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National Lottery cash to tackle loneliness amongst older Scots

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Release date:
14 12 2017

Hundreds of isolated older people in Glasgow are amongst those benefiting from £1,891,359 of National Lottery cash announced today (THURSDAY 14 DECEMBER).

The Senior Centre Castlemilk is one of 14 groups from across Scotland, which will bring people together to make new connections and build new friendships, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

See a full list of awards

Over 450 older people, including 77 year old Veronica Thomson, will now be able to enjoy an increased range of activities and events at The Senior Centre Castlemilk, thanks to an award of £243,500.

Veronica, who lost her husband William seven years ago, has found a new family at the Centre. It’s now a place she calls home.

She said, “Quite simply it’s my life and a whole new community has opened up to me. I lived in California for 40 years and returned to Castlemilk in 2002. Apart from my son and grandchildren who still live there, the only thing it’s got going for it is the sun. Nothing else about the place compares to the life I have here now. I’ve made a whole circle of friends and we do things in the centre but also outside too – dinner, drinks and even holidays.

“I read something in the paper the other day that 60,000 people in Scotland will be alone in the lead to and over Christmas. That’s why I want to speak out about how my life has changed for the better as we need more Centres just like this one all over the country.”

Melanie O’Donnell, Manager, The Senior Centre Castlemilk, said, “We are over the moon to have received this award and it’s all thanks to the generosity of people who play the National Lottery.

“One of the issues of an ageing population is that many older people feel desperately alone, especially if they outlive their partners and friends. This means it’s essential that projects like ours get this funding to help get them out of their homes and back to playing an active part in their communities again.”

Maureen McGinn, Chair, Big Lottery Fund Scotland, said: “Today’s funding will allow 14 community groups to offer vital support to thousands of Scots, many of whom often feel isolated, particularly at this time of year. The Senior Centre Castlemilk is a fantastic example of this in action, bringing older people together to not only re-engage with the outside world but to create a new community of their own. Now the Centre will be able to reach out to more people like Veronica whose life is full with new friendships.”

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 0141 242 1451
Website:    www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
Twitter:    @BIGSCOTLAND #BIGScotland
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFundScotland

Notes to Editors:

  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • The Big Lottery Fund Scotland is focussed on helping people and communities most in need throughout Scotland through its five-year £250m funding scheme as well as small grants scheme National Lottery Awards for All Scotland.
  • Since March 2007 Big Lottery Fund Scotland has taken devolved decisions on National Lottery spending, the Committee, led by Chair, Maureen McGinn plays a strategic role in the future direction of the Fund in Scotland.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects across the UK that change the lives of millions of people. Every year we fund 13,000 small local projects tackling big social problems like poor mental health and homelessness.
  • The National Lottery began in 1994, £35 billion has been raised and more than 490,000 grants awarded.