Carers Focus Newsletter: August 2019

Carers Forum Update

Many thanks to everyone who joined us for our last Carers Forum on Thursday, the 4th of July. The topic of ‘coping strategies’ was continued from the previous Forum and we heard many positive methods used on how to deal with stressful caring situations. Thank you again to everyone for coming along, contributing and sharing your personal stories. 


Save the Date: Next Carers Forum—5th September

The next Carers Forum will be held on Thursday, 5th September 2019 from 11 am—2:30 pm. As usual, it will be held at ECC Offices 14 Links Place (Great Michael House), Edinburgh EH6 7EZ.

Are you new to the Forum? The Carers Forum enables carers the opportunity to meet and look at information about current changes and developments within mental health, and to discuss and collectively address issues and move them forward to make a difference. We also run regular fun sessions that allow carers to have time for themselves and meet others who may be in a similar situation. The Forum also provides a means for carers to feedback and make suggestions to help us ensure we are providing what carers really want from an advocacy service. All carers are more than welcome; you do not need to be a member of Edinburgh Carers Council to attend.

Booking isn’t necessary, but is helpful to know approximate numbers. Lunch will be provided. Please contact Rachael on 0131 322 8480 or email to register your interest or for more information.


Thank you for joining us for Carers Week 2019!

It was lovely to see everyone for our Carers Week event, which was held on 14th of June. We welcomed Heather from Lightbulb Arts who facilitated an art group based on the theme ’Bringing the Outside In’. We used only natural materials to create beautiful original artworks that carers were able to take home with them. We also made scent sachets with dried lavender and rose petals. Our second workshop was led by sleep counsellor Anna from Sleep Scotland who spoke to us about different ways carers can relax in order to get a better night’s sleep. A very big thank you to both Heather and Anna for taking the time to spend Carers Week 2019 with us.


Redhall Walled Garden

Situated in a beautiful 2-acre 18th century walled garden, Redhall offers a safe environment for those who are recovering from mental health issues. The service offers a therapeutic horticultural approach to recovery in order to help people develop self-help skills, improve their overall health and wellbeing, and engage in volunteering and employment opportunities. They offer training in horticulture skills, computer training, and personal development workshops. Redhall also has open-days throughout the year where they have fun activities, cream teas and plant sales. The Gardens are open to the public Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. If you would like to get in touch with them for more information you can phone them on 0131 443 0946.


Volunteer Award for ECC Chair, Leah MacGilp

Leah MacGilp, ECC’s Chair on the Board of Trustees, won a Volunteer Award on Wednesday, 5th June 2019. She was honoured for her hard work as part of the NHS Lothian CAMHS Eating Disorder Development Team. Of the day, she said, ‘It was a lovely event where many volunteers and voluntary organisations were recognised & celebrated in Volunteer Week 2019’. Congratulations Leah! Leah has been a part of ECC for 7 years, and on the Board of Trustees for 2 years.


Inspiring Music Directory

Inspire works with local support organisations in Edinburgh to offer opportunities for people to take part in music who may not have the chance to otherwise. Recently they have launched the Inspiring Music Directory which features music projects across Edinburgh which offer extra support in accessing musical opportunities. You can find the directory on their website – 


Launch of Herbert Protocol in Edinburgh

As part of Dementia Awareness Week, The Herbert Protocol has been launched in Edinburgh. The Herbert Protocol is an information gathering tool that is used by Police in the case of a person with dementia going missing. It’s a form that should be completed by the individual’s close family, friends or carer. Everything the Police needs to know about the person should be included on the form; places the person likes to frequent, where they grew up, their hobbies, GP contact details, medication, daily routine, and a photograph of the individual that can be shared on social media if needed are all helpful facts that could help the person be found more quickly and safely. Once the form is completed, it should be kept in a designated safe place in the home that can be easily found and handed to Police in the event of a crisis. The form can also be stored electronically, but it’s important it’s kept by the person’s close family/ friends/carer in case they go missing. The initiative was first used by Norfolk Police and has since become a nationally recognized scheme supported and endorsed by Police Scotland. It is named after George Herbert, a Normandy war veteran who had died whilst going ‘missing’ trying to find his childhood home. For more information or to download the form, visit Police Scotland’s website here: 



ENCOUNTERS is a new dementia-inclusive art book that has been launched by Art in Healthcare in partnership with Lightbulb Arts. The book is designed specifically to help stimulate the minds and encourage conversation and creativity for people living with dementia. The book features 20 different artworks from the Art in Healthcare collection and can be bought on their website for only £10.


Free and Low Cost Counselling

Health in Mind have updated their free and low cost counselling in Edinburgh booklet. You can find the booklet on the Edspace website: If you would like a more comprehensive list of services available in Edinburgh, there are directory sites listed at the end of the booklet.