Who cares? Glasgow does.

Yesterday I attended a carers event at Clincarthill Church and I had an opportunity to meet with various carers, those who are cared for and organisations which support care and carers across my constituency. With an ageing population and a country in the grips of austerity, it never ceases to amaze me how many people in my constituency are willing to step up to the plate and take care of some of our older or more vulnerable residents. This morning I got to chat with familiar faces, and meet with some of the new groups which are providing a service to our local care givers. There was everything from dementia friendly cafes, to yoga and music therapy; many of these run by local volunteers. It’s brilliant that we aren’t just providing for the basic needs of our older community; but providing new an inventive stimulation. It really is astounding work.

If you look at the organisations tab on the home page of this website, you will see that there are over a hundred third sector organisations and groups in my constituency. Each doing a unique and fantastic job of creating a better community for all of Cathcart’s residents. I often wish I could spend more time visiting these organisations, spending time with the staff and volunteers, and of course meeting the many service users; and this summer I plan to do just that. I’ve had a lot of fun in the past visiting groups, I’ve got to see children with disabilities use horses to improve their quality of life, I’ve called the bingo at a dementia care lunch club and most importantly I’ve spent hours with different groups sharing a good old cup of tea, and having a blether with service users. However, I want to do more, of course it would be impossible to get round every group but if you think your group could benefit from a visit over the summer, or indeed you would just like to show me the amazing work being done then send me an email, and if your group doesn’t appear on the list of organisations on the website then please do get in touch.

I would hope all the volunteers in Glasgow Cathcart know how appreciated they are, but I never want to assume and I think it’s important that I express my sincere gratitude. I give my unfailing thanks to all of you, from the unsung heroes, those visiting neighbours and keeping the elderly in milk and newspapers; to those working with children, trying to alleviate poverty, giving carers a break, supporting those with a disability or illness, taking care of natural landmarks, working with different groups of people across the constituency – the list is endless but each one a vital part of “community” in this area.

Next week I will be meeting with young woman who has set up a group dealing with those suffering with perinatal mental health issues, and I’m keen to hear how we support this new group called “South Side Pandas”. As the world changes, so do the many issues we have to tackle and we wouldn’t be able to do that without each and every one of the volunteers past, present and future. Glasgow is a city that cares, and I’m determined to get to know as many of you as possible.

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