Milngavie Couple Brings Joy Into Retirement

A COUPLE from Milngavie are helping to transform the lives of older people in their area by proving how enjoyable life in retirement can be.

Gina and Robert Howieson have been praised by their fellow tenants at Bield’s Oakburn Gardens for their positive attitudes towards socialising and staying active regardless of age or physical ability.

From yoga right through to board games, Robert and Gina have been helping older people at the development to age well through a variety of activities.

Gina, a former carer, said: “As someone who was a care professional up until retirement just two years ago, it is naturally a part of who I am to help other people get involved and socialise together.

“Whether it is  arranging boat trips, playing board games, practicing musical instruments, drawing or spending time with  family members and friends, it is important for both myself and Robert that the community we live in stays active, happy and finds plenty of opportunities to get to know each other regardless of  age or physical ability.

“Next month we plan on taking a group out on another canal cruise - which has been a great success with tenants in the past.

“The activity helps to increase the amount of time tenants are able to spend relaxing and admiring the views in the great outdoors.

“The boat moves gently on the water, allowing those on board to admire the scenery, watch people and nature pass by and enjoy the calming effect of being afloat. It’s a great way for us all to get out and enjoy the fresh air.”

Dorothy O’Donnell, Retirement Housing Manager at Bield’s Oakburn Gardens, said: “Robert and Gina are an active duo at Oakburn. They also volunteer with the Seagull Trust which allows them to make such boat trips available to fellow tenants.

“The trust is funded solely by grants and donations. Anyone with special needs is able to come on board due to the boats being fully accessible and suitable for wheelchairs. The success of the activity really depends on the effort from trained volunteers such as Mr and Mrs Howieson.

“Robert steers the wheel of the boat while Gina serves tea and accommodates those on board. The tenants are also welcome to invite their families to come along too, making it a great day out.”

Bield has been providing high quality housing and related services in Scotland for more than 40 years, investing, changing and innovating its services and operations to address the needs of the next generation of older people.