CHRISTMAS has come early for a Kilsyth senior citizens' group after they received a huge lottery grant.
The Bogside Older People's Committee, which meets every Wednesday in Burngreen Hall, has been allocated 4468 from the community project fund, Awards For All.
Now the 60 members are keenly looking forward to a packed schedule of activities during 2011 including a belated Christmas dinner, a summer outing to Ayr, a Hallowe'en dinner — and two trips to Blackpool!
Treasurer Jean Ritchie (77), said: "It was really a big shock, we've never put in for a grant before! We've not been able to meet recently because of the weather, but my phone bill will be massive – when I heard we had got it I phoned round everyone to let them know. We're all delighted.
"It'll take a lot of pressure off of everybody, people won't have to save as much or worry about not being able to afford the trips away."
It was member John Cullen who applied for funding on the group's behalf.
The 80-year-old has something of a reputation for securing grants for community projects, after raising money to build the Croy Miners' Welfare centre and repeat funding to support many of the organisations based there.
John said: "It's a really fantastic wee group. They play bingo, sell cakes and baked goods and have raffles. I go over and buy cakes, some of them are great bakers!
"They're all delighted, it means they can reduce the money they normally spend. It's a lot of money if you're saving all year.
"I had a lot of help from the staff here (Croy Miners' Welfare] with the application. They were taking and making phone calls for me. I was just really pleased when we got the money through."