The founder of a Clydebank charity has spoken of his hope to help as many people as possible after his group took up home in new surroundings in Dalmuir.

Kevin Crawford, who runs The Big Disability Group, believes the organisation can assist people with a variety of needs after it moved into the space vacated by the Independent Resource Centre (IRC) when it closed in March.

Speaking to the Post, Kevin revealed it was the IRC staff who approached him to take it over.

He said: “The move came about because the Independent Resource Centre contacted us a couple of months back to invite us in for a meeting, after staff knew they were shutting down.

“They were looking for a kind of like-for-like service to pass it on to, a suitable service that would be able to cover more or less what they did.

“So, they thought we were the best fit to be able to take it over and provide good service to the local community.”

The group celebrated taking over the centre on Monday (June 27) with a grand opening attended by local MSP Marie McNair and councillors James McElhill and June McKay.

And Kevin plans to utilise the space for as many causes as possible and hopes this is the start of a bright future for the community.

“Through the service we provide, we have people getting in touch with us trying to start up support groups but are lacking premises because they don’t have any funds at all to keep it running and they don’t know how many people are going to come through the door,” Kevin continued.

Under one roof

“What we are doing is, any small groups that are looking to start up or aren’t getting funding or anything they can hold their projects in our premises.

“We’re hoping to be able to start building on these services and provide new services in West Dunbartonshire by inviting these people that want to start up these support groups.

“So, it will help provide a lot more services in the local area to people all under one roof.”

Kevin has already started booking sessions in the Dumbarton Road building such as computer classes and workshops to help people fill in their CV.

He added: “It comes under The Big Disability Group but we are calling it The Big Disability Hub because there will be so many different services running from the one place.”

Kevin started the charity in 2017 to let people with disabilities know what is available to them on any given day through social media posts and focus groups.

And he wanted to thank those who have helped him take the body from a small charity to an organisation with a building of its own.

He finished: “I just want to thank places like B&Q, which gave donations of materials, Owen McGuigan, who supplied all the artwork, and E-Design Clydebank and Zero Seven graphics for our sign. All gave us stuff either for free or heavily discounted.

“Thanks to EF electrical for all the electrical work and 1740 air cadets Clydebank squadron for allowing to us to their use car park on the day of the opening.

“I'm also grateful to Men’s Shed for helping us widen the doors and Joe Walker for a fantastic deal on the carpets.

“We wouldn’t be here without the volunteers who helped actually make it all possible.

“William McKay, Thomas McKay, Robert McKay, George McArther, Angela and Billy McGeechan, Celina and Derek Fitzpatrick, Jacqueline Irwin, Isla Darroch, Dhyani Crawford and Kathleen Crerrand, Nicola Priest and John Donnelly were all fantastic. Thank you so much.”