“Fun” - That was the main word that cropped up at Maybole Over 50s (MOFs) first AGM held in The Speakers recently.
As group leaders reported on the year’s activities, the word came up time after time.
In his first annual report, Peter Mason, MOFs’ chairperson, said, “That’s a full year this new venture has been running, and what a year it has been! A trip to Loch Lomond Shores, a run down the coast through Largs, a high tea at Ardrossan and all for £10.00.
“Activity groups include computing for beginners, camera club, swimming, German conversation, knit and natter - more natter than knitting, board games, walking, keep fit, ukulele lessons, art, yoga, genealogy and a gardening group.
“Some other events that we may be able to put on shortly is a sewing group and we are trying to get someone to teach conversational Spanish.
“What can you say about the members of MOFs, great people, great and welcoming company, the salt of the earth, all we are trying to do is address social isolation wherever that may be, and also loneliness.”
The AGM itself was more of an information day followed by lunch before the business part.
In his report, Mr Mason said he felt that MOFs had made a difference to the lives of some members.
He added, “People have tried things they have never tried before, they have made friendships even stronger than they were in the first place, they have made new friends, they have spread smiles to faces, and in general had a good time.
“Our motto was and always will be to fight loneliness, and social isolation in the whole of North Carrick.
“In some ways I think we have been successful but we still have to reach out further into the community to try to identify people who are isolated, and that as far as I can see is something each individual in this room can do.
“We all know someone who just might benefit from having a chat and a catch up with friendly people.
“All you have to do as individuals is to ask them to come along to MOFs.
“We are fortunate to have a great group of people that are part of MOFs, you are welcoming, friendly and caring, and I am proud to know every one of you.
“And now to the superstars of the gardens,” he continued, “the Community Payback team, including the people who oversee them; this team has done a sterling job, they started with a piece of waste land and turned it into a haven of peace where people can sit and enjoy the fresh air or work in their garden at their own pace. This team, male and female, were polite and courteous and nothing was too much trouble for them.
“I went round one afternoon as they were staining the hut and fences and two young ladies were happily painting away with their faces covered in the spray off the paint. I asked how they were enjoying it or was it just a bore to them and both replied right away saying they ‘loved it’.
“When it was cold, windy, raining they still has smiles on their faces and I have no doubts that without the Community Payback team we would never have had the garden.”