It’s been another busy but successful few months for Polmont Age Concern – and it’s not over yet for the hard working committee.
After an enjoyable summer outing to North Berwick and Haddington last week, they are looking forward to a lovely Strawberry Tea that will raise funds for Rachel House.
And when they finally relax and take their summer break, they can look back another year providing entertainment and company to between 50 and 60 elderly local people every week.
Meeting at Polmont Church hall, the Wednesday Club provides afternoon tea and a chance to blether, as well as a wide range of entertainment every week.
Their commitment is such that it was recognised earlier in the year with an award for excellence from the national Age Concern organisation. And one of the committed volunteers was recognised for an incredible 46 years of service to the organisation.
Betty Glen joined after going along to help at a coffee morning and meeting the formidable Mrs Fullerton.
After just a few years was talked into becoming the committee’s president.
“I agreed to do it ‘temporarily’ for a couple of years,” she explained. “And I’ve been president for 40 years now.”
“I’m only doing it for another two years at the most. Mind you, I keep saying this, but I mean it this time!”
She describes receiving the award as “a lovely surprise”.
“I’m supposed to know what’s going on and I knew nothing about it,” she laughed.
“We always say though that we do these things because we want to do them, not because we’re looking for a lot of rewards.
“I just get a lot of satisfaction from seeing how they enjoy it.
“The old folks all show their appreciation – after every summer outing they say ‘you’ll never top that one!’”.
At 78 herself, Betty is entitled to look forward to taking it easy but she’s a busy lady.
In addition to her duties as president, she also finds the time to volunteer in Strathcarron’s hospice shop and is an active member of the church.
The popular Wednesday Club has now been running for 23 years.
Betty and secretary Sandra Gow are full of praise for their fellow committee members.
“We have got a great committee – they are all very hardworking,” said Sandra.
“But we all enjoy it and we’re a great team. Everyone gets on well together and we never have any hassle.
Some of the people who are regulars come from the local care homes, St Margaret’s and Ivybank, and are specially chosen because they appreciate the entertainment, which is often musical.
“They love the music and sometimes even get up and start dancing!” said Sandra.
“We have entertainers who often come, such as member of the folk club and Ian Scott and Chapter Four, who are very good. Ian Duncan is also a great entertainer.
‘‘We do get a lot of support and many of them don’t take a penny for coming along, while others only take expenses.”
“We are always looking for new people as we have to provide entertainment every week, apart from through the summer break.”
As well as providing the tea and entertainment, they also organise occasional trips to theatre shows and, of course, a Christmas party.
There are also annual summer and autumn outings to a variety of destinations.
Next on the list is a fundraising Strawberry Tea.
Not only does it help the Wednesday Club regulars get through the summer when the club doesn’t run, it also raises funds for charity.
In previous years it’s been held for Strathcarron Hospice andMaggie’s Forth Valley, while this year its for the children’s hospice, Rachael House.
“We started doing a fundraiser over the summer because they found it too long a break. They love a chat and a cup of tea!”
The Wednesday Club is always looking for entertainers to add to their rota, so if you can help, please get in touch.