A CLYDEBANK service which looks to reduce the impact of isolation and loneliness has received “lifeline” funding.

Community Links Scotland’s Volunteer in Progress Programme (ViPP), based on Kilbowie Road, landed a sum of £144,554 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Janette Devlin, volunteer development coordinator at Community Links Scotland, revealed without funding the service, which looks to empower and equip people, risked closure.

She told the Post: “We invest in different types of training. It’s about progression for whatever they see as progression, so it’s not for us to set that criteria.

“We are delighted. If we don’t get funding the service would close down. Receiving the money is a lifeline, an absolute lifeline.

“We are in this position every year. Although we are Community Links Scotland, we are a stand alone programme in our own right.

“It’s allowing people to grow at their own speed, to be encouraging and nurturing. I think that’s why we are so special.”

For more than six years, ViPP has provided a range of community activities that increase members of the community’s chances of social engagement.

The programme has run for six years and during this time, participants have gained experience in their area of interest and met people in their chosen field.

In December 2016, a woman in her 50s was signed off work with anxiety and depression. After attending a Mental Health Forum at The Hub in Clydebank, it was recommended she took a course on the ViPP.

She found the first evening overwhelming but from there on out the programme helped her develop her confidence.

“The first night I went I thought this is not for me,” she said. “I didn’t think I could commit to this and felt I would not be able to continue.

“I found Janette to be very attentive to everyone and very encouraging. The group was a very diverse group of people from all walks of life.

“She encouraged me to come back the next week and I am so glad I did. I met the most wonderful people and everyone helped each other. Janette helped and encouraged me with my course work and I am a stronger and more confident person for attending this course.

“I am now back at work and I put that down to the encouragement and support I got from doing this course.”

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland chair, said: “The funding will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish the Community Links Scotland (ViPP) every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project for the benefit of their local community.”

Meanwhile, Drumchapel Sport received £78,000, which will go towards bringing the community together through a variety of physical activities for different age groups and abilities.