Centre’s success leads to expansion


The centre hailed as a huge success in the way it engages and supports veterans 

17th January 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Erskine’s veterans’ activity centre is set to expand just one year after opening.

The Reid Macewan centre has hosted 1,600 sessions including woodwork, art, holistic therapy, boxing, bowls, archery, IT and genealogy with over 5,000 attendances. 

And from an initial 15 veterans who indicated an interest, there are now 104 registered ranging in age from 37 to 94.

 Highlights from the first year include an Armed Forces Day event in June attended by 150 people, a visit to Faslane Naval Base and trip down the River Clyde on HMS Tracker, a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, an Oktoberfest party and an Activity Centre Team of Veterans competing in the charities Sporting Senior Games, where they won medals in bowling and basketball

Attending the centre has had a big impact on people’s lives like army veteran Billy McPike who said: “I never had much human contact when sitting at home and was starting to get depressed.  Then I came here and it’s turned my life around.  It’s a fantastic place where I’ve had the best few months I’ve had for a long, long time.” 

Activity centre manager, Debs Dickson said: “We had no idea what to expect when the centre opened and we are delighted that it has proved a huge success.  There is a very therapeutic environment here, partly due to the beautiful building, but also due to the fantastic team of staff. 

"We have seen positive changes in a lot of our veterans over the year with regards to their confidence and self-esteem which has been wonderful to witness and long may it continue.”

Erskine chief executive Ian Cumming said: “I’m delighted to announce that trustees have now given us permission to identify other venues and locations across Scotland, where veterans may be in need of more of these life-changing and, frankly, life-saving Centres. We’d welcome donations, support and advice from potential public and government partners, across the country.”