OPAL (Older People, Active Lives) Service - West Lothian
Supporting older people to stay active, independent and connected.
Cyrenians OPAL (Older People, Active Lives) service aims to maintain or increase older people’s independence and well-being across the West Lothian Council area. Our free service is funded through a collaboration with West Lothian Council, West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, and NHS Lothian and is delivered by a team of dedicated, trained volunteers. Our volunteers offer encouragement, companionship and support to help older people engage in social, leisure and community activities, with support provided for a period of up to 9 months.
Who do we support?
Cyrenians OPAL supports people typically aged 60 and above who are living in the West Lothian council area, who would like to increase their confidence, reduce loneliness and isolation and connect with their local community. Our volunteers offer support and encouragement to attend a variety of local groups/activities or events where they can meet new people. They can also offer support to build confidence again for a variety of reasons, including following bereavement or a stay in hospital.
What services are available?
- Telephone Befriending/Support - This service provides a friendly weekly call, helping to share experiences, enjoy a chat and develop a trusting relationship through conversation.
- Accompaniment/introduction to local groups or social activities - A volunteer can help to identify groups/activities or events available in the local area that may be of interest. The volunteer may also offer accompaniment to build confidence to attend alone.
- One-to-one support to build confidence with something specific/Befriending - One to One Support is offered by volunteers when assistance is required to rebuild confidence with a specific task, aim or goal. This could be after a fall or hospitalisation, recent bereavement or support to use public transport independently again. We’ll also provide support to help connect you again with your local community, meet new people and get out and about. We also provide a befriending service for the housebound.
- Groups – we deliver a variety of regular local groups in the West Lothian Council area providing a welcoming and relaxed way of getting to know people locally in a friendly setting, sharing hobbies and interests. To find out more about our groups and where they operate click here: OPAL Groups
The OPAL Referral Process
We ask you to please consider the following before referring someone to the OPAL one-to-one support/befriender service:
- Is the client able to manage themselves? - we do not provide personal care (such as help with washing, dressing and going to the toilet).
- Is the client able to walk outside independently, without personal physical support? (e.g. leaning on another). Walking sticks and frames are accepted.
- Can the client be left alone, whether indoors or outdoors? The volunteer may need to leave the client alone for short periods (for example when making a phone call or visiting the toilet). If this is an identified risk we cannot support them.
- If the client has dementia or memory loss, are they able to remember arrangements made with the volunteer? If not, is there a family member who can assist, or do they have any memory aids or other tools or strategies that work?
- Is the client able and willing to leave the house with the volunteer? We understand it may take time to build confidence, which we incorporate as part of the service plan, but is this a goal the client would like to achieve?
Please note: There is no referral process required to attend any of our groups. Anyone aged 60+ is free to come along and drop in any time.
How to access our services
If you or someone you know would like to find out more about our services or would like to volunteer with us 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 & find out about our volunteer opportunities via our Facebook page.