new ‘Women’s
Project’ which will start later in 2022. Hannah House is a
supported Housing project for vulnerable women who find
themselves homeless for whatever reason. Once settled into
Hannah House the women will be supported in secure and safe
accommodation until they get their own tenancies. We anticipate
our new ‘Highland Cross’ vehicle will be vital in the support
and work with these vulnerable women.
Lastly .... we have asked for a people carrier as it has
the flexibility to either carry people or larger goods. Once
again, our grateful thanks to all concerned and we look forward
to being part of the team and seeing all the runners and riders
on the day.
The Glenurquhart Care Project
The Glenurquhart Care Project encompasses our
Day Care Centre for the older people in our community offering
day care, domestic support, befriending, in-house and home based
respite, laundry services, a handyperson service, drop in
lunches and telecare volunteers. Our recently developed Housing
Project provides twelve purpose built homes for the elderly,
situated beside our Day Care Centre in Drumnadrochit.
Our current minibus, generously donated by Highland Cross in
2012 has provided a very stellar service of 100,000 miles. As
with all good things, it’s coming to the end of an extremely
helpful life and has become dilapidated. Requiring regular
repairs absorbs heavily into our monetary resources, money which
could be more valuably spent in other crucial areas of need.
Covering an extremely vast, rural area we
live by our ethos of ‘Enabling people to stay close to their
community’, this is why it is so integral to our service that we
can pick up and drop off our Service Users. Without this the
majority of people would not be able to attend our Day Care
Centre. According to Age Scotland, “100,000 older people in
Scotland feel lonely all or most of the time. 200,000 will go
half a week without a visit or call from anyone.” We are
all too aware of the harrowing truth in this statement and how
lonely many of the people we help are. This is why a minibus is
so indispensable to our organisation.
Reach4Reality works with over 40 young people
and young adults with autism from across the Highlands involving
them in a range of outdoor activity breaks tailored to their
individual needs. These range from short 1:1 activities locally,
through small group, evening sessions, half day/day activities,
to overnight stays, weekend camps and two 5 day camps per year:
we run most of these activities ourselves, for example using our
own bikes and canoes, but for residential activities we stay at
local outdoor activity centres. The young people get the
opportunity to take part in outdoor activities, such as
coasteering, weaselling, indoor and outdoor climbing, canoeing,
skiing and archery. We also run the Duke of Edinburgh Award for
some of our young people.
Supported on activities by skilled and
dedicated staff and volunteers, the young people grow in
confidence, become less socially isolated as they make new
friends, improve their physical and communication skills,
fitness, resilience and independence but most importantly have
The families and carers of the young people benefit enormously
from the much-needed respite from their demanding caring role.
Our application is for a 9-seater vehicle. To
date, we’ve relied on staff and volunteer cars to transport the
young people but this is not sustainable especially when towing
our loaded canoe or bike trailer. A Highland Cross vehicle would
provide comfortable, reliable transport, and be clearly
identifiable by our young people as “their vehicle” whether it
be taking them on camps, group activities or a DofE expedition.
The Oxygen Works
In 2022, The Oxygen Works celebrates 30 years
of providing practical, social and emotional support to people
from across the north of Scotland. In that time, we have grown
from being an organisation created by a small group of local
people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to an organisation that
provides support to a diverse and growing community spread
across a sprawling geography. We have recognised the need to
continually evolve and adapt to ensure we are well positioned to
build the capacity of individuals and communities to have real
impact and create a lasting difference.
The Oxygen Works exists to provide Oxygen Therapy and
personalised support to people living in the Highlands & Islands
with a wide range of medical conditions and for them to improve
their health and well-being. In 2019 we provided access to over
5,000 sessions in our chamber.
We have applied to the Highland Cross to support us with the
purchase and installation of oxygen generation equipment. We
currently purchase oxygen in cylinders at a cost of over £12k
per year. The opportunity to generate oxygen on site will allow
us to not only produce oxygen on demand (growing with the needs
of our community), it will allow us to reduce costs, improve our
long term sustainability as a charity and our environmental
We entered 2021 looking for creative ways we
could provide the much-needed support to our community following
the impact of Covid-19 when we were hit with a devastating fl
ood. The fl ood caused signifi cant damage to large parts of the
centre, with many of the ceilings collapsing; contents
destroyed, and signifi cant reinstatement work required closing
our centre for over 9 months.
Reopening fully in October 2021 we have seen a huge increase in
demand for our services, particularly oxygen therapy. Funding
for this Oxygen generator will permit more people to benefit
from this safe and effective therapy.
We remain committed to improving the lives of
people living with long-term and complex health conditions;
particularly neurological conditions which are broad ranging,
intricate and where statutory support is often severely lacking.