Charity urges heroes to step forward in campaign to raise £15,000 to furnish first-class community hub to improve lives in the centre of Dumfries
A much-loved charity has launched a fundraising campaign to complete the final leg of a near 27-year journey to create a centre for older people in Dumfries.
Food Train is transforming former council offices on English Street into its first purpose-created headquarters after a quarter of a century of saving every penny possible to achieve its dream.
At its heart will be a community hub for older people – a welcoming place where they can meet, eat and chat, enhancing the organisation’s mission to improve the lives of those aged 65 over through good food and great company.
With the building on track for a summer opening, the Dumfries-founded charity is mounting a push to raise the £15,000 needed to fit-out its home-from-home lounge area – calling on Food Train Heroes to step forward to help reach their target.
Chief executive Michelle Carruthers said: “It’s thanks to the generosity of the people of Dumfries and Galloway over almost 27 years that we’ve finally managed to secure our first home of our own.
“From day one, our founders wanted somewhere in the town that older people could call their own – a place where they could get information and support, but also call in for a cuppa and a chat.
“Now we finally have that place, we hope that the kindness which has brought us this far will help complete our vision by making our community hub a great place for older people to gather. This will be somewhere they look forward to visiting, making their days better.
“If you can, we would encourage you to become a Food Train Hero, helping us put the finishing touches to what is going to be a great asset for the region’s older people.”
Specialist furniture suitable and comfortable for people with mobility problems is among the items which will be bought using the money.
People across the region are being encouraged to do what they can by organising collections, events or simply donating via a JustGiving page. A group of Food Train volunteers are already planning to do their bit with a sponsored hike up Criffel on April 1.
The conversion of the building – led by Annan-based solutions firm Eco Group – is progressing well.
Margaret McSkimming, of Dumfries, is one of the first Food Train members to have had a glimpse inside the building as the work takes shape.
After being shown the social area by Michelle, she said: “This is going to be great. It’s time we had something like this.
“Knowing that there is a place we can come to – somewhere central – will make a real difference. I’m all for it. I can’t wait until it opens.”
Michelle added: “It’s fantastic when you hear how much our members, like Margaret, are looking forward to the centre opening.
“The team from Eco are doing a fantastic job on transforming the building. We’re so excited about what’s taking shape.”
Food Train secured its new building with the support of Dumfries and Galloway Council.
As well as being the central hub for its work across the region – including shopping delivery, befriending, meal sharing and other services in Annandale and Eskdale, Nithsdale, Stewartry, Newton Stewart and Stranraer – the new HQ will support the charity’s operations across Scotland.
To make a donation to the fundraising #FoodTrainHero fundraising appeal, go to www.justgiving.com/campaign/FoodTrainHero. If you would like to organise a fundraising event, please call Melissa on 01387 270800.