A PORT Glasgow man is using the power of music to lift himself out of long-term unemployment.

Richard Gallacher has been without a job for more than 20 years due to ill health but is now hoping to use his talents to get off benefits.

The 47-year-old first picked up a guitar at the age of 16 and he has been a musician since the age of 27.

He has created a number of albums and is now hoping to become a community musician, taking the joy of music to nurseries, care homes and community groups.

Richard said: “I was inspired by my great niece Sienna, who loves music.

"I recently purchased a percussion set and I sat with her and her mum and we each had an instrument to play.

"The joy on her face made me want to share that joy with other people.

“I have always kept myself busy and never let the fact I wasn’t well get me down, but I have decided that this year it is time to take action for my mental, physical and emotional health.

“I want to give back to the community because they have helped me and I am ready to tackle the challenge of working for myself head on.”

Richard is hoping to run fun and interactive sessions locally which would see groups of up to 16 people play instruments and have a go at conducting themselves.

He hopes the local community will help support him in his venture.

He told the Tele: “I learned to express myself through music and I am hoping to now help others.

"I know business will be slow but I am ready to play the long game and if successful hopefully make the transition from being on benefits.

“I am looking forward to getting back into the community."

Richard has set up a business Facebook page, Community Musician, where people can get in touch with him.