Is­abella’s hon­our

Found­ing mem­ber of LEAP recog­nised

Rutherglen Reformer - - Service Award - Edel Ke­nealy

A found­ing mem­ber of one of South La­nark­shire’s most trea­sured or­gan­i­sa­tions was the 2017 re­cip­i­ent of VASLan’s Long Ser­vice Award.

Held last week, the VASLan awards recog­nise those who go above and be­yond for their com­mu­nity by vol­un­teer­ing for lo­cal char­i­ties and com­mu­nity groups.

Is­abella Banks goes above and be­yond for the older peo­ple of Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang as a found­ing mem­ber of the Light­burn El­derly As­so­ci­a­tion Project (LEAP).

Orig­i­nally from Half­way, she ap­proached the then Strath­clyde Dis­trict Coun­cil in 1992 in a bid to win sup­port for a project that aimed to fill the void in ser­vices and ac­tiv­i­ties for older peo­ple.

She was suc­cess­ful and went on, with her LEAP col­leagues and vol­un­teers, to of­fer days out for older peo­ple, writ­ing classes, keep fit classes and a walk­ing group.

To­day, 25 years later, it has in­tro­duced the Hands On Project, R:evolve and be­friend­ing ser­vice. To­gether these ini­tia­tives en­sure main­te­nance is car­ried out on older peo­ple’s homes and that those who feel iso­lated re­ceive com­pan­ion­ship and friend­ship.

And older peo­ple them­selves have passed on their skills and knowl­edge to young peo­ple through the R:evolve Project. It sees older gen­er­a­tions teach peo­ple how to sew and upcycle their cloth­ing.

Ex­plain­ing the first ever meeting of LEAP took place in the car of an adult ed­u­ca­tion worker from the coun­cil, Is­abella said: “I’m ex­tremely proud of ev­ery­thing the project has put on and the ever grow­ing com­mu­ni­ties it reaches.

“It is due to the hard work­ing and in­no­va­tive staff and vol­un­teers that this has hap­pened, they re­ally are fan­tas­tic.

“I was very pleased to re­ceive the award. I was quite proud of the fact that LEAP had been recog­nised in that way.”

VASLan chair­man Ian Bar­croft said Is­abella snapped up the long serv­ing vol­un­teer award for her piv­otal role in im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life for older peo­ple. He said: “This af­ter­noon was about high­light­ing how much South La­nark­shire needs and ap­pre­ci­ates its vol­un­teers.

“Their hard work makes a huge im­pact on so many lives and con­veys the pos­i­tive im­pact vol­un­teer­ing can have on a per­son’s life in­clud­ing im­prov­ing their health and well­be­ing, mak­ing friends and the self­worth they gain through help­ing oth­ers.”

Is­abelle was one of five peo­ple and or­gan­i­sa­tions that re­ceived an award at the VASLan Awards held at Hamil­ton Park Race­course.

A judg­ing panel, made up of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Skills Devel­op­ment Scot­land, Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice and South La­nark­shire Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship chose the winners.

Hon­oured Is­abella re­ceived the long ser­vice award

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