• Category: Befriender / Mentor of the Year Award

    Connect Project Volunteers

    Nominated by: Volunteer Midlothian

    Volunteers with the Connect Project are matched with an older person who has been identified as socially isolated in the Midlothian community. For the past year Connect has been running as a telephone and online befriending service, whereby the volunteer makes a weekly call to the ‘befriendee’ or client over a period of 6 months. The work of Connect has been shown to increase confidence and self-worth among clients and volunteers, as well as improving levels of well-being and motivation.

    Joseph Burke

    Nominated by: Health in Mind

    Since January 2020 Joseph has been volunteering with Health in Mind, providing one to one support to four Midlothian men experiencing mental health difficulties. He has shown incredible commitment and compassion, offering weekly support to these men while also starting a new job and completing his dissertation. And he achieved all this during a global pandemic!

    Winner: Volunteer of the Year

    Colin Pow

    Nominated by: Health in Mind

    Colin provides one to one telephone support on a weekly basis for two people with mental health and addiction issues. He also attends a variety of Zoom groups and offers peer support to everyone who attends. Colin has gone out of his way to be welcoming and encouraging to people who are new to the groups. He has made a tremendous difference to the lives of the people he supports, especially those he engages with on a one-to-one basis.

    Amanda Gillespie

    Nominated by: Home Link Family Support

    Amanda is a volunteer befriender with Home Link Family Support (HLFS) who has supported two families this year. The one she has supported the longest has complex and changing needs but she has responded to this very flexibly. Amanda has had to adapt her support throughout this year of Covid lockdowns – she has visited and conducted socially distanced walks (when allowed), offered weekly phone contact and responded effectively to provide support in a very ‘family centred’ way. We applaud her for her excellent work with HLFS.

    Alzheimer Scotland Volunteer Telephone Companions

    Nominated by: Alzheimer Scotland

    Alzheimer Scotland Volunteer Telephone Companions make phone and video calls to people living with dementia and their carers in Midlothian. Each volunteer calls between 1-6 people on a weekly basis, helping to reduce social isolation and providing a meaningful, stimulating relationship. The volunteers have been a consistent point of contact, connection and care that has improved people’s mood, stimulated their mind, and safeguarded their general wellbeing throughout the pandemic so far.