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Older Peoples Assembly - Information & Resources for Older People in Midlothian

Older Peoples Assembly - Information & Resources for Older People in Midlothian


Added at 14:13 on 20 December 2023

Please find below, and also attached, some useful, positive resources for Winter Season for Older Citizens living in Midlothian.

This Resource guide is produced by Midlothian Older People's Assembly as a supportive communication particularly for Older People across Midlothian and professionals supporting Disabled People, during the Winter season. Hopefully you find something useful within that can support a safe and well Winter Season.

We wish you a healthy and safe winter. Be as active as you can be. Stay connected with family and friends if you can. Keep talking. Take advantage of the support that is available. Take care.


Please distribute via useful networks and pass on as appropriate to individuals, friends, colleagues, neighbours, community groups and organisations who may benefit from this information. 

Help us reach those individuals who may find it useful and supportive!

A printed Older Persons Newsletter, will be available in January 2024, with further, wider supportive resources.


Winter Newsletter 2023 – a newsletter for Disabled People living in Midlothian. This newsletter is produced by Forward Mid as a supportive communication particularly for Disabled People and People with Long term Conditions living in Midlothian and professionals supporting Disabled People. This newsletter is full of information on what support is available for disabled people during winter – for many the most challenging season of the year. Inside you’ll find out about local organisations that can give you practical help – from saving money on your energy bills to keeping your home safe. There are tips on how you can look after you own physical and mental health as well as how you can help yourself and your neighbours with an extensive list of emergency contact numbers.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of Winter is keeping in contact with people regularly and safely, feeling the warmth that a good conversation can have. Bad weather can put paid to physically meeting people but, inside Forward Mid’s Winter newsletter you’ll find options that can overcome this barrier. We wish you a healthy and safe winter. Be as active as you can be. Keep talking. Take advantage of the support that is available. Stay connected. Take care. Please distribute via useful networks and pass on as appropriate to individuals, friends, colleagues, neighbours, community groups and organisations who may benefit from this information. You can download a copy here:


Green health prescriptions

Midlothian has many beautiful landscapes and green spaces and being in nature is a brilliant way to boost your mental health and wellbeing. This could involve going for a walk, gardening at home or through a community project, or simply by sitting in a green space and enjoying your surroundings. Spending time outdoors has been shown to help people’s physical health, mental health and help manage long term conditions.

Health professionals may also offer you a Green Health Prescription to benefit from nature. This may be alongside or instead of other traditional treatments. Your prescription may say how long would be beneficial to spend in nature, and it may include ideas of how to do this and groups that can help. You can talk to a wellbeing practitioner in your local GP surgery,  look for the Green Health noticeboard in your GP practice or visit and search ‘green prescription’ for more information.



For all health advice go to

Did you know that nearly 20% of all doctor’s appointments can be dealt with by an alternative healthcare professional?



 If you have a minor illness, your local community pharmacy is the first place you should go for advice. Pharmacists and their teams are experts in medicines and can help with minor health concerns. They can offer advice, provide medicine, and refer you to another healthcare professional for if you need specialist care. Find out




 Surgeries can be busier over the winter months.  You can get the best care and make sure GPs have enough time to treat you and your family by considering these three alternatives before you make an appointment:

1. Self care

2. Check

3. See a pharmacist for help with a range of minor



Midlothian Libraries are warm and welcoming spaces which everyone can use for free. You can borrow books and audiobooks, use computers, WiFi, plus more. You can apply for Blue Badges and Bus Passes, and get Hearing Aid Batteries. We hold lots of groups and events in our libraries, including Reminiscence Groups, Craft Groups, and Author Visits. 

Some libraries hold help & advice sessions from a range of organisations, including the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Newtongrange Library has a pop-up Post Office every Monday (apart from Bank Holidays) 11am – 3pm. 


As part of the #MidlothianCares initiative from Midlothian Council, in response to the cost-of-living crisis, four of our libraries are designated Warm and Well Hubs (Danderhall, Loanheadm Lasswade, and Newbattle). Local residents just need to turn up to stay warm and enjoy what's on offer. Free hot drinks, soup & bread are available and library staff are on hand to offer support during staffed hours.


Another cost-of-living support is the new Lend and Mend facility in Gorebridge Library. We offer free access to equipment to repair, reuse, and upcycle everyday items. Pop in to learn about the many tools available, including sewing machines and embroidery machines.

Find out more at;

Or call: 0131 271 3980


We are also happy to announce that our Mobile Library is now dog-friendly! You can now hop on board with your furry friend. To find out more, please


Midlothian Financial Inclusion Network.

The purpose of MFIN, which has over 20 participating organisations, is to help relieve poverty and promote public awareness around matters relating to the management of personal finances.

Midlothian Financial Inclusion Network - Midlothian Third Sector Interface

The purpose of MFIN, which has over 20 participating organisations, is to help relieve poverty and promote public awareness around matters relating to the


VOCAL, Voice of Carers Across Lothian, is a local charity that supports unpaid carers. Each year, Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership funds a Winter Programme to help unpaid carers get a break from caring, reduce isolation and improve their confidence in caring.

We know that many carers can struggle to think about their own health and wellbeing, and the festive season can make this more difficult as day-to-day life gets busier, and expenses come up.

Our Winter Programme has a range of activities and events available to help carers, including carer groups and vouchers for a ‘wee break’ from caring. To find out more, or to book any of our groups, please visit To request any of our vouchers or tickets, visit


Age Scotland is the national charity for older people. They work to improve the lives of everyone over the age of 50 so that they can love later life.

The vision is a Scotland which is the best place in the world to grow older, a mission is to inspire, involve and empower older people in Scotland, and influence others, so that people in Scotland enjoy better later lives.

You can call the helpline for information and advice on 0800 12 44 222 or browse our range of information guides by topic on this website.

You can find all publications by following links from this page or if you would like free paper copies you can order them by calling the helpline, emailing or sending an order on our Publications List.


Planning for the future is a big consideration for those caring for someone with a disability, physical or mental health condition, addiction, or long-term condition. VOCAL Midlothian is a local charity that supports unpaid carers, and we offer different options to help carers plan for the future.

Understanding the different options available to you now and in the future is really important, and we can help you put your plans into action. We offer practical information and advice on Power of Attorney, Wills, Trusts, Guardianship and Anticipatory Care. We can also ensure that you are aware of your rights as a carer and the rights of the person you care for.

To find out more, please contact us on 0808 196 6666 (option 2) or visit our website:


Get connected online! 

Connect Online groups can help you with technology such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. We offer drop-in sessions and home visits if you are housebound or a carer. If you don’t have your own device you can borrow a tablet/iPad and we can also provide free internet access. You can drop into a session at: 

• Penicuik, Food Fact Friends, Tuesdays 10.30am – 12 noon 

• Dalkeith, St Mary’s Church, Tuesdays 2pm – 3.30pm 

• Loanhead Library, Wednesdays 11am – 12.30pm 

• Rosewell Development Trust, Wednesdays, 1.30pm – 3pm 

• The Salon, 4-6 White Hart Street, Dalkeith Wednesdays 2-3.30pm

• Penicuik Library, Thursdays, 2pm – 3.30pm Call: 07856 573694 or email;


British Red Cross: Midlothian Calendar for Older People – December 2023. The Community Coordinators at British Red Cross Midlothian have created a calendar of local events and groups showing what’s on in your area.



The Scottish Government have a webpage signposting support resources to help during the Cost-of-Living Crisis around benefits and income, children and families, food and fuel and health and wellbeing. MORE INFO


WARMER HOMES SCOTLAND provides grant funded support for households to stay warmer and save money on their bills, and we are very excited to share that this scheme re-launched on 2nd October. Here’s a reminder of the programme and how your clients can get support. Households can get help worth up to £10,000 or more to make your home warmer and more energy efficient. MORE INFO


Midlothian Council: staying warm and well   If parents/young people/carers are in need of a free hot drink or soup, they can go to one of the library cafes with a Costa Card. They won’t get a Costa but can get a free instant hot drink and soup. These libraries are known as Warm and Well Hubs. They are funded by Covid Recovery money.  MORE INFO


Change Works and Midlothian Council are working together to offer advice on saving energy bills. They can offer support around managing heating in the home, putting in renewable technologies and supporting your active travel. Email: for more info.


Financial Advice for those worrying about money is available.Organizations across Midlothian have created a pamphlet and online resource that sign posts individuals to support services based on their financial situation i.e. debt issues, or money issues. This can be filled out on paper or online. MORE INFO



The Ageing Well project has been offering a variety of activities for the over 50s for 23 years now. These sessions are mainly run by volunteers who encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the fun of keeping active together.

Vivian Wallace, who has been the Project Coordinator for the past 13 years, joined one of the walking groups for coffee and a chat after their walk to find out why people enjoy coming along to these activities. The overall consensus was that the company, the laughs and friendships were the number one reason for coming. There certainly was a lot of laughter but also a serious discussion on the importance of the group. We talk through our problems as we’ve grown to trust each other which helps us as well as cheers us up.

One lady admitted that when she first joined the Mayfield group, she wasn’t sure about it and felt too shy to talk but her confidence has grown so much now that she volunteers at the MAEDT pavilion where they all meet and would happily blether to anyone nowadays.

Others agreed that reminiscing about local people, characters of the village and past times when they were winching and getting up to mischief as youngsters always brought laughter to the room.

It’s a long weekend if nothing is on so they look forward to the walk on a Wednesday and Friday at 11am. Bert, dressed in red at the top of the table, one of the walk leaders, had to admit they are a great bunch, although he would have been in trouble if he had said anything less! He also said there are great local walks in the area, and we get a lovely bowl of soup at the MAEDT café afterwards and the staff are wonderful.

We then stopped for a game of bingo which was a giggle as were some of the conversations and as one lady said….see you learn something new every time we are together.

They were certainly a very friendly bunch and Vivian was delighted when one of the ladies said Oh aye we also come for the exercise……after all we are all ageing well!

As well as walking groups, there is a wide range of activities available within the Ageing Well project including dancing, singing, badminton, table tennis, new age kurling, indoor bowling, walking football, walking rugby, walking netball, pickleball and exercise classes. For more information you can email or phone Vivian on 07825 356478. 


Build a Bike Offer: Free to access Christmas bike building service for bikes bought for Christmas that arrive ‘flat-packed’ and need built up ready for use. Bikes will be built by certified bike mechanics and will be serviced and safety checked at the same time. Collection and Drop-off available, last day of collection - 20th Dec. To access this service please email


HcL Dial-A-Ride and Dial-A-Bus...

getting you from A to B!

If you find it hard to get out and about, HcL ‘Hop on an HcL Bus’ might be able to help. They provide supported door-through-door transport to help you get out
and about, do your shopping, or attend appointments and social activities.


Choose where you want to go – a medical appointment, the shops, a visit to friends or family,
to church, the cinema or theatre, or Edinburgh Airport


Hop on an HcL Bus to local shopping centres including Cameron Toll, Tesco Eskbank, ASDA & Sainsbury’s Straiton, Tesco Penicuik, Morrison’s Dalkeith.

Their drivers pick you up from your front door and can support you to leave your house and on the bus if you need a bit of extra help. They can help you put your coat on, lock your house and help carry your shopping home. Each bus can carry two wheelchair passengers. You can use the service on your own or bring a friend or carer.

Dial-A-Bus continuing to provide the same great service but with one big change from 1st of February 2024 you will be able to use your CONCESSIONARY BUS PASS!

For more details on the cost and
how to register and book, call: Dial-A-Ride: 0131 447 9949 Dial-A-Bus:0131 447 1718



Braw Blether

Braw Blether groups come together in Midlothian Libraries to help support mental health and wellbeing. They use short stories, poems, articles from magazines and other forms of words, sometimes writing, to spark connection and conversation. The groups are open to all.

Call: 07771 345294


Or speak to your local library.