Over 50s show that age should not be a barrier
A new initiative dubbed the Duke of Edinburgh Award for over 50s has seen great success in Rutherglen and Cambuslang.
The Discovery Award programme invites people aged 50 and above to take part in a series of activities that will get them helping the local community, developing a hobby or interest, researching a new topic and taking part in physical activity.
Run by the Community Learning and Home School Partnership, the group meets regularly when members complete tasks individually and as part of a team.
In the service in community section of the initiative, people have so far taken part in a community mural project, contributed to an inter-generational gardening project with young people from Rutherglen’s Universal Connections, knitted for premature babies in the Queen Mothers Hospital, become befrienders and volunteered for charities.
Swimming, walking, tai chi, line dancing, jive dancing, curling and gym going have all become part of the recreational pursuit award, while people have chosen to research the birth place of Robert Burns, local mining and their own family history as part of the programme’s journey of discovery award.
Irene Laird, who is a member of the awards programme, said: “Being part of the Discovery Award Group has encouraged me to try out new hobbies and gain new skills.
“It’s made me aware of the volunteering opportunities that are available in my community and led me to help others where I can.
“Most importantly though, through the programme I have met some wonderful people and have made some really good friends.”
Moira Smith said: “Being part of the discovery group has opened up an interesting journey for me, meeting new people, visiting new places and taking part in activities I never knew I had the confidence to take part in, especially being involved in Cambuslang and Rutherglen Rock n Pop chorus and being able to sing a duet in front of 200 paying customers at Rutherglen Town Hall.”
Dominique Stack-Daly of the community learning partnership, said: “The group have overcome many physical and mental challenges on the way to their remarkable accomplishments.
“Rather than submitting to the barriers old age can bring, the group has sought challenges to stretch themselves to the limit.
“Furthermore, they have brought their vast level of life experiences from their widely varied backgrounds and united behind common goals.
“They are a true inspiration to all those aged 50 and over. They send out a clear and positive message that age should not be a barrier to physical, social and recreational activity.”