Designed as a one-stop shop for people who help look after a loved one, an emotional and wellbeing hub for carers will pop-up at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh tomorrow (Friday 22 February). The event will feature a dozen stallholders offering expert advice and support, including workshops for managing stress and information on the various services available to caregivers in the Capital.
It follows the results earlier this month of a YouGov survey into carers’ mental wellbeing commissioned by the Carers Trust. The charity’s research found over a third (37%) of young carers felt stressed and that 50% of those who reported stress said they ‘often’ felt that way. But despite that, 51% reported that they were proud of being young carers, and 42% that it made them happy.
Edinburgh’s Carers Champion, Cllr Joan Griffiths, said: “Being a carer is extremely rewarding but it can also be stressful. It can be a massive juggle simply to meet the everyday demands of work, study or home and make time for yourself when also caring for someone close to you.
“This pop-up hub will provide crucial help and advice to those who take on a caring role. It is so important that carers feel able to seek help and that they know where to turn to for support. Carers need to be cared for too and all of the stallholders will be ready to offer a helping hand.”
Supported by the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, the event has been coordinated by VOCAL, which provides unpaid carers with information, peer support and access to services.
Jane Greenacre, Assistant Director (Carer Support) from VOCAL, said: “All too often carers miss out on the range of support and services available in Edinburgh, because they simply don’t know what help they can ask for. For example, our most recent carer survey identified that only 4 in 10 carers felt that they knew what financial support was available to them.
“We’re looking forward to sharing this and other vital information with a whole new audience on Friday. We’ll be there all day – alongside many other stallholders – holding workshops and talking people through the range of support that’s on offer to carers, whether they’re a carer themselves or concerned for someone they know. We hope to see lots of new faces.”
Judith Proctor, Chief Officer of the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, added: “Our vision for carers is that they are able to live healthy, fulfilling lives and for the crucial role they play in their communities to be valued. For this to happen, a range of good quality support needs to be on hand to carers at the right time and place. That is why we have developed the Edinburgh Joint Carers’ Strategy with local partners from the NHS, the Council, the third sector and carers. The plan outlines local priorities and outcomes for young and adult carers in the city over the next three years.”
A further pop-up carers hub will also take place on Thursday 21 March, 10.00am – 4.00pm.