A COMMUNITY campaigner is using her university education to help put an end to loneliness amongst older people.

Mature student Margaret McGowan has set up a new group for the over-50s as part of a placement with the Inverkip Community Hub.

She is working with the centre to inspire local people to come together and get more active.

The new group meets on a weekly basis and offers everything from family history and walks to arts and crafts and a whole host of other activities aimed at getting people out of the house and bringing them together.

Port Glasgow gran Margaret, 53, who is studying community development, said: "I think it is so important to tackle social isolation.

"It is something we are now really aware of.

"We want to bring people together and make sure the centre is for everyone to use.

"There are so many opportunities - the centre is a fantastic facility and we want older people to know it is for them as well.

"I have been to see different groups in the village and have spoken to people about what they would like to do.

"We have all kinds of great ideas and it is something I am very passionate about."

As part of her placement at Inverkip Hub, Margaret is helping to develop a new group and work alongside existing projects being run from the busy hub.

The Port gran, who has worked as a volunteer and been involved in raising awareness of autism, is studying at Glasgow University at the same time as her daughter Rachel, 19, begins her music business degree at Highlands and Islands University.

Margaret added: "It is lovely to be studying at the same time as Rachel.

"I decided to go back and study because my family is all grown up.

"It was scary at first but I am loving every moment of it.

"It is such a great course."

Her husband Hugh, a Richmond Fellowship support worker and her family - daughters Kirsty, 30 and Nicola, 26, and son Adam, 22, along with Rachel all encouraged her to take the plunge.

Margaret added: " I am loving my time down at the Inverkip Hub and can't thank Kevin Rodgers the centre manager for all his support."

The new over 50s group meets at the Inverkip Hub every Friday from 2.30 to 4.30pm.