Volunteering is good for you. Why?
We focus less on our own troubles
We feel appreciated
We regain a feeling of self worth and a feeling of accomplishment
We are energised
We learn new things
Volunteering is a wonderful way to make an impact on the local community. It also helps us to grow as individuals and see the world from a different perspective.
With support from NHS Lothian Foundation and the Robertson Trust, we have been offering a volunteer day in the Backlands, open to all, but with specific emphasis on provision for those facing Mental Health issues. We receive referrals from local GPs (Lauderdale Practice made the application to NHS Lothian Foundation on behalf of the Ridge), from MELDAP (Mid and East Lothian Drug and Alcohol Partnership) and from Social Work, but the most important referral route is via word of mouth and self-referral.
Volunteers speak of the importance and the positive impact of being involved in a project where they feel fully welcome and valued, where they are engaged in physical activity, as part of a friendly and purposeful group. It is informal yet structured, and offers the opportunity for those with often chaotic lives, suffering from poor self-esteem/lack of confidence and social isolation, to become physically and mentally healthier. They make a tangible/ visible positive contribution to a highly acclaimed town centre site, and gain enormous pride from the positive feedback this elicits across a wide spectrum of the community.