The Senior Centre in Castlemilk has been given the royal seal of approval after receiving a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. The highest award a voluntary group can obtain.
The well-known centre for senior citizens has a proud record of addressing the loneliness and isolation older people can experience by offering social events, excursions and a range of learning opportunities.
The Senior Centre is among 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups that will receive this special award this year. The number of awards presented this year has risen demonstrating that the voluntary sector continues to thrive and is full innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.
The Senior Centre is run by a team of 10 staff, including manager Melanie O'Donnell, and 35 volunteers who work hard to make members feel welcome offering highly valued advice, company, friendship and activities.
Husband and wife volunteers John Millmaker (76) and Margaret (70) will represent the centre at a garden party at Holyrood on 5th July 2016 where they will meet the Queen and other Queen's Award recipients.
The centre caters for more than 400 members providing a variety of classes ranging from IT and reminiscence to arts and crafts.
It also has a subsidised café serving up to 100 meals per day. And there are regular excursions and sightseeing trips organised for members.
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award that can be given recognising outstanding work in communities across the UK. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on 2 June - the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation.
This year's recipients range from a War Memorial Community Trust, providing social facilities for the benefit of the community in Clwyd, Wales, to a club enhancing its community by developing individuals through athletics, in Ayrshire and Arran, Scotland.
The Senior Centre, Castlemilk, will receive its award from the Lord Lieutenant of Glasgow, Lord Provost Sadie Docherty, later this summer.
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Sir Martyn Lewis said: "I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. The judging panel for this year's awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups.The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the very best of democracy in action."
Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said: "I would like to congratulate all groups who received this year's Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, in recognition of their fantastic achievements. The huge amount of work and commitment these organisations put into their local communities is surpassed only by the passion and motivation of the individuals who volunteer. I hope these groups continue to inspire others to get involved and make a positive impact so that we can continue to build a more compassionate society."
The Lord Provost in her role as Lord Lieutenant nominated the Seniors Centre for this Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.
The Lord Provost said: "I'm delighted that the centre has received recognition from Her Majesty the Queen for the sterling work of its volunteers. The centre is well known and loved in Castlemilk offering company, friendship and fun activities for elderly people across the community. It really is an important lifeline for older people who can feel isolated and anxious. The centre also assist members by helping them access benefits and other help and entitlements. It also provides meals and organises social events. My thanks, on behalf of the city, to all the volunteers and everyone involved in the centre for making it such a great place."
Melanie O'Donnell, Manager of The Senior Centre said: "I am absolutely delighted that our team of hardworking, dedicated volunteers have been recognised in such a special way for all that they do within our organisation. Most of our volunteers are members of the Centre themselves and contribute so much without realising how vital their help is.
Our older volunteers have vast life experience, skills and knowledge that is utilised in a variety of ways across our centre. It's a pleasure to lead and work with them for they bring happiness to so many older people who depend on us daily for socialisation and friendship."