• Category: Winner

    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

    Joanna Haba

    Nominated by: Home Link Family Support

    Joanna Haba has been volunteering since 2020 and is currently supporting her second family with Home Link Family Support. Joanna is bi-lingual, speaking both Polish and English, meaning that she has been able to help provide interpretation. In recent months Joanna has been assisting the family she is matched with (especially mum) to get involved in some systemic family counselling, also through Home Link. Joanna has made a significant difference to the life of this mother. As the focus of the relationship has changed over time, Joanna has worked in a very compassionate way with the mother to help her through the difficulties she has experienced.  She has shown immense commitment to this family and has been unwavering in her support for them.

    John McVeigh

    Nominated by: Health-in-Mind Midlothian Team

    John has been a volunteer for Health-in-Mind for over 15 years. This has included being a walk leader and working as a cook in the café when Health-in-Mind was at the Orchard Centre in Bonnyrigg. John’s soups are the stuff of legend!  Over the years he has shown great resilience, particularly during Health-in-Mind Midlothian’s move from the Orchard Centre and during the Covid pandemic. John is very reliable, works well with others and is also easy to get along with. He shows care for the people in the walking groups and has provided first aid and equipment advice for those attending. He has a good knowledge of the natural environment and is able to pass this on to others, enabling them to appreciate nature and enjoy the benefits of being in the great outdoors.

    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.

    Juliette Paris

    Nominated by: Rosewell and District Community Council

    Juliette Paris has been integral to the recent development of a new tennis club for Rosewell. The process is ongoing and has been a huge challenge, with the amount of time dedicated by her being well beyond the call of duty. Juliette is motivated by a strong desire to make sport more accessible in the village. At present, there is little for young people to engage with in Rosewell, so her achievements will benefit all ages and abilities once the site for the club is renovated. The initiative has been awarded funding from several different sources as a result of Juliette’s input. Her commitment and enthusiasm have helped the project to get to this point and her efforts deserve to be acknowledged.

    The Amazing Brains Committee at Art Club

    Nominated by: Art Club – hosted by the Bill Russell Woodburn Youth Project

    Young people aged 8 – 14 have met weekly for around three years to coordinate the activities of Art Club, a youth-led creative project based in Woodburn, Dalkeith. They call themselves the Amazing Brains Committee and they chair their own meetings, direct their own work and take part in a huge range of activities on a regular basis. They are passionate about climate change action and have directed a range of projects including the Junior Rangers Program which ran in the Summer of 2021 for five full days. The work of the Amazing Brains committee has helped to promote a more positive view of local young people and had also shown that they can be fantastic role models.

    Alan Paterson

    Nominated by: Thornton Rose Riding for the Disabled (RDA)

    Alan Paterson has been a member of Thornton Rose Riding for the Disabled (RDA) since 2019. His sense of humour and kindness have made him a firm favourite with participants of all ages.In the stable environment he helps participants and their carers to groom and stroke the horses and spend time practicing their deep breathing to relax and rebalance their emotions. Alan made a big difference to one of our teenage attendees who lacked positive male role models in his personal life. Alan provided this young man with a safe place to express himself and to talk about his feelings. This is what the young volunteer said about Alan: ‘Alan encouraged me to never give up. Alan is a good volunteer. Alan is kind. Alan listens to you. Alan speaks to you. Alan made me independent. Alan encourages me to not misbehave when I’m with the ponies.’

    Karyn Mcgrath

    Karyn McGrath has been volunteering for Anam Cara for over two years. She has extensive volunteering experience including supporting burns victims and continues to volunteer for CREW 2000 supporting people with addictions. She recently became part of the training team for the befriending service at Anam Cara. Her warm personality provides a soft shoulder to lean on and a listening ear. Many of Anam Cara’s other volunteers go to Karyn when they are struggling or when they need a bit of extra support. All her work is completely selfless and dedicated to the organisation.

    Nominated by: ANAM CARA

    Margaret McMeekin

    Nominated by: Volunteer Midlothian

    Margaret McMeekin volunteers for Transform, a community gardening project that aims to promote health, wellbeing and environmental sustainability. Margaret is a retired teacher with a keen interest in gardening and the environment. Her previous experience working with young people helps her to support Transform’s young volunteers, encouraging them to take part in gardening activities whilst learning new skills and having a positive experience. One young volunteer said: ‘Margaret should be celebrated; she gives her everything to the garden. I feel a better person for working there, I would definitely say I have more confidence. The work she is doing is incredible – I have nearly forgiven her for getting me to try that pure stinky Kale!’