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Generous donation to community from Thurso RNLI crew


By Jean Gunn

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At a socially distancing cheque presentation outside the Princes Street Surgery are (from left) Dr Alison Brooks, Thurso RNLI crew member James Brims, practice nurse Tracy Macleod and crew member Gordon Munro.
At a socially distancing cheque presentation outside the Princes Street Surgery are (from left) Dr Alison Brooks, Thurso RNLI crew member James Brims, practice nurse Tracy Macleod and crew member Gordon Munro.

A total of £1500 is to go to help local people experiencing mental problems thanks to a donation from Thurso RNLI crew members' own fund.

The lifeboat crew wanted to do their bit for the community during the coronavirus crisis and presented a cheque to the town's Princes Street Surgery.

Dr Alison Brooks, who runs the Thurso and Halkirk medical practice, said: "It is just amazing – this is a donation from their own fund. It shows such generosity and gives an opportunity to help one of the most vulnerable groups in our community at the moment."

The fund the donation came from is made up entirely by contributions from the crew members, completely separate from other RNLI money, and is run by the local lifeboat team.

Dr Brooks, who has been the RNLI doctor for more than 25 years, explained that the crew said that the donation could be spent where it was most needed so she started to make enquiries with the mental health team and discovered that a lot of vulnerable people were needing support.

The drop-in centres at the Haven in Wick, and Stepping Stones in Thurso are closed for the time being.

"There were people who went to Stepping Stones every day to get a meal," she said. "I thought, 'What is happening to those people at the moment?'

"I feel a lot of people suffering from mental health problems do not have a voice and we need to show somebody is thinking about them."

The plan is now to identify those who need help at this time and what they might require, whether it is a meal or a top-up for a phone.

Dr Brooks also came up with the idea of making care bags filled with items for pampering, such as essential oils to aid relaxation and herbal teas.

She said: "We will make sure they have phone numbers so they can contact people if they feel the need to do so."

Pointing out that the health team would be looking for other funding as well, she added: "The generosity of the RNLI crew has started it off."

Offers have already come in from people willing to help deliver meals and care packages.


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