At our meeting of November 19 Chris Greene introduced Mike Burleigh project manager of The Mill of Benholm Project who gave a presentation on the work being done at Benholm Mill.
In addition to being a museum the Mill of Benholm Project is a Scottish Charity working in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council to provide work experience and training for people with learning difficulties. The visitor centre belongs to the people of Aberdeenshire and, unknown to many, the area is a public park. The project team have five part time members of staff and a variety of volunteers assisting with training in catering, horticulture, crafts and cycle maintenance.
As with all businesses Health and Safety is very important and all tasks are risked assessed prior to execution.
All catering trainees have passed environmental health examinations and have the option to train in more than one skill area.
The craft work includes manufacture and refurbishment of park benches, building of habitat fences and crafting a variety of other items.
The Benholm Bike Project was funded by MAP, Mill of Benholm and Award for All with donation support from Allan Fotheringham and Bob Will. In addition to being repaired, cycles can be donated and exchanged.
With a donation of £2500 from the NHS health improvement fund the horticulture trainees incorporated a Jacobs Ladder into one of the walks and a fern garden has been created along the path above the weir.
While visiting the mill the opportunity to sample the culinary delights from the tea room kitchen should be taken where a selection of homemade soups and freshly made snacks and bakes are on offer from 10:00hrs to 14:30 hrs Monday to Saturday during the winter season.
The site has been awarded a three star venue by the Scottish Board and the management are striving to achieve four star accolade.
After a few questions the vote of thanks was given by Peter MacIinnes.