Individual advocacy is done on an issue based one-to-one basis and can be accessed by calling 01506 857 230 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Collective advocacy takes the form of group meetings where collective goals are suggested and discussed before we put them in to action. Ordinarily, we run the West Lothian Mental Health Service User’s Forum and The Voice of West Lothian which is a forum for people with substance issues but these have unfortunately been put on hold since the beginning of the pandemic.
In order to try and ensure that people’s views are still heard when we cannot meet in person, we have started an online forum called the West Lothian Mental Health Forum which can be accessed on Facebook and is growing steadily with 51 members currently. We would really appreciate it if anyone who uses mental health services or would like to voice their opinion on mental health services in West Lothian would join the online forum and like our Facebook page. We will soon be starting a Zoom forum which will be advertised on these pages and we are always keen to hear people’s thoughts on how to improve services in West Lothian.
“To support disadvantaged children and their respective families in West Lothian and the wider community. River Kids will achieve this by providing those disadvantaged children with opportunities to reach their full potential. This will be through educational, financial and emotional support.”
River Kids also runs the West Lothian Toy Appeal, which is now an all-year-round event (previously only being a Christmas event). We will now provide a gift on a child’s birthday as well as providing eggs at Easter time.
What we do
With an office in Livingston and a storage unit in Broxburn we currently have 3 full time staff, and the majority of our activities revolve around redistributing highly quality second-hand clothes and toys that have been donated by the public. These clothes and toys will then be passed on to those families referred to us from agencies such as social work, DASAT and the homeless unit.
This is a free service for anyone 55+ who may be socially isolated, feeling lonely and who would enjoy a regular friendly chat over the phone. We have volunteer Call Companions ready and waiting to be matched with potential referrals.
We only launched Call Companions at the end of May and already have nearly 800 people enjoying regular chats with their Call Companions. We have had some lovely comments from people enjoying our new service.
‘I feel like we are living in very dark times but my Call Companion chats are a bright light in my week’.
Established in 2017, the team of 5 staff have exceeded outcomes; their endeavours being recognised by reaching the finals of the Council’s Celebrating Success Awards, winning the Project SEARCH, UK Team of the Year Award and more recently the ERSA Employability Awards 2020, UK Team of the Year category, the only Scottish team to reach the finals.
Supported Employment participants are allocated a designated experienced employment advisor who will work with them 1-2-1.
Seeking work - we identify your skills and any barriers then action plan you for a future in work. We produce your CV, help with job applications and prepare you for future job interviews.
In employment - we can support both you and your employer so you can sustain work or support your move to alternative employment.
During Lockdown adapting the service to remote working allows us to continue to support our client group. In the last 3 months the team have successfully delivered a wide range of Wellbeing and Employability training sessions by video call.
If you are interested in learning more about the service email:
email@example.com or text 07917 814 440 for a call back
Our work aims to improve the mental health and well-being of children and young people by enabling them to feel included at school. Being accepted by your peer group is a vital part of growing up and being kitted out with a new school uniform helps support young people to concentrate on their education, as opposed to their appearance. Feedback from referrals has indicated that children feel proud and excited by their new uniform and parents/carers are less stressed.
The need for our service is growing. In the year to 2019 - 2020 we received 840 referrals, which is continuing to increase. We anticipate further demand for our service during the continued impact of COVID-19 on people’s employment and finances. We therefore appeal for more donations to meet this demand - please see our website for more information on how to donate.
We operate on a referral basis and will accept a referral from any professional organisation, such as schools, social work, health visitors or advice based organisation.
For further information about our service or to find out how you can volunteer and support our work, please contact Project Manager Collette Moran – firstname.lastname@example.org or 07578811398
Providing free face to face money advice and additional support to people across our communities. The service offers home visits and focuses on delivering intensive support aimed at building resilience, enabling people to take control of their finances.
Offering affordable talk therapy options to anyone aged over 18 in West Lothian, the service gives people the opportunity to explore and talk about some of lifes issues in a safe, caring, confidential and non-judgemental space. Some of the issues that we can offer support with include: anxiety, stress, depression, abuse, relationship issues, family conflict, self esteem, bullying, bereavement or anger issues.
Over the past year we have been working in partnership with other organisations to deliver practically focused bereavement support courses. We plan on developing further group courses over the coming year.
The Bridge relies on its volunteers to provide the variety of support that is offered locally. We have a number of different opportunities available and would encourage you to look at our website for further information https://bridgecommunityproject.org.uk/rebuildhope/.
"The Bridge is a safe and welcoming space. I enjoy being part of a friendly team and feel proud being able to volunteer as a counsellor within this supportive environment."
The drivers not only help passengers on and off the bus, but help them from inside their home onto the vehicle. On the return they support them into their home and take their shopping inside their home. Each bus can carry two wheelchair passengers in their wheelchairs. All buses are fitted with wheelchair lifts at the rear.
Our services are vital to so many people. It allows them independence, enables them to get out of their home, meet people, reducing isolation and improving wellbeing while contributing to a sense of community.
On the bus, people who would not know each other without this service, have a great comradery, they look out for each other and keep in touch out with the Dial-A services.
The difference our service makes is even more apparent now during this pandemic, where so many of our passengers are now in isolation. We are trying to support them in different ways, in partnership with other local organisations and charities, to ensure they have food delivered and can attend urgent medical appointments.
Emotional support is extremely valuable, and our volunteers can provide companionship by chatting face to face or over the phone. Befriending support is often provided which may just involve being a listening ear or having a chat about topics other than cancer.
Volunteering with Helping Matters is such a rewarding way to offer practical and emotional support to those who need it, making a big difference to people’s lives. Macmillan volunteer Cath tells us, “I enjoy seeing people get their confidence back. It means a lot to me that I’ve helped someone through such a difficult time.”
All of our volunteers undertake a full induction programme, including Disclosure Check (PVG). All out of pocket expenses are also reimbursed. Helping Matters Volunteers are offered access to a free training programme throughout the year delivered by Macmillan professionals.
During the Coronavirus crisis Helping Matters are currently only offering telephone befriending. We are still actively recruiting new volunteers, if you think that you can give someone a friendly call then please contact Kathryn Speirs on:
Phone: 07801 307 086
Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian is a Registered Company in Scotland No. SC244154 and Registered Scottish Charity No. SC027612.
Registered Office: 20-22 King Street, Bathgate, EH48 1AX
Registered Office: 20-22 King Street, Bathgate, EH48 1AX