Marking ten years at the heart of the community

More than a decade of inspirational work at the heart of a village community has been honoured with a special commemorative plaque.

Twechar Healthy Living and Enterprise Centre has gone from strength to strength since it was officially opened in October 2006.

The centre is home to a full-time pharmacy, satellite GP surgery, café, sports hall and meeting rooms. There are also a vast range of activities and services - from dancing and dog training to community washing facilities and a credit union.

There is also a breakfast club, parent and toddler activities, youth club, crafts, after-school, family fun zone, multi-sports, social events and more.

One of its most striking successes has been the Next Steps Employability Course - for people aged 25-65 in East Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire. The course helps people to learn transferrable employability skills and make job applications.

It’s a far cry from the early 2000s, when Twechar Community Action took on the old recreation centre - transforming it into a community focal point which has become the benchmark for similar facilities across Scotland.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie officially present a commemorative plaque to Sandra Sutton - company secretary of Twechar Community Action.

She said: “It’s been such an amazing journey. This is more than just a centre - it’s a vibrant resource at the heart of the community.

“Sandra is an amazing woman and the team she has around her are amazing. The difference she has made to the village is incredible.

“I want to say a huge thank-you to Sandra and her talented team from everyone at East Dunbartonshire Council.”

Sandra added: “When we first took this over it was daunting, but we never gave up.

“One of the advantages is that - as a development trust - we can attract funding that the council can’t.

“We have worked extremely hard and the centre really has become a lifeline for so many people. We have a terrific team here and I’m proud of what we have achieved.

“The centre has become a flagship and I hope it acts as inspiration for similar facilities across East Dunbartonshire and beyond.”