(last updated 14 Jan 2021)
VOCAL Remains Open
We continue to support unpaid carers across Edinburgh and Midlothian through remote working during the pandemic.
You don’t have to be a relative, or to live with the person, to be a carer: If you support someone to manage a long term condition, a disability, a physical or mental health problem or an addiction, then you’re a carer. If you need support we are here for you.Use our simple online form to register for support
Our current range of free support for unpaid carers includes:
One to one support
We offer short to medium term confidential one to one advice and support using telephone, email or video chat sessions.
We can offer weekly counselling sessions, also by telephone or video chat for carers who are looking for support with the emotional impact of the caring role.
Time off from caring
We can help you apply for funding so you can purchase items that could help you have a break from caring. This can include laptops or tablets, a garden shed, play equipment or online courses.
Anticipatory care or will surgeries
A 30 minute consultation with a professional to get advice on how to set up an anticipatory care plan or make a will .
Peer support and training
Our online carer training programme continues via Zoom. You can browse the wide range of free courses at carerstraining.co.uk
Resources for Carers during the Pandemicvisit Ready Scotland’s comprehensive Coronavirus Hub
Unpaid carers are a priority group for COVID vaccination. To ensure all carers can get the vaccine they’re eligible for, the Scottish Government is encouraging carers to register with their local carer centre.Use our simple online form to begin the registration process
- Scottish Government advice for unpaid carers
- A new National Wellbeing Hub for those working in Health and Social Care (including unpaid carers)
- Edinburgh council’s guidance on help with council tax if your income has been affected by the pandemic
- Edinburgh also have a useful COVID-19 hub page which is being updated with details of the phased reopening of services
- Midlothian Council’s COVID-19 Hub page is also being updated with details of the phased reopening of services
- Shared Care Scotland’s “short breaks for strange times” resource to help take time off from caring
- Information on Government income replacement schemes
- the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) have published this searchable directory of support and services by location
- EVOC have published this directory of community support
- VOCAL’s guide to Emergency planning with a downloadable Emergency Plan template
- Volunteer Edinburgh’s COVID-19 hub
- Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland are coordinating kindness volunteers
- Headspace’s free Mindfulness and wellbeing app has a dedicated COVID-19 resilience section
- and developers Elevate are giving away a free year’s subscription to their guided meditation app Balance
- We have some tips on focusing on what you can control
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
The Scottish Government have recognised carers as equal partners in the delivery of care. They have announced PPE is available for unpaid carers on a priority basis, for instance, if you are providing personal care or caring for someone with COVID-19 or who is in a vulnerable category.
We recommend reading the National Carer Organisations FAQ if you have queries about PPE.
New PPE guidance has been issued for Edinburgh carers – there are different guidelines for carers living with the person they care for and those who are not living with the person they care for.
Guidance for Midlothian carers can be found on the Midlothian Council website.
If you would like to find out if you are eligible to access PPE please contact VOCAL Edinburgh on 0131 622 6666 or VOCAL Midlothian on 0131 663 6869.[/well]