Happy Carers Week!

This year’s theme is “Making Caring Visible” and we’ve a great programme of events to celebrate. Of course with COVID-19 still very much part of our lives the usual in person gatherings are sadly not possible, but we’re excited about the virtual gatherings and events we have happening, and looking forward to seeing carers from across Edinburgh and Midlothian.

Scottish fiddle player, singer and composer Isla Ratcliff has produced this special celebratory video for us, thanking carers and all those who support them as equal partners in care:

As more and more services and events necessarily move online VOCAL is – as always – here to support carers. Some carers tell us they’re not feeling fully confident about this latest move online, especially some of the newer experiences like Zoom calls and webinars. Our first Get Connected! Digital Surgery to support carers with this is in Carers Week on the 10th. Meanwhile we’ve also put together this list of trusted local and national resources to support carers build their confidence with online services and get the best out of the exciting new opportunities out there online.


All our online Carers Week events are open to carers in Edinburgh and Midlothian.

Unless otherwise specified you can click the links in the event titles to go through to our carers training / wee breaks site and book your place.

Tuesday 9th June

10:30 am11:30 am Virtual Carer Coffee Morning
Make yourself a cuppa, grab a biscuit and join  VOCAL for a virtual coffee  morning.
VOCAL’s Tim  and Hazel  will join  to chat with carers and answer any questions you may have.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm THINK Working Carer employers training
This  Zoom  webinar aims to make carers more visible in the workplace. We will explore:

  • who are unpaid  carers
  • impacts of caring
  • how employers can support working carers  and the business benefits
  • practical  tips and  resources to help employers support carers in their organisation

Employers and Line-Managers can sign up for the session online   or contact VOCAL on 0131 622 6666 or email centre@vocal.org.uk

Wednesday 10th June

10:00 am11:00 am Support and services available in Edinburgh during Coronavirus
An overview of some of the services in Edinburgh such as shopping, deliveries and council services, information on new services and changes to existing services.

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Get Connected! Digital Surgery
From shopping online to video calling loved ones, digital technology is playing an increasing role in our lives, affecting how we communicate, access services and engage in activities. The last few months have highlighted the importance of being connected and accelerated the move of many services online. As part of Carers Week we are offering one to one appointments for carers to talk about this issue.

Whether you have some knowledge or are a total beginner we can offer advice about ways of communicating online, demystify technical jargon, help you access resources and refer you to digital support services.

7:30 pm – 8:00 pm Relaxation Session

Make time for you!  Introduce some more self-care into your life, press the pause button and enjoy guided visualisations, release the breath and sink into bliss. contact VOCAL on 0131 663 6869 or email  midlothian@vocal.org.uk

Thursday 11th June

10:30 pm – 11:30 pm Palace of Holyroodhouse – Tour & Talk!

Join Fiona Johnston, Community and Access Coordinator,  for an illustrated introduction to the Palace of Holyroodhouse live online  Zoom video chat.

Discover the origins of the Palace, beginning with the establishment of Holyrood Abbey in the 12th century- once one of the grandest medieval abbeys in Scotland.  Together we will explore the Palace’s close associations with some of Scotland’s most well-known historic figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and learn how it is used by The Queen when carrying out official engagements in Scotland today!

2:00 pm3:00 pm ‘Virtual’ Afternoon Tea

Join VOCAL’s Wendy Brooks for ‘Afternoon Tea’ and a blether online via Zoom video chat!
Cut the crusts of your sandwiches, bring a sweet treat or two and come together for a cuppa and a chat.