A LOCAL social enterprise has quashed rumours that it is struggling to keep its operations going.
MyBus managing director Mary Parry said that, far from being in trouble, the community group was actually on a stronger footing than a year ago.
She said that, this time last year, the enterprise relied on volunteers to provide its services but, as a result of generating income through secured contracts, it was now employing six people, five full-time and one part-time.
Ms Parry contacted the Mail following a letter to the editor, which stated the Letham Glen Craft Hut, which is part of MyBus Community Projects, had closed its doors.
However, she said the hut had simply reverted to part-time winter opening hours after the departure of its manager, Wilma Mackenzie, who, although contracted to work only 16 hours a week, had, with the support of volunteers among family and friends, been operating the centre seven days a week.
There is disagreement over the circumstances of Ms Mackenzie leaving the project, with Ms Parry maintaining she valued the contribution and commitment she had made, had even offered to sub-let the centre to her to run, and was stunned when she left with no notice.
Ms Mackenzie, however, claims MyBus had given no support to the hut, that any money made in the centre went to MyBus rather than being spent in the hut and that, with her contract officially ended, she felt she could no longer continue working with the group.
Such is the bitterness in the situation that the organiser of a successful dog show held in Letham Glen in the summer, as a fund-raiser for the centre, is adamant that the money will now go to other causes.
“We raised the money specifically to benefit the groups using the centre but that wasn’t going to happen,” said the organiser, Caroline Mitchell, who was one of the hut’s volunteer workers.
“The money is now going to be split between the dog charities who came along to support the dog show.”
The craft hut is now open from 11am-4pm at the weekends and noon-4pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
However, with a new MyBus project, ceramics making, now also based at the hut, Ms Parry said it was able to accommodate any requests from groups wanting to use the premises outwith these times.
Another community project is the former Scoonie Bowling Club, which MyBus took over to save it from closure. Refurbishment work in the clubhouse is almost complete and, once the social enterprise’s administration office is transferred from Aberhill to the premises, it will be open five days a week as a drop-in community ‘hub’, as well as a meeting space for groups.