AN East Renfrewshire charity has launched a special initiative to tackle loneliness and isolation.

Tomorrow’s Older People, which is led by Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire (VAER), set up the ‘Meeting Points’ movement in a bid to connect members of the community who visit local venues.

The team behind the project have already recruited nine cafés across East Renfrewshire, including three in Barrhead alone – Alma’s Deli, in Cross Arthurlie Street, Catherine Rose, also in Cross Arthurlie Street, and The Market Place, in Kelburn Street.

Claire Ramsay, from Tomorrow’s Older People, told the Barrhead News: “Finding a safe place to meet new people can seem like an impossible task and lots of us don’t want to have to join something just to be able to have a chat.

“We have a coffee shop culture which presents opportunities for people to meet but, realistically, how comfortable would you be sitting in a coffee shop and starting a chat with a complete stranger?

“That is why our team is linking with a variety of local venues across East Renfrewshire to develop Meeting Points.

“In the space of just one week, we managed to sign up nine cafés across East Renfrewshire, with lots of positive feedback on our social media pages.

“The café owners are delighted to be on board, with many of them telling stories about how they support their customers to connect.”

In a further bid to tackle loneliness, a ‘Gentleman’s Club’ is now based at Barrhead’s Kelburn Bar, where people can connect with other members of the community through the likes of quiz nights, karaoke and darts.

Donna Martin, manager at the Kelburn Bar, said: “We recognise that there are men in our community who spend a lot of time on their own and don’t have any family support.

“They are looking for a bit of company but don’t want to join a group as such.

“We simply provide a space for them to meet, chat and maybe play dominoes or cards while enjoying a cup of tea and a biscuit. They don’t need to join, they just turn up. The more people we have, the merrier.”

To find a full list of Meeting Points, visit or contact the team at Tomorrow’s Older People on 0141 876 9555.