The Dochas Centre is in Lochgilphead, Argyll and was founded in 1998 by John Paterson after John was diagnosed with both Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) and Motor Neurone Disease (MND). He was an artist and psychiatric nurse. John's vision was to bring hope to others living with these incurable conditions by using the sale of reproductions of his art to support care and research. Since John's death in 1998 his wife, Catherine Paterson, has carried on his work. The Dochas Fund became a registered charity in February 2000.
The Dochas Centre was opened in August 2006 and formally opened in April 2007 by HRH The Princess Royal.
A number of years on, that vision and work continue to operate from the Dochas Centre. The centre houses a Gallery, Carers' Room and Therapy/meeting room that is available for all carers in the Mid Argyll area and was purpose-built by donations. The Gallery houses John's artwork which is for sale and is a centre and meeting place for individuals and various groups such as Carers' Support, Dementia Support, Autism Support, Mental Health Support and Life after Bereavement Support. Our centre offers hope, emotional and practical support by providing information, guidance and training for unpaid carers through the maze of service. All our services are free to carers. Within Argyll and Bute, we work to improve the lives of all unpaid carers who face particular problems due to the rural and remote aspects of the region.