In her latest Post column, Councillor Eva Murray shares her thoughts on her recent visit to a Yoker group helping the elderly...

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Recess has begun for councillors and, whilst our surgeries may not be running and the council’s committees are put on hold, I’ve always taken the opportunity over the summer break to spend time with a number of local community organisations.

This year has been no different and my recess visits started last week when I dropped into Yoker Resource Centre to see the team that runs the Elderly and Disability Group.

It’s always nice to get the time to catch up with many of the people who attend the project too, whether it’s picking up pieces of casework or having a chat over a cup of tea.

Recently, they have been working on their Conversations with Myself project – a powerful collection of stories about loneliness from those who attend the group, done in collaboration with Age Scotland.

I was honoured to be invited along and to say a few words as the collection was formally launched as a book.

Although this book was written by and contains stories from people in the northwest of Glasgow, there is no doubt that those experiences will resonate with people across our area and beyond.

It is a truly thought-provoking piece and I want to say a huge well done to all those who contributed, Age Scotland and, of course, Kirsty and Debbie, who run the group, as well as our brilliant photographer for the day, Caleb.

Many of the contributions made reference to the Covid-19 pandemic – a time when we all faced elements of loneliness or knew someone who struggled with it.

I always knew isolation was an issue, especially for our older population, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that I saw first-hand the scale of it.

I was proud to support the G13/G14 Support Hub during lockdown and work alongside the most incredible group of volunteers who were there day in, day out, willing to listen and be that friendly voice, as well as offering advice.

They played a vital role by letting people know that, even in the most difficult of times, someone would be there and that they weren’t alone.

As the pandemic ended, loneliness sadly did not. There are many people in our communities who right now may feel they don’t have anyone to speak to or don’t know where to turn for support.

I would urge anyone who feels isolated or anxious to reach out, whether to a friend, neighbour, Age Scotland or one of the wonderful community organisations we have.

You are not alone.