Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian

Business Hours The GATEWAY is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and we can be reached by Email – vsg@vsgwl.org – Telephone (01506) 650111 – or Fax (01506) 650222

Voluntary Sector Gateway – Training

The Voluntary Sector Forum in January was well attended, it was great to see so many of you on the day.  We asked you what support you were looking for, the feedback told us that Funding and Financial Management are a high priority for you and third sector organisations in West Lothian.   The Voluntary Sector Gateway have organised two training sessions on your behalf.  These sessions are FREE. Please book your place NOW!

Perfect Match Funding Session – Wed 1st April 2015, 10-1pmSheila Fraser of SCVO is coming to share her expertise and knowledge with a 3 hour Perfect Match Funding Session at the Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian in BathgateThe session will include; Top Ten Funding Tips, Step by Step Funding Flowchart along with the opportunity to understand how to match what you want to do and gain an awareness of the importance of understanding funder’s criteria when identifying potential funders.“We just love to get our teeth into a really complex Funding Application.  We could happily spend hours creating Outcomes, and nothing gives us more joy than detailing our Evidence of Need. Bring it on…” Don’t worry if this is not you!  This session is designed to take your fear out of funding.

This is just the beginning of our series of Training Sessions that will cover Funding, Business Development, Financial Management, E-commerce and Marketing.  Watch out for further dates to be advertised on our website, and in our E-bulletin.

Volunteer Fayres

Volunteers Week starWest Lothian Volunteer Network has announced a series of Volunteer Fayres for West Lothian:

Friday 8 May 12 noon – 2.30pm
Volunteer Fayre at the Burgh Halls, Linlithgow
Thursday 14 May 10am – 12.30pm
Volunteer Fayre at Fauldhouse Partnership Centre
Thursday 21 May 10am – 12 noon
Volunteer Fayre at Bathgate Partnership Centre
Tuesday 26 May 10am – 12 noon
Volunteer Fayre at Strathbrock Partnership Centre

Sunday 7 June 2pm – 4pm Celebration of Volunteering Lanthorn Community Centre, Livingston
This event follows on from last year’s Celebration of Volunteering Event. Photos and videos from that event can be found here: http://www.voluntarysectorgateway.org/volunteers-week-2014/

If you want to take part, contact the Gateway vsg@vsgwl.org

Congratulations to Marylin Boland
West Lothian Volunteer of the Year 2014

Marylin BolandMarylin Boland, Secretary of Diabetes UK West Lothian Voluntary Group, was presented with the West Lothian Volunteer of the Year Award by Fiona Hyslop, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs at an award ceremony in the Hilcroft Hotel, Whitburn on Wednesday 26th November.

Marylin has been a member of the group since 2009 and secretary since 2012.  She is involved in almost every aspect of the group and has been instrumental in developing the group into one of the best in the country.

Amongst many other things Marylin -
organises the group’s Diabetes Information and Awareness Tables (DIATs)
provides diabetes and group information to structured education courses such as DAFNE and DESMOND
leads the group’s fund-raising team
is a TESCO fund-raising team-leader
leads the catering team for social events
is a trained Diabetes Risk Assessor
leads the group’s walking group
etc etc etc!

Diabetes UK West Lothian Voluntary Group are delighted that all Marylin’s hard work has been recognised! There are some more photos on their Facebook page.

Latest News: May Millward attended a reception to mark the 80th anniversary of Diabetes UK at St James Palace and was joined by Marylin Boland, who was awarded West Lothian Volunteer of the Year at the end of 2014.– click on the photo for more

May Millward & HMQ

Videos of the nominees for the finals are on YouTube
See our social media pages for up-to-date news on photos

The awards are featured on the Daily Record’s website

We must apologise for not having our usual photos of the event but there has been a glitch in receiving these from the photographer for the event

In the meantime, here are a number of photos which are available to purchase from the West Lothian Courier website

Volunteer of the Year Awards 2014

Volunteer of the Year Awards 2014

Just click on a photo to take you to the West Lothian Courier website

Volunteer of the Year Winner Marylin Boland

Volunteer of the Year Winner Marylin Boland

Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Paul Weddell

Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Paul Weddell

Young Volunteer of the Year Winner Ashley Gilmour

Young Volunteer of the Year Winner Ashley Gilmour

Young Volunteer of the Year Highly Commended Abbie Wilson

Young Volunteer of the Year Highly Commended Abbie Wilson

Active Citizenship (under 16) Joint Winner Steven Magee

Active Citizenship (under 16) Joint Winner Steven Magee

Committee or Board Member of the Year Winner Lindsey Colman

Committee or Board Member of the Year Winner Lindsey Colman

Employer Supported Volunteers of the Year Clydesdale Bank, Bathgate

Employer Supported Volunteers of the Year Clydesdale Bank, Bathgate

Volunteer Group of the Year Winner Bathgate Street Pastors

Volunteer Group of the Year Winner Bathgate Street Pastors

Jim Riddell Memorial Trophy presented to Autism Family Support

Jim Riddell Memorial Trophy presented to Autism Family Support

Community Arts Volunteer(s) of the Year Winner Malcolm McLaughlin and Volunteer Group or Organisation of the Year Highly Commended Craigshill Good Neighbour Network

Community Arts Volunteer(s) of the Year Winner Malcolm McLaughlin and Volunteer Group or Organisation of the Year Highly Commended Craigshill Good Neighbour Network

factcollage Voluntary Sector WL

“Opening the Doors of Opportunity”

A short promotional video produced for our colleagues at Voluntary Action Shetland by DJ Film and Sound to raise awareness of just some of the hundreds of volunteering opportunities currently available in the Shetland Isles.
Many similar opportunities exist in West Lothian – no lifeboats though!
Volunteering can be fun.  No bearded men were harmed in the making of this video.

Are You an Arts Group Looking for Volunteers?

Voluntary Arts Scotland can help you find them!
Watch our inspirational video to see how we can help you find a creative pair of hands to help your arts group.

Volunteering in West Lothian

How employers, colleges and universities – as well as young volunteers – look at volunteering as a way to gain experience.

Garden Angels Project

Garden AngelsClick on the graphic to download a PowerPoint presentation on the Garden Angels Project

What is Garden Angels About?
Who Can Volunteer?
Who Can Receive The Service?
Benefits for Clients
Benefits for Volunteers
Building Positive Relationships

If you want to volunteer with Garden Angels or you know of someone who could use their help, contact Jeneva Storme, Gardening Project Co-ordinator at the Gateway.  Tel: 01506-650111, e-mail: jeneva.storme@vsgwl.org, Garden Angels on Facebook

Voluntary Sector Gateway 2014 Newsletter

2014 NewsletterThe Voluntary Sector Gateway’s 2014 Newsletter was launched at our Annual General Meeting on Monday 23rd June.

Jim Gallacher, the Gateway’s Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“The contents of this Newsletter only offers a glimpse of the Gateway’s activities over the last year.

I’m pleased to say that much progress has been achieved in our representative role that has a focus on involving the Sector in influencing Public Policy.

The Voluntary Sector Strategic Group (VSSG) plays a very important role in supporting and advising the Gateway on strategic matters that affect the Sector.

I owe a debt of gratitude for all the additional time and work they have put in while at the same time carrying out their day job.

Be assured that The Gateway will be at the forefront in all our dealings and meetings promoting the best interest of West Lothian’s Third Sector.”

Click here to download

Voluntary Sector Gateway Operational Action Plan 2014-2015

Shaping the Future

Voluntary Sector Gateway Business Plan 2014-2017

Business Plan


First Minister’s Reception in Edinburgh Castle

First Minister's Reception

Two West Lothian Saltire Awards recipients, Ross Pitbladdo and Lewis Allan were the guests of the First Minister at a reception in Edinburgh Castle at an event to celebrate the achievements of Saltire Award holders and the Scottish winners of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award.  Following the First Minister’s suggestion, Ross has invited local Saltire Award holders to become Saltire Ambassadors – see below.

Saltire Ambassador ProjectSaltireAwards

Now that Saltire Awards have been running for over a year, we are looking for volunteers to take part in the Saltire Ambassador project.
The Saltire Awards are committed to involving volunteers in the delivery and development of the Awards at all stages.

Saltire Ambassadors can choose to get involved in a variety of roles such as:

The “Summit” Panel
Helping to organise Saltire “Challenge” events
Publicity & Communication e.g. the website, Facebook and Twitter
Helping to organise Award Ceremonies

Saltire Ambassadors will have the opportunity to further develop and build upon skills such as planning, organisation, committee roles, communication and group work skills.

The Summit is for an outstanding contribution to volunteering.

It is awarded to recognise those who have not only completed the “Ascent” but have exceeded expectations.
Volunteers must be nominated for the Award by the school or organisation they volunteer for.
The nominations are peer-assessed by a panel of Saltire Ambassadors who decide who merits the Award.

Saltire Ambassadors will be helped by the Gateway to set up the Summit Panel and will be supported in doing so but they alone will decide who should be awarded a Summit Saltire Award.

If you would like to become a Saltire Ambassador, please contact Saltire@vsgwl.org and we’ll invite you to an initial meeting of interested individuals.

Download more on the Ambassador Role and the Summit – Panel Guidance.

Saltire Awards

Saltire Awards is a new recognition programme designed for young people, between 12 & 25, engaged in volunteering.  There are 4 sections to the Awards – Challenge, Approach, Ascent and Summit.  Young people can progress through the various stages but also have the option to enter and exit the programme at any level.  On completion of a level the young volunteer will be presented with a Saltire Award certificate.  This offers complete flexibility making it more accessible to young people regardless of ability, personal circumstances and lifestyles.

A new interactive website has been developed to support the involvement of young people, schools and voluntary organisations in the Saltire Awards www.saltireawards.org.uk.  This will give a direct specific online presence and support package for the Saltire Awards.

The Saltire Awards dovetail neatly into the 4 key objectives of Curriculum for Excellence as they will enable young people to develop their capacities through volunteering as successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.  The 4 sections to the Awards are as follows:


The age range for each section is flexible and dependent on individual circumstances but, for guidance and to facilitate delivering the Awards in schools and volunteer involving organisations, a suggested age range for each award is listed below:

Challenge 12 – 25  This is designed as an introduction to volunteering and is undertaken as part of a team.  Summit Recipients & Ambassadors may participate as enablers.
Approach 12 – 15 Young people under 16 but not ready to make a sustained commitment to volunteering or requiring extra support may prefer to start with the Approach.
Ascent 14 – 25  For any young person ready to make a sustained commitment to volunteering.
Summit 12 – 25  Ideally recipients should have completed the 200 hour Ascent but this is at the discretion of the Summit Panel.

How does the Saltire Awards programme work?

How do Young Scot Reward Points work?

The Community Toolkit

This resource has been developed for and with the help of community groups to help improve skills and knowledge and bring benefits to local communities. There are guidelines on a range of topics, including setting up and running a community group, legal requirements and good practice, planning and fundraising for a particular project and where to obtain useful statistical data on the local area. To access, click here West Lothian Community Toolkit

West Lothian Council Life Stages

The Life Stages Outcome Planning Programme is a substantial, strategic programme of change led by West Lothian Council working across the Community Planning Partnership (CPP). The overall aim of the programme is to enable the CPP to plan and deliver more effective interventions to tackle social inequalities and build successful communities across West Lothian using a Life Stage approach targeting deprived geographical areas. The Programme recognises that those who are most at risk (and generate the greatest expense in terms of demands on services) often lead complex lives, and hence focuses on redesigning services around the needs of the target group using a partnership approach. Life Stages is about being clear when people most need our support, why they most need our support,which people have the greatest need for our support, and what support they most need from us. There is a toolkit available to assist planning and delivering services that meet the Life Stages outcomes – The making changes happen support guide to implementing Life Stages from the Community Planning web page.

life stages charts final versions,

Training and Meeting Rooms for Hire

For more information download our Room Hire leaflet or contact vsg@vsgwl.org (preferred rates for members).

One of our meeting rooms

PVG Scheme

In February 2011, the Scottish Government introduced the new PVG membership scheme which replaced and improved upon the prior disclosure arrangements for people who work with vulnerable groups. This mean new application forms, new certificates, new guidance and new criteria against which posts and positions must be assessed before an application can be processed.

Click here for detailed information on the PVG Scheme

Click here for further information relating to the implementation of the PVG Scheme



© 2009- Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian
Company Number - SC244154
Charity Number - SC027612