Member of the Week - Blythswood Care
This week’s Member of the Week is the nominated charity for this year’s Highland Business Dinner – Blythswood Care. Blythswood currently has 117 employees, with over 88 working across the Highlands.
Blythswood Care was established by Rev Jackie Ross in 1966 and was run from Lochcarron, where he worked as a church minister. Connections within Eastern Europe grew over the following years through the churches network. When Communism fell, Blythswood were able to take much-needed aid into people through this network with an average of more than one load per week going over during 1990, the first year after the fall. Work grew and developed and in 2000 Blythswood’s first own project, The Daniel Centre, opened in Romania. This residential project works with ex-orphanage boys in giving opportunities for training and development to be able to move on to independent living.
The following year the second project opened, Talita Kum, in south-west Romania. Talita Kum is a project working the poorest children in the local area offering them education support and training as well as hygiene and practical skills and nutritional meals. This is especially important for children and young people who come from mostly one-room homes with the very basic facilities. Talia Kum 2 opened in 2012 to work with secondary-age young people and thereby continue the work started when they were younger.
In 2016, Blythswood passed the two million shoebox marker since the appeal began – a huge achievement for the team.
We spoke to Danny Muschate, Grants, PR & Marketing Manager for Blythswood, to find out more:
“I have worked at Blythswood for over 10 years, after 9 years of working for NHS Highland. 60% of my time is spent on researching for suitable grant funders and the rest on networking with businesses and organisations and also the social media and marketing of Blythswood. I am responsible for producing the promotional material for the annual Shoe Box Appeal that includes filming each year for the video. I also organise the trips to Romania for three Inverness schools where teams of S5 pupils go to our projects to help run camps for deprived children.”
“We are privileged to be the recipients of the charity draw at the annual business dinner and welcome the opportunity to tell people about the work we do during the same week as the dinner as not all Chamber members will be present.”
Blythswood run the foodbanks across the Highlands and would like to engage with local businesses to become Foodbank Business Buddies to help feed local people in times of crisis. Over 5,500 people in the Highlands were fed by the foodbanks in 2016. For more information on Highland Foodbank, click here.
Blythswood Care also sells lots of pre-owned quality clothing and furniture from its stores across the area. You can support Blythswood in helping to transform lives at home and abroad by donating your unwanted clothing, footwear, bric-a-brac and furniture. These can be dropped off at any of their shops or bulkier items can be uplifted free-of-charge.
We asked Danny what Blythswood value most about Chamber membership:
“The enthusiasm of the Chamber team and the opportunity to meet local business representatives through the various organised events. Make the most of your membership by attending the networking lunches and breakfasts to meet local business representatives and find out how you can help and support each other. Blythswood have certainly benefitted from this.”
CONTACT BLYTHSWOOD CARE:
Tel: 01349 830 777