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  • VIP Volunteering - Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Fife visits LinkLiving's Social Cafe in Rosyth

    Created: 11/06/2024
    News/Events Category: FVA News
    This item will show under the following categories: Volunteering  

    To mark Volunteers' Week, we ask a local public figure to get stuck in and give their time to a local voluntary organisation. This year, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Fife, Fiona Robertson, signed up and visited LinkLiving's Social Cafe in Rosyth. 

    The group, which is part of LinkLiving's Older Persons' Service, meets every Wednesday, 10.30-12.30, at Parkgate Community Centre for a cuppa, chat, and some fun activities. When we visited with the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, the activity was chair yoga which is great for anyone with mobility issues. The Vice Lord-Lieutenant took part, telling us she's always been an active person and does yoga almost every day. 

    LinkLiving operate two Older Persons' projects - the Social Cafe and Befriending. The Social Cafe runs five days per week across three locations - Torryburn, Rosyth, Tayport, and Cowdenbeath. The Befriending Service offers 1-2-1 visits for an hour every week or fortnight. Befrienders are all volunteers, and the service is aimed at people who can't make it to the Social Cafe as they may have issues with transport, health, and mobility. 

    The Vice Lord-Lieutenant (left, wearing pink) taking part in chair yoga.

    The Vice Lord-Lieutenant stated: "I was struck by how welcoming and warm it is here at the Social Cafe. There’s a nice buzz about the place which is lovely. It’s ideal for people who are living alone and don’t speak to anyone else. The number of people attending is encouraging."

    Marina, one of the Social Cafe's users said: "I live alone – my family have grown up and moved away and my friendship group have all passed away. I became very ill a couple of years ago and had three major operations. It meant I was stuck in the house all of the time.

    "I heard about the Social Café and thought it would be a good way for me to get out of the house. I’ve made a little friendship group here and we do things together. I’ve been coming here for a year-and-a-half now."

    Vice Lord-Lieutenant with LinkLiving staff, volunteers, and service users.

    There are currently around 50 volunteers who assist with the Social Cafes. Volunteers can choose roles they're most comfortable with, whether that's running activities, helping service users, or working behind-the-scenes in the kitchen. 

    Sue Van Horen, Volunteer Manager with LinkLiving said: "What I love most is the value we give back to society. As a society we can be guilty of thinking of older people as separate or 'other' and they’re not – they've lived full lives and can offer a great deal. We need to look after them."

    Vice Lord-Lieutenant (second from left) with LinkLiving staff and volunteers.

    The Vice Lord-Lieutenant summed up volunteering: "Giving back gives enormous enjoyment, and it has a positive impact on physical and mental wellbeing. It’s especially good if you’re retired as you won’t get bored – I volunteer with a few charities.

    "For those who are recently retired and looking for things to do with their time – there will be the right volunteer role for you. It can be good to ask around and find out what services are needing volunteers, or joining a friend at their voluntary organisation."

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