Life-line for Age Concern

A KIRRIEMUIR group catering for the elderly has been thrown a life-line, thanks to the generosity of a Forfar businessman.

Faced with spiralling running costs, Age Concern Kirriemuir – a group that has been operating in town for three decades – was facing closure in April.

That would have meant the end of a drop-in week-day facility operating from High Street premises rented from the local authority.

However, local developer, Mark Guild, of Guild Homes has come to the rescue in the short-term with the local authority helping to put together a business plan to secure the long-term future of the facility.

Mr Guild has offered to meet the costs of the rent of the High Street premises for the coming year, a gesture that has delighted Gladys Wilson.

“We are indebted to Mr Guild for his kind offer. The good news is that we will not have to close our doors in April, and we can now look forward to operating throughout the summer months.

“Committee members had a very positive meeting with Angus Council officials with regard to the long term future of the facility, and a business plan is being put together.

“Hopefully that will be completed by the autumn, allowing Age Concern Kirriemuir to look at how the facility can move forward in the long term.

“We could do with some new blood coming on board to help run the facility and to develop new ideas.”

The Age Concern Centre in Kirriemuir runs an ‘open house’ from 10 am until 4 pm Monday to Friday, allowing the elderly to pop in for a cuppa and a chat.

One idea is to offer more in the way of catering, perhaps looking to provide light lunches, etc, while there is also the possibility of getting other organisations in the town involved.

Councillor Iain Gaul broke the good news of the rent offer to Kirriemuir Community Councillors last week.

“I am delighted that we have found a way to help this organisation,” he commented. “It’s difficult to put a price on its value to the community.

“It is more than just a place where elderly people can gather for a cup of tea or coffee and a chat.

“There are enormous health and social benefits, and if it was to close the local authority would be faced with picking up the slack.

“Short-term, the financial worries have been lifted with Mark Guild’s offer to meet the rental for the coming year.

“In the long term, council officials will be working hard between now and the autumn to put together a business plan to map out the long term future of this valuable facility.”