ARTHRITIS CARE - TAIN BRANCH
The Tain Branch of Arthritis Care is 11 years old. It is run by a committee of eight who are assisted by a large number of male and female helpers. Membership is open to anyone with arthritis and those who wish to be involved in the association’s activities. Meetings are held all year round on the 2nd Monday of the month in the Tain Parish Church Hall. As well as doctors and physiotherapists giving talks on aspects of arthritis, others are invited to speak on a wide variety of subjects. Entertainment is also provided at some meetings. Monthly meetings are well attended with an average audience of 80-100.
The main function of Arthritis Care is the welfare and rehabilitation of people with arthritis. The Tain Branch has fulfilled this role over the years by inviting physiotherapists, such as locally based Anne Mann, occupational therapists and doctors, including Mr Finlayson from Raigmore, a specialist in hip operations, to give talks on topics relevant to arthritis. They also have a small store of mobility aids available to members and keep in touch with ex-members now in residential homes or members who are housebound.
As Arthritis Care relies totally on voluntary contributions, the Tain Branch take part in fundraising mainly by Street Stalls.
However, the association has a more ‘holistic’ approach to the welfare of its members by providing for their wider interests and also providing entertainment. Charles Kennedy, the Rev. Jackie Ross (Blythswood), local author Phil Durham, museum founder Rosemary Mackenzie, MBE, and representatives from Moray Firth Radio are some of those who have spoken at monthly meetings and topics by others have included Flower Arranging, Antiques, Cookery, Art, Crime Prevention, Travel and ‘The Way It Was’.
In the provision of entertainment use has been made especially of local talent, including schools, but also others from further afield. Craighill pupils usually provide entertainment in June, Knockbreck pupils at Christmas and Wendy Milne occasionally brings along some string players from Tain Royal Academy. On one occasion Adam Mackenzie, now a music student, came and played his bassoon while he was still a pupil of TRA. At Easter the club is usually sung to by the Tain Parish Church Octet including the Rev. Horne himself who also leads carol singing at Christmas. Other singers have included Lawson Keir, a Garrick Singer stalwart; husband and wife team, Harry and Christine Gow, and a trio from Dornoch, Eddie Macdonald, Mrs. Kruger and Miss Gray (pianist). In addition Jim Arthur has played his tuba and Shona Arthur, Kathleen Montgomery, Isma Munro and Jean Macdonald have all contributed recitations. Beryl Kirkwood is the association’s resident concert accompanist.
As well as the monthly meetings, there have been annual outings to places such as Forres, Nairn, Flichity, the Heather Centre, Brodie, Holm Mills, Culloden, Strathspey Railway and the Waltzing Waters. Occasionally mini-outings are organised to places such as Dornoch, Portmahomack, Foulis Ferry and Tomich. Many members have also enjoyed a holiday at the very popular Arthritis Care
Hotel, Lovat Lodge in Nairn. On those occasions when an outing’s destination is in the vicinity of Forres it has been the practice for Mr. MacAlpine, one time minister of Tain Parish church now resident in Cathay Nursing Home in Forres, to join members for tea. An event much enjoyed by all.