A DRUMCHAPEL man living with a lung disease has told how a charity in the area has helped improve his life.

William Graham, 66, was diagnosed with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which causes obstructed airflow from the lungs, in 2019.

Despite smoking cigars for many years, he has since stopped and is taking steps to improve his health.

William volunteers locally at Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland’s (CHSS) Community Hub – a charity shop that also provides health checks and information, and provides a base to groups.

William said: “I couldn’t believe it when I was told I had a COPD. I knew I had to make changes in my life. I’d seen the hub so I popped in, had a chat and I started volunteering in the shop.

“It’s one of the best things I could have done. It keeps me fit and healthy and has really improved my life.

“It helped me take control of my condition as best I could, and I now make sure that every day I get my 10,000 steps recorded on my phone.

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“If I wasn’t in the shop, I’d be stuck at home doing nothing. I am so pleased that the hub was there when I needed it.”

At the CHSS Community Hub in Drumchapel, the team has performed more than 300 health checks and have provided health information to more than 1,000 people.

But the charity is calling for the Scottish Government and local authorities to boost support for fighting back against health inequalities following new reports that illustrate the growing inequalities in people’s health between the most and least deprived areas.

Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive at CHSS, said: “We all know that the reasons for health inequalities are hugely complex, from housing to employment, and as a single charity we can’t fix those. But we can help people come together in their communities in ways that they want to, doing the things they want to do.

“Our community hubs do just that, whether it’s a cooking class or Zumba, men’s support group or getting financial advice. When we add into the mix our free health checks and advice offered by our new health defence team, we’re confident that working in partnership with the community and with other local organisations is making a difference.

“Our Community Hub in Drumchapel shows what amazing energy and resources the community has when it’s given an opportunity to use them.”