MEDIA RELEASE Monday May 24, 2021

A group of colleagues from a Perthshire care home have pioneered their own version of the notoriously challenging West Highland Way to raise funds for a new sensory garden space.

Claire Mackay, Shona Hutchcox and Eilidh Thomson from Balhousie Pitlochry care home walked 81 miles of the West Highland Way locally, tracking the miles on fitness apps. Then, on May 12th, they completed the final 15 miles of the mammoth walk, the stretch between Kinlochleven and Fort William, together.

The intrepid trio decided to organise the walk to raise the funds to transform one of the home’s open garden spaces into a sensory garden for residents, relatives and staff to enjoy. Since completing the walk, Claire, Shona and Eilidh have smashed their fundraising target of £1500 with a current total of £1700 raised and the amount is still growing.

The walkers have been overwhelmed by the donations, many of which have come from residents’ families, both former and current, and from the local community.

Claire, who is the home manager at Balhousie Pitlochry said:

“While our legs were sore and we saw all seasons of weather during the walk, it was worth every step to raise such a fantastic amount for our new sensory garden. The money raised is going to enable us to create a really wonderful outdoor space for our residents to enjoy. I would like to thank everyone who donated and supported us.”

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Image details:

Pitlochry West Highland Way 1: (L-R) Eilidh Thomson – Activities Coordinator, Shona Hutchcox – Home Administrator, Claire Mackay – Home Manager from Balhousie Pitlochry care home.

Pitlochry West Highland Way 2: (L-R) Shona Hutchcox – Home Administrator, Eilidh Thomson – Activities Coordinator, Claire Mackay – Home Manager from Balhousie Pitlochry care home.

Pitlochry West Highland Way 3: (L-R) Shona Hutchcox – Home Administrator, Claire Mackay – Home Manager, Eilidh Thomson – Activities Coordinator from Balhousie Pitlochry care home.

About Balhousie Care Group

Balhousie Care Group was formed 30 years ago to fill a gap in quality residential care in North East Scotland. Today, with 26 homes in the area, it is one of the leading providers of care for the elderly in Scotland, providing care to over 900 residents.

Balhousie Care prides itself on its person-centred approach to care. Putting people right at the forefront of everything they do; it’s inclusive of everyone. They capture this philosophy through the roll out of ‘Together We’re Great’, an initiative which recognises the skills, talents, attributes and support areas for each and every person involved in the organisation. Together We’re Great aims to value individuality and promote excellence across the organisation.

A Participation Charter – a first-of-its-kind in the care home sector – commits to residents getting a bigger say than ever in the care they receive, from writing care home policies to recruiting staff.

Balhousie Care Group is the recipient of numerous awards. These include three Scottish Care Awards, 2019 Growth Business and 2018 Service Business of the Year at The Courier Business Awards, 2019 Growth Business of the Year Perthshire Chamber of Commerce STAR Award, and SME Scotland Business Man of the Year 2019 for Chairman Tony Banks.