Projects & Partnerships

Connect Befriending

Connect Befriending matches a volunteer befriender with someone (55 years old or older), from within the Midlothian community who has been identified as benefiting from company and where possible being connected to services and groups within the community. 

Connect Befriending recruits and trains volunteers to provide the support that many older people need to become more socially connected, enabling them to participate in activities of their choice at home or out in the community. Activities include accompanying someone on a gentle walk or to attend a local community group/ cafe or simply sharing company with someone in their own home.

A little human contact, and conversation, makes the world of difference. Volunteers can provide company and practical support to enable a person to feel less isolated and part of their wider community.

This role asks for a commitment of 1-2 hours between the hours of 9–5pm Monday to Friday, for 6 months.  

Skills & qualities required by the volunteer

  • caring, friendly and open-minded attitude
  • good listening skills
  • sociable and good communicator
  • patience and understanding

Due to the nature of this role we require:

  • 2 references
  • a PVG (there is no cost to the volunteer)

Benefits to volunteer

  • Make a difference to someone’s life       
  • Improve confidence and self-esteem                          
  • Meet new and interesting people in Midlothian                      
  • Learn new skills or share your skills
  • Access new training                              
  • Increase job prospects                                     
  • Help progress onto further education
  • Gain a reference
  • Have fun!

Does it make a difference?

The clients we work with benefit immensely from the input of volunteers and report feeling better, happier and more socially connected as a result of the befriending relationship. Volunteers also give very positive feedback about the role and frequently remain involved with the project well beyond the initial befriending match. 

Connect Outdoors – a green prescribing project

Connect Outdoors is a group where volunteers support older people in a variety of activities. It is held on a Wednesday afternoon from 2–4pm. The aim is to increase physical and mental wellbeing through being out-of-doors (or indoors when the weather is not so favourable) and engaging in positive nature-based activities. The group takes place at the beautiful community garden at Dalkeith Country Park and the focus is upon gentle exercise, singing, learning something new, socialisation and making new friends.

Volunteers support clients in all activities. If you would like to volunteer with Connect Outdoors, please get in touch!

For more information about Connect Befriending and Connect Outdoors please contact Naomi naomi@volunteermidlothian.org.uk 07856 571076.