A mental health charity and social movement in Perth has applied to convert former public toilets into a new space for locals.
Plus Perth manager Susan Scott say the building on Ropemakers Close could serve as a meeting place for members to socialise.
The team currently works from its small office on nearby Canal Street in the centre of town.
However, Susan says interest in the charity‘s projects has increased and it now hopes to establish a new meeting place for members.
‘An oasis in a chaotic part of town’
Susan said: “We’ve been based in the city centre for 20 years and we’ve had a lot of impact over the years.
“We’ve got a wee community garden called Horner’s Plot next to where the old toilet currently is.
“It’s a bit of an oasis in the middle of this chaotic, busy part of town.”
She said: “Shops have closed during the pandemic and the area has problems with drugs and alcohol.
“We’re trying to bring back a bit of community spirit.
“We were needing a place to meet because we have over 300 members now.
Having a physical place for people to meet and socialise is so important.”
“We’ve always worked from our small office just two minutes from the garden. A lot of what we do is in the same area, so this is a perfect possibility.”
Plus Perth supports those who have experienced mental distress.
It hosts a variety of activities, including community arts projects, or even just informal chats.
Susan said: “It’s important to have a drop-in for people who are on their own, struggling with mental health issues, or people who have been affected by the pandemic.
“Having a physical place for people to meet and socialise is so important.
“We’ve always been about prevention when it comes to mental health problems.
“A lot of our members, who may have used mental health services, want to give back and they head lots of our different groups: music, art, poetry.
‘It’s a good place to begin’
“The area doesn’t have the best reputation, so we’re really hoping to get a place together to help.”
She added: “It’s not a huge place, but it’s a good place to begin.
“We’re already having discussions about events and exhibitions on art, music and the historical aspect of the vennels which, down the centuries, have played a very important role in Perth.
“We want to emphasise our heritage, so we can be proud of our city.”