The Hawkhead Centre in Paisley celebrates its first birthday

Posted: 04/10/2018 | Scottish War Blinded

The Hawkhead Centre in Paisley has celebrated its first birthday in style with a week-long bash filled with games, music and laughter.

Tuesday, October 2, marked a year since the service was opened to Scottish War Blinded members, providing activities and support to veterans with sight loss.

Each day of the week has seen music entertainers perform for the members and a host of celebratory activities.

The official birthday on Tuesday kicked off with plenty of banter, with a quiz prepared by Hawkhead staff to put members’ knowledge of the centre to the test. Staff and members enjoyed music, dance and a three-course meal to celebrate the Hawkhead Centre's first birthday

The party mood continued with a hilarious few rounds of ‘Play Your Cards Right’, followed by a fantastic three-course meal.

Members got their toes tapping for a joyous sing-along and dance to some much-loved stirring accordion tunes played by John Carmichael from Music in Hospitals & Care.    

And on each day of the week, visiting veterans also posed up for a commemorative snap of the special day for them to take home, standing in a hand-made frame in the shape of a military jeep.

“You couldn’t get a better place,” said member Christina Johnson, 89, who has been visiting the centre every Tuesday and Friday since it opened.

Christina added: “Scottish War Blinded now pick me up to bring me to the centre – that makes a great difference. Members had their pictures taken standing in a military jeep frame to mark the Hawkhead Centre's first birthday

“I’ve been trying out the woodwork – Dave in the workshop is great. I’ve made a treasure chest.

“Before coming here I wasn’t well at all. It’s a lot better for me.”

Tommy Carruthers, 59, has also been visiting the centre from the very beginning.

He said: “Coming to the centre feels like home. Everybody helps everybody, and you can talk to everybody.”

And George Heenan, aged 80, has been attending the Hawkhead Centre since January – and says his life has changed for the better.

George commented: “I always say, the week for me starts on Tuesday. I like meeting with people. We get the transport they provide and I like seeing everyone on the bus. The Knights of the Round table team show off their trophy after winning the quiz and Play Your Cards Right game

“This year I’ve done things I’ve never done before, like computers. I’ve got a tablet, and Jason at the centre taught me how to use it. Now I can check my emails, I can look at where I want to go on holiday.

“I’ve also tried art – I could draw before but now I can paint. And I’ve been out sailing – I’d like to go out and do that again and be Captain Birdseye.

“I like it very, very much. The staff are all wonderful, you can talk to them about anything.”