There has been a phenomenal response from people in Midlothian to the coronavirus crisis (we don’t have exact figures but probably in excess of 500 new volunteers in Midlothian at this point in time), and we are seeing some excellent local volunteering projects springing up to tackle the unique challenges that this situation presents. Volunteer Midlothian is here to support these developments and will provide advice and guidance wherever possible so that people have the knowledge, skills and resources needed to implement projects safely and effectively.
At present there are enough volunteers to meet the demand for extra support in Midlothian, although it’s likely that this will change as more people contract COVID-19. Please be aware that there has been a groundswell of volunteers in the last few weeks and that as a result of this highly unprecedented situation, it is taking time to set up the infrastructure for volunteering in communities. If you can remain on stand-by to volunteer at a later date, it is likely that you will be contacted by us or another local agency.
- If you are an ex-health and social care worker or health professional, there is the option of rejoining the workforce. Information about this and about volunteering more generally as part of the coronavirus response can now be found on the Ready Scotland website. If you go to this website and fill in your details, you will be redirected to the NHS or Red Cross, or your information will be passed back to us, the Third Sector Interface.
- Our role will be to help pass on the details of potential volunteers to local community initiatives in Midlothian. We are currently looking at how best to do this in partnership with Midlothian Council, Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership and local neighbourhood groups including community councils and development trusts.
We are aware that many people are already volunteering informally in their local communities already and this is fantastic. There is more than one route into volunteering. One of the best things that people can do at the moment, though, is to check on their immediate neighbours – particularly those that are vulnerable – to ensure that they have all the essentials they need in order to self-isolate. Minimising your own social contact outside of the home environment and implementing social isolation is part of the national effort that we are all making to flatten the curve and reduce the impact of coronavirus on our essential services, including but not only the NHS. We will continue to update our website with relevant links and documents as and when we have them ready, so please continue to watch this space. In the meantime please tag all of your amazing activities as part of Midlothian Council’s campaign for the coronavirus community response on Twitter – #KindnessMidlothian
Thank you – please stay safe and well folks!