Celebrating its 10th year supporting older people in and around West Lothian, Cyrenians’ Older People, Active Lives service held a Big Par-Tea in the Livingston Stadium’s Almondvale Suite.
The event brought together the community which has built up around OPAL, with 175 past and present volunteers, clients, group attendees, staff and friends celebrating together.
OPAL, which has served over 2,000 people in West Lothian in the last decade, was set up in 2013 as an extension of our Golden Years service, and has since developed into a thriving community and support network for over-60s in the area. The service works to tackle the social isolation and exclusion which often affects older people in Scotland by building community, skills, and spaces and time to connect with others and, in its first year alone, had already supported over 100 people.
The first OPAL social group, which meets at the Royal Scot Court in Bathgate, is still running to this day, and since then the service has expanded, now offering 13 social groups in West Lothian, as well as befriending services, one-to-one support, digital skills sessions, and a Community Capacity Building project, which supports older people to achieve the changes they want to see in their local community.
Throughout the pandemic, OPAL offered support, digital community, and wellbeing packages to over-60s in West Lothian, and since 2019 the service’s shop-front office in Bathgate Town Centre has offered a hub for community action and support. OPAL's work has had such positive impacts, in March 2022 we opened a new OPAL service in the Borders as well.
To mark its tenth year, OPAL hosted its Big Par-Tea, featuring dance, music and a delicious afternoon tea catered by Food Creations. Guests were welcomed into the venue by local piper Walter Williamson, and the celebrations started with singer Claire Grehan and finished with entertainment from Gary Copland.
Billie Hamilton, OPAL community worker, said:
“It was a lovely afternoon of music, fun and laughter, with many people attending meeting new friends!”
If you would like any information about our OPAL services in West Lothian, please call the OPAL office on 01506 815815 or email email@example.com