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Labour of love tapestry created by Ross-shire man hands boost to Highland mental health charity Mikeysline; Personal experience of depression spurs effort for charity and challenges stigma over mental health issues


By Louise Glen

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George Robinson raised £3042 from the sale of his tapestry. George Robinson, Lodge Averon and Robin Cattanach, Provincial Grandmaster of Ross & Cromarty, present the cheque to Emily Stokes, service manager of Mikeysline. Picture: James Mackenzie
George Robinson raised £3042 from the sale of his tapestry. George Robinson, Lodge Averon and Robin Cattanach, Provincial Grandmaster of Ross & Cromarty, present the cheque to Emily Stokes, service manager of Mikeysline. Picture: James Mackenzie

Thanks to the efforts of a Ross-shire tapestry maker, Mikeysline benefited from £3093.

George Robinson (60), from Rhynie near Fearn, handed over the cash after asking for donations to the charity to be in with a chance of winning the blue polka dot floral design.

Mr Robinson said he was delighted to be able to donate the cash to the charity, as he spoke about his own struggles with depression.

He said: "It was great to hand over the cheque to Mikeysline. What I had not realised is that all of its work comes from donations. Not only do they run the telephone and text service but they also run the Hive centre.

"All these things are important to make sure there is somewhere for people to turn. I want to get the message out there that it is ok to not be ok."
He continued: "I am grateful for all the donations to the fundraiser and I am blown away with the cheques that have come in from across the country. I have been well supported by The Lodge.

The tapestry, made up from more than 36,000 pieces, and took more than 460 hours to make.

Mr Robinson, who uses a latch hook technique to make his tapestries learned the skill from his dad, Donald. Last year he made a tapestry that was auctioned to raise money for Highland Hospice.

He said: “Many people will not know that I have suffered with depression for about 20 years. Because of the pandemic I know that Mikeysline will need some extra funding as it is a much-needed mental health charity.”

He continued: “My story is that I had a head injury 20 years ago and I struggled with bouts of mental health problems. I overcame it with expert help, which I will always be grateful for.

“There is so much stigma surrounding mental health, especially among men, and I wanted to speak out and share my story. There is support there – and Mikeysline does an incredible job.

“I have been a member of the lodge for more than 30 years and I have received incredible support. People might say it is ok to not be ok, but people need to believe it as well.”

The Provincial Grand Master Robin Cattenach paid for the tapestry kit for Mr Robinson.


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