Carers Focus Newsletter: January 2017

Happy New Year from everyone at Edinburgh Carers Council!

We hope you had a fantastic festive season and new year. Please enjoy our first newsletter of the year — we are looking forward to working with carers in 2017.

Carers Forum Update

Thanks to everyone who attended our carers forum in December. We had Lily Asch as our guest speaker who ran a storytelling session. The Carers Forum meets quarterly    and provides carers with an opportunity to come together and share their experiences and to look at information about current changes and developments within mental health. As a group the forum identifies and agrees the agenda for future meetings, including inviting input from guest speakers and organising workshops.

The Carers Forum is open to all carers across Lothian supporting someone with mental health difficulties. You don’t need to be a member of ECC to attend.  Please check out our forum page on the website for details of the next carers forum date. We hope to see you at a forum in the near future.

AGM Update

Many thanks to everyone who attended our AGM last year on November 28th. We appreciate so many carers attending and enjoyed the talk given by guest speaker Kathleen Taylor,  Engagement & Participation Officer (Carer) from the Mental Welfare Commission Scotland.  Our website has our Trustees’ Annual Report and Accounts and Chairperson’s Report available to download.  Visit

Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival Update

Our two events for carers which were part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival 2016 were a great success. We are so appreciative to have so many carers come along and support our events. The Music  Matters event raised over £1600, funds which will be used to towards our schedule of events for carers in 2017.  We look forward to being involved in SMHAFF this space.

SEDIG Conference

The Scottish Eating Disorders Interest Group (SC045001) is holding its annual Carers’        Conference on Saturday 4th March 2017 at the Eric Liddell Centre at Holy Corner,   Morningside in Edinburgh.

Speakers to be confirmed, but will include Kathleen Taylor from the Mental Welfare Commission speaking about Carers’ Issues, including rights and confidentiality.

More details at or email

Edinburgh Headway Group Supper Club

Edinburgh Headway is launching a new Supper Club   project for carers of a person with an acquired brain      injury. The Supper club is open to the carer and the cared for person to come along together and will be held in    different venues across the town.

Carers can also get one to one support from the Carers Coordinator at Edinburgh Headway, Fiona Robertson.  For  details about the Supper Club or services from Edinburgh Headway call 0131 537 9557 or email or

Care for Carers

Care for Carers is a Voluntary Organisation that provides support services to all carers, regardless of age, gender, disability or relationship of the person they care for. Their   services are available to carers in Edinburgh and they deliver specific short breaks through the Stepping Out service to carers across Scotland. 

They also offer carer support groups, a Cognitive Stimulation Therapy– Memory Support Groups and a rolling programme of training for carers on Stress Management, Caring with Loss in  Dementia Courses and more. Open Days are held twice a year and all courses are free. In 2017 some of the topics covered at the support groups will include Moving into Care Homes and Self-Directed Support budgets. The 2017 training programme and current newsletter is available at

Stress Relief for Carers Project

The Planetary Healing Centre is a small charity that helps people in the community with their health and well-being. They have recently started a project called Stress Relief for Carers, which will give 8-16 holistic therapy sessions a year for unpaid carers. Each session is person centred and lasts about an hour. Carers choose which therapy they feel would help them most. Therapies include various types of massage, shamanic healing, acupuncture, reflexology and Reiki. The sessions are free but donations would be   welcome. The Planetary Healing Centre is at 288 Portobello High Street, Edinburgh, EH15 2AS.

To find out more, call 0131 657 5680 or visit the website:

Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland

In 2016 the Mental Welfare Commission updated their information leaflets. The new design is fantastic and they’re a great resource with information covering topics from Advance Statements, Carers and Confidentiality to Mental health and incapacity law and/or Care and treatment. You can visit the    website at to download the updated leaflets .

Carers views needed — help shape mental health and wellbeing services

A series of ten events across the city are taking place to ‘Talk, Share, Plan & Repeat’ about services which help keep carers and service users well. There are plans to build an Edinburgh Wellbeing Public Social  Partnership (PSP) designed by people who have mental health difficulties, carers who support families or friends, people who work in wellbeing services and local communities.

The dates of the events are listed below. They are free to attend and there will be refreshments and lunch provided. You can register by emailing or phoning 0131 465 5571. For planning purposes it would be helpful to register your interest a week before the event if you plan to attend. Alternatively you can call ECC staff on 0131 270 6087 who can book your place and will also be attending the events too. Please note you can attend any or all of the events, not just those in your area.

Date:            Time:                   Focusing on/Area:                 Venue:

24th Jan       11-2.30                North East                              Norton Park

25th Jan       11-2.30                South West                             WHALE Arts

31st  Jan      11-2.30                South East                              City of Edinburgh: Methodist Church

1st    Feb     11-2.30                North West                              Muirhouse Millennium Centre

8th   Feb      11-2.30                City Wide                                 Norton Park

21st  Feb      11-2.30               South East                               City of Edinburgh: Methodist Church

22nd Feb      11-2.30               North West                              Muirhouse Millennium Centre

28th  Feb      11-2.30               North East                              TBC

1st March      11-2.30              South West                              WHALE Arts