No need to stay at home

Ser­vice is com­bat­ting iso­la­tion

East Kilbride News - - EVENT - Ni­cola Findlay

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. olderan­dac­ 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

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