Dixon Community Minority Ethnic Day Activity & Friendship Centre

Managed by the Dixon Community in Govanhill, the Minority Ethnic Day Activity & Friendship Centre is designed to cater for the specific needs of older people from the South Asian Community. The project provides food and health activities which meet cultural and religious requirements. Lunch is an integral part of the work of the centre, providing the opportunity for members to enjoy a healthy meal in the company of friends.

Elderly Asian man seated at communal dining table

Background

The Minority Ethnic Day Activity & Friendship Centre is designed to cater for the specific needs of older people from the South Asian community. The project provides food and activities which meet cultural and religious requirements.

The main focus of the centre’s activity is on health and wellbeing. In the lunch club, members are encouraged to eat healthier options, and care is taken to reduce salt and fat levels in meals, grilling rather than frying food and making sure that salad and fruit are always available.

Exercise classes and yoga are available three times a week, and there are information and focus group sessions on a range of health topics, such as dementia, diabetes and stress reduction.

Members are also involved in activities such as arts, crafts, history projects and films. Outings are arranged throughout the year to places of interest in and around Glasgow.

How it works

The centre has six full-time paid staff and two sessional workers. It is open for women on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and for men on Wednesday and Friday. Individuals and families can request places and referrals are also taken from GPs and social work services.

The centre has a cook five days a week. A standard meal on three days consists of meat or vegetable curry, rice, chapatti, salad and yoghurt, with a pudding or fruit salad for dessert. One day a week food is bought in from Cordia and on the other a more limited menu of light snacks is available. All meals are provided for around £3.

Meals can be provided to cater for individual needs.

Staff and volunteers also help out when they can with shopping for members who live alone and have difficulty accessing shops. The centre has an outreach befriending service providing friendship and home support for older people who are housebound or isolated living in the community.

Transport is important because many members are too frail to make their own way to the centre. The centre has a bus and a driver that picks members up from around 9.45am, dropping them home again after 3pm.

The project has an elected users group that meets monthly to deal with any issues, plan outings and co-ordinate the fundraising that is needed to keep different activities running. This committee deals with any concerns in relation to food, and its chair sits on the main Dixon Community Board.

All staff and volunteers are registered with Disclosure Scotland.

Funding

The centre is funded by Glasgow City Council.

Achievements

Lunch is provided for around 30 members a day.

The meal can be an important part of nutrition for older people attending the centre especially those who live alone. Men who attend the centre are more likely to ask for healthy options and be careful about what they eat.

Published: February 9, 2015