New Year Message from Danielle Rowley MP

January can be a wonderful time not just to look back at years gone by and take stock, but also to look ahead, with many people setting resolutions and goals for 2019.

As I attended local festive events over Christmas, I reflected on how our community has changed. I enjoyed seeing families and friends come together at events such as the Dalkeith Miners annual OAP Christmas dinner – but it made me wonder, with more communication these days being online and with growing towns and villages, will future generations have such a strong local community to be part of?

One way to ensure our communities stay vibrant is to be kind to those around us and give a little back. A great opportunity to do this – and it is a very worthwhile goal for the year – is to get more involved in your local area by volunteering your time for a good cause.

Volunteering just a few hours per month can make a huge difference to the lives of others, and brings many rewards too. I personally owe a huge amount to volunteering. Through giving spare time to various organisations such as Black Diamond FM, the Dalkeith Festival Committee, Contact the Elderly and others, I gained so much! I was able to be part of different communities, make lasting friendships, gain skills and learn a lot about other groups and people.

There are many great opportunities to give back and get more involved in your community and Midlothian more widely.  At the end of last year, I visited Volunteer Midlothian’s Connect project and saw first-hand the difference volunteering can make to tackle social isolation. Volunteers provide company, practical support and help to connect people to their wider community. Why not see what opportunities Volunteer Midlothian may have to offer for you?

Whatever your New Year’s resolutions may be, I hope you have a very happy and peaceful 2019, and enjoy being part of our great community in Midlothian.