• Category: Health and Wellbeing Award

    Lauren McAteer (Health in Mind)

    Nominated by: Health in Mind

    We appreciated Lauren’s commitment to Health in Mind and volunteering. The difference Lauren makes jumps from the page, from personal achievements through volunteering to the knowledge and skills that she has shared with others.

    Soup2Go (Midlothian CLLE)

    Nominated by: Midlothian Communities Lifelong Learning and Employability 

    We particularly admired the fact that these volunteers created something from scratch for that supported the local community. We loved the feedback from members of the community and seeing how the Soup2Go team were valued.  It was great to see how volunteering had also made a difference to those who took part. 

    Marion Mather (Food Facts Friends)

    Nominated by: Food Facts Friends

    We recognise the care you apply to your volunteering role and the difference that makes to those around you. You are dedicated to the organisation and to ensuring that the services that are provided run smoothly. You are an asset to Food Facts Friends and for that we say thanks.

    Fiona Clark (Health in Mind)

    Nominated by: Health in Mind

    We recognise the care and dedication you take to ensure everyone feels included and able to connect with nature in ways that make people feel good. 

    Ageing Well Volunteer Team

    The Aging Well Volunteer Team have done a tremendous job this year supporting people over the age of 50 – many with long term health conditions – to lead a more active lifestyle. Throughout Midlothian the volunteers offer 45 activities each week including health walks, new age curling, dance and other sports. The peer support they provide is key to the success of Ageing Well. All 58 volunteers act as valuable role models to encourage others to take better care of their own health and wellbeing. Volunteers are very loyal to the project and one has been with the project from the very beginning, for 22 years! With over 4000 hours given to the project in the past year alone, Ageing Well volunteers are a dedicated, enthusiastic group of very special people.

    Nominated by: Ageing Well Midlothian

    Josie Pople

    Nominated by: Health in Mind – Midlothian Services Manager

    Josie Pople is a volunteer peer group facilitator delivering online creative art spaces using Zoom. She also co-facilitates a creative arts and wellbeing group alongside Heath in Mind’s arts, greenspace, and active development worker. Josie has volunteered in several roles for 4 years with the organisation. Her volunteering has included co-facilitating community groups at various community venues in Midlothian. She has not been afraid to challenge where she feels groups and activities are not as effective as they could be. Josie is always thoughtful and encouraging, and has provided consistent support to other volunteers and staff members. Josie is an outstanding asset with her continued insight and positive influence.

    Shona Hart

    Nominated by: Breastfeeding Cafe, Auchendinny

    Shona Hart began volunteering at Breastfeeding’s Cafe in May 2021, a few weeks following the birth of her own baby. Shona has given a huge amount of her time to support mothers to establish breastfeeding and overcome significant challenges. She has helped more than 60 families in the past 10 months, giving several hours a month of her time during her precious maternity leave. She is warm and welcoming, offers non-judgmental support and has encouraged other new mothers to become members of the project as she demonstrates the value of community support in the promotion of health and well-being. She is so deserving of an award for her valuable input.

    Sarah Davidson

    Nominated by: Cyrerians Midlothian Community Garden

    Sarah Davidson is a volunteer at the Midlothian Community Garden. She gives her time as a Garden Buddy providing support to people who have been referred to the project because they are isolated or marginalised. Garden buddy pairs work on a range of different activities that can vary in levels of physicality and complexity. Sarah’s input with her ‘buddy’ resulted in that person developing improved confidence, self-worth, and new gardening skills/knowledge, which are all great achievements. Sarah shows calmness, patience and understanding when supporting others. She is described as a ‘lovely selfless soul’ who deserves recognition for her commitment to volunteering.

    Margaret Canning

    Nominated by: Hearing Link Scotland

    Margaret Canning has been volunteering for ten years now. Her weekly activity supporting deaf and hard of hearing people includes a variety volunteering roles. She has made a difference to many people’s lives in her quiet, unassuming way. The support she gives comes from her own lived experience of hearing loss. She meticulously prepares her sessions in advance and is genuinely interested in each and every individual she meets. Not being able to hear can affect people’s wellbeing and many of the folk Margaret works with have stopped socialising because they no longer feel part of the conversation. Hearing loss can make people vulnerable. Margaret understands this, has been there, and is proof that things can get better with good support.

    Hazel Murray

    Nominated by: NHS Lothian

    Hazel Murray has had two volunteering roles with NHS Lothian. In both roles, Hazel has made a significant weekly commitment to support vulnerable individuals and carers who are at risk of isolation. Initially she worked within the Fancy a Blether befriending project. She then helped to launch Carer Relief Companions, which helps to relieve carer stress by giving the opportunity for time away from caring responsibilities. Hazel has attended peer support and learning sessions with other  volunteers to share her experience. She also contributed to the development of NHS Lothian’s new volunteering strategy. She is always keen to raise awareness of projects and to help with recruiting new volunteers. She is a fantastic volunteer! 

    Midlothian Breastfeeding Alliance

    Nominated by: Breastfeeding Network UK

    Midlothian Breastfeeding Alliance (MBA) is a network of trained breastfeeding peer supporters who, collectively, have provided dedicated support to breastfeeding mums across Midlothian for many years. This outstanding team of local female volunteers adapted quickly to the changes brought about by Covid-19, moving their groups online and supporting local women via social media. They gave over 200 gift bags containing self-care items as well as info about breastfeeding to new mums during the first lockdown. They were also closely involved in the development of a Walk, Talk and Feed group.

    Green Prescribing Garden Buddies

    Nominated by: Cyrenians

    Cyrenians Green Prescribing team have been involved in buddying and befriending activity throughout the pandemic in the garden at the Midlothian Community Hospital. The Volunteer Buddies gave their time and energy to visit the garden and support others, listening to people who were struggling through a period of extreme uncertainty when everyone was finding things difficult. They have been nominated in recognition of all their hard work, energy and – most of all – their unwavering compassion and respect.

    Lauren and Josie from the Art and Craft in Wellbeing Group

    Nominated by: Health in Mind

    Lauren and Josie co-facilitate the ‘Art and Craft in Wellbeing’ group, which came about after Health in Mind’s wellbeing services moved online due to the pandemic. These sessions initially ran for 6 weeks but were so successful that they continued in the longer term. The group has offered activities to over 20 participants, including mindfulness sessions, felting, basket making, origami and colour theory. Lauren and Josie are interested in exploring how creativity can promote wellbeing both individually and more widely across communities and society. These two highly creative volunteers deserve recognition for the positive contribution they have made.