Large donation by the Co-Op

25 November 2019

What an exciting Saturday! We were presented with a cheque for £9928 by the Co-Op supermarket chain. Customers last year voted which of three charities would they like 1% of the money they spend with the Co-Op on their own brand goods. This money will help go towards the next stage in the revival of the Hall of Clestrain, John Rae’s birthplace.

Photo by John Welburn ABIPP

A huge thank you to the “Big Co-op Payout”, their staff and customers, for the generous donation of £9928 which was very warmly received by the John Rae Society.

This donation comes at a pivotal time for the Society as, having already purchase the Hall of Clestrain (Orphir),  they now hope to renovate the property and turn it into a world class visitor centre and community resource. The Society has entered an extremely exciting and important phase, where match funding is required to help create a development plan to ensure the project’s sustainability. With your support, this work will both supplement and complement the information already captured and place the Society in a favourable position to confidently apply for the necessary large-scale funding.

A portion of the money will help fit out the temporary visitor centre at the Hall of Clestrain, ensuring visitor and community engagement throughout the Hall’s renovation, as well as providing a warm place to meet.   

Looking ahead, the Society hopes that the Hall of Clestrain development will provide real economic benefit through employment and volunteering opportunities; offer visitors a wider range of possible themes and itineraries particularly during inclement weather and encourage visitor dispersal throughout Orkney; provide new educational, research facilities and training opportunities; engage with communities both here and Canada helping to better understand Orkney’s ancestry and heritage; and finally, improve the health and wellbeing of those who come to visit and use the purposed facilities.

Once again, thank you to the “Big Co-op Payout” and to all those who kindly contributed, its very much appreciated.

Sandra Deans – Project Manager for the John Rae Society