Giving our local carers a voice

Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie visits VOCAL at the Midlothian Care Centre

Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie visits VOCAL at the Midlothian Care Centre

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More than 8,500 people in Midlothian provide care for a family member, partner or friend.

Combined carers save the Midlothian economy more than £179million, but it can often come at a cost to their own health and finances – which is where VOCAL Midlothian can help. You may be one of these unpaid carers, and wondering where to turn to for support.

VOCAL offers free 1:1 support, access to counselling, benefits advice, health checks, a specialist dementia surgery (run by Alzheimer’s Scotland), Power Of Attorney surgeries and support to access short break funds.

We have a training programme and social opportunities which give carers the chance to meet other people in a similar situation.

VOCAL also manages Wee Breaks Midlothian (www.weebreak.org). This website has information on funding, discounts, short breaks and support to enable carers to take time away from their caring role and focus on themselves.

VOCAL Midlothian was founded more than 14 years ago through the work of local Midlothian carers from Carers Action Midlothian (CAM). The service has grown to 12 staff members and five volunteers and is based at the Midlothian Carers Centre in the Hardengreen Estate just off Dalhousie Road, Eskbank, Dalkeith.

The Carers Centre is a busy place, with coffee mornings, carer health checks, card making, social groups and training events taking place every week.

Many people contact VOCAL on the recommendation of friends and family, but we also work with health and social care staff in hospitals, GP surgeries and schools to refer carers. Here are some of the ways you can get in touch:

○ Call 0131 663 6869 or email midlothian@vocal.org.uk

○ Book an appointment at our Carer Surgery every Tuesday at Dalkeith Medical Practice (if you are registered with this practice). Details at reception

○ Visit us online at https://www.vocal.org.uk

○ Visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MidlothianCarers