(last updated 26 Nov 2020)
Resources for Carers during the Pandemic
VOCAL remains open supporting carers during lockdown. Keep checking back as we will update these resources over the coming weeks, and remember the Scottish Government’s “Ready Scotland” website also has a useful hub page of resources and advice during the pandemic. Public Health Scotland’s interactive dashboard gives current COVID infection rates and trends across all neighbourhoods in Scotland.
Test and Protect guidance
Easy Read guides
Easy Read versions of the new relaxed guidelines are available, download them from the links below
- Lockdown Rules summary of changes July 10th
- Lockdown Rules summary of changes July 13th
- Shielding guidance
- What is Test and Protect?
The beginnings of Phase two easing of Lockdown restrictions were announced today (Thursday 18th June)Read the latest Government advice in full
Significant changes to those in the Shielding category were announced including:
It is advised that you can go outdoors for a walk, wheel, run or cycle. The Government is expanding their advice so you can also take part in non-contact outdoor activities such as golf, hiking, canoeing, outdoor swimming, angling, etc:.
- you should maintain strict physical distancing at all times, even if you live with the person you are out with. This means keeping 2 metres (or three steps) away from other people at all times.
- choose times and areas that are quiet, if you can
- wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get back home
Meeting family and friends
You can now meet up with another household outdoors, including in gardens, but following advice on physical distancing. You should not meet more than 7 people at once, nor with people from more than 1 household per day.
If you have to go into someone else’s house to access a garden – do so quickly and without touching anything. You should not use the toilet in someone else’s house.Download our comprehensive Shielding FAQ
VOCAL’s Statement to carers and partners
In the interests of public safety and to minimise the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID -19) on very vulnerable groups, and those caring for vulnerable people, VOCAL has taken the following steps, effective from Wednesday 18th March 2020:
- Suspending all peer and training groups and exploring some online support options available
- Transferring all face to face contact to telephone contact and online support
VOCAL’s Edinburgh Carer Hub (60 Leith Walk) or Midlothian Carer Centre (30/1 Hardengreen Estate) will be closed to the public. These changes will remain under review and decisions on any further action will be based on the latest available Scottish Government and public health guidance.
We will post regular updates here on our website and on our social media channels.
We know that many of our clients will be facing new challenges in the weeks ahead. Please be assured that our support staff are all available as always to assist you. The only change is that our support is now provided by telephone to the usual numbers, or you can email a query to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information, please visit
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] visit Ready Scotland’s comprehensive Coronavirus Hub
- 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 Mindfullness 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 focussing on what you can control