A CHARITY is on a mission to get everyone in Johnstone fit and healthy after receiving a major cash boost from the Scottish Government. 

Active Communities has been handed more than £200,000 from the social economy growth fund for its project FeelGood Renfrewshire 2020, which will aim to get everyone not currently engaged in health and wellbeing activities up and about.

And the charity is also looking into securing an asset transfer for the former Johnstone police station in Quarry Street where it is hoped staff from Johnstone will be able to run classes as part of the project.

Chief executive Susan McDonald said: “It was great to receive the funding and we hope to get the community of Johnstone fit and healthy.

“We’ve now also applied to Police Scotland for an asset transfer of the old police station which has so much potential for us. Our current space in Quarry Street isn’t big enough to do all we want to and for the amount of people turning up.

“We are speaking to the community now about the building and what they would like to see come from it. They are a big part of what we do.

“It’s a perfect location right in the town centre. We’ve applied to Renfrewshire Council for some funding to create a business plan and then hopefully we can apply for funding from Big Lottery, who we have met with already.”

Some of the classes which may take place in the building if the plan gets the go-ahead include yoga and mindfulness as well as cookery classes, as the charity hopes to set up a training kitchen to get visitors making healthy recipes.

Staff also hope to allocate a space for a youth health project and a fitness studio to offer classes and training for leaders and tutors.

But it’s not all about upping fitness levels in Johnstone, Susan also hopes to tackle loneliness and isolation in the community.

She said: “I hear a lot about people who have never been to classes before who end up having a great time. We hear so much about people being lonely and I hope we can help resolve that.”

Tom Wallace, chair of Johnstone Community Council, who are helping to advise the charity with its plans, said: “It is an absolutely fantastic idea to turn the police station into a health and fitness hub. 

“Everyone in the community council is fully behind it. We’d rather it be put to this use than see it turn into offices.

“We hope we will be able to advise staff and help them with their ideas along the way.”

Active Communities runs classes across Renfrewshire including Buggy Buddies, Clubbercise and Jogging Buddies. 

To find out more visit www.activecommunities.co.uk