Community Links Project - Volunteer Recruitment Days
The Community Links Project for older people celebrated its first birthday in November. It was launched as a pilot project which received funding for two years from Midlothian Council Change Fund. Based at the Volunteer Centre, the aim is to support older people, aged over 65 years and living in Midlothian, to become less socially isolated. With the help of dedicated volunteers, the project provides companionship to older people on a one-to-one basis, giving them the opportunity to make links within their communities and be involved with local activity. The project is now well established and gaining momentum. Strong relationships have been built between clients and their befrienders and community connectors.
Feedback received from volunteers about their experience to date with the Community Links Project has been very positive. For example, many have reported making new friends through the project, increased feelings of self-esteem and confidence, plus gaining vital experience which can be used to move onto other volunteering roles or future employment.
Client feedback has also been very positive with many reporting increased motivation and confidence to see people and get out more, decreased feelings of isolation and exclusion, plus clients feel good about sharing their own skills and knowledge with volunteers. In addition, the project has provided respite for carers who are also isolated and reassurance for clients families.
The Community Links Dementia Project, funded by Scottish Government Dementia Demonstrator Site, began in June 2012 and is also based at the Volunteer Centre. With the help of volunteers, the project supports people of all ages, who have a diagnosis of Dementia, to pursue hobbies either in their own home, or out in the community. There are many opportunities for volunteers to either work in groups, or in one-to-one befriending relationships, or by being community connectors- supporting people to maintain existing social networks, or even to support people with travel arrangements.
If you are interested in becoming involved with either of the Community Links Projects, there are two Volunteer Open Days coming up on:-
31st January 2013 from 10am-3pm at The Old Peoples’ Welfare Hall, St Andrews Street, Dalkeith
4th February 2013 from 10am-3pm at the Library - Penicuik Centre, Carlops Road, Penicuik
If you would like to find out more about volunteering with Community Links then drop in to either open day anytime between 10-3pm and staff will be happy to answer any of your questions and expand on the opportunities available. Alternatively contact Roisin, Faye or Mags on 0131 660 1216.