VOCAL’s Carer Support Finder
Are you an unpaid carer in Edinburgh or Midlothian?
Do you know someone in a caring role who could do with additional support?
You may not call yourself a carer… it’s just what you do. But it can be a challenging and lonely journey.
If you look after someone – a partner, family member or friend – who has a long-term condition, disability, elderly, additional needs, or has an addiction, you have come to the right place to find support.
Frequently Asked Questions
What this site is for
There is a wealth of support on offer for unpaid carers in Edinburgh and the Lothians – from local and national charities. But it can be hard deciding exactly what help you need, and knowing where to look for it. Maybe you’re just starting out on your journey as a carer and feeling a bit overwhelmed.
We hope this simple, online directory will show you some options, and give you the confidence to reach out for the type of support you need – be it with money and benefits matters, practical help, respite breaks, mental health and wellbeing support, or simply meeting other carers in a similar situation.
This Carer Support Finder is managed by VOCAL (Voice of Carers Across Lothian). We have worked closely with carers and partner organisations to develop this website and make it as useful as possible.
Take a look at our main website for more about our own support services.
We would love to hear your comments and feedback about this site. Please get in touch.
Can I call myself a carer?
You may not have called yourself a carer until now…… maybe it’s just what you do.
If you’re helping a family member, partner, relative or friend of any age to manage a long-term condition, disability, physical or mental health problem or addiction, the answer is yes – you are a carer.
What about young carers?
Children and teenagers can be carers too, and often their role and their needs are overlooked. A number of support services listed here offer specialised support for young carers, including the chance to have fun, try new things and meet other young people/carers.
Who looks after this website?
This website was developed and is managed by VOCAL – Voice of Carers Across Lothian.
What kind of support services are listed on this website?
Here you will find the full spectrum of services that might be useful for carers – from benefits, money and legal advice, to emotional and wellbeing support, social groups and respite options.
Some services support specific groups, such as young carers or Black and Minority Ethnic families. Others focus on helping carers cope with the specific challenge of a condition, be it a terminal illness, dementia, autism spectrum disorder or substance misuse abuse.
Do the services listed here cover my area?
At present, this directory lists carer support services based around Edinburgh and in Midlothian, as well as national partners that cover the capital and surrounding areas.
How do I access the services listed on this website?
Some of the services listed here may only be available through a referral, for example from a health or social care professional.
Others are happy to hear directly from from those looking for support (known as self-referral).
You can also self-refer via VOCAL’s referral form
I am having a tough time and would like to speak to someone urgently. Who do I contact?
Caring can be challenging and often you can overlook your own mental health and wellbeing until it reaches crisis point. However, it’s really important to reach out if you are struggling to cope and access support available. Please call Edinburgh Emergency Crisis Centre for Mental Health on 0808 801 0414.
If you don’t urgently need help you can contact VOCAL.
I have a friend who is a carer and who could do with support. Can I contact the services listed here?
Yes, and thanks for caring about them!
Often those in a caring role simply don’t have the time or the confidence to look for help and support when they need it most. A friend, neighbour or relative can make all the difference in encouraging a carer to reach out for the support they need.
You can refer a carer you know (with their permission) via VOCAL’s referral form.
Brought to you by VOCAL – Voice Of Carers Across Lothian