Media release: Caring in the City – new Edinburgh hub for family carers


Photo/interview opportunity

Launch event 24th November 2017 – 9:00 am

60 Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH6 5AA

TODAY – 24 November 2017 – is national Carers’ Rights Day.

In Edinburgh, VOCAL – a charity that supports unpaid carers – is using the day to highlight the development of a new Edinburgh Carers’ Hub and launch an appeal for £100,000 to prepare for its opening in spring of next year.

In April 2018, VOCAL will relocate its Edinburgh Carers Centre from the top of the Royal Mile to 60 Leith Walk – a milestone development in response to growing carer demand that will facilitate the support of family carers – expected to number 10,000 by 2021.

At 60 Leith Walk – a GP surgery for over 100 years – VOCAL will develop a new, state-of- the-art Carers’ Hub, well-connected digitally and with improved transport links so that VOCAL’s carer support services can reach every home in every part of the city.

Margaret Bennett, a carer and VOCAL board member, said: “By 2021, VOCAL will support 10,000 family carers each year. We need to prepare now to meet future carer demand, and a new Carers’ Hub is vital to enable us to offer more services across the city.”

VOCAL took ownership of the new Leith Walk centre in September. The total cost of the project will approach £1m. Most of this has already been raised, but VOCAL is now seeking a further £100,000 to cover modernisation and refurbishment costs.

Chief executive, Sebastian Fischer, says: “Like the former GP practice, this development will serve thousands of caring citizens in Edinburgh. Staff and volunteers have already successfully raised most of the funding and we hope our appeal to the citizens of Edinburgh will help raise further funds to make it happen.

“Some 40,000 families in Edinburgh have caring responsibilities. At VOCAL, we are working hard to create a new focal point for Edinburgh’s carer community and to expand and consolidate the excellent work of the past 20 years.”

Edinburgh Council’s Carers Champion, Cllr. Joan Griffiths, supports the new Edinburgh Carers’ Hub: “As Carers Champion, I welcome VOCAL’s initiative to relocate its Edinburgh Carers’ Centre to a new Edinburgh Hub for family carers, providing an accessible venue where family carers can get support and advice to assist them in their caring role.”

City of Edinburgh Council leader, Cllr Adam McVey, also backs the project: “VOCAL has an impressive track record in the Capital and I’m delighted they’ve been able to bring a fantastic new support hub to Leith. The centre will provide crucial help to carers and what better way to mark Carers’ Rights Day than to donate to this project!”

Here’s how you can support the Edinburgh Carers’ Hub appeal:


Media contact:

Helen Gestwicki – Carer Centre communications worker

Phone: +44 (0)131 622 6666



Twitter: @EdinburghCarers


Fundraising contact:

Francesca Greaves – Partnership Development officer (community and corporate fundraising)

Phone: +44 (0)131 622 6666


Nots for editors:

Carers’ Right Day 24 November 2017

Carers Rights’ Day brings organisations across the UK together to help unpaid family carers in their local community know their rights and find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to.


VOCAL manages two carer centres in Edinburgh and Midlothian and provides local carer support in communities across Edinburgh.

Our services include:

  • person-centred support, information and planning for the future
  • emotional support, stress management and counselling
  • training, learning, social and leisure opportunities
  • benefits, legal, long-term care and power of attorney surgeries
  • support for people affected by someone else’s addiction
  • creative short breaks and respitality
  • gateway to many other services

MEDIA RELEASE issued by VOCAL (Voice of Carers Across Lothian). You too can share your stories (aka press or media releases), on this site. Email here for more information.

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VOCAL (Voice of Carers Across Lothian) contact details…

Contact: Helen Gestwicki
Phone: 01316226666