‘I can’t just let this happen,’ says Bute Befrienders campaigner

Christine Harris outside Rothesay Leisure Centre - venue for a sponsored swim which she hopes will raise awareness of, and money for, the Bute Elderly Befrienders.
Christine Harris outside Rothesay Leisure Centre - venue for a sponsored swim which she hopes will raise awareness of, and money for, the Bute Elderly Befrienders.

A Rothesay woman whose husband stands to lose out if a vital befriending service has to close says she won’t let the axe fall without a fight.

Christine Harris’s husband Jack, who suffered a stroke 14 years ago, makes regular use of the Bute Elderly Befrienders scheme, set up to help some of Bute’s most vulnerable older people.

As we reported last week, the failure of a bid to the Integrated Care Fund for Argyll and Bute will force the service to close in January unless alternative support can be found.

And 64-year-old Christine is in training for a sponsored swim to raise awareness of the Befrienders’ plight - and raise funds to help keep the service going a little longer.

“I thought ‘I can’t sit back and let this happen’,” Christine, a keen swimmer, told The Buteman.

“Even if it closes, at least I can say I’ve tried. It’s the only thing I can think of to make people aware of the situation.”

Christine’s swim at Rothesay Leisure Centre will start at 9am on Wednesday, December 9. Sponsor forms are at both Co-operative stores and also at Bute Tools, Rothesay Health Centre and Rothesay Leisure Centre itself.