Old Firm legends help festive celebration to fight loneliness

Provost Jim Robertson  and Rangers legend Willie Henderson with Nue Housing Association residents.

Provost Jim Robertson and Rangers legend Willie Henderson with Nue Housing Association residents.

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Fifty elderly people were treated to a traditional festive lunch by Mears Group to tackle isolation and loneliness over the festive period.

The annual event took place in the MLOne restaurant at New College Lanarkshire’s Motherwell campus for people supported by Contact the Elderly and Alzheimer’s Scotland.

After the success of last year’s lunch, Mears approached the college again about catering for the event.

The college were delighted and readily agreed to their students cooking the meal, and for the lunch to be held in the restaurant which was decorated for the festive season.

North Lanarkshire’s provost Jim Robertson welcomed the guests including Old Firm legends Bertie Auld and Willie Henderson and former Scotland goalkeeper Alan Rough who entertained the with stories about their careers in football.

Willie Docherty, managing director of Mears North Lanarkshire, said: “We are very aware of the growing issue of loneliness, and how badly it affects older people.

“With the winter nights closing in, it can get worse as many of the elderly have no family, and can feel even more isolated at this time of the year.

“We decided to arrange a three course festive lunch for Mears service users, and contacted charities Contact the Elderly and Alzheimer’s Scotland .

“They loved the idea and were able to reach out to the older people who would really benefit from the lunch.

“Contact the Elderly were experiencing transport problems and were concerned about how the older people would get to and from the event.

“I’m proud to say that our staff stepped in and offered to provide transport.

“The lunch was a huge success and everyone had a fantastic time.”