A GROUP of individuals undergoing occupational therapy are helping to return the Globe Cemetery in Motherwell to its former glory.
In October the Motherwell Times highlighted the dilapidated state of the cemetery which had fallen into major disrepair.
The site to the west of Colville Park had become overgrown, with fallen headstones and many of the monuments had been defaced with graffiti.
The group from the Airbles Road Resource Network visit the cemetery every Wednesday to join environmental service workers from North Lanarkshire Council in the mammoth task of undoing decades of neglect.
Mark Whitefield, specialist occupational therapist, said: “Occupational therapy aims to improve an individual’s level of function by using activity as a therapeutic tool.
“Therapists encourage individuals to participate in meaningful activity, such as the work being done at the Globe Cemetery, which leads to weekly structure and routines being developed.
“The previous article published in the Motherwell Times highlighting the need for restoration at Globe Cemetery caught our attention as a possible volunteering opportunity for individuals attending occupational therapy within Motherwell.
“The group has been established that works in conjunction with the local council with the aim of restoring and maintaining the Globe Cemetery grounds to allow the people of Motherwell to pay respect to those buried in the cemetery.
“So far they have done a great job and only missed one session due to the weather, so are well ahead of schedule.”
The council’s area cemeteries manager Ricky Williams is delighted with the help his staff have received.
He said: “We were approached by the local occupational therapy team who were looking for volunteering opportunities and now have half a dozen people working along with us for a couple of hours every week.
“The cemetery is the site of 12 war graves from the First and Second World Wars. Vandals had destroyed the grave markers and The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has put temporary markers in place.
“However, once the tidying up is completed, the War Graves Commission will be replacing the markers with proper memorials and has reached an agreement with the occupational health team to continue to maintain the war memorials.
“It is a good arrangement all round and we are looking forward to seeing the new memorials in place.”
Charles McHugh, who grew up in the area and first brought the matter to the Motherwell Times, is glad the original story didn’t fall on deaf ears.
Another group from Airbles Road are working with the Lanarkshire Family History Society to research local war heroes from World War 1 with the aim of putting on a display at North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre in Motherwell.