A PENSIONER living on her own says she would 'never have survived lockdown' without the support of a local community project.

Greenock gran Libby Ballantyne, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, was cut off from her family and friends as she shielded to stay safe during the terrible Covid-19 outbreak in the community which has claimed 119 lives.

Without her weekly friendship groups at Your Voice to attend she grew increasingly isolated.

But the team based at Clyde Square stepped in to offer her a lifeline with chats on the phone and weekly visits for afternoon tea.

Now, as restrictions ease, Your Voice is looking at ways to stay connected to people who might not be able to get out and about easily.

Libby, 73, from Greenock, is full of praise for the service.

She said: "I find it all very emotional - I have family but I couldn't really see anyone so it was very lonely and isolating for me, day after day.

"I don't know what I would have done without Your Voice on the other end of the phone.

"The afternoon teas have been lovely as well.

"It is amazing how much it lifts you when someone cares enough to phone."

Former guide leader Libby is normally an active member of the digital peer support group at Your Voice and is also involved in other activities.

But like others she found herself in danger of being cut off when the pandemic triggered lockdown measures.

Your Voice stepped up to offer phone calls and then visits.

Every week the team of community connectors visits the homes of people like Libby, offering them friendship and a chat.

Manager Karen Haldane and her team are looking at ways to support those with lifelong health issues as we move out of the shutdown.

Karen said: "We will be looking at ways to support people digitally because that is going to be very significant as we come out of lockdown."

Your Voice plans to expand digital support to help people on their own who may be isolated, looking at ways to train them and get access to equipment.

Libby added: "I would really recommend people getting in touch with Your Voice if they need help in any way.

"I can't thank them enough for what they did for me."