Tuesday 18th April 2017
The Squareone Kinship Care Group


This week, I received a letter of thanks from one of our previous beneficiaries ‘The Squareone Kinship Care Group’.

Every week several children in East Lothian go into Kinship Care and this group aims to raise the level of support that the carers are receiving within the area. The members of the Kinship Group benefit from the help, knowledge and experience that the other carers have had. This provides invaluable support to each other and the children they care for in and around East Lothian.

Raising your grandchildren is not easy and the majority of us have no support other than the group. If we can support each other through tough times and ensure the children are cared for, then that is our main aim’. Charlene Thomson, Chairperson


NWH in the Community donated £500 to the group; with this amount of funding they were able to have an outing to World of Bowling for 30 of the carers and the children. The funding covered the travel expenses, their shoes, the bowling itself and food and drinks too!

Charlene informed me that there was some money left over and they are going to buy some books to add to the group’s library. These books will be for the carers and the children and will informative reads such as boys/girls going through puberty, keeping themselves safe online, bullying, attachment and also autism.

It is great when previous beneficiaries get in touch as NWH in the Community love to hear the support that we have provided to such groups!

So thank you for The Squareone Kinship Care Group for getting in touch, we look forward to hearing about the new additions to the library!


Friday 10th March 2017
Lothians Veterans Centre


On Friday 25th February Jennifer and I had the pleasure of visiting one of our previous NWH in the Community beneficiaries; the Lothians Veterans Centre, to join them in their bacon roll morning. The aim of my visit was to hear about the impact the NWH in the Community funding has had on the centre and Jennifer came along with me to offer recruitment advice and support to the local veterans.

The Lothians Veterans Centre (LVC) is a Veterans’ drop-in Centre located in Dalkeith, which is designed to support ex-servicemen, women and their families who are experiencing challenges in their transition to civilian life.              

They provide information, support and advice over a wide range of areas to enable an effective transition back into the local community and civilian life.

The aim of their bacon roll morning is to provide the opportunity for veterans to drop in for a roll and a cup of tea. The bacon roll morning started at a request from one of their regulars, Darren.  Darren spoke about his service and when he left the Forces, not only leaving a job behind but he also left behind 15 years of friendships and camaraderie.

‘In the Armed Forces, whether you are based in the U.K. or deployed half-way across the world, food would always cheer you up, no matter how bad it tastes. It's one of the few times you can sit-down, relax and have a friendly chat to your comrades to your right and left’. Steven Williams

LVC Project Manger's Steven (ex-Royal Scot) and Jim (ex-RAF) understood exactly where Darren was coming from and decided to start a monthly bacon roll morning in November 2016. Jim invited Colin Beattie MSP to the first of the Friday bacon roll morning’s and the morning was such a resounding success, they instantly became a weekly event!

The NWH Group provided the Lothian’s Veterans Centre with £1000 funding to enable the LVC to commit to providing three accredited training courses for veterans and we worked together with the LVC to ensure that twenty five accredited certificates were awarded. With our funding they delivered an IOSH Working Safety course, Fire Warden Course and Manual Handling Course. From retraining to learning new skills, the courses offered personal development and have significantly improved the veteran’s changes of achieving their goals to enter or sustain employment.

During our brief time partnering together, we have had a veteran gain full-time employment with us and the potential for more collaboration and employment opportunities.

Thank you to the LVC for inviting Jennifer and I attend the bacon roll morning , it was a great insight into what you do and also gave us an opportunity to meet some of the ex-service men and women. We look forward to continuing working with you in the future.


On Wednesday 8th February I had the pleasure of visiting the Greendykes Early Years Centre in Edinburgh, a centre that benefited from our most recent Christmas funding giveaway.


The Greendykes Early Years Centre is funded by the local authority, delivering Early Learning and Childcare from Monday to Friday, 52 weeks a year.

Friday 10th February 2017
Greendykes Early Years Centre


On Wednesday 8th February I had the pleasure of visiting the Greendykes Early Years Centre in Edinburgh, a centre that benefited from our most recent Christmas funding giveaway.


The Greendykes Early Years Centre is funded by the local authority, delivering Early Learning and Childcare from Monday to Friday, 52 weeks a year.



Jacqueline Cairnie; Head of the centre, kindly gave me a tour of the building which included their 4 playrooms named the Bambi, Koala, Squirrel and Panda rooms. These rooms cater for 18 months to 4 year olds and the centre also has outdoor facilities to ensure all children can be out in the fresh air come sun, rain or snow!


It was so humbling to see the children in the centre have beaming smiles on their faces, thus proving that the hard work the staff put into this centre is worth every second. As I sat down to have a cuppa with Jacqueline and Tilda, they continued to tell me how much the NWH in the Community funding meant to them and the centre.





The NWH Group provided Greendykes with £500 at Christmas time to ensure that all children were able to enjoy a Christmas party and for the centre to be decorated to make sure children and their families were put in the festive spirit. With the funding that we provided, the centre were able to go ‘above and beyond’ at Christmas and with our donation, were able to give out gifts to the children, party bags and a Christmas show with Tricky Ricky, a local magician.


‘It was so kind of you to support us, particularly with the many vulnerable families we work with here at Greendykes and finances stretched so parents, staff and the children all had a fantastic time due to the kind generosity of your company.’ Jacqueline Cairnie




Everyone at the centre was overwhelmed with the donation and I was so thrilled to see what the centre holds and of course to meet the team.


So to everyone at the Greendykes Early Years Centre, thank you so much for having me and I look forward to hearing from you in the future!







Monday 23rd January 2017
Bright Sparks Playgroup Opening


On Friday 20th January I attended the opening of Bright Sparks Playgroup’s new centre in Bonnyrigg. Bright Sparks is a charitable organisation and one of our previous NWH in the community beneficiaries which provides various groups and social activities for children with disabilities and their families within Midlothian.

The Bright Sparks Playgroup is run by a management committee made up of 4 parent/carer volunteers. The centre supports children from birth to 18 years old and with this new building they are able to cater appropriately for the children and families that they are working with.

The opening ceremony itself was very busy and was a good opportunity for me to hear from the co-founders of the organisation. A tour of the centre was given which provided the chance to see the centre and what it holds; a games room, sensory room etc.


The Bright Sparks Playgroup used our funding for their annual Christmas Party that took place on 11th December 2016. The party was for the children that attend their service and their families too, 120 were invited in total.

‘Our Christmas parties are always a great success, the funding you provided us with allowed us to hire an entertainer for the children, provide food at the party for the families and children attending and each child went home with a selection box from Santa.’ Jennifer, Administration Assistant at Bright Sparks

NWH in the Community is an initiative that can really make a difference to those that need it most and Bright Sparks Playgroup couldn’t be more thankful for the funding. It is one thing actually providing the money to our chosen beneficiaries but for me, being able to see the impact the centre will have on the local families was very humbling.

This year, I look forward to getting in touch with previous beneficiaries and finding out how they are getting on.

Many thanks once again to Bright Sparks for the Invite and all the best with the new centre!