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Friendship groups back to their fun-filled best


Not content with making new friends, the Mill Street housing complex friendship group has started making fancy cards as just one of its activities and is looking for people to join the fun.

The group meets every Tuesday between 12.30pm and 2.00pm in the complex’s lounge and has returned, post-COVID, to being the highlight of the week for everyone taking part.

The group had been paused during the pandemic but the clients and housing complex manager thought it safe enough to re-start in April this year.

Now it is back in full swing, and group co-ordinator Mandy Martin is adding activities to the regular chat.

Mandy said: “Card making is just the latest thing the group is trying, but it’s hard trying to get people to concentrate on it when there is so much banter flying around.

“It’s great fun!”

Agreeing with that thought were Margaret McKenzie and Christine Yuill, who both recently joined the group. Margaret said: “I really enjoy coming to the group.  I felt very anxious on my first visit but everyone has made to feel really welcome.

Christine echoed that thought, adding: “Margaret and I both live on our own and wondered about coming into the group and the housing complex.

“However, we have become friends since being at the group and that was exactly what we wanted. We both look forward to the group every week.”

With COVID restrictions behind them, the friendship group in Uddingston’s Simpson Court is also getting back to its silly self, with the friendly banter becoming the highlight of the week for people attending.

The group meets every Tuesday at 10.30am until Noon in the retirement complex’s lounge, and there’s never a dull moment as the chat shifts unendingly and the laughs come thick and fast.

Margaret Logie had been attending the group before COVID struck, and Liz Callaghan joined in April when the group started back, but both are happy it has started up again.

Margaret said: “I love the group, I love talking to everyone and really enjoy the laughs that we have.” Liz agreed, adding that the group “breaks the week up and stops you feeling lonely.”

Mandy Martin, LEAP’s friendship groups co-ordinator, looks forward to the meetings as much as the residents. She said: “ You never know with this lot how the day is going to go, apart from it will always be fun.

“Last time we met we ended up signing Christmas carols in September while making up decorations for Hallowe’en.

“You couldn’t make it up.”

The group currently has up to eight people attending, but there is room for more and Mandy would be happy to talk to anyone who might be interested in joining.

“You don’t need to live in the housing complex, and you will be made very welcome,” Mandy said. “We are also trying to arrange visits and outings for the group so people can have a chance to get back out into the community, even if only for a wee while.”

And another visitor to soon “join” the groups will be a rescue dog from the Dogs’ Trust rehoming centre in Glasgow.

Mandy said: “The Trust contacted us asking if they could visit the groups and let them know what the Trust is doing, and we are really looking forward to them bringing along a four-legged friend for everyone to meet.

To find out more about friendship groups, or volunteer with LEAP, call Mandy on 0141 641 5169 or email

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