Resident Organisations



Email address

Logo & Website

Ability Shetland


Mind Your Head


Moving On Employment Project


OPEN Project


Relationships Scotland - Shetland
(incorporates Couple Counselling, Community Mediation & Family Mediation)


Royal Voluntary Service


Shetland Befriending Scheme


Shetland Bereavement Support Service



Shetland Care Attendant Scheme


Shetland Community Connections


Shetland Islands Citizens Advice Bureau


Shetland Pre-School Play Ltd


Victim Support Shetland


Voluntary Action Shetland


Voluntary Action Shetland: Volunteering


Services offered by Organisations Resident in Market House

Ability Shetland:

Ability Shetland is a charity which provides direct support to children, families and adults with disabilities and additional support needs.

Advocacy Shetland:

Independent, confidential and free voluntary service which helps people have their voices heard.

Carer Support:

Shetland Carers want to support you to manage your caring role and have a life alongside caring.

We provide an information and advice service and can also help carers access short breaks. If you would like to register with our service, you will receive any information we send out such as our quarterly newsletter. There may be other support we can offer that might be helpful for you in your caring role.

Mind Your Head:

We are a mental health charity who promote the importance of self-care and work to towards tackling stigma associated with mental ill health. We offer a number of support services across Shetland including:

  • Wellness and Wellness Together Programme- aimed at 18 years and upwards.
  • Wellbeing 1000- for families with children aged 0-2.5 years.
  • Self- Directed Support- Person centred support for individuals in receipt of Direct Payments
  • Grubby huts- workplace talks aimed around mental health and wellbeing.
  • Fell Good Bags- Nominate yourself or other for a bag of items to promote self-care
  • We also loan out SAD lamps over the winter months free of charge.

Moving On Employment Project:

Provides help for people with health problems and disabilities or other barriers to employment to find and hold down work, whilst also offering support, help in rebuilding confidence, advice on accessing benefits, helping to access training and assist in interview coaching. They focus on helping people find employment that is flexible to their needs; suitable to their skills and hopefully, something they enjoy doing.

OPEN Peer Education Project:

Peer Education

OPEN recruits and trains young people aged 16-25 to become 'peer educators'. OPEN's main purpose is to embed peer education across Shetland as a methodology of raising awareness and encouraging positive lifestyle choices - especially on issues concerning substance use, relationships, sexual health, and mental health; whilst promoting harm reduction at every opportunity. OPEN deliver peer education workshops to all S1-S4 students in Shetland, and all young people 12-25 in other settings. We run weekly tuesday night meetings from 6pm-8.30pm to look at training the peer educators, designing and developing workshops to deliver to other young people.

Peer Mentoring

OPEN are now also operating a Peer Mentoring Programme; with the aim to recruit and match mentors (16-25) with mentees (14-21), to facilitate peer-to-peer mentoring sessions for young people who are care experienced and/or in the youth justice system as well as any disadvantaged young people at risk of social isolation or exclusion. OPEN aims to recruit 4-6 young people per year to become mentees, as well as recruiting and training 4-6 peer mentors per year, whom the mentees will be carefully matched with. The aim of this programme is to improve outcomes for participants, and to prevent offending behaviour.

Emotional Wellbeing and Resilience Project (EWR) Shetland Islands Council

There are 2 EWR Workers aged 16-25 employed by Voluntary Action Shetland and supported by the OPEN Project to work on the EW&R Project. OPEN provide support and training to increase the EW&R Workers’ skills, confidence and knowledge, and improve participation and engagement approaches in the EW&R Project. The EW&R Workers carry out research and consultation with young people in the community and represent the findings at strategic and other levels through the EW&R Project and improvement teams.

Da Cafe

OPEN runs a weekly drop-in youth space, aiming to attract Shetland’s most vulnerable and hard-to-reach young people. Da Cafe has shown that having a consistent, safe, and welcoming place to meet has been hugely successful in engaging young people who are care-experienced, involved with Criminal Justice, and/or excluded from school, youth clubs, community centres, and sports facilities. Another aim of the project is to increase the intake of new volunteers to the OPEN Project, as well as other volunteering opportunities.

Peer Research

Da Café youth committee, OPEN volunteers and staff have a vision to create a safe space for young people in Lerwick, where they can come together, feel a sense of belonging and ownership.

The project is a youth-led community action research project to develop ideas for a new safe space for young people. The exciting part is that young people will lead and undertake the project, supported by researchers who will offer expertise, knowledge and training.

Time 2 Shine Leader, Jessica Carlyle - OPEN Organisation Development Lead

OPEN operates as a project of Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS) and reports to the Board of Directors. A review of VAS in 2021 highlighted the opportunity for sustainable projects to become independent organisations.

A natural and exciting progression for OPEN is to research and plan how to become an independent genuinely youth-led charity, managed and coordinated by young people, with appropriate support and training in place to achieve this.

The culture and ethos of OPEN is to involve young people in the design, delivery and development of the project. Jess is coordinating the participation and empowerment of young people to lead the organisational development of the project.

Relationships Scotland - Shetland:

Offers a chance for couples or individuals, who have problems with their intimate relationships, to speak confidentially and in privacy to a trained counsellor. Community Mediation: a free, impartial and confidential means of addressing neighbourhood difficulties should a dispute or disagreement with a neighbour or other member of the community arise. Family Mediation: help parents who have separated or divorced make arrangements for their children’s future in a confidential, impartial and neutral setting. Mediation can also take place between different generations such as grandparents/parents or parents/teenage children.

Royal Voluntary Service (RVS):

Royal Voluntary Service mobilises volunteers to support people in need. Our volunteers work in communities providing practical help and emotional support when people are struggling to cope. We help people in Shetland to stay independent and active in the community by offering practical help that can make all the difference – bringing people together through social activities and clubs, providing transport in the community or supporting in an emergency. We offer practical solutions to everyday problems like loneliness and isolation.

Shetland Befriending Scheme:

Offers a one to one support service to young people and young adults aged between 7 and 18 and to adults aged 16+ years of age. Our volunteers support individuals who can benefit from some additional input. There are a whole range of reasons why individuals may want to be part of our scheme but all can benefit from taking part in lots of different and exciting activities in their local community.

Shetland Bereavement Support Service:

Providing one to one support to adults and children living in Shetland struggling to cope following a bereavement. The service is free and confidential. Support workers are fully trained in specialist bereavement support. Memory boxes are available to families requiring support. Please contact the service directly to self refer. Further information can be found on our website.

Shetland Care Attendant Scheme (formerly Crossroads):

Provides trained Care Attendants to give Carers of vulnerable adults and children quality time to call their own to use as they wish.

Shetland Community Connections:

Provides a brokerage service for social care users in Shetland. This includes person centred planning to identify personal outcomes, help to plan and organise support, support to recruit and manage Personal Assistants, payroll support, peer support, information, advice and signposting.

Shetland Islands Citizens Advice Bureau:

Free, confidential, independent, impartial advice service.

Shetland Pre-School Play SCIO:

Provides advice and support to all Parent and Toddler groups throughout Shetland, running play sessions and helping with committee maters. We help support the private nurseries and childminders as well as running a Toy library open to groups and individuals in Shetland.

Voluntary Action Shetland:

Shetland’s Third Sector interface, provides support, advice and services to established voluntary organisations and social enterprises and to new projects; publishes the New Shetlander, represents the interests of the third sector strategically at local and national level. Places volunteers with volunteering opportunities, promotes volunteering in the community, offers advice on volunteer policy and procedures, provides training and support for voluntary and community groups, volunteer managers and volunteers and administrates the Saltire Awards for young people from aged 12 to 25. Voluntary Action Shetland also owns and manages Market House, Shetland’s Third Sector Hub.

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