Our Groups and Activities

Our groups and activies provide a range of benefits to older people.

They are sociable, helping to combat the loneliness many older people feel.

They span generations. We work closely with local schools, allowing old and young to enjoy time together.

They promote good health, giving older people the chance to take part in gentle exercise activities.

Gardening Groups

Our two gardening groups meet weekly in Laurencekirk and Portlethen. Members enjoy light gardening activities in and around their local communities during spring and summer. They work with pupils at the Portlethen and Laurencekirk primary school gardens, at Benholm Mill, take care of village planters and more. In winter they head indoors to enjoy talks from garden, countryside and wildlife experts, or to craft items such as wreaths, bird feeders and boxes.

Both groups are Scotrail Station Adopters, and responsible for the lovely planter and tub displays at Laurencekirk and Portlethen railway stations.

Walking Groups

In Association with Paths For All, we have three walking groups for people aged 50+ around the Mearns. The walks are a combination of valuable low-level exercise and social contact, often ending with a trip to a cafe! They are suitable for all levels of fitness, or for people who need walking aids. Run by volunteer leaders, the walks take place all year round in Stonehaven and Laurencekirk, and during the summer months in St Cyrus. The Stonehaven group is the biggest, with well over 20 participants each week. In 2019 they celebrated their 2-year anniversary.

The walks are open to anyone aged 50 and over who wants to enjoy getting out and about with company.

Past Times Group

A Laurencekirk-based weekly social group for people with mild cognitive impairment or early stage dementia. Members enjoy such activities as board games with Laurencekirk primary school pupils, music afternoons with the local pensioner’s group, talks and quizzes at Mearns community library and crafts of all kinds. The group go on regular outings to venues such as Links Park in Montrose, St Cyrus Nature Reserve and the Grassic Gibbon Centre at Arbuthnott.

Assisting the group members and organisers Bernie and Denise are a number of dedicated older volunteers. As well as giving enjoyment and social contact to the members, it gives their families a bit of time to themselves each week.

The Mearns Memory Café

Launched in April 2019, the café is a free monthly event for people with dementia and their families, friends and carers, and any interested people in the community. Held mostly in Laurencekirk’s Masonic hall, it’s a place for people to get together for a sociable chat, cuppy and cake (and local strawberries in the summer!). Pupils and staff from Mearns Academy help with cake baking and serving, and our volunteers from Past Times group come along to help out too.

The café includes optional activities such as crafts and board games, and special guests come along to offer extras. These have included sitting yoga and gentle exercise sessions, songs and music from Lathallan pupils and an art session with Quarriers. We also have information and advice from visiting organisations such as Citizens Advice and Alzheimer Scotland.

Friday Film Club

A free monthly film screening for the whole community, but also dementia-friendly, with low lighting, a break for refreshments and more. The shows are run with the help of Mearns Community library and Alzheimer’s Scotland. With a mix of golden oldies and more recent films, some we’ve enjoyed so far include Singing in the Rain, Jailhouse Rock, The Wizard of Oz, The Greatest Showman and Calamity Jane. All good for nostalgia or sing-alongs!

Invercarron Lunch Club

A weekly lunch club in Stonehaven run by volunteers, which allows local older people to get together for a sociable hot meal, chat and a cuppy.

Gentle Exercise Class

A long-running class in Drumlithie, which helps older people maintain fitness and flexibility.

Join a Group

If you would like to join any of our groups, or get more information about them, please contact us.

Company registered in Scotland number: 325854
Scottish Charity Number: SCO38980