Dedication of Long-standing Volunteers Recognised in the Borders

A RETIREMENT housing development in the Scottish Borders has recognised the invaluable contribution of its volunteers as part of a nationwide celebration.

Bield’s Mungo Park Court development in Selkirk held an event with tenants, staff and local public figures to show its appreciation for the hard work and dedication of members of the local community as part of Volunteers’ Week.

Five hardworking volunteers – who boast a combined total of 55 years of experience lending a hand at the development - were presented with flowers and a certificate by the Lord Provost in recognition of their contribution to improving the lives of older people.

Maisie Mackenzie, a volunteer at Bield’s Mungo Park Court, said: “I’ve been volunteering at Mungo Park for over 15 years now and it’s so rewarding to see the difference you’re making to older people’s lives.

“Every day I spend with the tenants is completely different. The biggest success for me as a volunteer is getting tenants socialising, joining in with an activity or just chatting to each other.

“I’ve been popping into the development every week for many years now and it’s lovely to build up real, genuine friendships with the residents, staff and the other volunteers – I always really look forward to my weekly visits.”

Local musicians John Irvine and Sandy Smith performed well-known favourites, with tenants, staff and volunteers joining in with the festivities.

Lynette Haddock, who works alongside Elizabeth de Beate as the Development Housing Manager at Mungo Park Court, said: “The work of our volunteers is absolutely invaluable and it’s great that we were able to recognise their dedication and hard work.

“Simple things like sitting and having a cuppa and a chat with a tenant can make such a difference to their day and I’ve seen so many genuine friendships develop between tenants and our lovely volunteers.”

Bield’s ‘Free to Be’ ethos seeks to enable people at its developments to make their own choices and live their own lives wherever possible.

Volunteers are instrumental to this, from lending a listening ear to getting involved with social activities and organising and helping run anything from bingo nights, to day trips, craft clubs and musical events.

To find out more about volunteering at Bield, visit https://www.bield.co.uk/join‐us/volunteering

Bield is a registered charity which has been providing a wide range of housing and services for around 20,000 older people across 23 local authority areas for more than 40 years.