Over 50s show that age should not be a bar­rier

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

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.”

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