South West Villages Project

South West Villages Project

The Eric Liddell Centre is proud to reach out to communities across Edinburgh- an example of this is the South West Villages Project which ran from 2017-2019.

The project was developed to map and assess the various programmes and services available to older residents within the smaller, more isolated villages in the South West of Edinburgh – Juniper Green, Currie and Balerno.

The project took a community development approach, working with existing organisations and local people to identify issues and develop solutions for the future.

The South West Villages face particular challenges in terms of population and geography.

The population profile for the area shows a higher proportion of older people than the Edinburgh average which brings benefits such as a wealth of retired volunteers who support the many and varied activities and groups in the area.

However, it also means higher than average rates of isolation, hospitalisation and ill health.

A key gap identified by the project is the lack of befriending support available to reach the most isolated in their homes.

We are working with funders to support the development of befriending services for this area in the future.

Achievements of the project include:

  • Consultation and engagement to identify key issues facing older people in the villages

  • Bringing together the co-ordinators of older people’s groups, many of whom did not know each other, to share information and build connections

  • Linking with wider health and social care services, informing future planning and service delivery

  • Raising awareness of what is available

  • Potential future partnership work with Dementia Friendly Pentlands to address identified gaps in provision

Phase 1

The first phase of the South West Villages Project took place in 2017 and involved the mapping of existing services and activities and consultation with local people to identify priorities and improvements for the future.

Phase 1 final report – September 2017

Phase 2

The second phase was completed in 2018 and involved the promotion of existing activities and support available in the area, and the development of connections between organisations, groups and health and social care services.

Phase 2 final report – December 2018

Phase 3

The third phase was running from January to September 2019 and was focused on sourcing funding to develop services or support where gaps have been identified.

Caroline Clark, Development Officer for the South West Villages, is keen to hear from anyone who is interested in the project, has ideas for how to connect with isolated individuals, or suggestions for the future. Please contact Caroline on 0131 357 1277

Phase 3 final report – January 2020

Focus on Volunteering

Many ‘city wide’ services that provide companionship and befriending are currently unable to support people in the villages as they struggle to recruit local volunteers and existing volunteers are reluctant to travel far.