Greenock Telegraph

Cups of cheer bid to put bring an end to loneliness

- By Susan Lochrie slochrie@greenockte­

A SQUAD of volunteers armed with teapots and cupcakes are on a mission to fight loneliness with friendship.

Award-winning Compassion­ate Inverclyde set up a support hub as part of a wider ‘kindness pact’ across the community to make sure no one feels alone.

Now back in action following the enforced closure during the pandemic, they are bringing people together every week in the heart of Greenock.

Host Jessie Kelly and her team are on hand to serve up a warm welcome to everyone who comes through the door at St John’s Hall on Jamaica Street.

Jessie, 71, from Campbell Street, joined up when she retired.

The former home carer said: “It is lovely to see everyone coming through the doors again.

Talk a good game Visitors enjoy a cuppa at the hub

“The hub is such a great thing to have here for people. It is such a great asset to the community. When I retired as a home carer, I still wanted to put my skills to use and give something back.

“Compassion­ate Inverclyde started up, and I have never looked back.

“We sometimes have entertainm­ent on.

“You find everyone is different, some people come in and meet friends every week and others come in on their own and just enjoy the company around about them.

“Our job is to keep the tea coming and make sure everyone who comes through the door feels welcome.

Jean Domingo says coming to meet friends at the hall, plus a Your Voice group, is a life saver.

In the space of two years the 87-year-old from Greenock, who lives on her own, lost three daughters while another, who lives in Florida, is recovering from a massive stroke.

Jean said: “It is just so lovely to come here, to be with friends and to get out the house.

“I started coming here after going to Your Voice’s craft group, which is wonderful as well.

“I just started coming on my own and now I have people to sit with.”

Ruby Irvine, 79, says the dropin is the highlight of her week.

She told the Tele: “I only met Jean and the others by coming here.

“We all sit together and have a blether and a cuppa.”

The friendship hub meets every Tuesday from 11am to 1pm with people of all ages welcome to come along.

 ?? Picture: George Munro ??
Picture: George Munro

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