VIVA (Villagers in the Valley Association) was formed 12 years ago following a discussion about the lack of facilities for older people in the Nemphlar area. As there were not enough residents in Nemphlar to make things viable, it was decided to put up notices in the surrounding villages asking if anyone was interested. Following a meeting the first activity to be organised was a walking group as it was felt that it was safer walking with company. VIVA also booked Nemphlar village hall for a Get-together where they served tea/coffee and biscuits and sought the views of everyone about what they would like to do. From a small number the membership has grown over the years to over 120 members. There are no boundaries but anyone joining must be prepared to come into the Clyde Valley to participate.
In normal circumstances their week starts on Monday morning with Zumba, followed on Tuesday afternoon with Indoor Bowling and Table Tennis on Wednesday afternoons. All these activities take place in Nemphlar. The Get-together is held fortnightly in Crossford Hall and now starts with lunch at 1 p.m. followed by board and card games with tea/coffee/biscuits served during the afternoon. A computer clinic is also held at 2 p.m. to help members with problems with their mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Thursdays are walking days when the group meet at a designated point at 10.30 a.m. and walk for approximately 4 to 5 miles. Some members even go on to have lunch together at the end of the walk. VIVA also have a Strollers group who do shorter walks suited to the 80+ age group who are finding the longer walks now outwith their capabilities.
They also organise a Lunch Club once a month when they visit local restaurants, theatre visits and outings several times a year. In recent times groups have been going on holiday together both and home and abroad. Some house groups have recently been set up to play canasta and scrabble and this is an area VIVA are looking to expand in future.
"Well, the word VIVA sounds like music to my ears and I am sure there are other people in the group who think the same. If you feel a bit low because of all the negative happenings in the world just now, think VIVA and look forward to all the different hobbies it is offering you when normality returns."