The Aspiring Communities projects works with people in central Dalkeith and Woodburn to address issues related to health, wellbeing and financial inclusion. It does this through the involvement of local community members and volunteers. The project is funded by the European Union Social Fund, with steering group partners including Dalkeith Citizen’s Advice Bureau and the Bill Russell Woodburn Youth Project.
A key highlight of the project (pre-pandemic) was the successful Volunteer Recruitment Fair held in February 2020, attended by over 195 people and 19 local organisations. During the pandemic, our Aspiring Communities worker Joy supported the implementation of a hot food project organised by Dalkeith resilience group. Community volunteers made deliveries of hot food to families three times per week from mid-April until the end of the school summer term. Nearly 4,000 hot meals were delivered in total – what a fantastic achievement!
A community newsletter was also produced in response to the pandemic. Articles were written by local volunteers and delivered along with free food to sheltered housing residents and other vulnerable or isolated people in the community. The newsletters helped people to stay connected and feel less lonely during the difficult months of lockdown in 2020.