All buddying up
Group want to improve on quality of life
A new club to help people with learning disabilities enjoy more of a social life has been set up in Rutherglen and Cambuslang.
Camglen Buddies Leisure and Social Club are a charity organsiation aiming to improve the quality of life for people with additional support needs.
Their target age range is 14 and upwards – with no upper limit.
“It has taken us two years to get things organised and to finally have the club up and running,” explained club secretary Siobhan Harkin.
“It’s early days but we have around 13 committee and 15 members and we are keen to build on that,” added the mumof-three.
They meet in the Harry Heaney Day Care Centre, Carrick Road, Rutherglen, every second Friday evening and costs £3 for members.
The group’s focus is to help those with learning disability get out and about more, to make friends and have social activities.
“We want our members to enjoy doing the things other people do and to have as normal a life as possible,” said Siobhan of Drumsagard, Cambuslang.
The 42-year-old decided to do something about the lack of social opportunities for people with additional support needs when she saw how isolated her own daughter had become.
Caitlin ( 19), suffers from William’s Syndrome – which displays similar symptoms to Down’s Syndrome.
“She had open-heart surgery when she was just a year old and, thankfully, she came through that.
“But as she has gotten older there is absolutely nothing for her to do,” added Siobhan.
“She goes to college two days a week but apart from that she has absolutely nothing to take up her time. “People like her are just so let down.” And she says social work could do more to help people in a similar postion.
“They get off lightly. They are lucky that parents and carers take up the slack and try to arrange things themselves.
“More effort and thought needs to go into trying to make life better for people who are disadvantaged like this.”
The group are seeking additional funding to help them grow and are hoping for help from sources like the National Lottery, businesses – anyone prepared to keep the club alive.
“This project is a huge undertaking and our long- term goal is to have our own premises with a cafe in a location that is easily accessible to everyone,” said Siobhan.
The next meeting is on Friday, October 2, and is their grand opening.
Any new members from the Rutherglen and Cambusland area are welcome to come along.
“We have invited local councillors and members and committee will be there, so we’re quite excited about it all becoming official.”
Anyone who would like to help with funding or wants more information on the club should contact siobhanharkin@ btinternet.com
Best buddies Camglen Buddies Club secretary Siobhan Harkin with daughter Caitlin