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14 December 2017, 06:16
Hundreds of isolated older people in Glasgow are among those who will share in almost £2 million of National Lottery funding.
The Senior Centre Castlemilk is one of 14 groups in Scotland which will benefit from an award.
More than 450 older people will see an increased range of activities and events at the centre after receiving £243,500.
Veronica Thomson, 77, who lost her husband William seven years ago, has found a new family at the centre which she now 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."
The National Lottery shared a total of £1,891,359 to groups in a variety of awards.
Among the other recipients are Helensburgh & Lomond Carers SCIO in Argyll and Bute which received £192,783 to enable it to support 190 young carers.
Bannockburn House Trust in Stirling was given £150,000 to establish a new post of volunteer co-ordinator within the organisation.
Meanwhile Epilepsy Scotland in Glasgow received £146,439 to develop a self-management programme to reduce loneliness and isolation and improve the mental health of people with the condition.
Melanie O'Donnell, manager, The Senior Centre Castlemilk, said the centre was "over the moon" with the award.
She added: "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, chairwoman Big Lottery Fund Scotland, said: "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."