Connect Befriending

Connect Befriending aimed to match 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 recruited and trained 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 included accompanying someone on a gentle walk, or to attend a local community group/ café, 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.

Did it make a difference?

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

Connect Outdoors – a green prescribing project

Connect Outdoors was a group where volunteers supported older people in a variety of activities. The aim was to increase physical and mental wellbeing through being outdoors (or indoors when the weather is not so favourable), and engaging in positive nature-based activities. The group took place at the beautiful community garden at Dalkeith Country Park and the focus was upon gentle exercise, singing, learning something new, socialisation and making new friends.