In 1992, LEAP was born out a sense of frustration at a lack of services available for older people in the Cambuslang area. A group of people got together and formed a plan to meet the needs of older people in a practical and fun way. Their first meeting was in a car and one of the first activities was to produce a book of memories of living and working in Cambuslang - Within oor ken.
Since then the project has gone from strength to strength in Lanarkshire, becoming a charity in 1995, winning the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2010, becoming the only befriending service in Lanarkshire for older people to be awarded the Quality in Befriending award in 2015 and receiving our Investing in Volunteers award in 2016.
And in 2019 we were named Older People's Project of the Year at the Herald Society Awards.
Today LEAP serves more than 8,500 members and clients in 18 communities across Lanarkshire, remaining true to its roots through its Learning and Leisure activities, but now also supporting older people in their homes with befriending and handyperson services. It also manages three clothing swap shops in Cambuslang, Hamilton and Rutherglen, giving pre-loved clothes a second life, and teaching people about the impact of fashion on climate change.
Everything LEAP does is agreed by its management committee, all volunteers some of whom have worked with LEAP for more than 20 years.
Isabel Banks MBE