The Dochas Centre 50 Campbell Street, Lochgilphead, Argyll PA31 8JU               Scottish Charity No  029821                                                                                                                

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Carers Centre & Gallery

Supporting Unpaid Carers

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Bringing Together People who Care”

Dochas Gallery

Dochas Gallery

The Gallery was the result of a huge rise of community generosity towards the Dochas Fund’s hope to create a centre where carers of all conditions can be given support, information and guidance to help them and the person they care for. £81,000 was donated locally with the other funding of £23,000 given as grants or awards to finish the building and garden. The interior of the Dochas Centre was finished to perfection with the help of a special celebratory £21,000 grant from Lloyds TSB Foundation, who were marking their 21st birthday as a supporter of Scottish Charities.

The Centre is unique as Carers’ Centres go, as you enter into an Art Gallery, rather than walls covered in posters about illness or benefits. This was done, not just to make the building beautiful, but also to reflect John’s strong belief in the human psyche’s response to art.

Exhibitions by others are intended to arouse interest in artists, children’s projects and other selected shows at various times.

The Dochas Gallery does not charge commission on work sold, but exhibitors are invited to make a donation in support of work done by the Dochas Fund. This will obviously be affected by the quantity and sale of work exhibited.

For more information about exhibiting your work, please contact Catherine Paterson at

John’s paintings are also available in prints and cards. If you wish to order, please fill in the order form and post it to Dochas centre.

John Paterson

John and Catherine Paterson were the co-founders of the Dochas Fund and Dochas Centre.

John trained as a Psychiatric Nurse at the Argyll and Bute Hospital in Lochgilphead, and on completion of these studies, fulfilled his dream to return to Glasgow School of Art. He graduated in 1984 and combined both his love of psychiatry and art by attending Goldsmith’s College London, where he underwent training in Art Therapy.

John was 39 when the onslaught of the chronic form of Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) took its grip, although he was unaware of its presence at the time, putting down any strange feelings in his hands and feet to a serious road traffic accident that that happened fifteen years earlier.

Over the next few years, he continued working as a Nurse and Art therapist and one day in 1995, announced to his family that he wanted to take ‘2 years out’ from his career to concentrate on his painting. They were surprised but happy to give him their full support, and all of the cards and prints associated with the Dochas Fund were done during this time. Towards the end of this period, he struggled to hold a paintbrush, and he could no longer put off finding out what was wrong with him.

The first diagnosis was of CIDP – the chronic form of GBS. Response to treatment was nil and so Neurologists at Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital started in earnest to find out why John was so incapacitated. Eventually doctors had eliminated all but CIDP and Motor Neurone Disease. A second opinion at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London, confirmed the news of both incurable conditions. The outcome of this sad news was the setting up of the Dochas Fund, because John wanted to bring hope to those who were told, ‘nothing on earth can be done’.


Currently the gallery is available. If you are interested in exhibiting your work, please contact us.

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