A charity organisation for minority ethnic carers which is funded by the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian has won a top European award.

MECOPP are the first winners of the ‘European Local Authorities Competition on Good Practices on the Support for Migrant Elders’ Initiatives’.

The organisation, which operates from a Carers Centre in Edinburgh’s Leith Walk scooped the prestigious award at a ceremony in Brussels this week.

MECOPP was first established as an independent charity and company in 2000 and currently provides support to around 400 people in the Edinburgh and Lothians.

Some of their principle achievements include:

– providing advocacy and carer support to black and minority ethnic residents in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
– running a short breaks/respite service within Edinburgh for carers
– providing a range of education and training opportunities for carers
– ensuring a black and minority ethnic resource library is available to anyone in Scotland.

Suzanne Munday, Director of MECOPP, said: “It’s a great honour that such a comparatively small organisation like ours has been recognised as the best in Europe for our work helping older people from black and minority ethnic communities.

“It’s testament to all our hard-working staff and the support from the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian that we have achieved so much in such a short space of time. This award also recognises the ongoing support we have had from the communities that we work with.”

Health and Social Care leader Councillor Paul Edie said: “The Council relies heavily on partnership working with other agencies and voluntary organisations. MECOPP plays a very important role in supporting carers of frail older people from the BME community.

“I am delighted to see that their work has been honoured at a European level.”