Launch Event 2012

‘Miracle’ Mount Befriending Service launched by Councillor Archie Graham

On an unseasonably balmy March evening, an eclectic group gathered in the repurposed Post Office of Clincart Road to celebrate the launch of The Mount Befriending Service, led by an enthused Councillor Archie Graham.  In the warmth of the packed office, the Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council praised the service, which has already made over a thousand successful visits to vulnerable elderly people in the area, dubbing its achievements a ‘miracle’ for an organisation that thrives with only one part-time member of staff.

Extolling the benefits of friendship and the undervalued skills of Glasgow’s army of mature volunteers in an age when financial constraints continue to squeeze services for an aging population, Councillor Graham eloquently addressed an audience that included current and potential befrienders, beneficiaries and local residents, and representatives from Glasgow Old People’s Welfare Association, Langside College and Age Scotland

Preceding Councillor Graham, with an engaging presentation and lively discussion session, was Prof. Pauline Banks, who explained many of the theoretical and cultural issues underpinning old age that the supporters of The Mount Befriending Service understand only too well.  Prof. Banks, Professor in Older Persons’ Health at the University of the West of Scotland, detailed several of the advantages and setbacks in initiating and sustaining a robust befriending network – and many of the parallels rang true for the befriending service’s representatives in the room.

Theresa McGuire, the service’s co-ordinator and only member of staff, spoke impassionedly of what she believes to be the cornerstone of the charity’s success:

“Funding will always be a major concern but the commitment and dedication of our board and volunteers – who are often older than those they befriend – is what will provide for our continued drive and stability.”

Officially launched then on an appropriately sunny March 28th 2012, The Mount Befriending Service welcomes the cooperation and friendship of the local community as it marches forward in support of – and indebted to – the area’s older population.

- Paula McGuire