• Tag: Connect and Connect Online

    Abbie O’Malley (Brownies)

    Nominated by: Brownies

    Impressed by the amount of time Abbie has committed to helping others.  Her determination to volunteer, positive attitude and compassion has seen her overcome so many of her own challenges.  A true inspiration.

    Launching into 2023 with two new projects

    Volunteer Midlothian are excited to launch into 2023 with the delivery of two eight-week projects thanks to funding from Tyne & Esk Rural Communities Development Fund.

    Both short projects will focus on involving volunteers to bring people together, reduce social isolation and improve the health and wellbeing of all involved.

    In Penicuik, the first project will see Transform Activity Sessions restart and further develop in Heinsberg House Sheltered Housing, where young volunteers (14-24 years old) will be supported to deliver social activities for the older people living there. The sessions were delivered prior to Christmas and had the dual benefit of young volunteers gaining confidence and self-esteem, as well as developing new skills and experience to help pave the way for positive future progression. The older people regained the confidence to make use of their communal lounge following Covid restrictions, enhancing their social contact with others within the Sheltered Housing, as well as the young people from their local community.

    Our second project, new for the Pathhead area, will engage our Connect Online volunteers with I.T. skills in its delivery. The volunteers will help share their knowledge and support older people to use technology effectively. This group project aims to provide a lasting legacy enabling older participants to confidently access services such as GPs, shopping and price comparison sites online; and will also allow them to engage with community activism, for example, by linking into the Midlothian Older People’s Assembly.

    With January being a particularly difficult month for many, Volunteer Midlothian are delighted to start the year by offering these exciting projects, highlighting the value volunteering can bring to both the volunteer, and those impacted by the services volunteers provide. We can’t wait to further develop the fun, social connections, empowerment and sense of belonging the projects aim to provide. For further information, to become a volunteer or to join as a participant contact Karen.

    Funded by Scottish Ministers in conjunction with East Lothian Council, as the Lead Partner for the Local Action Group.

    Volunteer Midlothian receives funding boost from Befriending Networks

    We are really pleased to share the news that Volunteer Midlothian recently received some funding from Befriending Networks to help boost the number of volunteers who take part in our various befriending projects.

    Volunteer Midlothian has several befriending projects: ‘Transform’, an intergenerational befriending project, ‘Connect’, which aims to reduce social isolation among members of the older population in Midlothian and also ‘Connect Online’, which matches a learner with a volunteer who can support them with digital skills.  

    Befriending Networks logo

    As well as recruiting new volunteers, the funding will also be used to pilot new volunteer opportunities, with a new focus on the creation of online groups to be facilitated by volunteers with particular interests and expertise. This could include for example a music group or a craft group. Volunteers will receive training in group facilitation and online safeguarding, as well as the use of digital technology, widening their skills and knowledge around how to support and include people by using different methods of engagement. The online groups will be open to people in Midlothian who would benefit from having more social connectivity. At the moment all activity is online, though in future we hope some of the groups may be able to happen ‘face to face’.

    Keep an eye out for further updates when the project is fully underway – we’ll be looking for more volunteers and clients, so get in touch with Naomi if you are interested in finding out more. Also, a very big thank you to Befriending Networks for helping to make these new developments possible.

    Connect with Burns in 2021!

    Rabbie Burns – Scotland’s National Bard

    Three very talented volunteers from Volunteer Midlothian made our online Burns celebration this week an especially enjoyable evening for all involved. They joined staff and volunteers from our Connect and Connect Online projects to celebrate Scotland’s favourite national poet and share some of their own thoughts on being Scottish.

    Raj created an homage to Scotland in the form of his videos ‘Our Adopted Land’ and ‘Rabbie Burns – My Take on the Bard’, which are also available on You Tube.  We played some snippets of both, before having fun describing our favourite Scottish words (such as ‘scunnered’) and favourite Scottish places. Midlothian of course got a few mentions. A short quiz on Burns and Scotland followed, so we all learned something new. Anyone know what ‘Partan Bree’ is? 

    Mary treated us to a passionate recital of Tam O’ Shanter with edited highlights. “Weel done Cutty Sark!” Bruce then entertained us with Scottish and Burns songs including ‘Caledonia’ and of course ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to close the event. 

    Many thanks to our brilliant volunteers who contributed and attended. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Connect project, or Connect Online, contact Naomi Knights, our befriending co-ordinator.

    Videos: Scotland and Burns