Media release: Caring in the City – new Edinburgh Carers’ Hub will help reach more family carers


EDINBURGH carer organisation, VOCAL (Voice of Carers Across Lothian), is celebrating the opening of a new Carers’ Hub during National Carers’ Week 2018 and coinciding with the implementation of the Carers (Scotland) Act.

To mark the official opening of the Edinburgh Carers’ Hub at 60 Leith Walk, VOCAL are hosting a four-day series of events beginning with the grand opening on Tuesday 12 June by Ms Aileen Campbell, Scottish Government Minister for Public Health and Sport who will be joined by City of Edinburgh Council leader, Cllr Adam McVey, and Carers’ Champion, Cllr Joan Griffiths.

This will be followed by events for health and social care practitioners, supporters, third sector and corporate partners and finishes with a carers open day on Friday 15 June from 10am-4pm.

The Edinburgh Carers’ Hub at 60 Leith Walk is a dedicated space for Edinburgh’s 40,000 unpaid family carers, providing individual and group support, carer counselling, training courses and social activities.

Having relocated from city centre premises in April, VOCAL aims to make the support and services offered available to more carers through the improved transport links and technology available at the Carers’ Hub. The new premises offer more space for carers and staff with better digital resources so that carer support staff can work remotely, providing support for carers in local communities across the city.

Ms Campbell acknowledges the contribution of unpaid carers and the need for them to be able to access support locally through organisations like VOCAL:

“Carers in Scotland play a vital role in the lives of many people in Scotland, and the new Carer’s Act, which took effect in April, established important new rights for carers for support, information and advice. Organisations such as VOCAL and other carer centres across the country play a vital role in delivering this support.

The VOCAL Carers’ Hub is the result of an enormous effort by many people, and it is great to be able to open it today, particularly during Carers Week, and to celebrate the valuable support VOCAL provides for carers in Edinburgh and Midlothian.”

Margaret Bennett, a carer and VOCAL trustee, said: “By 2021, VOCAL will support 10,000 family carers each year in Edinburgh and Midlothian. We need to prepare now to meet future carer demand and the new Carers’ Hub is vital to expand support and services across the city.”

Chief executive, Sebastian Fischer, agrees that the Carers’ Hub will expand the capacity for VOCAL to meet the growing demand for carer support:

“Growing demand will further increase the pressure on people, particularly on women, to combine employment with caring for family members or friend. Already, some 20% of family carers report caring for more than one person.

“The new Edinburgh Carers’ Hub is VOCAL’s small contribution to increasing carer support. We are delighted to launch this Hub at the same time as we implement new carer legislation to improve future support for carers.”

Carers are invited to attend the open day on Friday 15 June from 10am – 4pm at the Edinburgh Carers’ Hub, 60 Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 5HB. There will be the chance to see inside the Hub, speak to carer support staff from VOCAL and other local organisations, and attend interactive workshops on stress management, health and wellbeing and opportunities for taking a break from caring.

For more information visit


Notes for editors:

Media contact:

Helen Gestwicki – VOCAL communications officer

Phone: 0131 622 6666   Email:

Website: Twitter: @EdinburghCarers Facebook:

Photo/interview opportunity:

Official Opening – Tuesday 12 June 2018 11.45am with Ms Aileen Campbell, Cllr Adam McVey and Cllr Joan Griffiths at Edinburgh Carers’ Hub, 60 Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH6 5HB.

Further information:

About Carers’ Week 2018: Carers Week 2018 takes place from 11-17 June. It is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

About carers: Carers are people who, without payment, provide help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour who would not be able to live independently without support due to frailty, illness, addiction or disability. There are an estimated 40,000 unpaid carers in Edinburgh.

About VOCAL: VOCAL – Voice of Carers Across Lothian – is a carer-led charity providing support to unpaid carers for over 24 years in Edinburgh and Midlothian at two carer centres and through carer support workers based in the local community. See our website for more information:

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VOCAL contact details…

Contact: Helen Gestwicki
Phone: 01316226666