News & Events
Our partners at Police Scotland and Midlothian Council have asked us to endorse this statement about sharing of personal data on social media and other digital or online platforms. Please folks - be careful about what you post on social media, particularly if it relates to vulnerable people who need services and support. Would you want your name, phone number, address and the fact that you're vulnerable or live alone shared publicly for all to see? We're pretty sure the answer to that question is no, so please do follow this important advice and ask others to do the same.
There has been a phenomenal response from people in Midlothian to the coronavirus crisis (we don't have exact figures but probably in excess of 500 new volunteers in Midlothian at this point in time), and we are seeing some excellent local volunteering projects springing up to tackle the unique challenges that this situation presents. Volunteer Midlothian is here to support these developments and will provide advice and guidance wherever possible so that people have the knowledge, skills and resources needed to implement projects safely and effectively.
At present there are enough volunteers to meet the demand for extra support in Midlothian, although it's likely that this will change as more people contract COVID-19. Please be aware that there has been a groundswell of volunteers in the last few weeks and that as a result of this highly unprecedented situation, it is taking time to set up the infrastructure for volunteering in communities. If you can remain on stand-by to volunteer at a later date, it is likely that you will be contacted by us or another local agency.
- If you are an ex-health and social care worker or health professional, there is the option of rejoining the workforce. Information about this and about volunteering more generally as part of the coronavirus response can now be found on the Scotland Cares website. If you go to this website and fill in your details, you will be redirected to the NHS or Red Cross, or your information will be passed back to us, the Third Sector Interface.
- Our role will be to help pass on the details of potential volunteers to local community initiatives in Midlothian. We are currently looking at how best to do this in partnership with Midlothian Council, Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership and local neighbourhood groups including community councils and development trusts.
We are aware that many people are already volunteering informally in their local communities already and this is fantastic. There is more than one route into volunteering. One of the best things that people can do at the moment, though, is to check on their immediate neighbours - particularly those that are vulnerable - to ensure that they have all the essentials they need in order to self-isolate. Minimising your own social contact outside of the home environment and implementing social isolation is part of the national effort that we are all making to flatten the curve and reduce the impact of coronavirus on our essential services, including but not only the NHS. We will continue to update our website with relevant links and documents as and when we have them ready, so please continue to watch this space. In the meantime please tag all of your amazing activities as part of Midlothian Council's campaign for the coronavirus community response on Twitter - #KindnessMidlothian
Thank you - please stay safe and well folks!
Are you involved in organising coronavirus volunteers in your local area? Do you work for a local Third Sector organisation as a volunteer co-ordinator? Together with our local resilience partners, Volunteer Midlothian has developed a set of COVID-19 response guidelines that should be of help in the coming weeks and months. Despite the fact that we are in the midst of a public health emergency and there is a desire to act fast, it's still really important to ensure that volunteering is carried out safely and effectively for the sake of everyone involved. Click here to read the document, which will be updated regularly. Please also share widely with other organisations and people you work with. If you've any questions of you think we've missed something, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are sure this will come as no surprise, but we are nonetheless disappointed to announce the cancellation of this years volunteer awards ceremony in Midlothian due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Even in the unlikely event that we are able to return to some kind of normality by June, the amount of time lost in preparation would make it unfeasible for the ceremony to go ahead. Given the level of uncertainty about how things will pan out, we have decided that the best course of action would be to cancel rather than postpone. Prior to this announcement we had obtained sponsorship for the awards, so we are liaising with our sponsors to see if the funding can be kept in reserve. We are hopeful that this won't be a problem and that the event will go ahead as normal in June 2021.
Unfortunately, it will not be possible to carry over nominations from this year to next. We will email all those who have nominated so far to let them know, and to encourage them to nominate again next time. On a more positive note it looks as though we may need to create some new awards categories, given the amazing community response that there has been in Midlothian to the crisis so far. In some ways, although we're sad to say it, there has never been a better time for volunteering...
Please stay safe and well, from all of us at Volunteer Midlothian.
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