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Spring Update 2019


Thanks to you, we’re transforming lives

“I’m so glad I have Quarriers.” pages 4 and 5

Chelsey’s moving on page 3

Listening to John page 6

Dog jog page 10

Quest Spring 2019

Hello and welcome W

inter’s over, spring has finally sprung and here at Quarriers we’re doing our bit to make the sun shine for Scotland’s children.

2018 saw an expansion in Quarriers Children, Families and Young People services, with a particular focus on pioneering mental health support for children: we grew our award-nominated Let’s Talk Service and opened the Borders Resilience for Wellbeing Service, where we are working with the first local authority in Scotland to adopt an authority-wide approach in promoting emotional wellbeing in secondary schools.

Update We’re delighted to report that in its 25th year, the annual Noel Lunch raised a phenomenal £100,000 in aid of our children’s mental health services. This is vital funding that will allow us to provide even more specialised support. 2

Quarriers Children, Families and Young People services reach across the country. Arrows Young Carer Support Service Young Carer Support Service



North Lanarkshire Framework Coaching for Life

Coaching for Life Intandem

Let’s Talk

Coaching for Life

Coaching for Life Opt-In Let’s Talk ECC

Family Support Service

Resilience for Wellbeing Service

Quest Spring 2019


The best is yet to come

Chelsey and Angela


emember Chelsey? In the last issue of Quest she spoke honestly about all the help she has had from Angela Campbell and the team at Quarriers Supported Youth Housing Service since she left care when she was 17. It might sound strange, but sometimes the best moment for Quarriers staff is when they’re not needed anymore! So we’re delighted to let you know that Chelsey is moving on from the service and the team that has done so much to care for her over the last six years. Angela says “Chelsey’s ready to manage without us. It’s brilliant. She had an operation at the end of last year and while we supported in whatever way we could, she coped unbelievably well herself with her recuperation. Recently, she got her

first job – because she wanted to work, she wanted to earn. And then she had a romantic Christmas Eve proposal from her lovely boyfriend and is getting married in the summer. She’s made all the changes in her life and in herself. I’m so proud of her and I’ve got no concerns about her for the future.” The space she leaves will be taken up by another young person who may be in real crisis, like Chelsey was when she first came for support. She has some advice to pass on: “I can’t put into words what Quarriers and Angela have done for me. I’d say to any young person with the chance of this kind of support: grab that support with both hands. Don’t let it go, and enjoy it. It WILL make your life better.” Congratulations, and good luck Chelsey! 3

Quest Spring 2019

You’re not alone It has been a year since Quarriers Maternal Mental Wellbeing Service in North East Glasgow expanded in recognition of a real need. The service plans to help 200 women over three years. Tracy talks about how they have helped her. “It was agonising. My baby was weeks old and I had cot death playing on my mind the whole time, so was constantly checking to see if she was breathing. I became fixated on the stairs. I thought I was going to fall down them while carrying the baby and kill her. Every morning I’d bring everything I needed for the day down the stairs and count down the minutes until my husband came home.” Tracy is talking about her postnatal depression – that formal, medical phrase which still has so much misconception and judgement attached to it. ‘Go for a walk’, ‘snap out of it’ and ‘it will pass’ are some of the things women with postnatal depression have been told, but when Tracy talks about that time in her life she talks about ‘battling’ it with good reason. “Women have opened up at the postnatal group and told us about suicidal thoughts,” says Alison Brown, Support Worker at Quarriers Maternal Mental Wellbeing Service. “Some have the symptoms of depression. Some are really struggling to get out of the house. We see a lot of anxiety and obsessive behaviours. You can see that they are often just burnt out.” Postnatal depression (PND) is serious. It hits at a vital time in both mum’s and baby’s life, and without support it can have serious long term consequences for both. Anyone can experience it, but it’s more likely to affect you if you have had a traumatic labour, live in a difficult social or economic situation, have a family or personal history of PND, or have a pre-existing mental health problem. 4

This was the case for Tracy, who has been dealing with anxiety and depression since her oldest daughter was born, and still struggles with the effects of a brain injury. That meant there was help in place for her from the NHS, but she also desperately needed the additional support she received from Quarriers.

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Falling —a photo Tracy produced during her photography degree . It shows how she felt when she struggled with her mental health.

“Because of my previous issues, when I got pregnant again, I had support from the community perinatal mental health team,” says Tracy. “But that support stops when the baby’s one year old. I was terrified about what would happen, and then the health visitor told me about Quarriers.”

Quest Spring 2019

Tracey still goes to the drop-in postnatal group for a chat with Alison

Mental illness is not something to be ashamed of, and we must talk about these things. Do not hide away and think you are alone, because we are not, we have each other. - Tracy As well as one-to-one emotional and practical support and counselling through Bluebell, Quarriers also offers a 12-week postnatal group programme and after that, a postnatal drop-in group. It’s this help in finding a support network that Alison and the team can see is healing hearts and minds. “What we’re doing is giving women a safe space to open up,” says Alison. “They are so supportive of each other, these mums. I’ve never seen anything like it. They talk about their own childhoods and background. Just knowing other mums have felt the same makes a huge difference.”

For Tracy, Quarriers’ support is vital. “Struggling with mental illness can be very isolating but talking at the postnatal support group helped me and still helps me to not feel so alone. I’m so glad I have Quarriers there to keep going to.”

A woman is more likely to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital in the three-month period following childbirth than at any other time in her life. Up to 20% of women in developing countries experience clinical depression after childbirth. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for women in the UK during the perinatal period. For further information about Quarriers maternal mental wellbeing services, visit More of Tracy’s photos can be found on her blog: 5

Quest Spring 2019

More than words What if you only had four words you could say to communicate with people?


ou know that feeling when a word is on the tip of your tongue but you can’t quite get it? The frustration builds and you might say “Aargh! My words are gone!” What if you couldn’t say “No, I don’t want to eat that. No, I don’t like hugs. Yes, I want to listen to music.” How frustrated would you be? Who would you be? Many of the children and adults we support at Quarriers have that experience every day. Autism, learning disability, brain injury and complex trauma can all make communication difficult or impossible. So we do absolutely everything we can to listen, in different ways.

Quarriers staff are already sensitive and caring people but they are also supported by a dedicated Learning and Talent Development team who offer a range of training programmes, including specialist Autism and Total Communication courses. John is one person whose team works hard so he can communicate his needs and wishes. He has lived in a Quarriers residential service for children and young people with complex needs since he was 12, and Donna has supported him in the 10 years since then. John’s autism means that while he can use words to sing, or repeat others’ speech, he doesn’t have access to sophisticated language.


Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Donna says “John’s a complex young man. He doesn’t cope well with change in his environment, or noise he’s not in control of. He doesn’t know personal boundaries. But he’s also got a great sense of humour and is always the last to leave a party. He loves Christmas, and here at the service we put the Christmas decorations up in July for him.” John doesn’t use words to tell his team how much he likes Christmas, but living at the service with him and working with him 24/7, they know this because they tune in to him in other ways. “You get to know what John’s behaviour is telling you,” says Donna. “If you hear him sitting in the bath singing Happy Birthday, he’s in a great mood. But if he sings ‘aye yay yippee yippee aye’, look out because he’s about to get angry.”

Quest QuestAutumn Spring 2019 2018 Donna connects with John in whichever way he needs, and sometimes that might be having a hug.

For getting complex ideas or feelings across, John uses a Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), a set of cards with pictures on them. Donna says “He has his own way of using his PECS. Sometimes you have to use a process of elimination to figure out what he wants. If the word for what he wants isn’t there then he’ll use visual clues to join up ideas.” The team also use a technique called intensive interaction. Donna says “I think it’s brilliant, it’s about connecting in really simple ways. An example is mirroring actions - I might sit with John and just copy what he does. You can see it working – he’ll laugh, and his eye contact will become better. He knows you’re making an effort to connect with him.”

With ten years of experience, Donna’s an old hand, but has just attended a Quarriers autism training course to refresh her professional practice. She’s just one of hundreds of Quarriers staff who attend Quarriers training every year, committed to developing communication methods, and on making connections with the people we support: understanding them, empowering them to have choices and control over their world, and helping them feel that they’re really understood as the complicated, unique and wonderful human beings they are. And there’s no doubt that John would use his PECS cards to give that a thumbs up.


Quest Spring 2019

This I know Quarriers Carer Support in Aberdeenshire helps unpaid carers in a variety of ways. Last year they held a poetry competition and Carol Smith was the deserving winner. Along with some excerpts from the poem, she talks about the support that Quarriers has provided.


am a carer. This isn’t something I’ve always said, or known, although my husband of 30 years has a life-limiting mental health condition, and for that time, I’ve been the person providing him support. Being a carer is difficult. You feel you should meet the needs of your person you care for, your workplace, your family, your friends and the system. You can easily get the feeling you’re letting everybody down and being judged. 8

Excerpts from Carol’s poem, Acceptance. “I cannot have the things the adverts show me, the perfect life, the perfect family. The lifestyle holidays with flights and cruises, the mob of grandchildren sat by my knee.”

Quest Spring 2019

Eighteen months ago, I caught pneumonia and this trigger led to my referral to Quarriers Carer Support Service. They did a carers assessment and I was recognised as a carer for the first time with the focus on me and my welfare. When so much of the caring experience is dealing with bureaucracy, having an equally bureaucratic document that says ‘carer’ gives me a sense of confidence. “I cannot shirk the challenges of caring The great frustrations and bureaucracy The endless forms and further endless questions The feeling that things are not how they should be.”

When I think back over the last 18 months, I am astonished by the range of help Quarriers has empowered me to access. Three things are constantly now available to me - a care plan tailored to my needs, a key worker who listens, and signposting to other available help. I took part in a challenging Change and Loss course with other carers, which helped us to work through our experiences together, turning difficulties into strengths. I also received Creative Break funding that allowed me to spend more time on new crafting activities. “I cannot be spontaneous and impulsive, for I must pause, and think of others first. Of what is best and in our zone of comfort and of the course of action that’s least worst.”

Really importantly, Quarriers is helping me to build an emergency plan in case the unexpected happens. This works through solutions that are right for us and are realistic, rather than feeling negative about what might never be available or possible. Quarriers has been an absolute lifeline. I can’t speak highly enough of Alison and Heather, my key workers. When you are in the system and getting support from lots of different agencies, there’s so much discontinuity and change, but they bring it all together with their ideas, expertise and knowledge of what’s available. The poetry competition was valuable in giving me an aim that’s different from my caring role. It gave us an opportunity to showcase our talents and ended in a carer recognition event that gave a sense of belief – that you’re part of something. “But this I know, there’s Quarriers and Facebook. There’s warm advice, a laugh and sharing blues. And if that fails, there’s courage and there’s wisdom. And if that fails, acceptance and a right good snooze.”

I’m in the best place I’ve been in terms of my caring role and I know now that Quarriers will always be there for me. To read the whole of Carol’s poem, visit

To self-refer to Aberdeenshire Carers Support Service as a carer or young carer you can either call the office in Inverurie on 01467 538700 or email: 9

Quest Spring 2019

You can! Do something wonderful for you and take on a challenge in aid of Quarriers this year.

nge e l l a h C elf. yours Set go al. Smash . Repea t.

April 28

August 18

Kiltwalk Glasgow: Walk 6, 15 or 23 miles

Dundee Kiltwalk: Walk 6, 15 or 25 miles

May 25, 26

September 15

Edinburgh Marathon Festival:

Edinburgh Kiltwalk: Walk 6, 15 or 24 miles

Choose from marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k or junior 5K

November 3

June 2

Edinburgh Men’s 10k: starting from the Royal Mile

Aberdeen Kiltwalk: Walk 6, 15 or 25.7 miles

16 Glasgow Men’s 10k: Does what it says on the tin, guys!

July 27 or 28 Glasgow or Edinburgh Dog Jog: Can you and your four-legged friend take on 5k?


8, 9 and 10 Supernova Run: a 5k night run at the Kelpies in Falkirk To find out more, pick up fundraising tips and download sponsor forms, visit To speak to our events team, call Jordan Hogg on 01505 616132.

l Don’t stop unti you’re proud.

Quest Spring 2019

Come join us If you’re in the west of Scotland, we have two sporting events you can be part of. Golf like a Champion Cawder Golf Club’s Championship course was designed by the five-time British Open Champion, and famous golf course architect James Braid. Come and have a go at Amen Corner (holes 13 through to 16) at Quarriers Annual Golf Day – a 4-ball with shotgun start and some fantastic prizes on offer.

Walk a marathon and raise 140% of your sponsorship. Take part in The Kiltwalk and thanks to the support of The Hunter Foundation, all your fundraising will be topped up by 40%. We’re going big for the Glasgow walk, with over 20 Quarriers staff and people we support already in training! Come and join us on The Mighty Stride - 23 miles. Or do The Wee Wander – 6 miles, or The Big Stroll – 15 miles. No matter where you join the route, we’ll all finish together, and we’ll all know we’ve done something special!

Start your day with tea, coffee and breakfast rolls, enjoy a well-earned pint at the outer bar on the 18th hole, then a two-course lunch in the club house. Where: Cawder Golf Club When: Friday 21 June Price:

£400 for a 4-ball

To book:

Where: Mighty Stride leaves from Glasgow Green and finishes at Moss O’Balloch Park When: Sunday 28 April Price:

£6.50 - £31.69

To join the team, contact Jordan on 01505 616132 or email events@ Our depute CEO Andy Williamson is taking part in The Kiltwalk for Quarriers

For further information on sponsorship opportunities for any Quarriers events, please contact Patrick on 01505 616054 or email


Quarriers Ladies Lunch With special guest Barbara Bryceland The Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow Sunday 28 April 2019, 12 – 4pm Tickets: £40pp. Table of 10 - £400. To book: ladieslunch or visit q-ladies-lunch.

Quarriers Ladies Lunch in association with Topcat Blinds

Want to find out more? To register your interest, please complete the form below and send it in the prepaid envelope enclosed with your Quest mailing.

Name: Position (if applicable): Company (if applicable): Telephone/mobile: Email: Quarriers is a registered Scottish Charity No. SC001960.

Please send me further information about Quarriers Ladies Lunch 2019

With the right help so much is possible




Helps to provide art and play materials for children’s fun clubs

Helps to provide literacy support for a young person

Helps to provide up-to-date accessible technology

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Quest Spring 2019