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New project bringing communities together in the Garnock Valley

A new community project launched in the Garnock Valley earlier this summer is proving to be a big success.

‘Our Community Space’ sessions run monthly in three Garnock Valley Towns, offering residents a chance to enjoy a chat and meet new people, explore ways to improve their mental and physical wellbeing and find out what’s going on in their communities.

The main aim of the drop-in sessions is to reduce social isolation and loneliness, providing a welcoming and informal atmosphere where people can come together to enjoy the company.

Local organisations and services have also been attending to share valuable information and advice, with representatives from NAC’s Housing service, NAHSCP’s Money Matters team, the Lennox Partnership, the Scottish Fire Service’s Home Safety team, CLASP (Community Led Action & Support Project) and NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Musculoskeletal Pain team having been among the guests to attend so far.

Staff from Turning Point Scotland’s Prevention, Early Intervention and Recovery (PEAR) Service have also been delivering Naloxone training as part of the project. Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.

Feedback from those attending the drop-ins has been extremely positive, with one participant saying: “I really enjoyed today. Just being here and having a chat felt like a wee bit of therapy.”

The team behind Our Community Space, which includes North Ayrshire Community Link Workers, Garnock Valley Connected Communities staff, NAHSCP’s Engagement Officer and staff from Turning Point Scotland’s PEAR Service, are delighted with how the sessions have gone so far.

Sam Hodkinson, Garnock Valley Community Link Worker, said: “Our Community Space has shown the value of people supporting people to reduce the impact of social isolation and improve mental health and wellbeing.

“Over the past few months we have engaged in many valuable conversations over a cuppa, highlighting individual and community support needs. This has created essential connections between community members to share stories and learn from each other whilst identifying gaps in provision.”

Our Community Space sessions run at the following venues and all are welcome to attend:

Rosearden, Dalry: 2nd Thursday of the month, 1pm to 4pm

Bridgend Community Centre, Kilbirnie: 3rd Thursday of the month, 1pm to 4pm

Beith Community Centre: 4th Thursday of the month, 1pm to 4pm

Free refreshments are provided and there’s no need to book.

To find more about what’s coming up, visit the My Community Space blog at

Garry Tait, Garnock Valley Community Development Worker, shared: “As a member of staff supporting this project, I feel privileged and humbled that the people who attend the sessions are willing and happy to share their experiences. To hear directly from the attendees that they feel welcome, valued and part of something special makes these sessions extremely worthwhile and needed. I believe that both attendees and supporting staff alike benefit from sharing experiences and finding solutions to some of the issues that have been raised.”
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