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All the news about our befriending and handyperson services and activities, and how LEAP is continuing to support older people in our community.

LEAP needs you!

7 November 2023

LEAP calls for South Lanarkshire residents to join its frontline volunteer team


Elderly charity LEAP is looking for people in South Lanarkshire with a couple of hours a week to spare to join its band of volunteer befrienders, friendship group supporters, handypersons and drivers.

We need you!.jpg

LEAP earns record-breaking quality award

1 November 2023


Charity becomes the first in UK to receive an excellence rating in Quality in Befriending for fourth time


Elderly charity LEAP has become the first organisation in the UK to be awarded Excellence in Quality in Befriending for the fourth time.


The charity had become the first older persons’ organisation to be granted the award back in 2014 and has held it through three subsequent reviews.

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Charity staff complete Great Scottish Run for LEAP

3 October 2023

Runners raise more than £900 after completing Great Scottish Run 10k


LEAP staff members Heather Jackson and Lysanne Erlings have raised more than £900 for LEAP after running the 10k race in this year’s Great Scottish Run on Sunday 1 October.

Heather and Lysanne after run.jpg

LEAP puts stamp of approval on 100th birthday celebrations

10 October 2023

LEAP staff help client celebrate 100th birthday with special stamp presentation


LEAP volunteer co-ordinator Iain English helped Thomas Small, one of his clients celebrate his 100th birthday on 28th September.

Presentation to Thomas by Iain English. With George Faller.jpg

Fun and games are the order of the volunteers’ day

28 June 2023

LEAP volunteers treated to lunch and laughter as part of Volunteer Week 2023


More than 40 volunteers and staff took part in LEAP’s Volunteer Week thank you event in Cambuslang Institute last week.


After a buffet lunch, everyone took part in games such as tin can alley, hoops, photo booth, hook-a-duck, noughts and crosses, giant Jenga, new age kurling and foam bowls.

Volunteeers do anything for a laugh at LEAP's Volunteers' Week event.JPG

LEAP staff put best foot forward for Macmillan fundraiser

31 May 2023

Helen and Kat complete West Highland Way in just four days


“Tired and blistered but so proud of what we have done.” That’s the feeling Helen Jilks and Kat Hannon have now they have completed the West Highland way in four days – just short of walking a marathon every day.


LEAP duo Helen and Kat joined 26 others, including Kat’s partner Matt, over the May Bank Holiday weekend to raise money for Macmillan Cancer as part of this year’s Team McKeown challenge, which arranges the 96 mile walk from Milngavie to Fort William.

Helen (l) and Kat at lunch stop.jpg

Wingate group gets welcome visit from a fluffy four-legged friend

25 April 2023

Friendship group hears about work of Dogs Trust


Chico, a Shih Tzu cross Pomeranian, was star of the show at a Wingate friendship group’s meeting when he wowed the audience at a Dogs Trust presentation.


Owner Kayleigh Maclean, who works with the charity and adopted Chico as soon as she saw him, was at the group to tell them what the Dogs Trust does and brought her pet pooch along to help break the ice.

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Walking group steps up to the plate

15 February 2023


LEAP group combines exercise and chat with the perfect partner – cake!


If you have ever thought about going somewhere for a good walk but couldn’t be bothered organising something, LEAP has the answer for you.


For every fortnight, its walking group leaves Halfway and heads to the hills, or lochs, or parks with one thing in common. A nice, warm tearoom in which to end the day.

The walking group at the Roman ruins in Strathclyde Park_edited_edited.jpg

Volunteers strike with a difference

31 January 2023


LEAP’s handyperson volunteers put their back into a bit of R&R


LEAP’s handypersons team took advantage of a quiet spell in their work calendar to take part in the charity’s inaugural ten pin bowling event with members of staff.


The group took to the lanes of M&D’s Cosmic Bowl in a fun-filled challenge, with the volunteers easily beating the staff - Bruce Robertson winning and Rob King runner-up.

Handypersons volunteers and staff at ten pin bowling.JPG

Tiktok shows you’re never too old to learn.


24 January 2023


Fashion influencer toks about R:evolve Recycle vintage clothing


Robyn Mia Elphick, the Tiktok sustainable fashion influencer, has fallen for the charms of R:evolve Recycle’s and volunteer Jane Dick’s sustainable vintage clothing.


In December, the R:evolve team sent a parcel from thrift+gift to Robyn (@robynmia), whose content is all about styling pre-loved clothing. She has 15.6k followers on Instagram and 54.6k on TikTok.

Jane Dick_edited.jpg

Helping the vulnerable stay warm this winter

20 December 2022

LEAP has been able to deliver Winter Warmer packs to more than 80 of its most vulnerable clients and volunteers thanks to Age Scotland and Celtic FC Foundation.

The charity was nominated by Age Scotland to receive the packs from the Foundation because of its work with older people throughout South Lanarkshire and took delivery of 83 precious packs to distribute to people throughout Rutherglen and Cambuslang, Hamilton, Uddingston, Blantyre and Bothwell, Strathaven and East Kilbride.

Iain (l) and Kevin (r) deliver the first warmer pack to John.jpg

LEAP hits the heights for Macmillan Cancer Support

26 October 2022


LEAP staff help raise massive amount of money for cancer charity


A 15-strong team including LEAP’s Stuart McGregor, executive director, and Jim Pettigrew, the charity’s project manager, has helped raise almost £180,000 (and counting) for Macmillan Cancer Support after reaching the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The team – organised by Macmillan fundraisers Team McKeown – reached the summit on 16 October after several days climbing and getting used to the rarefied atmosphere.

Stuart at summit of Kilimanjaro.jpg

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.

SMILES ALL ROUND... the Mill Street group enjoy each others' company.JPG

LEAP celebrates 30 years of supporting older people at first physical AGM for three years


20 September 2022


Charity delighted to welcome members and local dignitaries to AGM again


Local elderly charity LEAP welcomed people to its first post-pandemic AGM in Cambuslang Parish Church on 12 September.

More than 100 people attended the event – the charity’s first large-scale public event since 2019 – to hear how the charity had fared since restrictions had started to lift.

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Recycled Teenagers celebrate at first meeting since restrictions removed


7 June 2022


The Burnside Hotel reverberated to the sounds of old friends getting together again when the Recycled Teenagers held a friendship lunch at the hotel at the beginning of June.


The Recycled Teenagers – formed more than a decade ago by locals (and LEAP Trustees) Isabel Banks MBE, Jim Cunningham and Gilly Feron – had been in “cold storage” for more than two years when lockdown started and, as soon as restrictions were lifted, took the chance to get together again.

A fun afternoon at Recycled Teenagers.JPG

Generous Gulf customers come to the four for LEAP


Fourth donation in 18 months shows how much drivers support local charity


21 march 2022


For the fourth time in 18 months Gulf customers have donated their Oomph rewards points to LEAP and earned the charity £1,000 as one of the top 10 in the UK.


Gulf announces its top charities every quarter and, in the past six quarters, LEAP has been in four top 10s – the only charity in the UK to do so.

LEAP Chair Gilly Feron accepts cheque from GULF station manager Angela Ritchie.jpg

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.

Anas Sarwar with some of LEAP's card-makers - just one if the charity's many activities.JP

LEAP welcomes Lottery Fund cash injection of nearly £200,000


The LEAP Project, which helps create lifelong bonds and new interests for older people, has received a cash injection of nearly £200,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund.

The charity, which enhances the lives of older people in the community, received the new tranche of funding to support its befriending services and learning and leisure activities for the next three years.

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Befriending is all in the family for Irene and Nicola


Calls and visits nurture a bond that has brought the two closer together


For Irene and Nicola, befriending has turned into a lot more than a weekly call or visit - for both, it has extended their families.


Nicola has been phoning and (latterly) visiting Irene for almost two years now and, after quickly hitting it off, both feel they have gained a mother and daughter.

Irene and Nicola look at photos on Irene's iPad crop.jpg

We're back


LEAP’s activity programme restarts as restrictions ease


The start of February brought more than the end of the January blues to LEAP’s Learning and Leisure members - it also signalled a return to the charity’s activities programme for 2022.


The charity had postponed all of its activities for people aged 50 and over until restrictions surrounding the Omicron strain had eased and people were allowed to gather indoors again.

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'Tis better to give


LEAP has handed out Christmas hampers to its most needy clients.


This year’s hampers were donated by a long-time supporter of the charity (who wants to remain anonymous) and went to clients in Cambuslang, Rutherglen, Hamilton, East Kilbride, Strathaven and Stonehouse.

Anne Jones, from Cambuslang, was one of the lucky recipients, and she said: “This is absolutely wonderful."

Anne receives her hamper from LEAP's Iain English.JPG

LEAP is VASLan’s Organisation of the Year for 2021


LEAP has been awarded Organisation of the Year in VASLan’s 2021 Third Sector Awards for its outstanding work supporting older people throughout South Lanarkshire during the pandemic.


The charity was recognised for its prompt and vital response to older people’s needs which saw it immediately introduce a shopping and pharmacy delivery service, continue to carry our free emergency handyperson work and help alleviate isolation through phone befriending services and online activities.

LEAP staff with the VASLan Organisation of the Year trophy

LEAP is three times winner from Gulf Oomph customers

LEAP is celebrating its third £1,000 donation within a year from Gulf Cambuslang customers donating their fuel rewards to the charity.


Gulf awards its top ten charities £1,000 every quarter based on points donated by its Oomph loyalty scheme customers, and local drivers have made sure LEAP has been in the frame for three of the past four quarters!

Gulf Cambuslang manager Angela Ritchie (l) and LEAP volunteer development officer Heather

R:evolve Recycle shortlisted for national charity award


Local charity set to be a Climate Conscious star at this year’s Scottish Charity Awards


LEAP’s R:evolve Recycle initiative has been recognised as a finalist in the Climate Conscious category of SCVO’s Scottish Charity Awards and is encouraging people in South Lanarkshire to vote for them.


Run annually by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the Scottish Charity Awards celebrate the best of Scotland’s voluntary sector. This year’s shortlist includes 47 individuals and organisations from charities and voluntary groups across the country.

Scottish Charity Awards 2021

Charity bags a bonus from local school social enterprise


Eco link proves strong for Cathkin High pupils


LEAP has benefitted by more than £800 from Cathkin High pupils learning about recycling in Spanish after they learned of its R:evolve Recycle clothing recycling shops.


The S2 pupils had been learning about recycling in Spanish then they created designs for an eco shopping bag.  The winning designs were chosen and made into shopping bags which the pupils sold around the Cathkin Community and beyond.

Chad Morse accepts cheque from Cathkin High social enterprise group

LEAP into spring with
activities for everyone

LEAP is supporting older people in South Lanarkshire during lockdown with a programme of online activities ranging from bingo

to Spanish classes.


The programme starts on March 15, with something to suit most
people’s interests.

L&L Spring 2021 Newsletter

LEAP receives £1000 from Cambuslang Gulf Fuel station


LEAP has received £1000 from Cambuslang Gulf fuel station after being voted by local customers. The campaign by Gulf Oomph Fuel Rewards runs across Gulf sites around the whole of the UK and 10 lucky good causes are awarded £1000 each.


LEAP was nominated by the Cambuslang station and customers voted via the Oomph Fuel Rewards App and website for their favorites. Members of Gulf Oomph Fuel Rewards get access to offers and rewards via the loyalty scheme, in addition to supporting their local charities.

Gulf Cambuslang present a cheque for £1000 to LEAP

Santa’s Lanarkshire helpers deliver gifts to older people most in need


Student delivers festive cheer to LEAP clients after work placement with charity


After spending a work placement with LEAP student James Ross, along with his family, decided the charity’s clients were more important than sending Christmas cards this year.


Befriending is flipping good!


Couple share pancake recipe during friendship calls while COVID prevents them meeting


How do you teach someone to make pancakes when you can’t see them or get to visit them? Simple – you phone them.


For Irene Munro and Graham Smith ­- who didn’t know each other before being introduced in June - making pancakes was one of the first things they talked about when LEAP introduced them through its friendship calls service.

Irene starts more pancakes

Drive through with a difference

R:evolve opens drive through for clothing donations


R:evolve Recycle has solved the problem of people’s homes bulging with bags of clothing donations – a Donation Drive Through at its new Hamilton Road premises.


COVID quarantine rules meant the team at R:evolve couldn’t take clothing donations at shops but using the car park and sorting space across from the Tollpitch was the ideal solution.

Pat and Ron Hutchison were first to dona

Serial sewers step up to the mask


An HR consultant and former headteacher are just two volunteers putting their sewing skills to best use by making masks for family, friends, local schools and care homes around Hamilton.


Winnie McCann and Catriona Mason are volunteers with LEAP’s R:evolve Recycle project who, as soon as lockdown hit Scotland, started making scrubs, scrub bags and gowns. But it is their masks that are making the biggest impact.

Catriona and masks

It’s all in a day’s shopping for



For Lorna Woods, an early morning Monday rise signals time to go shopping rather than work.

Lorna, who retired early from Scottish Power, now volunteers with LEAP as a personal shopper and gets out early to avoid the queues outside the local supermarkets.

Lorna Woods picks up gluten free for her

Help is just a phone call away


The Covid crisis hasn’t stopped LEAP helping the most isolated people at this time as Alan Roden and Thomas Walton prove.

Thomas had been on LEAP’s waiting list for a one-to-one befriender such was the popularity of the charity’s scheme. Meanwhile, Alan had volunteered to be a telephone befriender after the person he used to visit as a befriender sadly passed away.

phone befriending

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service answers call from local charity

When LEAP wanted to promote its shopping and distant befriending services, Scottish Fire and Rescue’s South Lanarkshire Community Action Team stepped up to help deliver more than 10,000 leaflets to almost 120 shops and pharmacies across the district.

Fire service leaflet drop

Charity support still open to elderly needing a helping hand


Even with Covid 19 restrictions around social distancing and isolating, elderly charity LEAP is still managing to help people with emergency handyperson work and vital personal shopping services.

When NHS Lanarkshire called LEAP about Ian Macdonald, an outpatient from

East Kilbride, who was being supplied with a hospital bed at home, it stepped in

to help out.

Joe Campbell volunteer

There's still some handy help out there


Even with Covid 19 restrictions around social distancing and isolating, elderly charity LEAP is still managing to help people with emergency handyperson work.

Peter McLafferty from Rutherglen phoned LEAP after his new washing machine had been delivered but not plumbed in.

Father and son Stuart and Calum McGregor were soon at Ian’s home to carry out the work.

Calum and Stuart McGregor

Surprise treat for Stonehouse group


Pupils at Newfield Primary in Stonehouse haven’t let coronavirus stop their Generation Friendship Group making an impact on the lives of the older people they have befriended.


The pupils had been welcoming the group into the school, including organising a birthday party for one of the group.

Newfield Primary Stonehouse

Late Christmas present for elderly charity


The Mount Vernon branch of Howdens – Britain’s number one trade kitchen supplier – has made LEAP the recipient of its Christmas spirit this year.


The branch makes an annual donation to a local charity and this year decide to support LEAP with a cheque for £500.

Garry Fraser of Howdens presents Kevin K

LEAP presented with Older People's Project of the Year award at Herald Society dinner.

Introducing the award, host Jennifer Reoch, the TV and radio presenter, said all the finalists had been exceptional.

LEAP presented with award crop and corre

Emotional tribute is highlight of AGM


An emotional Steven Lees paid tribute to LEAP volunteers when he presented the Betty Lees Trophy – named after his grandmother – to inaugural winner Ann Robertson, LEAP’s Volunteer of the Year.

Betty Lees Trophy

Putting the clothes on their backs


Lanarkshire charity R:evolve Recycle is reporting rises in referrals to its clothing bank that could be outstripping rises to foodbanks.


In April, the Trussell Trust reported a 19 per cent rise in referrals to foodbanks and, though not on the same numbers scale, R:evolve has seen a 34 per cent rise in referrals to its clothing bank in 2018-19, and a 60 per cent rise in the number of people it is being asked to support.

Taylor and customer

MSP visits new Hamilton R:evolve Recycle Shop


R:evolve Recycle has been working hard to provide an alternative to the wasteful high street shopping model since 2015. Rather than people throwing away their clothing they encourage swapping and sharing instead.


Christina McKelvie, local MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, visited the new R:evolve premises at the heart of Hamilton Town Centre at 91 Quarry Street.


Anyone can drop in to the store and swap old clothing to earn points which they can use in exchange for a whole range of clothing including: shirts, jumpers, trousers, gym clothes, shoes and much more!

Christina McKelvie gets her eye on a dre

Glasgow MSP finds the future is in the old ways


Glasgow MSP James Kelly is calling on the people of Rutherglen and beyond to become greener and make a positive impact on climate change following his visit to the town’s R:evolve Recycle store.


James already knew about and supported the work of LEAP, but with climate change being so high on people’s agendas just now, he wanted to find out

more about the sustainable fashion ethos of R:evolve Recycle’s projects.

James Kelly MSP signs up as a member wit

LEAP hails 'immense' volunteers


More than 70 volunteers gathered at the Cambuslang Institute during Volunteers Week to be applauded by LEAP, to whom they selflessly devote their spare time.


Volunteers from across South Lanarkshire attended the event, which started with LEAP Chair Gilbert Feron accepting an Investors in Volunteers Award from the volunteering organisation’s Allana Fotheringham.

Volunteers' Week event

Remarkable R:evolvers smash fundraising target for Macmillan


Two amazing ladies from R:evolve Recycle have raised more than £1,600 (and rising) by walking the West Highland Way in just four days.


Taylor McKeown and Wendy Russell set off on Friday 10 May to cover almost a marathon distance every day to reach the finish line in Fort William on 13 May 

Taylor and Wendy at end of WHW

Credit due for eggs-tra special delivery


For Jim Lannigan and Aaron Kerr, from Lanarkshire Credit Union, it felt better to give than to receive this Easter, when they gave 50 chocolate eggs to LEAP to hand out to people it supports.

eggstra special delivery

Leisure and Learning spring programme launched


Our Learning and Leisure spring programme of events for Cambuslang and Rutherglen, and Hamilton have both been launched.


You can find out all about the classes, and a lot more besides, in our spring newsletters. AND, you get the chance to let us know what you think of our Learning and Leisure services. We look forward to hearing from you.

IT class

Surprise visitor makes former Ibrox caterer’s day


Lynn Robertson thought she had seen all the highs and lows at Ibrox, but was totally stunned when Broxi Bear turned up at her door to personally deliver a VIP tour of the famous Glasgow stadium.


The surprise visit was arranged by local charity LEAP after it heard from grandson

Jon Stonefield how Lynn had spent more than 22 years managing the members’ season ticket area catering from 1962 to 1984.

SURPRISE VISIT...Broxi Bear drops in to

Lottery award helps LEAP continue its leisure and learning programme


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.

learning web  browsing

Starring role for LEAP


Listen to Catriona MacGregor, Learning Co-ordinator, and Kevin Key, Handyperson Co-ordinator, talk to KJ on Camglen about our learning programme and the need for more handypersons across the Rutherglen and Cambuslang area.

camglen radio interview

Unique recycle scheme wins Climate Challenge Fund award


LEAP Project’s R:evolve Recycle clothing shops have won this year’s Climate Challenge Fund Award for reducing waste.


They picked up the award at a ceremony which took place in Perth Concert Hall on 12 December, organised by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful on behalf of the Scottish Government.

R:evolve Cambuslang shop

Charity bags extra funds


Staff and volunteers from LEAP’s Hands On Project raise more than £415 in Asda bag pack day


Local elderly charity Lightburn Elderly Association Project (LEAP) has raised more than £415 for its Hands On Project (HOP) through a bag packing day in Asda Blantyre.

Jodie bag packing
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