A NEW initiative set up to tackle isolation among East Renfrewshire’s elderly population has received a £400,000 cash windfall.

The Tomorrow’s Older People Today project, orchestrated by Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire (VAER), is one of just 24 Scottish community groups selected to benefit from the Big Lottery Fund payout.

Designed to improve interaction between pensioners and their community, the Barrhead-based scheme will also be rolled out to South Ayrshire.

It is expected that the funding will help with operational costs for projects stretching across the two local authority areas.

A VAER spokeswoman told the Barrhead News: “We will use this funding to deliver a two-year Tomorrow’s Older People Today programme in East Renfrewshire and South Ayrshire.

“This programme will engage tomorrow’s older people in developing the confidence and connections they want and need in order to age well.

“It will transform the ways communities collaborate in order to reduce social isolation and improve the quality of life for ageing populations.”

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland chairwoman, added: “Because people play the National Lottery, great things can happen in their communities.

“This latest injection of funding is a perfect illustration, as it will create many new opportunities for people across Scotland to come together, learn and share skills.

“Thanks to this funding, thousands of Scots will have a stimulating new year by being able to pursue a creative activity, acquire new skills such as growing and cooking or be able to take up volunteering opportunities.”

For more information about VAER and its services, visit www.va-er.org.uk or call the centre on 0141 876 9555.

In total, £6.2million of National Lottery Good Cause cash was handed out to organisations as part of the Big Lottery Fund giveaway.

The funds have been spread across the country to groups which deliver a range of stimulating activities that boost creativity, confidence and self-esteem.

Visit the website at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk for further information.