Banff Day Opportunities skills development and training

Banff Day Opportunities has a range of community and group opportunities, activities and projects to help people using the day service develop and learn new skills, giving you greater independence. Some people use the projects to develop skills so they can move onto other opportunities. Others access the projects as part of their daily activities.

Our skills development and training can be grouped in these areas:

This page has information about the main activities, projects and groups in each area. It doesn’t include all the opportunities available. Contact us for our service specification which has a comprehensive list.

Social and activity

Art Mania encourages creative expression and personal development through learning about the arts. You can try out different art techniques including drawing, painting, collage and clay modelling. Working with art materials can have a therapeutic benefit and can help you improve observation, dexterity and spatial skills.

Dramarama uses dance and drama to help group members express their feelings. Dance allows an individual to make a personal statement about their feelings through movement. Dances are created around themes based on members’ experiences and ideas. Drama techniques help improve communication skills in speech and mime. Drama is very interactive and helps develop individual self-expression.

Music – it sounds like music encourages development in social, emotional and cognitive learning. Singing is enjoyed together as a group, or individually as soloists. Storytelling by music involves everyone instrumentally or vocally. Percussion encourages everyone to join in with rhythm, timing and performing as a group.

Social games is a group offering a wide range of leisure opportunities from basketball to dominoes. It helps you develop social skills, promotes integration in the community and encourages friendship and participation.


Banff Environmental Action Team (BEAT) is a recycling project that collects and accepts deliveries of card and plastic. The card is shredded, compressed into bales and sold for animal and pet bedding. The plastics are sorted and graded. Wrapping is sorted, baled and stored until there is enough to be taken away for further processing.

The project investigates other recycling opportunities, including recycling alternative materials and working with established businesses.

People involved with this project can gain work experience and learn about:

  • machine operation
  • health and safety
  • First Aid
  • positive assertiveness
  • IT skills
  • environmental issues

This “hands on” approach means you can get used to working as part of a team in a safe and supported environment.

Eden Garden is a satellite project for Banff Day Opportunities. Eden is a walled Victorian garden with glasshouses which has been left to return to nature. Banff Day Opportunities aims to restore the gardens and glasshouses using sympathetic and eco-friendly systems, modern techniques and technology. Individuals working on the project have a safe, sustainable and therapeutic garden to work in, while learning different gardening techniques.

The Imagine at Twenty-Seven project provides work skills and training for people with disabilities. It operates from 27 Low Street, Banff, AB45 1AU. The shop sells a wide range of high quality and exclusive art, crafts, woodwork, jewellery, pottery and textiles.

People taking part in this project can learn skills in felting, knitting, weaving and embroidery. The work experience helps develop skills in:

  • interacting with the public
  • selling products
  • customer service

The Kelpie Café is one of Banff Day Opportunities community based day services. It is based in Banff Castle. Individuals taking part in this project can learn about:

  • catering skills
  • hospitality
  • Cooksafe
  • using kitchen equipment safely
  • home baking skills
  • serving the general public


Banff Buzz is a community magazine, informing the local community what’s happening in Banff Day Opportunities and day service users what’s happening in the local community. Group members interview people of local interest and video record the sessions so they are easy to translate to the written word. The Banff Buzz team edit and produce the magazine.

Group members learn:

  • literacy and communication skills
  • interviews skills
  • about working to a deadline
  • desktop publishing, computer graphics and computer skills
  • about team working and team building skills
  • photography and photo editing skills
  • business and advertising skills

Computers group maintains online blogs, websites and social networking sites for Banff Day Opportunities and other organisations. Banff Day Opportunities also has a computer suite for training in general computing skills. 

Online camera club group learns how to use a digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera and different photo editing software. The camera is used to document events at Banff Day Opportunities, for specific photo projects and for the Banff Buzz magazine.

The Learning Curve project helps individuals:

  • improve their literacy and numeracy skills, written and verbal
  • be more engaged with and enjoy learning
  • manage personal finances
  • set and achieve personal learning and development goals
  • be more involved in decision-making about matters affecting them

Healthy living

Groups and activities include:

  • Banff Day Service (BDS) Explorers - walking group exploring local walks, nature and Duff House grounds
  • Gym group - physical health and fitness group
  • Outsiders hill walking group - there are two hill walking groups, experienced who do full day walks and less experienced who do shorter walks
  • Sports - two groups take part in regular physical exercise activities, developing new skills in a variety of different sports