Midlothian Matters - Supporting our county charities

Midlothian Voluntary Action's offices in White Hart Street, Dalkeith
Midlothian Voluntary Action's offices in White Hart Street, Dalkeith

The chances are that everybody in Midlothian will have benefited from, or will benefit, from the work of a charity, writes Margaret Nisbet (Midlothian Voluntary Action).

Charities in Midlothian are looking after and working with local residents from cradle to grave, providing essential services and leisure opportunities, as well as the chance to get involved in your local community.

Local charities include playgroups, after school clubs, uniformed youth groups (e.g. Guides and Scouts), family support, sport clubs, art and music groups, day care clubs and lunch clubs for older people.

In February this year there were 282 charities registered in Midlothian. The vast majority were fairly small, for example, 64 per cent had an annual turnover of less than £50,000 and 42 per cent had a turnover of less than £10,000.

According to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) only around half of Scotland’s voluntary organisations are charities. However, non-charitable groups have access to fewer Grant Making Trusts and many groups become charities in order to be able to access funding to run their essential services where community fundraising does not bring in enough funds.

Charities are run by voluntary (unpaid) management committees, most of whom are residents in the local community.

Many of them use volunteers to at least partially run their services and many of the smallest are run entirely by volunteers. Midlothian Voluntary Action can provide information and support to charities, community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Contact us by telephone on 0131 663 9471, by e-mail at info@mvacvs.org.uk or go to our website for further information www.mvacvs.org.uk.

Our website also contains our “Community Toolkit” which has lots of information for charities and other groups. We are one of the partner organisations that make up the Midlothian Third Sector Interface (TSI) along with Volunteer Midlothian and SEAM (Social Enterprise Alliance Midlothian).