The Sunshine’s Spreading

by Andrea Willoughby

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Residents at East Stewart Gardens are able to enjoy a new social initiative created by Bield and North Lanarkshire Council, The Sunshine ClubA social club established by a housing and care provider has proved so popular there is a waiting list to cope with demand.

Bield, Scotland’s leading provider of housing and care, launched The Sunshine Club with North Lanarkshire Council earlier this year at their East Stewart Gardens housing development to create a social facility for older members of the local community.

The Sunshine Club provides a weekly social outlet for Bield tenants, residents of a nearby council-owned sheltered housing development and members of the community, through a series of events and activities including bingo, exercises and charity sales.

Big Demand

Now, facilitators at both the council and Bield’s East Stewart Garden development have experienced such a high volume of interest that they have started a waiting list, which they are encouraging members of the community to join.

Geri McAlinden, Deputy Manager at East Stewart Gardens, said: “We’re overwhelmed by the level of interest in our club. Earlier this year, we made posters which were put up in local shops and businesses. Then, the media picked up on our initiative which saw things really take off.

“Over the past few weeks, we’ve met lots of new people who saw our story in the local newspaper and felt The Sunshine Club was ideal for them.  It’s been hugely humbling to know that our small club has grown into a valuable resource for the community.

“A lot of new faces at the club had previously felt very isolated and alone. Thanks to The Sunshine Club, we’re seeing more and more older people who have their confidence and social life back.

“Regrettably, due to health and safety regulations, we can only accommodate twenty people every Friday so we’re now asking interested people to join our waiting list. We’d love to accommodate everyone as our guests, but we have to be very conscious of safety.”

Brian Logan, Bield’s Chief Executive said: “The Sunshine Club has clearly become a much-appreciated resource in the local area. I’m delighted that, along with the council, we have provided a safe social environment for older people at East Stewart Gardens and the surrounding areas.

Anyone interested in joining The Sunshine Club at East Stewart Gardens is invited to make contact with Geri McAlinden, Deputy Manager, on 01236430340 to inquire about current vacancies or joining the waiting list.

Bield – a registered charity – has grown from humble beginnings, starting out with one housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of a wide range of housing and services for around 20,000 older people across 22 local authority areas.

Private: Andrea Willoughby

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