South of Scotland MSP Claudia Beamish has welcomed Lottery Funding for the Food Train to expand its befriending service across the region.
The charity was awarded £590,474 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Investing in Communities: Supporting 21st Century Life programme to support the development of the Food Train Friends befriending project over a five year period.
The award was welcomed with a debate in the Scottish Parliament led by Claudia’s colleague, Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray.
Speaking following the debate, Claudia Beamish MSP said: “The Food Train offers a lifeline to those who use its services and I am delighted that this lottery award will allow it to expand the befriending service across the region.
“Food Train Friends offers the opportunity for friendship and fun to people who are at risk of loneliness and isolation. This is a very real concern for many older people, threatening their ability to continue to live independently at home.
“The charity is an excellent example of how the voluntary sector can step in to help provide services for older people and it has taken its core grocery project to six local authority areas.
“I was happy to welcome volunteers from the project to a reception in their honour at the Scottish Parliament last year and further expansion was high on the agenda.
“When you consider that one in ten older people are malnourished, the benefit of the shopping service provided by the charity cannot be understated.
“I would like to congratulate the Food Train on its latest funding award and am keen to support it to continue to expand its services across the region and the country.