Lottery Award for Leap

Lottery award helps Lanarkshire charity continue leisure and learning programme

LEAP Leisure and Learning programme for older people secured for further two years

Lanarkshire Charity LEAP has secured more than £47,000 funding for its Leisure and Learning programme for older people in the area.

The charity was set up more than 25 years ago by older people in the Cambuslang area because of a lack of things for them to do.

That is still the base on which the charity works today, and the National Lottery award from The National Lottery Community Fund, totalling £47,140, will allow it to continue its activity programme for a further two years.

There is something for everyone in the activity programme, including tango, new age Kurling, IT courses, tai chi, Spanish classes and a singing group.

Louise Hope (66), from Hamilton, joined the Singing for Fun group in the town about a year ago. She had just retired, was wondering how she would fill her spare time, and wanted to get back to singing, which she had always liked doing. 

Louise said: “I love the fact the group is really affordable, especially for people on a pension as tuition is out of the question, and that it’s local.

“We have an excellent teacher in Caley. She is professional, patient and has a great sense of humour.

“And I’ve found that being part of the group has helped in other ways. The breathing exercises help my asthma and I always feel a real surge – a mood boost if you like – when I’m singing.

“I’ve also met a lot of people who are also benefitting from the group in other ways such as combating loneliness. But most of all it’s great fun, and I would recommend it to anyone. Come along and find out more.”

It is these changes to people’s lives that Catriona MacGregor, LEAP’s Learning Co-ordinator, thinks are most important to people.

“We see these changes in people in all of our activities. People come along because they want to fill their day, or feel they are becoming more isolated from their communities, and being in a group changes all that.

“The money from The National Lottery Community Fund means we will be able to continue to support these people for the next couple of years.

“And it will also allow us to develop our programme into other areas of South Lanarkshire and help even more people who might otherwise find themselves isolated and lonely.

“It’s absolutely great news.”

That thought was echoed by Gilbert Feron, the charity’s Chairman. Gilbert said: “We’re really grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund for supporting our Learning and Leisure programme.

“It is the back bone of the charity and is as relevant now as it was a quarter of a century ago.”

Maureen McGinn, National Lottery Community Fund Scotland Chair, said: “I am delighted that LEAP’s Learning and Leisure programme has been successful in securing a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund.

“The award will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish LEAP every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project for the benefit of their local community.”

If you want to find out more about LEAP’s Leisure and Learning programme, or about volunteering with the charity, visit www.leap-project.co.uk or call 0141 641 5169.

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