History

Strathcare, originally named The Strathearn Community Care Association, was formed in 1975 to coordinate the activities of various existing clubs and to promote local services for older people. This umbrella style of organisation remains one of the underlying principles of Strathcare today. Some of the original activities and clubs continue to this day:  the WRVS (now the RVS) lunch club, the sunshine club (now the Friday Daybreak club) and the disabled club (now the Wednesday outings club).  

Originally there was no Strathcare bus for the specific purpose of transporting those with reduced mobility, and an early goal of Strathcare was to procure such a vehicle so the Strathcare Bus Appeal was launched.  This appeal was supported by many local organisations and individuals, in particular the Crieff Round Table who raised almost six thousand pounds. This provided the green light to go ahead and Strathcare acquired a vehicle in 1980. Although far short of modern-day requirements for transporting the less able, it gave sterling service over the ensuing years. In 1987 this bus was replaced by a second-hand bus donated by BLESMA.

However, with an ageing bus, the time to purchase a new one was pressing and so a major fundraising campaign was launched. This culminated on a grand scale with the Strathcare Gala in July 1990 in Taylor Park with pipe bands and parade, an opening ceremony hosted by celebrity singer Bill McCue, various events, stalls and amusements with an estimated 2,000 people turning out and raising almost £4,000. The target of £23,000 was surpassed with funds totalling £28,000 and the first Bertie bus was delivered late in 1990. The conversion was carried out by coachbuilders in East Kilbride giving Strathcare its first new and purpose- built bus with a tail lift and flexible seating. It was the first conversion of its kind in Scotland, facilitated via the Help the Aged community transport scheme.

1990 also saw Strathcare successfully registering as a charity.

Changing regulations, high usage and evolving needs meant that Bertie would have to be regularly replaced and in 1995 Bertie ’Too‘ was purchased for £32,000.  In 2002 Bertie III was bought for £45,000 followed in 2008 by Bertie IV for £54,000.  Each of these purchases was preceded by major fundraising efforts.  In 2018, Bertie 5 was acquired for £70,000 raised from donations.  The ability to buy the minibuses using donated funds is a direct reflection of the popularity of Strathcare in our community.

Today Strathcare continues to be managed and operated entirely by volunteers through a committee group of trustees working with the club organisers in accordance with the Strathcare constitution. Its activities are supported by 15 drivers and 25 passenger assistants who are all volunteers too. Financial support is almost entirely by way of donations and fundraising.