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A look back at 2023

As we bid farewell to 2023, Calman Trust takes a moment to reflect.

Thank you to our supporters and customers who have enabled us to continue our work with young people this year, as we look forward to 2024. 

The year began with the exciting news that Calman Trust had been chosen to be Highland Business Women’s Charity of the Year for 2023.  We are so grateful to Highland Business Women for their support and efforts in raising more than £4,500 towards our work with young people.  Over and above this, the partnership has helped us to expand our reach and impact within the Highland community, whilst raising understanding of young people who can struggle in the transition to young adulthood. The opportunity to explain and showcase the organisation’s services through this platform has been fantastic, connecting with individuals who may not have previously been aware of the opportunities that Calman can offer. 

CEO, Isobel Grigor won the Inspirational Woman of the Year award at the HBW Awards in August, and Calman Trust won Best Third Sector Organisation. We were genuinely delighted and humbled by these awards, and extremely grateful for the support and recognition provided throughout the year by Highland Business Women.

2023 also saw the launch of Friends of Calman, a membership scheme whereby supporters donate £5 a month in return for some lovely benefits. There are some fantastic supporters onboard already and we look forward to connecting with more in the year ahead.  

Another highlight was the offer of three new opportunities aimed at empowering young people. These continue our core work of enabling the involvement of those who are not ready to think of a future in work or living independently, who need to become more confident and capable before this becomes an option.  For those who are ready to prepare to join the world of work, our opportunities at Café Artysans will of course continue.  

  • Each week in Food for Thought, under the supervision of one of our youth workers, Gillian, young people create and deliver a three-course meal for members of the community. Whilst offering a hearty meal to someone who has said they would like to have this; the experience also helps build relationships between young and old. With the help of volunteer, Jackie Macgregor, we are currently delivering 16 meals. These meals receive a very warm welcome from local residents each week with lots of compliments, especially for the pudding!
  • Through our CLIMB programme young people join in sport and wellbeing sessions where they can enjoy some positive activity, find what inspires them, and feel more hopeful about the future. One group has been attending weekly gym sessions, while another has been making the best of the outdoors and hiking different trails around Inverness. These young people have great fun, while beginning to feel stronger and to consider where they would like to be in future. 

·       Working in collaboration with Moniack Mhor, Abriachan Forest Trust, and Articulate in Glasgow as part of the Life Changes Trust Legacy, Calman has offered weekly Creative Steps sessions. which enable young people to experience different forms of artistic expression. From painting to photography and video editing sessions at the WASPS studio, these sessions have provided a platform for creativity through which young people see what they really can do, while finding new ways to express their voice.

We look forward to the opening of Club Artysans on a Thursday evening, a weekly opportunity for young people to meet, have a meal and explore a range of creative activity, from drawing to tile making, photography to drama.  A further collaboration with Moniack Mhor and Abriachan, Club Artysans will extend the reach of our partnership to young people who may not have a plan for the future.   

We had a fantastic evening celebrating 25 years of Calman Trust at Cafe Artysans at the beginning of December.  Linda Stewart, our Chair of Trustees and our CEO, Isobel Grigor, acknowledged the support of past and present staff and board members, and expressed gratitude for the generosity of the Highland community. It was a lovely event to reflect and give thanks. In preparation for the anniversary, some young people had described what it’s like to be young in 2023, a challenging look at life today which was captured in Project 2023 and showcased on the night. 

Our Café Artysans has had a busy year, including catering for Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Highland Cross, weddings and many other events. We would like to thank all our customers for choosing Artysans. Every order we receive is used to benefit young people in the Highlands, including through valuable work experience opportunities.

We’ve welcomed new young people to the Café team. Paid work placements within the charitable sector are being offered by Highland Council for the first time and we’re delighted to offer these positions at Cafe Artysans to five young people.  From experience, they will become valuable members of the team and we look forward to seeing them all come on board and grow in confidence over their placements. 

A bit of a shock during the week before Christmas, as the Café had to close its doors due to a flood in the upstairs part of the building. There’s quite a bit of work to be done but the wheels are in motion, and we look forward to welcoming customers back soon!

2024 will see the opening of our new takeaway unit within the Café. The unit was constructed by Kier Group in collaboration with its local contractors ScotBuild, Calder Electrical, and Gavin MacDonald Flooring.  Kier generously supported the project as part of the firm’s corporate social responsibility commitments, for which we are so very grateful. This exciting addition to Cafe Artysans not only provides an opportunity to offer a new service to customers; it also creates new opportunities for young people to gain invaluable work experience.

As we reflect on 2023, Calman Trust, again extends heartfelt thanks to our community, supporters, and funders. Here’s to a year of growth, resilience, and community spirit, and the promise of an even brighter future ahead.

Calman Trust is a Registered Charity in Scotland (SC027878).
Registered Office: 7 Strothers Lane, Inverness, United Kingdom IV1 1LR

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