Volunteer Gold in Brechin

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A PILOT scheme is expected to launch in Brechin in late spring to help improve the health and well-being of older people in Brechin.

Chris Stanton from Brechin and Grace Stewart of Letham have been involved with Age Unlimited Scotland to develop their idea for a social venture, Volunteer Gold.

Volunteer Gold, an independent venture, aims to provide seated exercise either on a one to one basis in the home or in a group setting in care homes and sheltered housing.

Chris and Grace got involved in this project after they were trained to be qualified in seated exercise.

Chris said: “NESTA got in touch with Angus Gold asking if they knew anyone who was interested in a business venture, so we went to Forfar for a morning of brain-storming exercise.

“Grace and I thought that, as we were both qualified in seated exercise, we could use this experience and bring it to the older person in the community.

“Things just went from there and we spent the whole of last year jumping through hoops to ensure we got the funding.

Funding for the project has been given by NESTA (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts) under their Age Unlimited programme.

The Project received the highest amount of funding in Scotland, receiving almost £12,000.

Chris said: “To get the funding we have had to go through a process almost like the Dragon’s Den.

“It started off with 12 ventures that applied for funding with only six getting the money.

“We all had to give a big presentation, and we we got training to help us do this.

“Giving the talk was a bit like taking part in the Dragon’s Den as we had a huge amount work to do for the presentation.

“It was incredible what we had to do and it took a lot of time to get through to the next stage. We never expected to get that far.

“In the end we got the most funding in Scotland.

“All the work we have done for this has been voluntarily.

“We are at the very early stages of this project and we plan to pilot the scheme in Brechin before, hopefully, bringing it to the whole of Angus.

“We also hope that we will expand what we do to include different activities.”

Volunteer Gold will be looking to recruit a dozen volunteers who are willing to train to become a qualified seating exercise instructor.