Mearnskirk Helping Hands

Charity registered in Scotland SC046646

Mearns Kirk Helping Hands is based in Newton Mearns and we aim to improve health and wellbeing and reduce isolation and loneliness in our community. We do this by providing a range of groups and activities throughout the week including Tai Chi, Blether & Brew Coffee Afternoon, Friendship Club and a Men's Breakfast Club. We also have a befriending project for people aged 65+ who are feeling lonely or isolated and would like the companionship of a volunteer befriender. We are volunteer led and cannot provide any of the services we do, without our amazing volunteer team. We are community helping itself.

Current opportunities

Volunteer befrienders (18+) will be matched with a person in the East Renfrewshire area aged 65+ who are looking for company or support to become more connected to their community. The befriender will visit the person once a week in their home for an hour or so or accompany them to an activity. If, due to COVID restrictions meetings can't happen, contact will be made over the telephone in the first instance.

One of the biggest barriers people face in attending our groups and activities is the ability to get to us. There is limited public transport to where we are located and sometimes people coming along need a little bit of assistance or extra time to get from their home to a vehicle, which taxi drivers sometimes cannot provide. As a Volunteer Driver you would be providing the means for someone to be able to attend a group, allowing them to meet with others attending and have some company, ultimately helping to improve their wellbeing and make them feel less lonely. As a Volunteer Driver, we'd ask that you use your own car to pick people up, take them to the group and be able to take them home again. We provide all out of pocket expenses, so your mileage would be reimbursed at £0.45 per mile. Sometimes people might need a bit of assistance and you would be provided with full training on moving and positioning to support someone to get in and out of a vehicle if needed. We are looking for drivers to be able to bring people to our Men's Breakfast Club on a Friday morning, 10–11 am and also to our Blether & Brew Group, which is every second Tuesday, 2-3.30 pm. A PVG is required for this role. If you enjoy driving and would like to use this skill to make a huge difference to the life of someone living in your community, this role could be just for you.

Mearns Kirk Helping Hands was established in 2016, running a variety of groups and activities to improve health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation and loneliness in the local community. Since being established, we have grown to run nine groups throughout the week, a befriending project, as well as specialist groups, such as IT learning classes. Our charity is volunteer led with nearly 100 volunteers helping across the charity. It's an exciting time as the charity looks to continue to evolve to meet the needs of our community. Particularly given the rise in the ageing population in the local area. To do this, the charity is seeking new Board members to guide and develop what we do. In particular, we have identified that our Board requires people with certain skill sets, these are in: * Fundraising * Voluntary Sector * Marketing * Finance * Human Resources Being part of the Mearns Kirk Helping Hands Board gives you the opportunity to lead on the development of a local, community based charity, ensuring we are sustainable, have good governance and good practice. You'll also be making a difference to the lives of those who use our services as well as our volunteers. We ask that you can commit to attending four Board meetings per year, alongside our Annual General Meeting. Other time you would need to give would be dependent in the role you could fulfil within the Board around the specific areas of expertise we are looking for.

Strength and balance classes run every Wednesday afternoon and are in partnership with the East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) Health Improvement Team. The classes are for people that are looking to improve their strength and balance to help them stay more active and independent; this is done through the group undertaking various exercises. The group has a social element too, where for the last 15/20 minutes of the class, participants enjoy a cuppa and a blether. Participants have said of the class “this class has helped and it’s not just the exercises it’s the getting out and meeting people again. It’s the best thing since sliced bread”. We are looking to recruit volunteer Strength & Balance Group Facilitators to share the exercises with the group that will help people in our community stay active. No experience is necessary as full training on the exercises will be given. You will facilitate a weekly class of up to 12 participants and share the exercises together. You'll learn how exercises will build muscle strength, help reduce falls and increase confidence. As the class has a social element too, you will get the chance to have a chat with participants over a coffee afterwards. The classes take place every Wednesday afternoon for one hour. It's a very rewarding role to help others improve their strength and balance that can have significant physical and mental health benefits. You'll also get the chance to learn new skills and meet new people. If you have an interest in exercise and health, this could be the role for you!