Strupag is a lunch (12-2pm) which is held at the Centre every other Friday. Everybody is welcome, and it provides an excellent opportunity for local people and visitors to get together. There is no fixed charge, but people are invited to make a donation to cover the cost of the food – beautiful sandwiches, soups, tea & coffee, home-baking and fresh fruit. There is an emphasis on “Healthy Eating”.
Pauline MacKenzie was instrumental in setting up Strupag and she writes:
“At the beginning of 2001 I was employed as a Project Worker for South West Ross Community Care Forum.The job was to establish what services were in the communities for elderly people and those who require care. On the interview panel were six representatives from the surrounding areas that the post would cover of whom the member for Torridon was Priscilla Rose. Together we did a lot of ground work so that we would co-ordinate with existing services. The Hall in Torridon was busy with many activities. The Hairdresser visited monthly and a friend casually said it would be nice to have a cup of tea whilst waiting and that set the seed to creating “Strupag Day”. The population of elderly people in the area was significant at this time and many had “Home Helps”. That being the only person they would see on a daily basis with isolation being an issue. Within the post I was asked to come up with a project that would benefit these people and others who didn’t get out much. It was winter time, dark days and nights ahead but in all a good time to create such a scheme.
At the same time we were setting up the “Community Car Scheme” and busy getting people interested to volunteer as drivers and we wanted everything to come together to get people to activities we were organising. After discussions with local ladies who were involved in events going on in the hall and village, we decided to set up a friendly and informal atmosphere at the hall every second Friday where people could pop in, have a cup of tea, something nice to eat either on a social basis or on their way to the doctors surgery or after shopping in the village. Volunteers were required as with little funding we had just enough to pay the hire of the hall.
As “Strupag Day” became popular over time, monies were spent on delicious healthy foods, fruits, various sandwiches and special events like Christmas and Valentines Day which included a glass of wine and chocolates on arrival. I didn’t want people to worry whether they could afford it or not. The hall was always warm and cosy, newspapers were on a table, background music gently playing and then there was the food….
Had it not been for the work and support of the “Strupag Girls” working as a team with many volunteering cakes etc. it would not have been as successful as it turned out. Nearly ten years on it continues to be an asset to the area. Many other communities and bodies have developed their own “Strupag Day”. We should feel proud to have created this unique community organisation and remember the many people who helped in it’s immense success.”