Branch out and volunteer with Rowan Alba

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For Volunteers Week 2016, iMultiply will be promoting a different charity each day to spread awareness of the great work and the positive impact the charity has made on lives and the wider community they work within.  Our third charity in the series is Rowan Alba.

Rowan Alba works across Edinburgh to support vulnerable people on their journey to a home of their own.

They work with individuals whose lives are chaotic often, but not exclusively, due to domestic abuse, drug or alcohol dependency or mental health issues.  A combination of these factors can lead to homelessness, which makes the whole situation much more complex, and one not always solved by providing a roof over a head.


How did it all start?

It all started by looking at the unmet needs of homeless older people and grew from there. They realised that a lot of the services around were quite moralistic and assumed that people couldn’t “help themselves” out of homelessness. From this reason, they developed a range of services in Edinburgh, Perth and Kinross which are person-centred, focusing on the strengths of the individual by using a coaching approach. They currently help around 450 people annually and their services have helped to reduce repeat homelessness; reduce re-offending and help individuals be more centred in the community.

All the Rowan Alba services are based in their care values which are the following:

ACCEPTING people as they are- Rowan Alba’s work is built on the fundamental principle of the right of the individual; to make choices about their lives in terms of health, relationships and lifestyle, challenging established practice based on the belief that services know what is best for people.

SUPPORTING those ready to move to a more independent life – Rowan Alba Services Offer a balance between independent, supported and communal living. Above all, staff and services are responsive to the changing needs, priorities and aspirations of each individual.

INCLUDING people in society – ongoing care for those who are not ready, or whose life experiences have left them unable to live independent so support.

The Rowan Alba concept is sound from so many angles- security of tenure, safety, choice, and respect. Dignity is achieved through the provision of cost-effective quality accommodation and care and support which recognises and values every single person as a unique individual.

What do you look for in a volunteer?

Rowan Alba look for anyone who understands their core value of accepting, supporting and including to volunteer. They have a wide range of volunteering opportunities, not all of which involve one to one working with service users. While their CARDS service offers more one to one visits, they are constantly seeking people to help with strategy, publicity, social media and fund raising.    


Why should someone volunteer for you? 

Although their mission is about preventing homelessness, it’s not all drudge and grind, but surprising good fun.  


Currently, Rowan Alba are looking for people to volunteer in their CARDS service in which details can be found on their website

If you are interested in volunteering for Rowan Alba phone 0131 229 7554 or click on the link!