Heritage and community

Following the highly successful Civilianship/Heritage programme undertaken last year, between Lathallan School and the Howe o’ the Mearns Heritage Association, the themes of Heritage, Community and Disability will form the basis for this academic year.

The Partnership programme between the Association the school, will be integrated with the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and other Lathallan initiatives and awards schemes.

The Maggie Law Maritime Museum in Gourdon, will again provide the practical heritage focus for pupils, and a range of activities will be undertaken which will enhance the opportunities and access for people with a disability, in relation to the Museum and other local heritage sites.

The purpose of the session is that pupils gain an understanding of sensory and physical disabilities, and to undertake a disability access survey of Gourdon, and the main tourist/commercial activities

Dame Anne Begg, MP for South Aberdeen has agreed to be the specialist advisor for this project, and will visit the Museum and Lathallan in the near future.

Last week, Dave Ramsay, Project Director, and Jake Mearns, Sales Advisor for Able Care Aberdeen, (a specialist organisation in assisted mobility) ran a disability awareness session for senior pupils.

The equipment used in the session included mobility scooters, and it is planned that the fund raising efforts of the group this year will lead to the purchase of a mobility scooter for the Maggie Law museum.

Fundraising to a target of £1,300 to purchase a mobility scooter, would enable people with a disability to travel along the coastal and heritage trail between Gourdon and Inverbervie and Gourdon and Johnshaven, thereby maximising the social and heritage aspects of the Museum and the local area. Inverbervie and District Probus Club, have already given a generous donation to kick start the fund raising for the scooter.

People could choose to simply use the scooter to visit the various fish processing outlets, and other places around Gourdon Harbour, or take it for a guided heritage tour along the coastal paths.

Dave Ramsay said: “Given the proven success of the last heritage group from Lathallan, this new phase of the Project will enable more people to be involved in local heritage, particularly those people with a disability or mobility difficulty who can now be included, and who themselves can contribute to the overall Project.

“Lathallan pupils have proved themselves able to make significant contributions which help the community, and this phase of the Project has certainly captured their enthusiasm.”

It is envisaged that the refurbished Museum and services will open to the public in April 2013, with pupils being able to contribute to community enhancement as part of their Civilianship programme, and be able to see the end results of their work.