Dozens of people gathered together for a song and a chat at a Saturday Get-Together event in the Methodist Central Hall, Paisley.

The event attracts around 60 people of all ages, from seniors to children and takes place weekly from January until the end of March. It’s run by 12 volunteers from the Methodist Church as part of Renfrewshire’s Winter Connections programme.

A group of musicians play at the event, entertaining people while they chat and play games. There’s also hot food and drinks, such as soup, filled rolls and snacks for the kids.

Margaret Jackson, who helps organise the event and is a member of the Methodist Church, said: “This is a great opportunity to welcome people into our building which is here for the community.  I love speaking to people and enjoy the singing, which can be anything from ‘Sweet Caroline’ to ‘Michael row the boat ashore’. The Saturday Get-Together brings so many people together and it’s been lovely to see people coming in who were with us last year. 

“I think it’s really important to offer extra help in this time of economic crisis, and this is a way to offer that help in an enjoyable way. Come along and give it a try, you will be assured of a warm welcome and hopefully will become a regular.”

Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, chair of Renfrewshire Council’s Fairer Renfrewshire sub-committee, visited one of the sessions and said: “The activities put on by local groups and organisations across the area are so important to ensure local people can come together and keep connections going throughout the winter period.

“Community groups and organisations like the Methodist Church are such an important part of the community and the work they are doing here through the Winter Connections programme is giving people a sense of belonging and the chance to talk about any issues they are facing in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental environment.”

Two community groups also run from the Methodist Central Hall: an after-school Monday Youth Zone for children in primary 7 to S3 with crafts and games, and a Wednesday Men’s Zone for a chat, game of dominoes, table tennis, snooker and more.

Winter Connections is a programme of events put on by Renfrewshire community groups and local organisations for local people. It’s in its second year and is backed by an £85,000 fund from the Council.

To see the programme, visit the Winter Connections webpage on the Council’s website.