Shettleston Juniors hosted a busy and much loved lunch club for pensioners before Covid struck. The owner of the social club, Hugh Kelly, was worried about how some of the pensioners might cope when the building had to close under lockdown, as for some this social get together is their world.
He called a meeting with the Kids Academy Secretary, Craig Thomson, and some of the coaches and parents who were also keen to help and it was agreed that the club would continue to cook food and the volunteers would deliver to the homes of the pensioners. Hugh contacted the administrator of the pensioners club with the idea and within a week the club was delivering to fifty people.
The club started to hear about more older adults who were struggling and within two weeks they were delivering over 150 cooked meals per day.
They deliver five days per week to over 150 pensioners ensuring they have a meal for every day with over 10,000 meals provided to date. They have also delivered food supplies to local care homes and hospitals and even used club funds to purchase PPE for local nurses who were working without.
Craig said “It has been great to see the community coming together to support us. One of our pensioners who has skin cancer and needs shade mentioned he’d love to sit outside and watch the world go by and hopefully chat to passing neighbours to beat the loneliness but was unable to as his parasol had broken. One of our volunteers put a request out on social media and less than 24 hours later we had him sorted with one and he was able to sit out in his garden which he is delighted about.
“Lots of community organisations have also stepped in to support us whether it is to share resources or food or offer their advice, it’s been brilliant to experience and we’re really thankful to them.”
Diane Cunningham, volunteer, added “After sharing some cans of coconut milk with a contact we knew who was volunteering at the Glasgow Gurdwara, the chefs there returned the favour by cooking 100 traditional curries for our pensioners, which was such a lovely thing to do.”
The club has recently received £2,400 from Area Partnership funds to buy produce which will allow the service to continue for another two months and they would like to thank the council for their support.
Up to this point the club have relied on donations from parents of the football team and some kind-hearted local businesses who stepped in to support them. The club would like to thank: Frank Cross Butchers, Network Cars, Emmie Smillie Foundation and AS Scaffolding, Morrisons Baillieston, Tesco Shettleston, Glasgow Life, Fareshare and Glasgow Boys & Girls FC.
Hugh Kelly said “If there’s one good thing to come out of this situation, it’s the renewed sense of purpose we feel at the club. We have met some great local people through this and it has given us the energy to shake ourselves up and develop the club to play an even greater role in the heart of the local community.”
The club is on the lookout for passionate individuals to help grow and develop it in the community so if you are interested in joining them on this exciting journey, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.