At an early stage of the Here We Are concept a connection with the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and Argyll College was envisaged; and Michael Breslin, Argyll College’s first principal, was an enthusiast for the cooperation.
Soon after Here We Are opened, close links with Argyll College were established, including a tutor holding basic IT classes. In those days many, particularly women working in the retail sector, (and particularly staff at Loch Fyne Oysters nearby), had no IT experience and needed a basic level for their job. Men and women of varied ages and skills attended the lessons.
Visiting tutors from Argyll College held evening classes here in different subjects
Jackie MacPherson, initially a Here We Are employee, was then offered the role of Argyll college tutor. She continued to work for HWA part time, including on our much valued newsletter and annual report.
Students could also attend UHI courses via distance learning. This was an advantage for those hesitant about leaving home to go to college; a student did her fist year like this and then gained confidence and was able to take off.
As the administration at Argyll College changed and it began to change direction, and Here We Are was less used.
Over the years Here We Are provided Argyll College a useful hub for its activities. While Argyll College contributed to our sustainability, in particular its IT employees were invaluable in setting up and advising on our IT systems and sorting IT glitches. An example of Here We Are loyalty is that Ian Blackman, now retired from Argyll College and moved to Stornaway, still calms our nerves and sorts our IT problems down the line from Stornaway.
With the advent of Fyne Den, the long awaited creche at Cairndow, parents dropping off their child for the day welcomed the opportunity to use a desk and the wifi facility at Here We Are.
This had hardly got going before the Covid pandemic closed it down. However we are pleased to be re-instating it.