18 May 2016 You are here:

Salvation Army projects take starring role at North Scotland Congress

Some of the best Salvation Army projects have taken centre stage during the visit of General André Cox to Scotland.

Salvationists and our friends gathered in Inverness at the weekend for North Scotland Division's Holy Spirit Congress, which was led by General Cox.

Those attending the congress were treated to a special screening of a new short film showcasing some of the division's most successful projects.

The film has been produced by the Salvation Army's video production unit and sees presenter Esther Shephard visit community churches in Oban, Wick, Inverness, Stornoway, Aberdeen and Forfar, as well as Burnside Mill Lifehouse in Dundee.

One service user who appears in the film is Henry Maclean, whose life was turned around by the support of the Salvation Army in Oban.

The 29-year-old former chef suffered from depression after the death of his dad and grandad, and turned to drink to cope with the grief.

But after a visit to the local Salvation Army church with his gran his fortunes began to change.

He got chatting to one of the senior volunteers and slowly began to immerse himself in church life.

Now, a year and a half later, Henry is set to become a soldier of the Salvation Army.

He said: “Being part of the Salvation Army in Oban has had such a positive influence in my life. I was in a dark place, which stemmed from my dad dying, and struggled to cope. 

“My family are really supportive and tried to reach out and help me but I was depressed and confused, and didn’t know where to turn.

“I moved in with my gran and uncle and one day in 2014 I came along to the Salvation Army. Andy Finlayson is one of the volunteers and he helps run The Shed. We had a chat and I soon discovered that Andy had been through so much hardship in his life as well. He made me realise that I could overcome my problems.

“I started to help out around the workshop and the main hall, doing general things like cleaning up and other general tasks.

“Along the way I’ve made a lot of new friends and learned new skills.

“I love music and I've been able to teach guitar to one of the older guys who has autism. He really enjoys it and I get a lot of satisfaction from giving something back. 

“I now volunteer three days a week and attend worship on a Sunday morning. I’m hoping to be made a Salvation Army soldier in the next couple of weeks.”