A SOUTHSIDE pensioner who stumbled upon a charity tackling loneliness now regularly attends for company and has praised those who work and volunteer there.

Grace Campbell, 83, passed Give a Dog a Bone’s Community Space in Shawlands one day and was curious to find out what it was about.

In 2013, the charity was set up by Louise Russell to offer financial support to over 60s, to help them afford an animal companion, including rescue pets.

A few years later, the Shawlands Community Space was opened to provide a place where anyone can go in for a cuppa and enjoy the company of the companionship dogs, staff and volunteers.

Meanwhile, free activities and treatments are on offer for over 60s.

Grace, from Pollokshaws, said: “I’m inquisitive so I went in to find out what it was about. Because I’ve done market research, I can always approach people, I’m always able to talk to anybody and when I get a refusal, it doesn’t affect me.

“It was just something I needed at that particular time. Someplace to go. Not to share, just to listen.”

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Grace, who worked until she was 73, was a carer in her younger days, and also went on to work in courts, and as a mystery shopper. She attends the community space to take part in yoga and to enjoy some company.

Grace said: “It’s a drop-in, that’s more important to me – someplace to go when I feel like I need company. There is a need for something like that. And it’s all free to people 60 and over. I think it’s a wonderful charity and there is a need for it.

“Louise has got a big heart. She must have foreseen there was much need for this. I don’t know any other place that does this.

“I’ve made lots of friends and I trust to tell the girls at Give a Dog a Bone anything. During lockdown, the charity still kept in touch and sent us afternoon tea, and tablet and wee small gifts. So, they made you feel that they still knew you were there, and that’s important.”

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Grace values the charity so much that she has recommended it to lots of others.

She said: “When I introduce people to the charity and see them enjoy it, I get the benefit too. When you’ve enjoyed something and you feel good, it’s good to pass it on. I tell everybody it’s a wonderful charity. I would miss it if it ever had to close down.

“I don’t have a dog myself because I’m too old to be able to walk one. But I love Diesel who comes here, and I love Julie Ann’s dog. They’re all nice, all the dogs are lovely.”

Following the success of the Shawlands Community Space, another was opened in Troon, followed by Alloa. For more information, please visit giveadogabone.net.