News & Events
Volunteer Midlothian’s Community Links Projects, following a very successful six year period, will sadly close in March this year as Midlothian Council Integrated Care funding has come to an end. The projects have been offering befriending, dementia inclusive groups and connections in the community, bringing people together and increasing social connections for older people in Midlothian. The project coordinators, Mags Bryan and Claire Spiden, have enjoyed developing partnerships with many organisations including Art in Healthcare, Paths for All, British Red Cross, Nordoff Robbins, Citadel Arts, Vocal, Health in Mind and many more. Mags and Claire have worked diligently over the last number of years to build up these quality projects which have been invaluable to clients, carers and referrers across Midlothian. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their dedication, commitment and hard work which has been paramount to the success of these projects.
Over this last year Volunteer Midlothian’s Community Links projects have supported 352 people on a weekly basis, supported by 110 wonderful volunteers. This has enabled all who have been involved to remain independent at home for longer; enjoying the company and social contact of others by attending groups, participating in local outings and activities at home whilst offering people the chance to share and learn new skills.
Celebrated moments include:
- Age Scotland Award for Best Partnership Working
- Service to the Community Award
- Paths for All accreditation and Volunteer of the Year Award
- Dementia Stars Award for 16 people with dementia
- Befriender and Mentor of the Year Award
- Individual and community participation in Luminate Festival and Celebrating Absent Friends events.
Mags and Claire would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who have made the projects such a success and to all those involved, they wish them well for the future. Our Connect Online project will continue and a new volunteer coordinator role has been funded which going forward will provide new opportunities for volunteers of all ages across Midlothian.
Sadly our Midlothian Growing Together project will be coming to an end in March 2018. The project began back in May 2013, with our current Gardening Coordinator, Kat Dunlop taking post in 2014. Based within the ground of Dalkeith Country Park (across from St Mary’s Church), the Community Garden has been developed, maintained, and enjoyed by many thanks to the hard work and of Kat and a team of volunteers over the years. The project has had a particular focus on supporting young people and those experiencing mental health difficulties by offering informal, practical and therapeutic volunteering sessions.
The good news is that the project will continue to offer volunteering sessions on Friday mornings (from 10.30 – 12 and 12 – 1.30) right up until the end of March, and we are actively looking for more volunteers to get involved until then. Sessions are great for those who have a keen interest in gardening, want to use existing skills or to learn new skills. With an informal approach there is no pressure to attend every week so sessions are good for those who are wary or unable to make a regular commitment. No experience is necessary and there are tasks to suit all abilities. All training, protective clothing and break time refreshments with be provided!! Come along, meet new people, help improve your community and learn new skills.
In addition to looking for individual volunteers, as group session in the garden for staff and volunteer goups provides a great team building opportunity and we would be happy to accommodate this.
Beyond the end of March, Keith Barbour (Youth Support Coordinator) will continue to deliver a limited number of sessions within the Community Garden with small groups of young volunteers, and we are currently exploring opportunities for other organisations/groups to share responsibility for maintaining and developing the garden. If you know of a group who might be interested or would like further information about Midlothian Growing Together, please contact Karen Downie, Head of Service – Transform on 0131 660 1216 or email Karen@volunteermidlothian.org.uk
Are you thinking about trying something new in 2018? Why not consider volunteering in your local community? Volunteering has so many benefits - not only for the community, but also for you!
There is a volunteer opportunity to suit everyone, regardless of age, experience, interests or skills. At any one time we have around 200 opportunities advertised with us across Midlothian.
To browse the current opportunities available please click here.
If you are under 16 click here to browse our directory for young people.
What can we do?
- Provide information and advice on volunteering
- Help you to find an opportunity that suits your skills and interests
- Help with the volunteer recruitment process
- Provide support to help you get started
To make an appointment with one of volunteer advisors and to find out more, please call 0131 660 1216 or email email@example.com
We also provide advice and support to local organisations that involve volunteers. For more information on what we can do to support your organisation, please click here.
Merry Christmas & Best Wishes for 2018 from all at Volunteer Midlothian!
We will close at lunchtime on Friday 22nd December and re-open on Monday 8th January. Thank you to everyone who has worked with us in 2017 and we look forward to working with you all again in 2018.
Search hundreds of opportunities in Midlothian. Find a volunteering opportunity that suits you.