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Market House showcases

Support towards happy parenting

The Parent Link team (left to right): Wendy Hand (VAS team leader), and facilitators Julia Halcrow, Wilma Goodlad and Christine Geldard. Missing from the photo are Parent Link coordinator Mairi Jamieson and facilitator Mhairi Garnier. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland NewsWhile it can be hugely rewarding, parenting can also be extremely challenging, writes Louise Thomason.

And unlike almost any other experience in life, it is a situation that no one can prepare you for: there's no on the job training, no instruction manual, no trial period.

A project that turns around lives

Shetland Community Bike Project manager Caroline Adamson: 'our main aim is to help folk with barriers to employment'. Photos Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsSHETLAND Community Bike Project provides paid and volunteer placements for people with barriers to employment, equipping them with transferrable skills, experience and confidence to help them get back into work. Louise Thomason went along to speak to the people who have been making the project the success that it is.

Established in 1999, the charity was formed after various agencies recognised a need for a project which could help people with drug and alcohol problems.

Emotional support when it matters

Shetland Bereavement Support Service volunteers (left to right): Linda Massie, Magdalena Gibson, Jim Shepherd, Ellen Hughson and Gwen Williamson.DEALING with a bereavement is something that most of us will have to face at some point in our lives. Grief can take many forms, and issues relating to a bereavement can impact people in complex ways, writes Louise Thomason.

OPEN: reaching out to young people

FOR SIX years, the OPEN peer education network has enabled young people in Shetland to help each other learn, writes Louise Thomason.

Based on the idea that people often learn most effectively when the message is delivered by a peer, Our Peer Education Network (OPEN) involves training young people aged 16-25 to deliver workshops in schools and youth clubs on issues such as sex education, alcohol and drug use, mental health issues, positive relationships, online safety and child protection, and young parenting.

Disability Shetland: vital support for those in need

Play worker Shaun Harnett helps running the Easter break youth clubs held throughout the isles - Photo: Hans J Marter/ Shetland NewsFor 30 years, Disability Shetland has been improving the quality of life of adults and young people with disabilities and additional support needs in Shetland, writes Louise Thomason.

The charity began life in 1987, and has since evolved to its current status, a company limited by guarantee, with a team leader, club leaders, support workers, volunteers and a board of eight trustees.

Saltire Awards recognise ‘incredible’ volunteering effort

Youth volunteering development worker Neil Pearson (left), Voluntary Action Shetland executive officer Catherine Hughson (second from right) and Shetland Times editor Adam Civico (right) with the recipients of the summit awards (left to right): Imogen Teale, Rachel Keay, Thomas Hawick, Holly Cole, Mariel Leask, and Catriona Gilbertson - Photo:Dave DonaldsonOver 190 guests gathered in Mareel in Lerwick on Tuesday to celebrate the recipients of this year's Saltire Awards, which honoured over 22,000 hours of local volunteering, writes Louise Thomason.

The annual ceremony, now in its fifth year, began with music from Charity Johnson, and guests were treated to canapés and mocktails before the formal presentations got under way.

Practical and emotional help to the elderly

Shetland Royal Voluntary Service manager Mary Gair - Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsOld age can bring with it some disadvantages. Feeling isolated from society can be one of them, but there are solutions, writes Louise Thomason.

The Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) is one charity on hand to help with this. It works to ensure older people feel valued and involved in society. Based in Market House, Lerwick, the Shetland branch operates lunch clubs, social meets and other services throughout the isles to do just this.

Where friendship matters

Shetland Befriending Scheme are (from left to right): Lynn Tulloch, Project Co-ordinator; Laura Russell, ASN Development Worker; Mairi Jamieson, Young Adults Development Worker and Elaine Nisbet, 60+ Development worker. Missing from the photo is  Amanda Brown, Children and Young People’s Development Worker - Photo: Hans J Marter/ Shetland NewsFriendship can be easy to take for granted, but for many folk across the isles, it's sometimes in short supply, Louise Thomason writes in her latest contribution to our series on voluntary organisations located at Lerwick's Market House.

Thankfully, the Shetland Befriending Scheme (SBS) is one charity which can help to fill this gap and benefit people feeling lonely or in need of some extra support.

‘As long as people need us, we’re here’

Retired police officer Iain Souter of Victim Support Scotland offers independent and confidential support.For people who are the victims of crime, it can be difficult to know where to go for help and support, writes Louise Thomason in the latest of our profiles of voluntary organisations based at Lerwick's Market House.

Everyone's needs are different: some people need emotional support while others might need more practical help.

Community depends on volunteering

Kathleen Williamson (centre) and Neil Pearson with a client at the Market House offices of VAS Volunteering - Photo: Louise ThomasonAcross the isles at any given point, there are thousands of people offering their services for free. From sports clubs to hall committees, festivals and organisations, our community would not be what it is without the work of volunteers, writes Louise Thomason in her latest profile of voluntary organisations based at Market House.

Helping overcome barriers to work

Project co-ordinator Lincoln Carroll with support workers Julie Manson, Helen Fullerton and Allison Fitzsimmons. Photo: Shetland News/Louise Thomason.FINDING employment can be a difficult process. A competitive job market, having the right skills, and being able to present those skills in a format acceptable to prospective employers are all factors which can add to the stress and difficulty, even for those who feel they are qualified.

Barriers to employment such as a conviction, mental health condition or having no work experience can make the whole process even harder, but thankfully the Moving On Employment Project (MOEP) can help.

Family Mediation: helping families reduce conflict

Shona Manson 'helping reducing conflict' - Photo: Hans J Marter/ShetNewsPUTTING children first is central to the work of Family Mediation, writes Louise Thomason, in the latest of our profiles of voluntary organisations based at Lerwick's Market House.

The service provides a safe and impartial environment for parents to discuss arrangements for their children and family post separation, and an opportunity to avoid the financial and emotional implications of going to court.

A ‘one-stop-shop’ for advice and support

Some of the people working at Market House gather for a group photo in the reception area. Back row (l to r): Janice Hawick, Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB); Val Farnworth, Moving On Employment project (MOEP);  Katrina McLachlan, Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS); Julie Manson, MOEP;  Shona Manson, Family Mediation; Helen Fullerton, MOEP;  Malcolm Johnson, Disability Shetland. Front row (l to r):  Iain Souter, Victim Support; Louise Manson, MOEP; Alexis Robertson, CAB; Karen Eunson, CAB; Ellen Hughson, VAS, Mairi Jamieson, Shetland Befriending Scheme; Lynette Nicol, VAS;  Ayesha Huda, VAS. FOR THE last 11 years, Market House has provided a base for voluntary and community-led organisations in Shetland. In this new series, to be published over coming months, Louise Thomason takes a tour of the building and finds out what the various groups based there have to offer. Here she speaks to Catherine Hughson, who is in charge of umbrella organisation Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS).