Centred has been around since 1987, although at that time we were called Birchwood (because we used houses on the Birchwood Estate in Inverness as our offices). We started out as a charity providing much-needed support to people with mental ill-health who were moving back into the community on their journey to recovery.
The key people behind the birth of Birchwood were Derek Bigg, our first chair and a Senior Finance Officer with Local Authority and the Highland Health Board, Senior Nurse Alex Wells and Senior Social Worker Malcolm Jack.
The groundbreaking scheme at Birchwood was a great success, so a second scheme was launched in 1989 in the Kinmylies area of Inverness with an office base at Craig Dunain Hospital.
Going from strength to strength, in 1991 another scheme was founded in Fort William at Gharbeinn House, now called Meal na Mara.
We had a major boost in 1992 when the Highland Health Board gifted us some land next to Hilton Hospital to build a property for patients displaced following the closure of a ward at Craig Dunain Hospital. And so, Birchwood House was built (the current home of our Recovery Centre) while a nearby building was converted into flats.
1994 saw another of our schemes established at Invergordon to serve the community of Easter Ross with an office base was at The County Hospital in Invergordon. In the same year, our two Inverness schemes (Birchwood Terrace and Kinmylies) were combined and we changed our name to Birchwood Highland, reflecting the growing reach of our services.
In 2005 Birchwood House was extensively remodelled to ensure it could offer a pioneering new model of care, one that was focused on recovery. Then in 2008, a residential centre to support people was opened and the huge success of this initiative has led to the development of the Recovery Centre as we know it today.
In 2017 due to high demand, we re-established our service in Caithness, (a scheme we previously had to close due to difficulties sustaining the service). This sparked our movement into other areas of care, including the large-scale rollout of Care at Home services which was developed alongside our traditional housing support services for people experiencing mental ill-health.
And so, we’re right up to date and still gathering momentum. Our drive and commitment to deliver a fresh, contemporary image of mental ill-health support for the 21st century has led to the decision to re-brand as Centred. And so we move forward with a new name and look that positively reflects our core values and vision for the future.