Age Scotland has presented the Erskine Reid Macewen Activity Centre with a national award for its popular and innovative exercise programme for older veterans.
The group, based at the Veterans Village in Bishopton, won the Age Scotland award for its work as part of the charity’s Challenge for Older Veterans to Exercise Regularly Together programme (COVERT).
Although the centre is currently closed due to Covid, the group had formed a number of ‘mini-teams’ - including Walking Wonders, Tai Chi Terrors, Sharp Shooters and Gardening Gurus - to encourage veterans to take part in a wide variety of activities to improve health and wellbeing.
The teams embarked on a series of fun competitions and kept diaries to record what they had achieved, to win cash prizes to buy resources to boost the programme.
Since lockdown, the group has been keeping in touch and engaging in online activities over Zoom. When the ERMAC reopens, they plan to use the Age Scotland COVERT prize to buy equipment for indoor sports, including bowling, so they can exercise whatever the weather.
Evonne McCord, ERMAC activities co-ordinator, said:
“We are delighted at ERMAC to win the COVERT challenge, it was a great team effort by all of the members involved and everyone worked hard to stay focused on the challenge.
“It was great fun and brought out the competitive side of many! Some of the prize money went towards some outside activity equipment which was well used at the end of the summer when we could get together in 'social bubbles' at ERMAC to do activities outside.
“We can't wait to get back together and put the prize to even more use for some group activities when circumstances allow.
“We wish all our fellow veterans, families and those who work in our sector all the best and stay safe.”
Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, said:
“I am delighted to present the Age Scotland Veterans COVERT award to the great team at the Erskine Reid Macewen Activity Centre for the work they do to support older veterans and their families.
“It is disappointing not to be able to meet the team in person but I’m heartened to learn that the group has stayed connected during the coronavirus, thanks to the strong bonds that were formed during their time at the centre.
"I hope they can get back together in person soon, to resume all the activities that make such a difference to older veterans’ health and wellbeing.”