There has been a huge response from local communities in Midlothian wanting to help with the coronavirus response. To ensure that volunteers and the community are adequately supported, and so that efforts are properly coordinated, Midlothian Council are currently gathering details of everyone who is organising support in their local area. We are helping with this process and are liaising with other key organisations including the Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership, as well as our Third Sector partners, to put together a set of good practice guidelines for volunteering activities related to COVID-19. The guidelines will include some important questions to consider when developing volunteer activities in the community, and will be circulated widely once finalised.
If you are a coordinator in your area please email CLL@midlothian.gov.uk as soon as possible to let Midlothian Council know what you are doing. Please also ensure that you provide a main contact name and telephone number so that advice and information can be effectively shared and so we can ensure support is properly targeted.
In the meantime, Volunteer Midlothian will be taking the details of anyone who contacts us wanting to volunteer and will be helping to connect people up in due course, once we have a clearer picture of where volunteers are most needed. MVA, Volunteer Midlothian and SEAM (Midlothian Third Sector Interface) have arranged for most staff to work from home in line with the latest government guidance for social distancing. We will, however, continue to cover emergency planning meetings and feed back to the sector through emails, website updates and social media.
We will pick up our emails and messages regularly so please keep in touch. No decision has been made as yet to postpone or cancel events related to Volunteers Week 2020, including the volunteer awards ceremony. This is being kept under review and we will let you know if plans change. Please take care and get in touch if there is anything you think we can help with, or if you have any specific questions related to volunteering in the coming weeks and months.