Why we do it

The need for affordable, quality after-school and holiday childcare was established following a survey of businesses in 1999 and a survey of parents in 2000 carried out by the Dornoch Focus Group.

Allsorts After-School Club was established in November 2001, when a pilot scheme was set up in the West Church Hall for eight children, run by the Church of Scotland. A holiday club was run in 2002 but was restricted to afternoons. The pilot scheme ran for one year, after which the club moved to Dornoch Academy and was taken over by a local management committee with grant aid from the Highland Childcare Partnership and the New Opportunities Fund (now the Big Lottery). The funding package allowed the club to expand to 16 children and to provide full day cover in the holidays. As Dornoch is a tourist destination, peak employment occurs during the summer months and the availability of childcare throughout the day enabled parents to access these opportunities, in the knowledge that their youngsters are being well cared for and having fun.

In 2007 the number of child places was increased to 24 to meet demand.

In 2010 Allsorts became one of 27 Scottish organisations to obtain funding from Inspiring Scotland's Go Play scheme to introduce regular outdoor free-play. 

We have over the course of the years evaluated the impact of free play and demonstrated that it increases self-confidence, encourages risk-taking, develops problem-solving skills and generally builds resilience and self-reliance. But most of all it is FUN!


More recently, Allosorts has had to innovate to survive. Support previoulsy recieved in the form of grant funding and benefits-in-kind has been withdrawn by the Local Authority, Highland Council, due to the servere cuts that Local Government has faced from the Scottish Government. Allsorts has worked with other providers to challenge these Scottish Government cuts, but has found the Scottish Goverment is not willing to help - focussing instead on providing 'free' childcare to children that are 3 or 4 years only.

The reality for Allsorts and other providers of childcare for school age children, therefore is higher costs for service users, and a restriction of services. We have been well supported by the parents and famliies who use at us this transitional time, and to the funders, such as Cora Foundation and the Community Council, who have stepped up to support us. 

We are grateful to ongoing support from the local school campus and indeed the council for supporting us to find alternative funding and ways of working that are sustainable.  With the support of the community and charitable funders, we hope to be able to continue our after-school and holiday provision for years to come. 




Dornoch Allsorts After School Club   -    Scottish Charity Number SC034176


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