TWO special ladies are new volunteers at the Benarty Community Shop, in Ballingry.

Sue McLeod is a resident at Lister House Care Home and Eleanor Reekie is a resident of Benore Care Home, and both ladies are living with Dementia.

Ross Gavin, the lead well-being co-ordinator at Benore/Lister Care Homes, explained that after researching community link-ups within Benarty, he and the well-being team had the idea that volunteering in the local community shop would be a great place to go as its volunteer run and is at the heart of Ballingry, Lochore, Crosshill and Glencraig.

Said Ross: "We then organised a meeting with the lovely Lorna Bett, the Community Shop manager, who was as eager as us to get some residents along to help out. "We then picked Sue and Eleanor, as they were the most suited to the post as they are very helpful in carrying out tasks within their respective homes.

"Sue and Eleanor were very excited and happy at the prospect of getting out into the community and helping out in the shop once I suggested it to them.

"They will once again feel empowered by being part of a community and with that they will gain a great deal of purpose and sense of achievement". He added: "They will be dealing with customers regularly so there's also the social benefits as well as learning new skills and putting there knowledge into practice also as they both have experience in retail. "We are simply just wanting to make a difference and improve the wellbeing of our residents and also show that living with Dementia isn't a life sentence of doom and gloom and that you can still live a full and fulfilling life" .

Sue and Eleanor wasted no time in getting involved in serving the public and are both looking forward to the challenges working in the community shop will provide.