It’s all too easy for an older person to become a bit isolated. To give up on the things that they once did. Life changes, and sometimes anyone’s confidence can dip - and next thing you know an “easy” goal can feel like an impossible dream. That’s where we come in.
Community Connecting is really simple. We match you up with an older person who has become a bit distant from the things they once enjoyed. With a little bit of your help they can get their confidence back, get out and about, and live life!
You don’t need special skills. All you need is a couple of hours a week. Your enthusiasm, your friendliness, and your interest will make a dramatic difference in someone’s life. You can help them reach that “impossible dream”.
We give you all the training you need, and we're with you every step of the way. When you're matched up with someone, it may last up to a maximum of 16 weeks, but many matches are shorter. That's because your enthusiasm, talent and interest mean that goals are achieved, lives are turned around, and the loneliness is gone.
Sometimes people tell us that what they most want to do is have the confidence to travel by bus. Simple with your help. Impossible without it. Sometimes they want to pick up an old hobby. Sometimes they just want to get out and feel part of the world again. And you can help them do that. You can be the difference that’s needed.
What’s in it for you?
We could tell you about the fantastic training you'll get - or the chance to take part in other, more advanced training, such as stroke awareness and dementia care. We could tell you how good volunteering is for your CV and employment prospects. We could tell you how volunteering is proven to improve your health and wellbeing. What we can’t describe is the feeling that you get when you know that you've genuinely helped someone get their life back on track. When you realise that you have the power to change lives. Pretty good going for a couple of hours a week. But don't just take our word for it - here's what our volunteers said:
Frequently asked questions...
What happens if I need to change my shifts for a couple of weeks in the middle of a match?
No problem! Most matches last for a maximum of 16 weekly sessions. Each one is arranged separately between you and the person you are matched with. We all have other commitments, so it's just as likely that the person you support will need to change dates or times at some point during the match. So long as everyone knows in advance, and you complete all the sessions in your match within a reasonable amount of time, it doesn’t matter too much when they happen.
I’ll be moving away for an extended period in six months time, can I still volunteer?
Yes! Our matches last for a maximum of 16 weeks each. At the end of each match, you’ll be invited to a support and supervision meeting with your volunteer coordinator, where you’ll have the option to either temporarily or permanently withdraw from the service.
How much will it cost me?
Nothing! We cover reasonable expenses (including travel) and the application and training process are free as well. If you’ve been resident in the UK for at least 5 years*, the background checks are free too!
*If you have been resident in the UK for 5 years or less you may be required to provide a police report from your previous country of residence which may or may not require a fee to be paid – contact us for more information.
How you can help...
There's several ways you can support Community Connecting - just click on a button below to find out more about one of our roles!
How to get involved...
Volunteering with us is easy - just fill out the form below to get started!
No email address? No problem!
You can give us a call on 0131 225 0630 or drop in to see us at Volunteer Edinburgh, 222 Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH6 5EQ. See our contact page for more information.
What happens next?You'll be invited to have a brief meeting with our volunteer coordinator, who will explain how Community Connecting works, answer any questions you have and guide you through the rest of the application process. Lastly, you'll need to attend a two-part training course - you can see all of the upcoming courses we have scheduled and reserve a space at http://communityconnecting.eventbrite.com/. The course covers a range of topics and covers everything you'll need to know before you begin supporting someone.
- Scott Williams – 14 February 2017