Our history

 

When it was set up in 1992, LEAP's first intention was to provide things to do for people in the Cambuslang area who were aged 50 and over.

Leisure and learning remained our focus for a number of years until it became apparent that older people were in danger of becoming isolated from their communities, or becoming unfit to live in their homes.

So, in 2001, LEAP introduced its Hands On Project, offering befriending and handyperson services to people in East Kilbride aged 50 and over. This was quickly followed by the same service in Rutherglen and Cambuslang. These services were - and still are - provided by volunteers.

At this point LEAP had around 30 volunteers and a staff of 8.

As they provided these vital services, the volunteers and staff noticed older people were often not getting the support they needed, especially with heating, so our Make a Difference programme, which ran until 2014,was set up to change this.

In 2010, our Hands On Project was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service - the equivalent of an MBE for business - in recognition for its support for older people.

Then, in 2013, the Big Lottery supported us to extend our Hands On Project into Blantyre, Bothwell, Hamilton and Uddingston.

And in 2014, we extended the reach of our befriending and handyperson services into the Avondale area, setting up a new office in Strathaven which eventually became the Avondale Hands On Project in 2018.

Alongside that, the focus of our funding from the Climate Challenge Fund changed from our Making a Difference project, to our R:evolve Recycle project, teaching people about the impact on fashion on our environment, and encouraging people to give clothes a second life through our clothing swap shop boutiques.

And now we have more than 200 volunteers and 27 staff, all focused on enhancing the lives of older people in Lanarkshire - something we aim to continue and develop.

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