Ferry Friends is the new Creetown Initiative project which has been set up to combat social isolation of the older generation of Creetown and the surrounding parish of Kirkmabreck.
The project launched in October and since then it has welcomed over 80 local senior citizens to a variety of events, activities and social occasions. Their events have included chair yoga, a citizen’s advice coffee morning, quizzes, an afternoon tea dance and plant pot painting, outings to the cinema amongst many others. Ferry Friends is available for all senior citizens in Creetown and Kirkmabreck parish.
Chris Hanna the Senior Project Officer for Creetown Initiative Ferry Friends project is delighted to play a part in bringing this three year service to Creetown. “Creetown, like many small communities in Dumfries & Galloway, has a higher percentage of senior citizens compared to the Scottish average. 26.5% of its population are 65 years and over, in comparison the Scottish average of 16.8%, so it’s very important for communities to take into account of this generation when delivering services. I’d like to give a big shout out to our funders for supporting our project – Big Lottery Fund Improving Lives Fund, Dumfries & Galloway Council, SSE Sustainable Development Fund and the Robertson Trust.
The events aren’t just social, it’s about creating opportunities of support for example, an advice surgery by the Citizens Advice team, a twelve-week support group delivered by the NHS for those living with chronic pain. Future plans include computer classes so that participants can get online and learn basic computer skills as well as how to stay safe online. There are also plans to hold some intergenerational events between Ferry Friends and the Creetown Senior Youth Club. Most of the activities take place in Creetown’s Waverley Hall.
Dianne White, one of the project workers who was brought on at the start of Ferry Friends said, “I am over the moon with the support from everyone in the village with attendance of events, “and I’m loving everything we have planned for the coming year.”
Angie Bradford, a recent addition to the team who will be working closely with Dianne on all Ferry Friends events and activities, said, “I’m delighted to be part of the Ferry Friends project and look forward to meeting existing and new ferry friends!”
Sheila Ferguson one of the villagers said “ I’ve been out more in the last 6 months than the previous 2 years, Ferry Friends has changed my life I’m very grateful.”
All senior citizens in the Kirkmabreck parish are welcome to come and join the activities and events. If you would like more information, feel free to give Dianne or Angie a ring on 01671 820654. If you would like to come but aren’t able to make it on your own steam, Ferry Friends can help with that, too. The project has access to the Creetown Initiative Car Scheme which means Dianne and Angie can collect people from their home so that they don’t miss out.