A HELPING hand has been outstretched to people in Barrhead and Neilston with additional support needs.

The Include Me 2 Club-run projects will see anyone who has a learning, physical or mental disability given the chance to spend time with others facing a similar set of circumstances.

The weekly event will be held at Arthurlie Social Club offering quizzes, games, raffles, bingo and a disco.

Glen Hall in Neilston also hosts a social club to provide members with some time to relax and make new friends.

Paul McIlvenny, Include Me 2 Club chairman, said: “It’s a very new service. The reason why we started was because there were absolutely no or little opportunities for people with additional support needs to do any social activities.

“They didn’t get much chance to network or connect with others.

“This all came around because myself and wife Ashley worked in the social care sector. We recognised that over the last seven years that there is still a lot missing out there. There are still a lot of opportunities to be filled.”

Outlining the main benefits of being a member of the 160-strong group, Paul added: “The club provides an opportunity to make new friends and reduce isolation. It provides an affordable range of opportunities in the evening for them.

“Mental health issues start to creep in and affect your life.

“Members look forward to the club every week, for some it’s their main activity.

“They keep saying they can’t wait to come back. It’s all about community.”

Include Me 2 is a free-to-enter organisation and is open to anyone with additional support needs.

Organisers work closely with Arthurlie Taxis to lay on a free transport service to assist members with mobility issues.

The Include Me 2 social nights in Barrhead will run every Tuesday from 6pm to 9.30pm, while the Neilston events are held each Wednesday from 6pm to 9.30pm.

For information, go to: www.includeme2club.org.uk or email includeme2club@hotmail.co.uk.