A GOVAN project helping older people beat loneliness has secured the funding it needs to survive.

Craft Café, which runs free arts workshops for the over-60s at Elderpark Housing Association’s Community Centre, has received £96,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund.

It will mean the much-loved Impact Arts project, which was in danger of closing, can run classes up until spring 2022.

The café offers a free drop-in service for participants to socialise and learn new artistic skills from an artist-in-residence. It has been running for 10 years and now has more than 80 members.

Its aim is to tackle the growing problem of isolation in older people while celebrating the creative achievements of the ageing population.

The funding boost will allow Craft Café to offer an additional day every week of outreach work for older people in sheltered housing, care homes and hospices throughout Glasgow.

The funding comes following a period of instability for the service, which required a social media crowdfunding campaign last spring to ensure it could continue.

Read more: Govan Craft Cafe in desperate need of funding help

Staff and residents have spoken of their relief that the café’s future is secure.

Charlotte Craig, the Impact Arts artist-in-residence who leads the workshops, said: “We were totally over the moon when we found out.

“Uncertainty with funding is always an underlying challenge. This funding from the National Lottery Community Fund means security for the members. It’s such a big part of their lives, for many it is a lifeline.”

She added: “As well as teaching new skills and celebrating the members’ creative work, for many this place means having support from peers, feeling valued and having a purpose.”

“The outreach work we can now offer is an exciting expansion of what we currently do. It will be fantastic to be able to help people who we would otherwise not be able to reach.”

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Danny Park, 70, has been attending Craft Café Govan since 2010.

He said: “This has been the best place ever, and it’s just got better as the years have gone on. I’d recommend it to anybody. I’m most into the painting, but I’ve done knitting, crochet, mosaics – it’s a variety. You’re not stuck just doing the same thing. And you’re asked what you want to do.”

He added: “Whether you want to do art, or you just want to sit and have a cup of tea and have a blether, it’s just so welcoming.”

Humza Yousaf, MSP for Glasgow Pollok, who supported the crowdfunding campaign in 2018, added: “I’m delighted to hear that Craft Café has secured such a significant amount of community funding. This is testament to the invaluable service it provides in Govan.

“Our over-60s have a lot to offer and the Craft Café provides an opportunity to channel their creative talents. I look forward to seeing the project develop over the next three years.”

Elderpark Housing Association have been long-standing partners and supporters of Craft Café Govan, offering guidance, promotion and financial support.

Shirley McKnight, Elderpark’s depute CEO, said: “We are absolutely delighted. Craft Café provides such a valuable service to our local residents and is a lifeline for many of our tenants and residents.”

Craft Café Govan workshops run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 10am and 4pm at Elderpark Community Centre every week. The service is entirely free and runs on a drop-in basis.