A SUPPORT group for older people which could have been forced to close its doors has been given a lifeline after receiving a grant to keep them going for the next two years.

The Nan McKay Hall, in Glasgow’s South Side, was one of six groups working with older people at risk of isolation and poverty, which could have been hit with closure due to a lack of funding.

It was revealed in The Herald that Age Scotland claimed thousands of elderly people could be left “out in the cold” across Glasgow as the city council was refusing support for “lifeline” groups via its new Glasgow Communities Fund.

However this week Bill Lawns, manager of the Nan McKay Hall, is breathing a sigh of relief as they have been granted funding from Glasgow City Council’s Transition Fund (supported by the Scottish Government) which will enable them to continue to stay open and offer services for the next two and a half years.

Read more: Sir Billy Connolly reveals his favourite roll filling - do you agree with him?

The community centre has provided health services, education, information and social activities in the Pollokshields community for 40 years.

However, they are still left with a significant funding gap of around £20,000 and may have to look at cutting back some of the services they offer, including employing sessional workers.

They say they feel demoralised about how they were treated in a first round of funding and are desperate for feedback on where to go from here.

Mr Lawns said: “There’s been absolutely no feedback and we don’t know why we scored badly in the first round. We have worked closely with the council for 40 years, and now that transparency has gone.

“This gives us a lack of confidence. In the last seven weeks, we’ve had volunteers coming in to cut older people’s toenails. They deserve to know why they have been undervalued.

“I have no doubt that we will continue and we have great partners who we work with, but it is hard for volunteers to feel that what they do is valued when we have been through this process.”

During the pandemic the centre made a lot of phone calls to people who were isolated, who told them they were desperate for them to reopen.

Read more: Murder victim Moira Jones' family share treasured pictures of her happy childhood memories

And already they have reopened their doors to a one in and one out toenail clinic which is vital to the health and wellbeing of the elderly people they see.

The new Communities Fund has in part been introduced to replace the council’s Integrated Grant Fund, and provides funding to the city’s voluntary groups.

However, the council claims applications have far exceeded the funding available and it was “unfortunately inevitable” that a substantial number of organisations would miss out.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “Officers will give organisations feedback where they can; but that has to come after grants are approved – and that process was only concluded on Friday afternoon.

“In the meantime, the Community Hall has been recommended for transitional support totalling £125,000. Members will consider recommendations later this week.”

Other elderly groups feared to be losing out include the Daffodil Club, based at St Georges & St Peters Church in Easterhouse, which faces losing out on £130,000 of funding, and the Yoker Resource Centre, which provides care and support for older clients and those with disabilities, which is set to miss out on £98,000.

St Mungo’s Older Peoples Centre for Well-being, the Gorbalites, and Asra, a multicultural service for older people and those with disabilities, were also feared to be losing out.