The role of a carer can be isolating and stressful. A Carers UK survey found that 8 in 10 carers feel lonely and anxious on a regular basis. Finding ways to cope with the demands of the role while getting respite can help to extend the time carers can manage with their loved ones at home.
The Eric Liddell Community is here to support unpaid carers.
Here at The Eric Liddell Community, we recognise that unpaid carers have different experiences and diverse needs.
Our programme reflects this and provides both personalised support and a range of options for unpaid carers to choose from, to best suit their needs and circumstances.
Support we offer
A programme of wellbeing classes and support, free of charge, to all unpaid carers across Edinburgh.
Dementia Inclusive Lunch for Carers
Two weekly Lunch Break Programmes to support carers and the people they care for.
Available for individual or group sessions.
The Befriending Service pairs carers with trained volunteers to provide one-to-one companionship offering friendship and support to help reduce isolation.
Our Carers Programme offers meaningful support, educational and fun activities for unpaid and informal carers.
Our wide range of free health and wellbeing classes along with a range of free courses and activities offer carers the chance to meet and talk with others in a relaxed and informal setting. The programme also provides vital opportunities for carers to take a short break from their caring role as well as opportunities for carers and the person they care for to jointly take part in activities that help revive and sustain their relationship.
Our Carers Programme is being delivered as part of the Carewell Partnership and it is funded by the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership.
The programme is updated every quarter and generally includes the following activities
- Holistic Wellbeing
- IT Support
“This service is one of the best, helpful services I have used as a carer”
Quote from a carer
Dementia Inclusive Lunch for Carers
Liddell Lions Lunch breaks Programme
The Liddell Lions Lunch breaks Programme is a weekly lunch group attended by carers and people living with dementia. Participants share lunch together and participate in a variety of activities. These activities aim to bring people together and improve health and wellbeing.
The Wellbeing lunch is a two-course meal prepared by our fantastic community café chef. This meal is open to anyone and is a great opportunity for people to come together, meet others and find out more about the different activities that happen in the building. The wellbeing lunch is an inclusive space that encourages dialogue and social interactions whilst aiming to reduce social isolation and loneliness.
Music Therapy can help in many situations, particularly where communication is difficult due to illness, injury or disability.
Music Therapy is an established psychological clinical intervention, delivered by HCPC registered music therapists to help people by supporting their psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical, communicative and social needs (BAMT, 2022). At The Eric Liddell Community, Music Therapy encourages people to have fun, enjoy music, make social connections and respond to individuals circumstances and needs.
Caring for a person living with dementia could be challenging and carers need to have access to services which support their overall health and specifically their mental health needs which could vary. At The Eric Liddell Community, we acknowledge and value unpaid carers’ fundamental need to access a service that supports all the above through offering the Music Therapy service aligning with the ethos and ideas of our organisation to support our wider community and be part of it.
- Doesn’t necessarily need verbal communication
- Promote social interaction
- Encourage a sense of self through improvised music
- Gives the opportunity to reminisce through the use of song and talking
- Aid relaxation
- Encourage individuals to express their feelings
- Enhance exploratory and creative abilities
Taking support for carers to the next level, the Befriending Service is one of our most popular services.
It supports unpaid carers living in Edinburgh by providing a trained volunteer befriender, who aims to provide an opportunity to socialise and have a break from caring responsibilities. Carer and befriender are matched on interests and circumstances, so there is a good basis to build a positive relationship. This is a free service and is offered to all unpaid carers across Edinburgh.
One carer was connected with a new befriender, when her existing befriender returned to work. The two parties very quickly found things in common and were able to establish a rich connection. The volunteer is very receptive towards doing things the carer is interested in, and plans outings to different places the carer may not have access to herself. Through these outings, the carer is able to enjoy the respite from caring responsibilities (she cares for two people in her family). In the carer’s own words, she is ‘very grateful to have been connected with [volunteer].’
As the befriending relationship has developed, the carer has also been connecting with more activities at The Eric Liddell Community, including our cookery classes in collaboration with Edinburgh Community Food, and the activities put on by the Cycling Confidence Group. Through staff at The Eric Liddell Community, the carer has also been referred to other organisations, and has been able to access a free holiday for herself and her family.
An additional quote from the carer: ‘In the past year I have benefit[ed] from the befriending service relationship as it has ensured that I have a set day / time allocated for me to engage and talk to another person outside the family home. This has allowed me to discuss and get another view point on day to day issues I have experienced caring for my husband and daughter who both have different health issues. The time out the house walking and visiting local places / parks and galleries has given me a welcome break from the day to day stresses.’
If you are able to give some time on a regular basis and you want to help us make a difference to the lives of carers and their cared for, we would love to hear from you.