Christmas can be fun but it can also be a challenging time for many carers. Family relationships can be put under strain, it can be expensive, and the break from our usual daily routine can leave us feeling a little lost.

Here at VOCAL we recognise the additional difficulties Christmas and New Year can bring, so we’ve a range of events – both out and about in the community and here at the Edinburgh hub – to help. Some are things you can come along to by yourself, others you might want to bring a friend or go with the person you care for.

VOCAL Midlothian opening times between Christmas and New Year

The Midlothian Carers Centre will close at 12:00 noon on 24th December and reopen for normal business at 9:00am on January 3rd. In between these times we have the following special opening hours and events

Edinburgh Hub Open Day 30th of December

  • 10:00am – 4:00pm Phone support, call us on 0131 622 6666 for information or support
  • 11:00am – 3:00pm Drop-in for coffee, cake and a chat. We will also have a range of board and card games to play
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm Relax and unwind with a Guided Meditation session

Edinburgh Hub Open Day 31st of December

  • 10:00am – 4:00pm Phone support, call us on 0131 622 6666 for information or support
  • 11:00am – 3:00pm Drop-in for coffee, cake and a chat. We will also have a range of board and card games to play
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm Relax and unwind with a Guided Meditation session
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm SMART Family and Friends meeting, support for those concerned about another’s drug or alcohol use

In case you missed our festive season open days last year here’s how they went:

There was a lovely warm and welcoming atmosphere with plenty of tea, coffee and cake keeping us fed and watered. There was time for chat and some particularly hard fought games of dominos and UNO for the brave as well as the chance for some proper relaxation with guided meditation sessions.

Other Festive Events at VOCAL

We are holding a special half day event about surviving Christmas as a carer at the Midlothian Carers Centre on December 16th. Come along to our coffee morning where our guest speaker will provide a safe space to share techniques and tips to make this time of year a little more joyous.

We also have a limited number of 20-minute complimentary therapy sessions on Wednesday 11th December between 10:00am and 3:00pm. Choose from hand & arm massage, head massage, Indian head massage or BNS massage; enjoy a cuppa & cake whilst here too. Call 0131 663 6869 to arrange your appointment.

Cash for Kids makes sure that all children have presents to open on Christmas morning – if you would like a referral, please contact our duty worker on 0131 663 6869.

 

Festive Day Trips

There are lots of choices available for a free short trip, ranging from vouchers for a coffee and cake to a trip to the pantomime! Here are all of our festive trips this year, clicking the dates will open each event’s page on our weebreaks.com hub where you can register:

Dalkeith Country Park Spectacle of Light17th December 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Arthur Christmas special screening in Dalkeith7th December 3:00pm

Cinderella at the Brunton in MusselburghDecember 18th 7:00pm or January 3rd 2:00pm

Vouchers for Coffee and Cake for 2 at local cafes – call us on 0131 663 6869

The Snow Queen Ballet at the Edinburgh Festival TheatreDecember 27th 7:30pm

Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the Kings Theatre January 2nd 2:00pm

Giant Lanterns at Edinburgh Zoo December 28th 10:00am – 10:00pm

Forth One Big Wheel at Princes St Gardens December 18th or December 20th

Places are limited so book early, and as always you can call us on 0131 663 6869 to talk about these or any other ways we might support you this festive season.

Last but not least…

… we’re wishing every carer a happy and stress-free Christmas, but knowing where to turn for help if you need it (even if you never do) can help keep those stress levels down. So here are some useful numbers, just in case.

  • Midlothian Health and Social Care (Social Work): 0131 271 3900 / 0800 731 6969 (out of hours emergency)
  • NHS 24: Non emergencies dial 111 (or contact GP)
  • Police Scotland: Non emergencies dial 101
    For emergencies (ambulance, fire and police): dial 999
  • Accident & Emergency Departments (A&E):
    Aged 13 & over – Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh: 0131 563 1000
    Under 13 years – Royal Hospital for Sick Children: 0131 536 0000
    All ages A&E Dept., St. Johns Hospital, Livingston: 01506 532000
  • Samaritans: 116 123 (free from mobile & landline)
  • Breathing Space: 0800 83 85 87
  • 24h Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 027 1234
  • Edinburgh Crisis Centre (mental health): 0131 537 6000
  • Psychiatric Emergency Team: 0131 537 6000
  • Antisocial Behaviour Helpline: 0131 529 7050
  • If you smell Gas: 0800 111 999
  • Water supply emergencies: 0845 600 8855
  • Electricity power cuts:
     Scottish Hydro: 0800 300 999
     Energy Networks: call 105 to report power faults