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Welcome This is our first publication and we will be publishing more in the future. At Health and Happiness we call our service users Experts because that’s what they are. Experts at living with a disability. The aim of this publication is to highlight businesses in Highland who strive to be all inclusive. We had a great time putting this together and know it will go from strength to strength. We have colour coded each section to help you find exactly what you are looking for. For example, if you want to read about ‘Sport in the Highlands’ look out for the green pages in this magazine.

Publishers Health and Happiness Editorial content Kirtsy Bateson Consulting Design Logolounge

Our Experts Our Experts Leisure in the Highlands REVIEW Pulteney Distillery REVIEW Seaprobe Atlantis Staying Safe and Having Fun Sport in the Highlands Sports Club Directory REVIEW Fairways Golf Club REVIEW Craggan Outdoors

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Our Expert on. . . Seaprobe Atlantis Fairways Craggan Outdoors The Redcliffe Hotel

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Keith Watson is your lead Expert Reviewer for this issue. Keith is well known to Health and Happiness and has acted as a spokesperson for the organisation at several conferences and events. Keith volunteers at the Inverness Leisure Centre and previously was voted volunteer of the month with the PDSA.

Our Expert on. . . Pulteney Distillery

Eating Out REVIEW The Redcliffe Hotel

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Culture Homecoming Scotland

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Our Friends Merkinch Community Centre Square Wheels The Ardenbeg Bunkhouse Eden Court

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Stuart Henderson lives in Thurso. Stuart volunteers at the HomeAid charity shop and the Recycling Unit in Thurso and at Wick Airport. He enjoys using his laptop and watching different aircraft. Would you like to be an Expert Reviewer? Then, we’d like to hear from you before our next issue! Call Debbie at Health and Happiness on 01463 248824

Contact info@healthhappiness.org.uk

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The Expert Review

The Expert Review

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Leisure in the Highlands The Highlands is a fun place to live and work. We have wonderful hillsides and forests and we are famous for our Lochs. The most famous is Loch Ness just outside Inverness. You can visit Loch Ness by bus or car and there are lots of nice places to visit along the way. Or if you’re a city slicker then why not go to The Redcliffe Hotel for some lunch where Derek and his staff will make you feel very welcome. Read our REVIEW on page 21. Craggan Outdoor Activities can provide a great day out for you or your group and Keith will help you decide what you would like to do. You could do something in the water or stay on dry land but you’ll always have fun. Read our REVIEW on page 16. Strathspey is a lovely area to go to with lots of winter sports and summer fun. You could visit Disability Snowsport or Speyside Heather for a really fun day out. Caithness has lots to offer and is home to The Boot Project at Wellington House in Wick. The Boot is a social enterprise just like The Expert Review and they would love to show you what they do.

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The Expert Review

The Expert Review

OUR NEXT ISSUE WILL BE OUT DECEMBER

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Expert Review : Pulteney Distillery

DISTILLERY & VISITOR CENTRE Pulteney Distillery is the most northerly distillery in Scotland and a great day out. Is it easy to get to? If you come from Wick it is but if you are visiting you just have to ask any of the locals and they will show you where to go. Is it easy to get around? Very. For £4 someone will show you around the distillery and take you back to the visitor centre. They can tell you everything you need to know or want to learn and because you will be in a small group you have lots of time to talk to your guide. You must pay attention to safety though and the guide will tell you what you can and can’t touch or walk on. There are lots of things you can buy such as t-shirts and gifts and you can even buy the whisky. If you have a wheelchair then the staff can take you on a tour designed to your needs and while you might not be able to go up the stairs in the distillery you can see the workings and smell the whisky and really feel part of the whole experience. Smelling the whisky at its different stages is the best bit! Overall comments This is a great day out and the staff are very very friendly. The visitor centre is great and there is a good film to watch about the history of the distillery and Wick. If you ask you can have a wee sip of whisky and we recommend the whisky and honey liquor. One sip of that and you’ll step outside with a nice warm feeling! Page 6

The Expert Review

WICK

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PULTENEY DISTILLERY AND VISITOR CENTRE Open all year: Monday - Friday 10am - 1pm, 2pm - 4pm Now open on Saturdays 10am-4pm Tours 11am & 2pm or by arrangement Group and evening bookings by appointment. Call 01955 602371 for more information Admission charge with redemption in shop Pulteney Distillery, Huddart St, Wick, Caithness, KW1 5BA.

www.oldpulteney.com Old Pulteney encourages you to savour this fine single malt responsibly

The Expert Review

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Expert Review : Seaprobe Atlantis This is a special activity that you can’t find just anywhere. We went to Kyle to try out this glass bottomed boat and see if it lives up to its claims. Is it easy to find? Yes. You need to either take the car or bus to Kyle and you can buy your tickets from the Tourist Office at the car park near the water. The staff will tell you where to go. Is it easy to get on the boat? We found it easy but if you’re nervous you need to call Nigel before you go and he will be ready to help you when you get there. Safety is a huge issue on a boat like this and if you have a wheelchair you will be able to get to the boat via the ramp but you will need to board the boat without it. Nigel and his team are used to helping people in wheelchairs and can make arrangements with you by phone. Will I have help to understand the information? Yes. There is a guide on board who talks to the group together. If you want him to repeat something for you or help you understand something then he will be happy to do this. There are quiet times when people are just left to look so this would be a good time to ask the guide. Will I be safe? Yes. Nigel makes the trips hundreds of times a year and it’s a big strong boat which has had special tests. It sometimes bobs up and down but you will get used to it. When you see the fish and plants through the windows you’ll be glad you went. Overall comments. This is an unusual day out but worth the £12.50 ticket. We had a great time and we saw seals, fish, jellyfish and birds. The fresh air will make you tired afterwards!! Page 8

The Expert Review

The Expert Review

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Staying Safe and Having Fun Tips to help you have a great day out! 1 Only take as much money with you as you need. 2 Keep your money and phone in a bag across your shoulder. 3 Tell someone where you are going. 4 Write down the number of a person you can phone if you need them. 5 Try to go out in a group or with a friend. 6 Do not accept any lifts from strangers. 7 Don’t walk in quiet dark places. 8 If you take the bus, sit near the driver. 9 Tell another adult if someone is scaring you by shouting, or swearing or trying to hit you. 10 If you are taking a bus, check the times so you don’t have to wait too long. 11 If you are going on an organised day out then listen to what the group leader says and ask if you don’t understand. There is a helpful leaflet called ‘Keep Safe’ which helps you think about all kinds of things to do. You can have this downloaded from www.crimereduction.homoffice.gov.uk If you don’t have a computer, then ask someone to get it for you. It’s free! Page 10

The Expert Review

The Expert Review

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Sport in the Highlands

Sports Clubs Directory

Sports and activities are for everyone and it doesn’t matter who you are or what you can do. There are lots of people in Highland who can help you try out a new sport or hobby.

Sports Clubs

By taking part in sport you can make new friends, learn to work as a team and get fit for more activities. Highland Disability Sport has a calendar of activities all year round and the Development Officer is always happy to help you with any questions you have. You can call him on 01463 232262 to ask about the events they run.

Highland Disability Sport Office (Event and Entry Enquiries) Lesley Jones Disability Inverness Sports Club (DISC) Josie Aitken Lochaber Disability Sport Ann Brown Nairn Disability Sport Isabel Reid Ross & Cromarty Enjoying Sport (RACES) Morag Robb Skye & Lochalsh Assoc for Disability Wed – Fri Mina MacLeod Caithness Disability Multi-Sport Liz MacLeod CHOCS (Sutherland) Ross Grainge

01463 232262 01463 790367 01397 703740 01667 455867 01349 853508 01599 534752 07754 614 588 07747 465 411

Highland Council Disability Sports Development Active Schools Coordinator (Disability)

Charlie Forbes

01463 729662

Lee Duff

01463 233091

Area Sports Development Officers Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross Ross, Skye & Lochaber

Kevin Thomson

01463 724203

Suzanne Standish-White Willie MacKinnon

01349 883747 01478 614063

Local Area Sports Councils Badenoch & Strathspey Caithness Inverness Lochaber Nairn Ross & Cromarty Skye & Lochalsh Sutherland

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The Expert Review

William Gray wcjgray@hotmail.com Iain Grant iain-grant@ukf.net Alan Hoseason 01463 718009 Joyce Donaldson 01397 702102 Marion Stuart 01667 453011 Joan Maxwell info@ross-sport.org Roddy MacKinnon 01478 614063 Suzanne Doogan 01408 633607

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Expert Review : Fairways We went to Fairways in Inverness to try out the driving range and the clubhouse. Fairways is near Tesco at Inshes. Is it easy to get to? Yes. There is a bus stop right outside the entrance to the car park and you can catch a bus to Culduthel Park or Holm Farm to get you there. Is there help to show you where to go? People are very friendly and a kind golfer even gave us some clubs to use!! If you call ahead someone can meet you at the front door and show you where things are. Does it cost a lot of money? You can get 50 balls for £3 for the driving range or 14 for £1. It will take you about 45 minutes to get through them on your own or about half an hour with a partner. A half hour golf lesson is between £17-£22. Two cokes in the bar is less than £3. That means you could spend a couple of hours there for as little as £6. Overall Comments A lively place and good fun. If you would like to go during a quieter time then weekdays and evenings are best for the driving range. All of the staff are very helpful and friendly and it’s also very easy to chat to other people because of the nice sociable culture. Page 14

The Expert Review

The Expert Review

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Expert Review : Craggan Outdoors This is a great one if you like the outdoors or want to try something new. Is it easy to get to? Very easy. You come to Grantown from Inverness (half hour journey) and you will see a big sign on the road just before the Grantown Roundabout. If you are coming by bus you must call Keith, the manager, in advance to make arrangements to be met at or near the outdoor centre. How easy is the centre to use for someone with a disability? Craggan Outdoors works closely with other organisations who cater for disabilities and the grounds and activities are available to almost everyone. Wheelchair access is not a problem and even the golf course can accommodate. Keith showed us around the centre and explained the different things that people can get involved in and we left thinking that this was a place to come back to. Is it expensive? There are activities for every budget £10-£85 depending upon activity chosen and number of participants. You can also stay in the hostel over night for between £12.50-£17 per night. If you call in advance you can arrange a package for one day to a few days and you will be looked after and given the right amount of help to enjoy your visit. Overall comments It’s a great place to come and more people need to know what they can offer adults and young people with disabilities. Safety is a top priority but there are lots of ways for you to join in and have fun. The Expert Reviewer liked it so much he’s planning another visit! On the Trip Adviser website Craggan Outdoors is Number 1 ‘Thing To Do’ in Scotland. Very impressive!!

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The Expert Review

The Expert Review

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Eating Out We all like nice food and after a fun packed day out it’s great to have something tasty for dinner and a nice drink.

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Why not try something you wouldn’t normally eat. Remember to have some water though! Eating is good fun but it also keeps us healthy if we eat the right things. Try to have fast food or take away as a treat. It will keep the pounds off your middle and you’ll enjoy it more. Try to have your 5 A DAY. That means having 5 handfuls of fruit or vegetables every day. This will make you feel good and give you bags of energy to go out and have a great time.

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The Expert Review

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Expert Review : The Redcliffe Hotel We went for a cream tea at The Redcliffe Hotel in Gordon Terrace in Inverness. It was at 2pm on a Saturday which was very peaceful. Is it easy to find? Yes. Walk from the town centre and up The Market Brae steps across from Marks and Spencer. Go straight ahead when you get to the top and keep walking until you see the sign for the hotel. Will you feel welcome? The staff are great and they are happy to see you. We had a good chat with the manageress, Elaine, and she told us a bit about the hotel and what would appeal to others. Elaine said they get lots of customers who have sight problems and staff are used to helping people to read menus and explaining things. Afternoons are quiet if you don’t like crowds and if you call in advance someone will meet you at the door to show you in if you feel a bit shy. The Redcliffe is known for good food and gets busy at night so if you need some extra help during your visit, always let staff know so they can make sure you get what you need. Is it expensive? There are options to suit all budgets so you could go in the afternoon and have tea and a scone for less than £5 or you could go at night for a bigger treat. Overall comments We really liked it here and we had the best fresh scones ever with loads of jam and cream. We also managed to force down some homemade cream fudge which melted in the mouth. A really nice afternoon out. Page 20

The Expert Review

The Expert Review

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Homecoming Scotland

Our Friends

What is Homecoming?

Our Friends

The 2009 year of homecoming is an exciting year in Scotland. It means that we get to celebrate all the things that Scotland has given the world. These are things like golf, whisky, tartan and Robert Burns the poet. In 2009 there are events happening all over Scotland to make sure that everyone has fun and our visitors to the country can see the great things we have.

In each publication we will highlight businesses and organisations who work hard to provide chances with learning disabilities.

For the year of homecoming, what would you like to try? Why not try the driving range at fairways in Inverness? If you go with a group you could have a competition to see who can hit the ball really far. Or you could go to the Pulteney Distillery in Wick and the friendly staff can take you on a tour. Don’t get tipsy!

We work with many people out there and we will highlight everyone over the course of the issues. In this issue we wanted to let Eden Court Theatre, Square Wheels and Merkinch Community Centre say a bit more about themselves.

Have you heard of Robert Burns the poet? Sometimes he’s called The Baird and he wrote poems that sounded very Scottish. Try going to a Burns night in January where people get together to hear his poems and eat Haggis. Here is a poem for you to learn for your next ‘Burns night’ supper. “ADDRESS TO A HAGGIS”. . . Robert Burns Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the puddin-race! Aboon them a' ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm

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The Expert Review

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Our Friends

Merkinch Community Centre is home to the McCreadie Suite which is a theatre for the community and visitors. There are always lots of things happening and the 60 strong membership of the arts groups who meet there love it. Elsie Normington, the Development Officer had this to say; “We have just taken delivery of additional staging which can enlarge the existing stage by 2 metres in depth supported by the Merkinch Partnership. It can also double as a catwalk of 12 metres long - so if you are planning a charity fashion show - "Merkinch is the place to be" In the month of June there were over 2,500 visitors - various organisations hiring the facility for conferences, end of term productions and the Inverness Mod event. The June Jamboree was the 'local grown' event where the Merkinch community groups participated to a packed audience. One local women said "It's the best ÂŁ3 she had spent in ages!" If you are planning an event - small or large, we can provide for your needs. www.merkinchcommunitycentre.org.uk Tel: 01463 239563 Page 24

The Expert Review

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Our Friends

Square Wheels donated a brilliant customised bike to Health and Happiness for a fundraising event. Here’s what they say about their services; Square Wheels has a team of dedicated bikers who together have a vast knowledge about maintaining, modifying and riding most top brand cycles. Check out our special offers on Genesis and Giant Accessories We sell Nite Rider lights, helmets, tool kits and trailers. If you're buying a bike we offer 15% discount on all accessories. If you want it we've probably got it. If not we will get it for you. Phone 01997 421000 for details. Bike Hire We have a fleet of adults, kids bikes and trailers. An adult bike costs £15 a day, with reductions for multi-day hires. Delivery can be arranged and helmets, maps and tools are all included. Bike Repairs Bike repairs conducted on any make or model. We have a well equipped workshop, and can repair and service most makes. All repairs are carried out by CYTECH approved mechanics, and basic services start from £25 plus parts. The Square, Strathpeffer, Ross-shire IV14 9DW Telephone: 01997 421000 Page 26

The Expert Review

KAYAKING IS SO MUCH FUN! You can try it at Craggan Outdoors (See Pages 16 & 17) The Expert Review

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Our Friends

The Ardenbeg Bunkhouse The Ardenbeg Bunkhouse recently won a Diversity Award following a nomination from Health and Happiness’s community connector in Strathspey. The nomination centred on the story of one young man with a learning disability who had gained a place at Ardenbeg for work experience during a time when he faced real life changes when he left school. This story was unique because the person who worked with him to secure the work placement, unfortunately had to give up supporting the young man due to redundancy from his support workers role. Luckily for Health and Happiness, that support worker became a community connector and imagine his surprise when he went back to Ardenbeg sometime later to find that his former client was now a part time paid member of staff!! The fact that Ardenbeg continued to support this person into employment inspired our community connector to nominate them for the Highland Diversity Award because Ardenbeg and their young man proved that people with learning disabilities have a lot to offer and can become valued employees with the right kinds of support. Grant Road, Grantown-on-Spey, PH26 3LD Tel: 01479 872824 Fax: 01479 873132 email: enquiries@ardenbeg.co.uk Page 28

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Our Friends Eden Court Theatre is equipped for customer and visitors with all needs. Wheelchairs We offer wheelchair spaces for most performances. The Box Office can advise on availability. We also have a number of wheelchairs available for customer use, which we are happy to provide, although we advise booking ahead to ensure availability. Hearing Assistance Both of our brilliant cinemas are equipped with DTS Access technology, including hearing assist, audio description and for some performances, soft subtitling. Our performance spaces are equipped with two-channel infrared equipment. Receivers are available at the Box Office and can be used on their own or in conjunction with your hearing aid. Please reserve your receiver at Box Office. We produce an audio version of our Theatre Brochure which details all upcoming performances with a particular focus on audio described performances and touch tours. Ask us for Help We publish detailed information regarding upcoming subtitled, captioned and signed performances on our website and in print. If you would like to receive regular updates regarding accessible performances please contact Teresa in the Marketing Department on 01463 732 697 or email tbendoris@eden-court.co.uk. For more information on all of our accessibility initiatives, please visit the ‘access’ section of our website, or get in touch with the theatre’s marketing department. Page 30

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the expert review