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This month marks 10 years since Campbeltown charity Shopper-Aide was founded.
The charity, which is based at 47 Longrow, provides support and services, including shopping, housekeeping and, under normal circumstances, organising numerous social activities for those in Kintyre aged over 60.
Over the past decade, and during the last year in particular, Shopper-Aide has become a lifeline for many older people.
To mark its 10th anniversary, the charity’s founder, Susan Paterson, has written the following piece.
It doesn’t seem like 10 years since we were set up and so much has happened. We have staff, more volunteers, moved to larger premises and do much more than shopping.
April is our birthday month where we celebrate on the 8th and 27th, when we became a company and a charity respectively. So many people have been part of these years and there are many memories to look back on, so many people to thank who have supported us in many different ways.
We won awards for helping older people – Herald Society in 2015 and Age Scotland in 2016, raised funds with raffles, walking, running, getting covered in mud, quizzes, bingo, making and selling fairy doors, alpacas, books and eggs. We have celebrated birthdays, weddings, Christmases, Easters and any day we can! There has been laughter and sadness, fun, hope and joy.
It was 2009 when the seeds were planted at the South Kintyre Fit Communities about the need to develop a shopping service to help older people on discharge from hospital, no longer able to drive or to carry heavy bags.
Since then, we have provided not just a shopping service but a number of social activities and housekeeping throughout Kintyre. We have developed the ‘Making Kintyre Dementia Friendly’ project to help all parts of the community to have an understanding of dementia and how it can be managed. We have worked with children of all ages, meeting and helping the older generation and look forward to doing so again.
Covid-19 has changed all our lives and we have had to adapt to different ways of keeping in touch and keeping busy. Phone Buddies was set up and we had a monthly virtual tea.
However, our plans – started last year – to celebrate our 10th anniversary with parties has had to be cancelled but we are marking the occasion with a specially made mug by Simon Rochford of Campbeltown Pottery.
Thanks to everyone who has been involved in any way with Shopper-Aide – it has been and, I hope, will continue to be, a help to the older generations in Kintyre.
So here is to the next 10 years.