WORK is soon to begin to update facilities at The Cottage Community Centre in Edzell.
The Cottage, a three roomed bungalow in Dalhousie Street, was originally occupied by the district nurse before Mrs Kathleen Pucci, with the help of others, turned it into The Cottage Community Centre.
Kathleen Pucci set The Cottage up to provide a service which would be independent, maintain an atmosphere of homeliness and would respond to the needs of those who use it.
This included, as far as possible, to remain financially independent and for the last 40 years the Cottage has succeeded in doing just that.
Run by volunteers the Cottage provides a place where elderly and disabled people can enjoy meals, coffee, companionship and gentle activities.
The Cottage also provides an intimate environment where other community organisations can meet at a low cost, including young and old.
Eileen White, chairperson for the Cottage said: “We are a small place, which is quite cosy.
“It is good for wee groups such as committee meetings, or groups of up to about 12 people.
“Groups which currently use the Cottage include EVIS, Edzell Garden Group, the Knitting and Craft Group and the Wednesday afternoon Bridge Group.
“The Cottage is run on a voluntary basis and is something that is for the community, by the community, a place for people to come and enjoy the company of others, whether to share a meal or to join together in different activities.”
In 1973 the Cottage was closed for alterations and since then the Cottage’s policy has been to “mend and make do”,.
However, after 40 years the time has come when the Cottage needs some upgrading.
So, for the first time in four decades the Cottage has applied for grants to help safe guard its future and to ensure that facility users and volunteers can enjoy a comfortable and safe environment.
Building refurbishment works will be part-financed by The Scottish Government and the European Community Rural Tayside LEADER 2007-2013 Programme, who have agreed to give the Cottage £13,922.
They will also receive funding from the Angus Council Community Grant Scheme who have agreed to give £5,000.
On top of this the volunteers need to raise £3,000 .
The money will go towards the installation of a new combi boiler and central heating system, combined with extra insulation in the roof space.
The kitchen will be renewed to provide a safe, efficient working environment for the provision of meals and light refreshments, conforming to health and safety standards.
The Cottage will also benefit from improved disabled toilet facilities.
Money raised by the volunteers of the Cottage will be used for interior decoration, floor coverings and painting.
To help raise funds the, volunteers will be occupying the Edzell Charity Shop for two weeks at the start of March.
Eileen said: “We have not had to lease the building before. In the past we have just had the use of the building but now we are having to pay rent.to Angus Council of £1,000 a year.
“Getting the charity shop for two weeks will also help us raise funds to cover the costs of running the Cottage. This includes paying the newly introduced lease, as well as paying our water rates and utility bills.
“We have already been given £700 from donations from people within the community which shows just how dearly The Cottage is thought of.”
The Cottage will be in the Edzell Charity shop from March 1 until March 15. If you have any items that you would like to donate then please contact Helen Pucci, telephone 01356 647152.