Since 2011, VOCAL has undertaken a survey to understand the views and experiences of unpaid carers, and receive feedback on the services and support it provides. The 2021 Carer Survey revealed the current challenges faced by carers in Edinburgh and Midlothian, and their changing needs as we move through the pandemic.
Alongside ongoing issues of isolation and, significantly, a decline in carers’ health and wellbeing, carers appear to be facing increased negative impacts on their finances and employment as a result of being a carer.
From reducing working hours and giving up work entirely, to using food banks and borrowing money, the financial crisis that carers are facing cannot be underestimated. Add the recent cut to Universal Credit and the increasing cost of living, carers are being put further into poverty with their financial and emotional resilience pushed to the limit.
About the Fund
In the run-up to Christmas, we are asking our supporter organisations to contribute to our Caring at Christmas Fund to help us make a difference to carers. The Fund will be accessible in the form of small grants to assist carers who are facing financial pressures and have found themselves unable to manage their day-to-day expenses.
VOCAL supports carers’ financial wellbeing, through benefits surgeries, financial advice and information, and free training sessions on managing money and understanding bill payments. However, many carers will often encounter periods where unforeseen circumstances can result in financial difficulties. These grants will support those who have been impacted financially by a variety of factors, and require financial support.
What you can do
We are requesting donations to the new Caring at Christmas Fund. Donations made in the coming weeks will enable grants to be allocated to carers from early 2022 onwards. With the festive season around the corner, you may have a budget for charitable giving, or seasonal activities for staff to help fundraise for local causes.
We would be happy to meet with you or join one of your team meetings (remotely or in-person) to speak with your staff about VOCAL’s work in Edinburgh and Midlothian, and to explain how your gift will be used to directly improve the lives of unpaid carers in Edinburgh and Midlothian. Please email Andrew Warburton, Partnership Development Officer, or call 07884 210717 for more information.
If you are in a position to donate and would like to make an individual contribution, you can do so through Just Giving.