Background to the Trust
The Craigvinean Outdoor Centre Trust was formed in 1996 by a Group of individuals who shared a Scouting background. The Trust was created specifically to develop and operate Outdoor Centres addressing the acute shortage of quality rural venues where organisations can host activities to educate and develop their membership. Our aim is in the provision of facilities to allow youth and groups supporting people with disabilities to enhance their training by increasing its effectiveness in a countryside environment.We currently have two sites open in quite different, but complementary, areas of Scotland. We offer accommodation for a total of 58 people with scope for others to camp in the grounds of our site in the Scottish Borders.
In 2008 the original Trustee team reviewed the future of the Trust in light of changing demands from user groups, more challenging regulations and legislation, and finally a very difficult climate of diminishing corporate donations and charitable fundraising. We sought partner organisations to form a more solid platform on which to run and in 2010 a team formed around the Directors and senior staff of Volunteer Development East Lothian took over the management and operation of the Trust and its Centres.
Over the last thirty years the number of Centres which are available for use by youth groups has greatly reduced. The principal providers, education authorities, have seen the closure of such buildings as a means of making necessary cut-backs in budgets. Many private concerns have gone out of business by pricing themselves out of the market, while small individual groups have found difficulties in operating a building, often located in an inappropriate situation, which requires use all year round to make it viable.
From our own Trustees experiences we know a need exists for additional Centres that self programming organisations can use. Rural Centres with even basic facilities for the disabled are even rarer than those suitable for the ablebodied. When ten percent of the population suffer from some form of disability it is evident that the current low number of sites is far from sufficient.
In operating two sites we know we will not solve the problem, but with Centres in locations which present scope for a wide range of activities we will help. Furthermore at Strathyre in developing a new Centre we had a great advantage in being able to create a building which has been designed for the purpose it will be used for, as opposed to many existing Centres which are often converted schoolhouses or estate buildings. This also permits us to fulfil our objective in providing facilities for all members of our community.