Bluevale Community ‘Still Gem’ programme
Working in the heart of Glasgow’s East End, Bluevale Community Club recently received £8,952 from Glasgow’s Community Health and Wellbeing Fund to extend their adult wellbeing services. Bluevale’s application for funding was particularly aimed at supporting elderly in their community following a consultation which found this group had suffered greatly throughout lockdown. Severely affected from isolation as a result of the pandemic, many services and programmes that were previously available had not returned. This resulted in older residents who were barely engaging with mainstream services or with other members of the community.
Project Coordinator, James Simpson at Bluevale Community Club explained that their vision as a club was to provide a whole system approach, providing services from young to old. On finding out that their application was successful James said:
“We’re absolutely over the moon to have received funding from Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund. To run much needed activities targeting the most isolated within the east end of Glasgow, this funding will not only reduce isolation but improve mental and physical health locally”
The club’s ‘Still Gem’ programme is now established in their Haghill centre and provides a place where like-minded individuals from the community can come together in a welcoming environment. In order to promote the programme the club have used social media and their partnership with the local housing association who have helped to ensure that those who would most benefit, know about the service.
What’s on offer?
After a small consultation it was found that there was no adapted fitness or activities for older residents living locally. Knowing the many benefits that fitness can have to mental health, Bluevale’s board and members decided that specially adapted fitness and mobility classes must to be included in the programme and, so far, uptake has been very positive and continues to grow.
Two volunteers were recruited who themselves had struggled throughout lockdown and the fund supported one volunteer and one staff member to take a mental health first aid course. The club also wants to have mental health community champions available to encourage and support others. By offering check-in services they hope to reduce stigma locally around mental health.
Other paid activities like this began before the COVID pandemic, however they could only be provided for a cost which limited access to the whole community. Having this service available now gives residents free access for people to come together and allow for fun structured activities to take place in a welcoming space.
The service has been a quick success with over 30 attendees per week. The club has combined activities to include bingo which proves to be popular and once a month will offer something special. From afternoon teas, to a visit to Saltcoats, this has been a real boost, with one attendee sharing that it is now the highlight of her week. It is fantastic to see community projects like this who have listened and designed services around local needs.
“We can’t thank this fund enough and it is a joy for our staff and club to be able to provide this service locally and see the impact this fund has had on a daily basis.”
Kenny Trainer, Project Manager, Bluevale Community Club
Want to get involved?
Bluevale Community Club are looking for regular volunteers. As well as their ‘Still Gem’ programme, they offer a range of activities and services for different age groups that are often supported by people who lend their time each week. They would also love to hear from organisations who could provide corporate sponsorship. Find out more on their website.
More about the Fund
The first phase of the Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund saw a total of £2.7m granted to community wellbeing projects across Glasgow. Read more on our blog. The Scottish Government has also announced £15 million for second year of funding. Read more in their press release.
The Communities Health and Wellbeing fund in Glasgow was coordinated by Glasgow CVS with help from partners including: Volunteer Glasgow, Glasgow Social Enterprise Network, Glasgow City HSCP, Glasgow City Council, North West Voluntary Sector Network, Voluntary Sector North East Glasgow, Voluntary Sector Voice, West of Scotland Regional Equality Council, Glasgow Disability Alliance, Scottish Refugee Council, Glasgow Life, Mental Health Network Greater Glasgow, Glasgow Kelvin College, Glasgow Equality Forum, LGBT Health Scotland.