Funding boost for Mearns & Coastal Healthy Living Network

Laurencekirk-based charity, Mearns & Coastal Healthy Living Network (MCHLN), has received £27,465 of funding from Aberdeenshire Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund.
Funding & Development officer for MCHLN, John Duncanson.Funding & Development officer for MCHLN, John Duncanson.
Funding & Development officer for MCHLN, John Duncanson.

The funding is being made available by the Scottish Government and is administered by the TSI Scotland Network on their behalf, with Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action (AVA) acting in the capacity of lead partner for Aberdeenshire.

Supporting the health and wellbeing of the over 50s in Kincardine & Mearns, MCHLN is a community charity that engages some 200 people a week via an 80-strong volunteer network.

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As well as facilitating over 500 groups, classes and activities annually, MCHLN provides a heavily subsidised door-to-door transport service to aid attendance at healthcare and other appointments benefitting wellbeing - and this award will fund a part-time transport co-ordinator post for one year, which will help the charity cope with a 300% rise in demand for its transport services.

Funding & Development officer for MCHLN, John Duncanson, said: "Generally, we're poorly-served by public transport in the Mearns - and, whilst alternatives are available, they can be prohibitively expensive. It's tough times for many at the moment, but this situation can be particularly challenging for older people.

"Many of our clients are isolated, living alone on lower incomes - some with mobility issues or neurological conditions. MCHLN is pleased to be recognised as an important part of the support services in the community and we would like to thank AVA and the Scottish Government for this award which will go towards improving the health and wellbeing of so many.

“As much about empowerment as support, MCHLN seeks to promote mental and physical health as well as wellbeing and purpose. We're primarily a peer-to-peer organisation - it's older people supporting older people.

"Embodying this and challenging preconceptions that older people exclusively require services, one of our volunteers, Ken Fairweather, was recently recognised at the Grampian Volunteer Transport Awards for his driving work. Ken's 86 - and is a great reminder that a valuable contribution can be made at any age!”

The part-time coordinator vacancy will be advertised shortly. Anyone wishing details or interested in volunteering should contact MCHLN at or call 01561 378130.

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