Media Release: Bield benefits from skilled volunteer scheme

Jeni Sinclair of Bield, Dundee.

A LEADING provider of housing and support services for older people in Dundee is working towards being recognised for its commitment to supporting volunteers with a Volunteer Friendly Award.

Bield, which operates 11 housing and support services across Dundee, is working towards the award after  committing to involve  volunteers at its Dundee sheltered housing schemes to provide further support to older people.

Currently, Bield supports over 25 volunteers in Dundee, as social activity assistants, befrienders and ‘silver surfer’ tutors who teach individual residents how to use the internet so they can communicate with loved ones who might not live locally. Bield hopes that achieving the award will help attract even more willing volunteers.

Developed by Dundee Volunteer Centre, the Volunteer Friendly Award has been recognised as having significant social value. The programme is being increasingly used to give excluded individuals the chance to build their confidence and skills through helping others and giving back to their local community.

Jeni Sinclair, a volunteer development worker in Bield’s Dundee office, feels the company is gaining hugely from participating in this programme.

She said: “The initiative has been incredibly positive for Bield. Under this scheme, we have been able to provide an excellent, recognised resource for volunteers in Dundee.

“Having set standards and procedures within the Volunteer Friendly Award means we can offer a rewarding experience to those individuals who give their time to support us. It also allows us to engage effectively within our community.

“We are hugely grateful to have the support of so many generous volunteers in our local community. Our tenants are hugely enthusiastic and supportive of the volunteers who assist us through this programme.”

Along with highly trained staff at the Bield housing developments, volunteers can support social activities which benefit the tenants living in the various schemes.

Brian Logan, Bield’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be taking part in the highly enriching Volunteer Friendly Award at our Dundee office.

“At Bield, providing quality care is of paramount importance to us. We strive to find new ways of extending our existing services to provide for our residents as much as possible. The Volunteer Friendly Scheme has been extremely beneficial in enhancing the output of volunteers and making their contribution more enriching.

“All the work we do is under our ‘Free to Be’ philosophy which means the people we care for  can take control of their lives whilst being given the necessary support to do so. Our many generous volunteers in Dundee taking part in this initiative have played a crucial part in helping us continue with this objective.”

Bield – a registered charity – has grown from humble beginnings, starting out with one housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of a wide range of housing and services for around 20,000 older people across 22 local authority areas.

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