Labour leader finds out more about charity’s support for older people
Visit to LEAP covers R:evolve shop, New Age Kurling and a visit to charity’s new community hub
Anas Sarwar MSP, Scottish Labour Leader, found himself the centre of attention when he visited LEAP on Friday 18 March.
Starting the day at the charity’s R:evolve clothing swap shop and haberdashery, Mr Sarwar heard from Wendy Russell, LEAP’s Social Enterprise Manager and shop volunteers about the recycling and upcycling activities that make sure every piece of clothing it receives is put to best use.
Wendy said: “Mr Sarwar was very interested in how we use our clothing donations – either giving them a second life on our shelves or stripping out bits such as buttons and zips to resell in the haberdashery.
“I think he was also impressed by the way the shop was kitted out, comparing it to a boutique, which was our intention from day one.”
From there, Mr Sarwar went to LEAP’s New Age Kurling group in Cambuslang Institute where he was soon taking part in the game.
Mr Sarwar was introduced to the finer points of New Age Kurling by Lysanne Erlings, LEAP’s Adult Education Co-ordinator before taking up her challenge to play a couple of ends.
Lysanne said: “Mr Sarwar was keen not only to chat to the group but to also play the game and find out how people benefit from playing, keeping active and socialising.”
Mr Sarwar’s last stop was at LEAP’s new Community Hub in Cambuslang.
Here he chatted to people in the card-making class, staff and volunteers and heard about plans to develop part of the hub into a new R:evolve shop and add to the classes and activities using the hub’s Roots Learning Café.
Stuart McGregor, LEAPs Executive Director, spent a while chatting to Mr Sarwar and said: “It was really good to have Mr Sarwar visit us and he was genuinely impressed with what he saw and heard.
“Despite having heard about LEAP before, he was surprised about how much we input to our community and enhance the lives of older people. He was also impressed by the number of volunteers we have who deliver a lot of our frontline services.
“I think he took away a lot from his time with us.”
Mr Sarwar was definitely impressed and said: “LEAP delivers a great service to older people in South Lanarkshire but I hadn’t realised just how much impact it is having.
“The R:evolve shops were really impressive, as was the fantastic new Community Hub, but what really struck me was the sheer enjoyment everyone was having.
“The shop volunteers, New Age Kurling group, card makers, and the staff and volunteers all benefit from delivering these vital services and I wish them and LEAP all the best for their future ventures.”
If you would like to know more about LEAP’s services, know someone who might benefit from them or volunteer with the charity visit www.leap-project.co.uk or call on 0141 641 5169.