A new fund to support mental health and wellbeing is being launched in Midlothian today with £241,000 to be distributed to local third sector organisations and community groups. Social enterprises will also be able to benefit from the Fund, which aims to promote initiatives that will benefit adults aged 16+.
The money will help to address the impact of social isolation and loneliness caused by the pandemic, as well as health inequalities that have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The funding has been provided by the Scottish Government as part of a wider £15 million programme for Covid-19 recovery and renewal.
In Midlothian, the Fund will be overseen by representatives from the TSI, Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership, Midlothian Council, Health in Mind, Penumbra, CAPS Collective Advocacy and people with lived experience. There will be £241,000 across three separate grant streams consisting of micro-grants up to the value of £2000, small grants up to £10,000 and a limited number of larger grants in the region of £30,000 each. Money will also be available for capital spend on land or building projects, to compliment the small and larger grant streams.
Lesley Kelly, Chief Officer of Midlothian TSI, which includes Midlothian Voluntary Action and Volunteer Midlothian, said of the Fund, ‘We are really excited to have been given this money to distribute locally, whilst working together with our partners over the next few months. We know that there is a huge amount already going on in Midlothian’s communities to support mental wellbeing. The Fund will help local groups and organisations to build capacity, enabling more people to make social connections and access opportunities that promote mental wellbeing.’
It is hoped that a similar amount of money will also be available in the next financial year (2022-23) and that creative proposals will be received for a wide range of activities with a focus on wellbeing in the community. Priority areas include recovery from addiction, social isolation and loneliness, suicide prevention, dementia community supports, access to physical activity, support for carers and anything else to promote mental wellbeing for adults aged 16+ at a grassroots, local level.
To find out more, go to the Funding page on MVA’s website, where you can read the Partnership Plan and Fund Guidance. Application forms can be downloaded from there. Please also share this article and spread the word about the Fund with others in Midlothian.
It’s been a month since the 2021 Midlothian Volunteer Awards ceremony took place online, and we are pleased to say that we have now managed to get the trophies and certificates into the hands of all our wonderful award winners and nominees. Here are a few pics of the trophies being handed over. It was a pleasure to work with everyone involved in the awards and to meet the winners in person. We look forward to doing it all again in years to come.
Well done and thanks again everyone – winners AND nominees!
Members of Art Club’s ‘Amazing Brains Committee’ receiving their Covid-19 Community Award.
Ellie and Holly from the Midlothian Breastfeeding Alliance accepting the MBA’s award for voluntary work related to Health and Wellbeing.
Gina from the Penicuik Ambassadors, who won the ‘Volunteer Team of the Year’ award. Gina was able to come to the Glencorse Centre with her daughter to collect the award at the same time as the MBA.
Ricky Lloyd from Dalkeith Rugby Club accepting his award for Active Volunteering. Chris Boyle also jointly won this award for his hard work alongside Ricky.
We wonder who got to take the award home!
A member of the team from Food Facts Friends receiving the organisation’s certificate of nomination for the Covid-19 Community Award. Heather Mortimore from Food Facts Friends won the ‘Outstanding New Volunteer Award’.
We delivered the certificate and trophy on the same day that some of the other trophies were handed over in the Penicuik area. Unfortunately, Heather wasn’t there at the time of drop off, but we hope she liked it when she got it!
Samantha Gough, winner of the Saltire Summit Award for her dedicated volunteering with the children and families charity, Bright Sparks.
We think Bramble the teddy looks very happy snuggling up with Samantha.
Joseph Burke, Midlothian’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’ 2021. Joseph won this award in recognition of the outstanding volunteer work he has done over the past 18 months on behalf of local mental health charity Health in Mind.
To celebrate Volunteer’s Week 2021, Volunteer Midlothian held an online awards ceremony on the 3rd June attended by around 150 people. The ceremony was very different to the one we’re used to at Newbattle Abbey College, nonetheless it was still filled with love and admiration for Midlothian’s volunteers. Many congratulations to all our hard-working winners this year, and to all our nominees – you’re simply the best, and you are ALL worthy of recognition!
The winners of the 2021 awards are as follows:
- Outstanding New Volunteer: Heather Mortimore from Food Facts Friends
- Befriender/Mentor of the Year: The Connect Project Volunteers from Volunteer Midlothian
- Active Volunteering: Chris Boyle and Ricky Lloyd of Dalkeith Rugby Football Club
- Health and Wellbeing Award: The Midlothian Breastfeeding Alliance
- Dedicated Service: Colette Pye from Mayfield and District Breastfeeding Support Group
- Covid-19 Community Award: The Amazing Brains Committee at Art Club
- Volunteer Manager of the Year: Naomi Knights from the Connect Project at Volunteer Midlothian
- Saltire Summit Award: Kyle Anderson, Eva Hesketh-Laird, Louise Gillespie, Melissa Reidie, Samantha Gough
- Volunteer of the Year: Joseph Burke of Health in Mind
- Volunteering Team of the Year: Penicuik Ambassadors
You can read more about all our nominees and winners here.
If you’ve been keeping up with our recent news, you’ll be aware that every year in Midlothian we run a volunteer awards ceremony during Volunteers’ Week from the 1-7th June. The ceremony is an opportunity for us to say a huge thank you to all of Midlothian’s volunteers. However, we also need to say thanks to another important contributor – the people that help to make the awards possible in the first place.
We are grateful to have received sponsorship for seven of this year’s award categories from local organisations. Without the input of our sponsors, the Midlothian Volunteer Awards would be a much less exciting affair! As the circumstances do not permit us to offer our thanks in person, we want to show our appreciation digitally, to let others know that our sponsors really are amazing and very generous.
The award categories and sponsors are listed below.
Outstanding New volunteer – Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
Befriender or Mentor of the Year – Police Scotland
Active Volunteering Award – EDF
Health and Wellbeing Award – Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership
Dedicated Service to Volunteering – Esk Valley Rotary Club
Covid-19 Community Award – Midlothian Council
Volunteer Manager of the Year – Scottish Qualifications Authority
Volunteer Midlothian are running a ‘Name the Bear’ competition for primary schools in Midlothian starting TODAY, Monday 24th May. Our little furry friend is the mascot for the Midlothian Volunteer Awards, an annual ceremony that takes place during Volunteer’s Week at the beginning of June.
The bear will be travelling around Midlothian over the next 11 days, visiting different beauty spots and places of interest, then popping up every day on Twitter using the hashtag #wheresthebear
Followers will be encouraged on Twitter and Facebook to guess the bear’s location. At the end of its journey on 3rd June, the bear will gain a new name voted for by participants at the Midlothian Volunteer Awards ceremony. The chosen name, based on entries from local primary school children, will win £100 for the school and will get to keep the bear!
The mascot competition is part of a campaign to increase awareness of Volunteers’ Week 2021 and to boost Volunteer Midlothian’s following on social media. We are keen for lots of people to join in and follow the bear on its travels. This is the first time Volunteer Midlothian have run a digital campaign, so YOUR help in making it a success is much needed! Please tell other local people about the bear, especially any families you may know whose children might want to have a go at naming the bear via the school they attend. All local primary school head teachers have been sent information about how to enter.
For more information about how to take park contact Miriam at Volunteer Midlothian.
We are now able to share the list of confirmed nominees for the 2021 Midlothian Volunteer Awards, which will take place during Volunteers’ Week from 1-7 June. It’s looking likely that we will run an event on the evening of Thursday 3rd June to announce the winners, so keep an eye out for further updates about this.
The standard of nominations has been very high this year and we have also had a lot of interest in the awards. This reflects all the extra voluntary activity we’ve seen as part of the Covid-19 resilience response in local communities, but also the amazing work that has taken place across the third sector as a whole throughout the pandemic.
All of the nominees are listed below. The full list of Saltire Summit nominees will be announced later on in April. Well done everyone – you are all fabulous!
Outstanding New Volunteer
- Heather Mortimore (Food Facts Friends)
- Andrew Love (CAPS Collective Advocacy)
- Kathryn Gordon (Home Link Family Support)
- Katrina Drennan (Penicuik Ambassdors)
- Beth Fyfe Falconer (Volunteer Midlothian – Transform)
- Joseph Burke (Health in Mind)
- Alzheimer Scotland Telephone Companions
- Amanda Gillespie (Home Link Family Support)
- Connect Project Volunteers (Volunteer Midlothian)
- Colin Pow (Health in Mind)
- Rebecca Lewis (Riverfly on the Esk)
- Holly Gibb (Breastfeeding Café)
- Mirabelle Maslin (Roslin and Bilston Community Council)
- Chris Boyle and Ricky Lloyd (Dalkeith Rugby)
- Dalkeith Guerrilla Gardeners
- Ageing Well (Midlothian Council)
Health and Wellbeing
- Anam Cara Befriending Team
- Art and Craft in Wellbeing Group (Health in Mind)
- Midlothian Breastfeeding Alliance
- Green Prescribing Garden Buddies (Cyrenians)
- Jim Paterson (Food Facts Friends)
- Connect Online (Volunteer Midlothian)
- David Thornton (Health in Mind)
- Colette Pye (Mayfield and District Breastfeeding Support Group)
- Maggie Palmer (Home Link Family Support)
- Jim Ralston (1st Loanhead Boys Brigade Company)
- Penicuik Community Development Trust
- Vernon Miles (Community Activist – Environmental Clean Up)
- Grant Stanley (‘Our Stars Family’ on Facebook )
- Amazing Brains Committee at Art Club
- Food Facts Friends
- Gorebridge Resilience Partnership
- Penicuik Ambassadors
- Mark Wells (Food Facts Friends)
- Michael Huddleston (Alzheimer Scotland)
- Monika Dyczko (Health in Mind)
- Naomi Knights (Volunteer Midlothian)
- Shondra Riley (Made in Midlothian)
Saltire Summit Award
- Kyle Anderson
- Eva Hesketh-Laird
- Louise Gillespie
- Melissa Reidie
- Samantha Gough
We’ve put together a second video following on from the one we released last week about the Midlothian Volunteer Awards. This latest video offering tells you more about the categories that volunteers can be nominated for and who the award sponsors are.
Both individual volunteers and teams can be nominated for all of the categories except the Saltire Summit and the two ‘Of the Year’ Awards, which are instead judged from all the nominations put together. This means that every nominee has two chances to win an award – so all the more reason to nominate!
You can watch our other video and read our Awards FAQ’s on our Volunteer’s Week Awards web page.
We hope you like it and that those of us who prefer to ‘watch’ rather than ‘read’ also find it helpful. Please share widely so that as many people as possible know about the awards and can get thinking about who deserves to be nominated. Thanks!