No need to stay at home
Service is combatting isolation
A charity that has helped hundreds of people across East Kilbride overcome issues of social isolation and loneliness has added a range of new services.
Older and Active in East Kilbride (OAEK) – which was originally launched as East Kilbride and District Shopmobility in 2003 – introduced the extra services in response to increasing demand from older and disabled individuals in the town.
Working from two sites in EK, East Kilbride, the charity has grown from an initial 100 service users to approximately 3000 in 2017. The range of services on offer are now used over 35,000 times a year.
At the heart of the newlyrebranded OAEK is The Meeting Place – a dedicated community cafe where ageing and disabled service users can meet up with friends for a coffee and a chat.
Thanks to additional funding, those making use of the community hub can also now take advantage of a suite of complementary services, including physiotherapy, acupuncture, podiatry, Reiki and Tai Chi.
For those with difficulty getting out and about in the shopping centre, the charity continues to offer a wide range of Shopmobility equipment including scooters, power chairs and manual chairs, and a home-to-home mini bus service.
OAEK director Lesley MacIntyre said: “The service we offer has expanded considerably over the past few years and we took the decision to change our name to Older and Active in East Kilbride to better reflect this new position.
“All of our new facilities have been developed to help older and disabled individuals in EK maintain their independence and remain included within their own community.
“The Meeting Place in particular has been a huge success in helping individuals overcome isolation and loneliness issues, with the facility now welcoming more than 250 people every week.
“We are always looking to improve and develop our facilities and as a result of conversations with our service users we realised that many would benefit from additional health and wellbeing treatments to help manage long term conditions.
“The complementary therapies are proving very popular and we hope to add new treatments over the coming months.”
She added: “There is no doubt the charity is moving in the right direction and that is down to the hard work of our directors, staff and volunteers, as well as the support of our funders and other partners.
“As we move forward we will continue to work with everyone associated with OAEK to ensure our service users have the best facilities possible.”
Older and Active in East Kilbride services are available to anyone over the age of 50 and of any age with a disability.
To find out more, visit www. olderandactive.co.uk or call (01355) 571300.
Services launch From the left is OAEK vice-chair Lesley Mitchell, OAEK director Lesley McIntyre, Councillor David Watson, Depute Provost Collette Stevenson and Linda Fabiani MSP
Cheers! OAEK service users enjoy the launch with guests and organisers