OPAL (Older People, Active Lives) Service - West Lothian
21/04/20: OPAL has collated a printable directory (PDF) of useful services in West Lothian. These include telephone helplines and local businesses accepting telephone and online orders.
03/06/20: The June OPAL newsletter (PDF) includes details of OPAL's new initiatives introduced during the Covid-19 crisis.
The spread of COVID-19 is affecting all of us, and we've all been adapting and responding in our own way. At OPAL, although we currently can't provide our regular services, we have developed new initiatives that we're able to provide during the period older people are required to self-isolate or limit their contact with others. Some examples of these include:
- Regular phone-calls from staff and volunteers to our clients, providing friendly chat, and a chance for us to check in on people.
- Weekly online video groups, hosted on Zoom, with activities such as sing-alongs, cooking demos, quizzes, and simply a time to chat as a group
- Digital support to help older people connect online, whether to one of our Zoom groups or to chat with friends and family
- 'Mail Mates' and 'Blether Buddies' - postal pen pal and phone-call networks among our clients, so they're able to stay in touch with existing friends as well as make new ones
- Weekly 'surviving self-isolation' activity packs, containing quizzes, puzzles, poems illustrations and other forms of entertainment. A new pack is posted every week to our clients.
More than anything, we look forward to returning to our regular services, such as our weekly activity and social groups, and one-to-one volunteer visits. Until that time, we'll continue to support older people in West Lothian in the ways most appropriate to the current Covid-19 situation. We welcome any feedback or suggestions.
Supporting older people to stay active, independent and connected.
Cyrenians OPAL aims to maintain or increase older people’s independence and well-being across the West Lothian area.
The service is delivered by a team of dedicated, trained volunteers who offer encouragement, companionship and support to help engage in social, leisure and community activities.
Our service is funded through a collaboration with West Lothian Council, West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, and NHS Lothian
Who do we support?
We work with anyone of age 60+ who is looking to re-connect socially either on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting.
The One-to-One service matches older people with a volunteer. People can either self-refer or be referred by a health professional.
One-to-One support allows people to share experiences and re-connect with their community through:
• Home visits
• Telephone conversation
• Outings such as going for coffee
• Attending local community groups
Last year OPAL helped 142 people overcome struggles with bereavement, recent illness, low mood, early-stage dementia, carer respite and many other obstacles
OPAL currently operates 13 groups throughout West Lothian which are open to anyone age 60+. These groups allow people to come together, meet new friends, try new things, but most of all have fun.
Attendees are encouraged to make decisions about their own activity plans. Typical activities are entertainers, exercise, quizzes, games, crafts, speakers etc.
In certain circumstances we can offer a driver service to take people with limited mobility to groups.
How to access our services
If you or someone you know would like to use our service, or find out more, please get in touch by:
Calling 01506 815 815 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also keep up to date with the service via our Facebook page.
The OPAL Referral Process
If you wish to make a referral, please download the relevant form below, complete and return it to email@example.com
Referral Form (use if you are referring in a professional capacity, for example a medical professional referring a client)
Self Referral Form (use if you are referring yourself or a friend or family member)