Sopra Steria nominates LifeCare Edinburgh charity for The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

To recognise the critical social role that LifeCare Edinburgh Limited plays in the local community, Sopra Steria has nominated the charity for The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

LifeCare Edinburgh was one of Sopra Steria’s 2014 chosen charities, providing services to support the wellbeing and independence of older people. The charity relies heavily on the involvement of regular volunteers, who come from all walks of life, to support older people to remain independent and help decrease social isolation, thereby increasing their wellbeing and health.

The County’s Lord Lieutenant, Lord Provost, will make an informal visit to LifeCare Edinburgh on 12 January 2015, during the nomination assessments. Each charity or group will be assessed on the benefits it brings to the local community and its standing within that community; a winner will be announced in May 2015. “We are very proud to be nominated for such a prestigious award especially as it is recognising the fabulous work our volunteers do here at LifeCare Edinburgh,”  said Su Millar, Chief Executive of LifeCare (Edinburgh) Limited.

Vicki Bradley, LifeCare Edinburgh Fundraising Manager, explained, “The volunteers who work with us complement our staff teams whether it is assisting in the day units, helping in the café, supporting our events, in the office or helping older people with their shopping. They all bring their own enthusiasm and expertise so without them LifeCare Edinburgh would not be able to make such a difference to the lives of the people we care for. Our volunteers range from students doing their Duke of Edinburgh Award, people who have retired and have more time to spare, to those looking to gain experience in the workplace and others who require more support due to their disability.”

LifeCare’s day units for the elderly and those with dementia, community café and venue are all well used by members of the community. The venue is used free of charge by a number of local groups to hold various classes and activities, such as the fortnightly choir for people with the debilitating lung condition COPD. The venue is also utilised by the patients of the Green Practice Stockbridge Health Centre as a social hub to meet for coffee or lunch and attend various health related activities, craft fairs, music shows, quizzes, etc. that are organised on a regular basis. The Practice also refers patients with dementia to the St Bernard’s Club which is a safe and friendly club offering reminiscence therapy, carer support and recreational activities with lunch and transport also provided.

A regular client described how he benefits from the fully volunteer led, Shopping Buddy Scheme, “We usually meet up once a week when Rob takes me to get my shopping – although I can still get out and about to do a daily shop I have a broken vertebrae in my spine so can’t carry heavy items. Although getting the shopping is great, it is sitting having a coffee and a chat with Rob that I really look forward to.  The Shopping Buddies project and having Rob to chat with has transformed my life.”

Sopra Steria actively supports LifeCare Edinburgh in a number of ways. Over the year, it has: provided fundraising support and donations through its own activities and events; donated IT equipment to the centre; run IT workshops to help clients learn how to browse the internet and importantly, stay connected to friends and family; provided voluntary support for the charity’s regular Tea Dance; and provided IT training to staff.

“LifeCare is a fantastic organisation that makes a difference to many lives in the Stockbridge community. We are delighted to nominate and publicly recognise them for their hard work. Sopra Steria’s staff love working with LifeCare and we look forward to more fundraising, tea dances and IT classes with them in 2015!”, added Margaret Moore, Head of Business Development, Scotland & NI, Public Sector, Sopra Steria.

About The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen's coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.

Learn more about LifeCare