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Volunteer Midlothian AGM & 30th Anniversary Celebration

Volunteer Midlothian AGM & 30th Anniversary Celebration

09 Nov 2015

We held our Annual General Meeting & 30th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday 11th November at Dalkeith Arts Centre. 

There were short speeches by Laura Shepherd (previous VM Manager) and Sue Peart (Penicuik CAB) followed by a "Meet the Volunteer" session where Roisin Fitzsimons interviewed five local volunteers about their experiences. We then held an afternoon tea to celebrate our 30 years before the business section of the AGM commenced.

Thank you to everyone who attended the event and in particular to our speakers.

Here's to the next 30 years of Volunteer Midlothian!

Pictured: Anne Moodie, Director and Ian Hewitson, Chair of our Board of Directors

Launch of Volunteer Midlothian Strategy

08 Nov 2015

To mark 30 years of supporting and developing volunteering in Midlothian, Volunteer Midlothian has launched its Strategy for 2015 to 2018. In the Strategy we present our vision for the organisation over the next three years, addressing key areas such as structure; direction and sustainability. We have set out our commitment under four key headings: Develop Volunteering; Transform Lives; Connect Communities and Sustain Delivery. 

Like all Third Sector organisations we are operating in a difficult economic climate and things are set to get worse. Despite the challenges ahead we remain committed to serving the communities and residents of Midlothian.  The Strategy sets out our aspirations and planned activities for the next three years. It takes account of the different strands of our work and new areas that we want to develop. 

To view the Strategy please follow the link

or request a copy by emailing

Trustees’ Week 2015 - 2nd to 8th November

02 Nov 2015

Welcome to Trustees’ Week 2015 ( This is an annual celebration of trusteeship, designed to highlight the great work that trustees do, and to encourage others to get involved and make a real difference to a local Third Sector organisation or community group. We know from our own experience and from our members that it is becoming increasingly difficult for charities to recruit volunteers. People lead busy lives and are reluctant to commit to this type of role. Running a charity in 2015 is not for the faint hearted – especially when one considers the complexities of factors such as employment legislation; child and adult protection; financial regulations and data protection.  

Nevertheless we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of trustees. Ultimately they are the people in charge of a charity. They may be called trustees, directors, board members, governors or committee members, but they are the people with overall responsibility for directing the business of a charity.  Trustees should take the strategic decisions that really matter about the charity's finances, activities and plans for the future. Recent high profile cases highlight what can happen when trustees don’t have sufficient oversight of a charity’s finances, or when they rely too much on one person.

People often become trustees to 'give something back', but as with all volunteering there is a two-way benefit. Charities benefit from the range of skills and experience that their trustees bring, but trustees can learn and develop new skills that may open up new opportunities for them, as well as meeting people who share their interests and concerns.


Why not mark Trustees Week by taking some time to think about your trustees: 

• How effective are they? 

• What measures could be put in place to ensure that they are fulfilling their roles? 

• Would training help? 

• Do you need new trustees? 

• How diverse is your Board? Do you have any young trustees? 

• Do you have an event to say thank you to your trustees?


If you are struggling to recruit trustees then please let us know. We want to find out how big the problem is in Midlothian. We can promote your opportunity through social media; our website and in conversation with people who contact us about volunteering. We want to encourage more local people to think about the difference that they can make by volunteering as a trustee for a local charity or community group.

If you feel that your Board would benefit from training then our TSI partner MVA regularly runs training for trustees. As part of Trustees' Week they are running "Roles and Responsibilities of Management Committee and Board Members" on Wednesday 4 November -


Befriending Week 1st - 7th Nov

01 Nov 2015

A BIG THANK YOU to all of our volunteer befrienders who give their time every week to visit people in their own homes and help take them out and about in the community.

Befriending Week has two aims: to raise awareness of the issue of loneliness in our society, and to promote the great work of befriending services. Not everyone has somebody and if someone has become isolated because of ill health, disability or social disadvantage, being matched with a befriender often fills a big gap. Befriending offers support with volunteer befrienders visiting people who would otherwise be socially isolated. The positive results of befriending can be very significant. Befriending often provides people with a new direction in life, opens up a range of activities and can lead to increased self-esteem and self-confidence. If you or someone you know would like to volunteer as a befriender please contact Claire.

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