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Helping the vulnerable elderly in Dirleton to feel part of the community

One of the aims of Dirleton Good Neighbours is to make everyone feel part of village life and in particular the elderly in the village. As Dirleton Good Neighbours has started to get going and we have described this as one of our aims, a number of village residents have expressed an interest in becoming involved in achieving this.
But we are very aware that this is not something to rush into – that it needs care and tact – and that very sensible checks exist to protect vulnerable residents which have to be observed.
We are therefore delighted that Maureen Allan from Strive, an East Lothian organisation that works with volunteers, has agreed to guide us in achieving this aim. She has already set up a training programme entitled Community Connections to help the vulnerable, elderly and lonely create trusting relationships with volunteers, and will be providing Dirleton with its very own version of this programme.
Dirleton Good Neighbours will organise dates for a group session in the village for friendly and informal meetings, led by Maureen, to guide us through how to form a relationship with a vulnerable resident that reduces their isolation and loneliness and encourages them to participate in the community. It is NOT any sort of counselling, therapy or personal care, rather encouraging steps towards being part of the community. The training sessions will last about 2 – 3 hours and will be in a small group in Dirleton, with whom you will yourself form relationships and build your own confidence to volunteer. Maureen will help us sort the simple series of necessary checks required, and will provide regular support after the initial training.