A Sense of Belonging

Guest blog by Claire McKenna, Primary Care Division and Dan Morris, National Conversation team.

Last week, we chatted with participants of the Cooking Group which is one activity developed within the Inspiring Scotland Link Up Project, hosted by Crossroads Youth and Community Association based at the Barn Youth Centre in the Gorbals, South East of Glasgow.

The Cooking Group, started in February this year is already showing signs that it is making a positive impact to the lives of the people who attend.

Some group members who are amputees and new to the area describe the cooking group and other activities being offered at the Barn as being a ‘god send’ in helping them fit in and create a ‘sense of belonging’ to the community. They have made new friends, gained confidence to venture out of the house and are now learning new skills to prepare a proper healthy meal that can last a couple of days!!

It was great to hear that people in the group are now forming strong friendships and are beginning to support each other out with the cooking group.  Just recently they have been visiting one member of the group in hospital and making sure everything will be all right for him when he gets home.

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This link provides some more details of the project:

http://m.heraldscotland.com/news/13200656.How_cooking_and_bingo_is_helping_tackle_deprivation_in_Scotland_s_poorest_communities/

Myself and Dan were touched by the enthusiasm and hard work that Eddie (volunteer) and Joe (Acting Link up Worker) puts into the project.  Already they have organised a day trip for the group to Ayr earlier this year and are now in the process of planning their Christmas night out.

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Here are a few points highlighted from the conversation:

  • Camaraderie – new life
  • Saving NHS money
  • Everything seems to be focussed on money/cost – can’t put a price on the how my life is now
  • The atmosphere is electric at the Barn  on open days

Both Link Up Gorbals and the Barn can be found on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/BarnYouthCentre/

https://www.facebook.com/linkupgorbals/

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