AN Erskine mum has been rewarded for helping to tackle loneliness across all age groups.

Norma Martin, 47, set up Good to Gab a couple of years ago after experiencing isolation herself following some health issues.

Now she has been named Erskine Citizen of the Year in recognition of her achievements.

The supportive listening group meets on Wednesday evenings to gives people the chance to share stories and thoughts with others in a friendly environment.

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Norma, who received her award from Renfrewshire North and West MSP Derek Mackay has two daughters, said she was keen to tackle a loneliness epidemic which has come about in recent years.

She said: “We have about 20 people coming along to the group now – from mums with young children to those up to 87. It gets people out of the house.

“On a personal level, I suffered with isolation myself after some health issues, and I felt I had no sense of direction. There seems to be an epidemic just now.

"Loneliness is a major health concern and I wanted to try to make a difference by giving people somewhere to go and have a chat.

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“I was stunned to receive the award. I didn’t even know anyone had nominated me.”

Good to Gab meets at Bargarran Community Centre on Wednesdays, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

Entry costs £2.50 and all proceeds go towards room hire.