Carers Focus Newsletter: May 2016

The Carers Forum will be marking its 3rd birthday in June.

The first Carers Forum was held at Waverley Gate on 6th June, 2013. The Forum was created to provide carers with an opportunity to look at current changes and         developments within mental health, to discuss and collectively address these and move them forward to make a difference for the better.

The Forum is part of Edinburgh Carers Council’s (ECC) key objectives to ensure that the needs of mental health carers are represented and included at all stages of the planning and implementation of mental health services in Edinburgh. The Forum was also developed to provide carers with a clear means to feedback and make suggestions about our service to help us ensure that it delivers what carers want from an advocacy service.

Over the three years the Carers Forum has had guest speakers from the Mental Welfare Commission, NHS Lothian, City of Edinburgh Council and Queen Margaret University. Carers and ECC board members have facilitated workshops and recently we had a fun focus with a Turntable music workshop.

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. 

Next Carers Forum: 11-2 pm, Wednesday July 27th 2016    Venue: Edinburgh Carers Canon Mill Office

We will be discussing the services that Edinburgh Carers Council provide and recent changes in legislation and policy which are particularly relevant to carers. We are also keen to hear carers’ views about the Forum in order that we can ensure it continues to be a useful and valuable resource. We’ll also be celebrating the Forum’s 3rd birthday with cake and music. No need to book but to help our catering it’d be great to get an idea of numbers. Contact 0131 270 6087 or email

Support for young carers – In Your Corner

We were delighted to meet recently with staff at In Your Corner (IYC), a service that  provides advice, support and guidance to help young carers age 16-25 in their roles. The service has been recently expanded to cover carers of people throughout Edinburgh.

IYC can offer one-to-one time with a Project Worker, Group sessions, information, advice and training. Contact 0131 458 9860 or email

New Online Peer Support Groups  

The charity Beat is working with NHS Lothian to offer support to young people and  carers and parents of young people in Edinburgh/the Lothians who are experiencing an eating disorder and going through a transition.

The Transitions Project Scotland has launched some Online Peer Support Groups which will be running until November 2016. The Online Peer Support Group for parents and carers runs Wednesdays 5.30 - 6.30 pm. A variety of themes like staff and treatment, education, impact on parents and family will be covered. Contact:

Carers Week Event Invitation - Thursday June 9th

To mark Carers Week Edinburgh Carers Council are delighted to be joining Carers of West Lothian, The Forget Me Not Project (Festival & Kings Theatre), Carers of East Lothian and Vocal to host a carers event at Redhall Walled Garden, 97 Lanark Rd, Edinburgh EH14 2LZ on Thursday June 9th, 12.30-4.30.

Get Creative

There will be a choice of creative art workshop and a music session with a Dessert Island Disc style theme. All carers are welcome, no experience is necessary. The aim of the event is for everyone to have relaxing afternoon.

Lunch and refreshments are provided and assistance with transport is available. To book your free spot call 0131 270 6087 or email Please note spaces are limited so please let us know if you’d like to come.                

NOVA Short Breaks have launched a new day breaks programme which is open to people with mental health difficulties and their carers. You may wish to go away on your own, with your carer, or carers may wish to have time out to recuperate on their own.  For many carers it can be difficult to stay overnight so having a day break can be a great way to help your mood and have something to look forward to.

Breaks include sightseeing days, spa breaks or the option to design your own perfect day break. Delivered by skilled staff, there’s someone on hand to ensure you get the support you need. For details contact   Mandy 07799 191 114,,

Carers Social Event

Many thanks to the carers who attended our Social Event on Saturday April 2nd. It was a lovely afternoon with lunch at Barclay Viewforth Church, followed by the matinee performance of ‘Canned Laughter’ at the Kings Theatre.

Named Person

We had a very useful afternoon on April 20th with Kathleen Taylor and Paula John from the Mental Welfare Commission. Carers came along to give their views about changes to the Mental Health Act which will    affect Names Persons. If you would like to read more or give your views as part of the Scottish Government Consultation, please go to

Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (MWCS) are an investigating body that protects and promotes the rights of people with mental health problems, learning difficulties, dementia and related   difficulties. Part of their work includes visiting hospitals, investigations, information and advice and monitoring the Mental Health Act. They also have a confidential advice line for service users and carers.

At our last Carers Forum Kathleen Taylor, Engagement and Participation Officer (Carer) at the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland came and spoke about her new role. Kathleen will be looking at carers issues and has extensive experience from a family/unpaid carer point of view. We really look forward to working with Kathleen in the future.

If you have any issues or concerns from a carers perspective the MWCS welcomes carers views and can investigate individual concerns. Contact 0800 389 6809 (advice line) or visit

Edinburgh Carers Council is a Charity in Scotland: SC028469. Funded by NHS Lothian & City of Edinburgh Council. 
The Canon Mill, 1-3 Canon Street, EH3 5HE       0131 270 6087