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Newsletter August 2020


Newsletter August 2020

Note from the VSA Carers Team We at VSA Carers Service hope you are all coping as best as you can during these strange times. At the time of writing this, we have reverted to a situation of ‘Local Lockdown,’ so we want to assure you again that we are always here at the end of the phone. While social distancing rules remain in place, we are regretfully unable to do home visits, but our telephone support is ongoing. We hope you are enjoying the Zoom Cafés and Toolkits we are hosting – but if you are unable to join us, please contact us if you need a chat or advice. If the online Zoom Cafés is something you would like to take part in, please get in touch, and we can offer you support on technology and how to get started. We realise that as time goes on, things may be getting more and more difficult for some. Please get in touch if you are struggling - you know where we are, and we will do our best to support you. This can be a very isolating time – but we are all in this together, just in different bubbles. COVID 19 ‘FACTS’ Nicola Sturgeon said: “Each letter of that words FACTS should serve to remind us all of the key measures we need to comply with: • Face coverings in enclosed spaces • Avoid crowded places • Clean your hands and surfaces regularly • Two-meter social distancing • Self-isolate and book a test if you develop symptoms. Take care and stay safe Judith Watt VSA Carers Service Team Lead


Newsletter August 2020

Carers Issue The VSA carers team continue to work remotely due to the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. Our advisors are here to provide you with guidance and support. At VSA, we offer a range of practical, emotional, and social support. The team can be contacted via telephone, video call, or Email. Please find all the contact details on page 25.

A quick look at what this issues holds... Meet our team ...................................6

Self Directed Support.........................16 The Scottish Government issued guidance in setting out how SDS should be used more flexibly while services are impacted

Carers Zoom Cafés and Toolkit Sessions ......................................10 We currently offer our Virtual Cafés and Training Toolkits using Zoom – an easily accessible, on-line platform where we can meet via video technology.

Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership....................................18 A caring partnership

Making caring visible.....................19

September & October Schedule.........................................................11 Making caring visable in 2020. This year we aim to raise awareness of the fantastic work our carers do!

COVID-19 Update.............................12 The health and wellbeing of the people we care for and our staff is of the utmost priority for VSA.

Carers Story: Shahnaz ...................20 Shahnaz Bashir is a registered carer for her 15-year-old son Waleed who lives with epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and is registered blind.

Mental Health In-Forum ...........22 Face Covering Exemption ................................................14 Flu Vaccination Programme ............................................15

Fuel Poverty Fund................................23 Carers ID Card..........................................23 Useful Links & Contacts...................24 Get involved................................................26

Newsletter August 2020

Meet our team ... My name is Jackie Campbell and I am the Carers Service Manager, having been with VSA for over four years now. What I like most about my current role is working with a fantastic team and being in a job where I feel my experience and commitment can really make a positive difference to the lives of Carers across Aberdeen. My top tip for good mental health is to remember the vital need to take some time for yourself. So many people – most especially our Carers – may be so busy looking after the needs of other people that they forget and neglect themselves but, wherever possible, please remember to look after your yourself. When I am not working, I really like to spend my time with my family – even if this means a lot of standing on the side-lines of chilly football pitches! In recent months I have also found some time to start reading again, which I am really getting back into.

My name is Judith Watt and I’m the Team Leader with the Carer Resource Service and have worked for VSA in different services for 27 years! I enjoy working for VSA obviously – since I have been here so long and in my current role, every day is different – I enjoy working with our team and feel lucky to be part of the valuable service we deliver to our carers. Life can be tough sometimes, and for me, I know its OK to say I’m not OK today. I just deal with how I am feeling and hope that tomorrow I will feel better and, the majority of the time, I do. In my time off, I love watching TV – a lot! I try and maybe go for a walk, but the TV often wins! I enjoy eating, wine, and honestly, just being at home. I have taken up Art again, which I am enjoying – I gave up trying to teach myself how to crochet – any tips welcome! I would love to say I enjoy the gym, socialising and going on holiday, but I would be lying! But contentment is a fantastic thing!

My name is Hazel Reid, and I have been a Carer Advisor with VSA for over six years, and I cover the North area of the city. I like helping people – so from chatting on the phone to securing funding for a short break or completing an Adult Carer Support Plan, which may result in some respite for a Carer, I am happy to know I have played my part and that I have achieved a good outcome for my Carers. To maintain good mental health (I feel this is important - particularly when you have a caring role ) to try and find some regular time to yourself, doing something you enjoy. When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and following my passion for playing and watching football. I also enjoy singing and am a member of a local choir, ‘Bonnie Achord.’ I sang in front of over 1000 people in the Music Hall when we participated in ‘Sing, Sing, Sing,’ which is a concert held annually to raise funds for VSA to continue their support for people with mental health issues.


My name is Donna Lawie and I have been with the VSA Carers Service as a Carer Advisor for two and a half years. The thing that I like most about my job is that it gives me lots of opportunity for meeting people. My top tip for good mental health is in maintaining contact with those people who are most important to you. And also, to take any opportunity for spending some time outdoors when you can. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

My name is Elaine Dukes and I have had the privilege of working for the VSA family for 24 years – with the last nine of these years being a Carer Advisor with the Carers Service Team. I have a particular passion for supporting Parent Carers as, being one myself, I understand only too well the daily struggles that parents have in taking care of their child with additional support needs. I understand how difficult COVID-19 has been on families with no school or respite and want to reassure you all that our Carers Team are still working hard - albeit from home - to support you all in your caring role. My top tip for families struggling, especially during these unprecedented times, is to try and get out of the house for a walk once a day - even if it is just for half-an-hour. I make a point of doing this myself and it has improved my mood tremendously. When I am not working or caring for my son, I do enjoy meeting with my friends and going for long walks. I also like meals out and I really enjoy a good book.

My name is Louisa Donaldson, and I have been working at the VSA Carers Service as a Carer Advisor for two and a half years. Previously I have worked in various social care settings for many years, including as a paid carer within my roles. I enjoy meeting carers and building up a good relationship with them and being able to help them even if it has just been by having a chat. I have also been able to challenge myself in the role by delivering talks to various groups & professionals, definitely taking me out of my comfort zone! The recent lockdown has been challenging for all of us, and keeping mentally well has been even more critical. I have found that when the Aberdeen weather allows, getting out and about and enjoying the outdoors has helped. When I am not in the garden, I love to sing and am a member of a choir, and even if I can’t attend at the moment, I still love singing around the house.

My name is Yvonne Matthew, and I have been with the VSA for five years – working in a variety of roles from Reception to Office Services and now within the Carers Services Team as the Service Administrator. The thing I like about my current role is working within a Team Environment. Regarding good mental health, I think it is essential always to remember to communicate how you are feeling – I benefit from discussing any concerns I may have with my good friends and family. Outside my work, I take great pleasure in spending time with my family, especially my two lovely granddaughters who keep me on my toes! 7

Newsletter August 2020 My name is Teresa Massie, and I have worked for VSA for eight years in total. I have been a Carer Advisor with the Adult Carer Service for one year now. Previously I worked in Children & Families at Richmondhill House, dealing with Child Protection cases out in the community who were referred from Social Work. The thing I like most about my role is that I get to go out and about in the community to help, guide, and support carers within their caring role. I enjoy engaging with carers, whether it be on the phone or a home visit, because anyone who knows me will tell you I am very friendly - a bit of a chatterbox and very down to earth – and this supports me in building good working relationships with my carers. The role is a challenge at times, busy and never two days the same, but this is why I enjoy my job. My biggest tip for good mental health within a challenging environment is to look after yourself -because if you do not, then no-one else will! If. Please find something that supports you in having a bit of “me time,” as this is very important in life. As my photo shows, I enjoy having a wee rake around the shops when I am not working, my favourite shop has such a lot of variety and something for everyone! I was most upset when they closed for lockdown! I like going out for meals, walking, swimming, cinema, socialising with friends, and going to various countries on holiday. I also look after my mum’s dog, Hugo, an eight-month French Bulldog, and find that very therapeutic.

My name is Arlene Malcolm and I am both a Carer Advisor (Mental Health) and a Counsellor with the Carers Service, having worked with the VSA team for nearly 11 years. My job is very varied, interesting and rewarding - from working with carers to improve their health and wellbeing, to delivering workshops and giving talks to students there is never a dull moment! I am also lucky to be part of such a great team of colleagues, all with a wealth of different knowledge and experience. Self-care is my top tip! We are often so busy making sure everyone else is ok we don’t take time for ourselves. However, it is a major factor in preventing burnout and managing stress. Try and take at least a few minutes each day to do something that’s relaxing or helps you feel calm. I love going for walks and I am lucky to live in a part of the city where there are green spaces right on my doorstep. I also love dancing especially salsa and find bopping around the kitchen to Latin music makes me happy.

My name is Helen Donald, and I have enjoyed being part of the team at VSA Carers Service for nearly two years now, in the role of Carers Contact Worker. The thing I like about my current role is that it is never routine or predictable because it involves people. Each phone call or enquiry to our service is different – behind every story is a real person, fulfilling a unique, and often hugely challenging, caring role. My top tip for good mental health is to spend as much time as possible in the company of dogs. Dogs have a genuine ability to enjoy life in the moment and take immense pleasure in your company. They are also great listeners. (Other animals may provide equal benefit!) When I am not working, I like taking long walks – especially along our beautiful NE coast, whatever the weather. I enjoy catching up with the company of friends over live music and refreshments or indulging in a good, dramatic TV box-set or film.


Newsletter August 2020

‘ Today is a good day to have a good day’ - Ben Francia


Carers Zoom Cafés and Toolkit Sessions Although our Carers Team has been unable to offer our regular, face-to-face support and contact during these unprecedented times, please be assured we are still working very closely with those people fulfilling an unpaid caring role.

If you’d like to find out how you can take part in a Zoom event, then please do call one of our Carer Advisors, and they will be thrilled to let you know how it all works. Also, our Carer Advisors are still supporting our Carers on a one-to-one basis by telephone, and they want to reassure you that they are still just at the end of a phone line. So please do not hesitate to get in touch with someone from our team if you feel you would benefit from some support, advice, or signposting.

We currently offer our Virtual Cafés and Training Toolkits using Zoom – an easily accessible, online platform where we can meet via video technology. These are proving to be very popular with many of our Carers so please do not be put off by the technology – if you have some form of smartphone, tablet or laptop with internet access that is all that you need. It is far less complicated than you may think to join in.

Toolkits available: Knowledge is Power How to be Heard

One of our participating Parent Carers recently took the time to share her thoughts after her first VSA Virtual Cafe.

Changing Relationships Taking Time for Me

“It was very easy for me to access a ZOOM meeting. It was very nice to speak with someone in this Pandemic as it can get quite lonely not being able to get to meet up with others.”

Looking After Your Back First Aid Advice for Carers

So, if you could benefit from a bit of a blether, then why not take the plunge and join our VSA team and some of your fellow unpaid Carers for an online chat.

Download from here


September and October Schedule SEPTEMBER DATES Monday 7th September 1.30 -2.30pm Zoom Carer Café South. Email: elaine.dukes@vsa.org.uk Tel: 07809 847433

Tuesday 29th September 3-4pm Zoom Mental Health In Forum Email: arlene.malcolm@vsa.org.uk Tel:01224 358135

Wed 21st October 10.30-11.30am Zoom Carer Cafe Email: louisa.donaldson@vsa.org.uk Tel: 0122401224 358546

Thurs 10th September 10.30-11.30am Zoom Carers Book Club Email: louisa.donaldson@vsa.org.uk Tel: 0122401224 358546

Tuesday 29th September 7-9pm Zoom Mental Health In Forum Email: arlene.malcolm@vsa.org.uk Tel:01224 358135

Monday 26th October 1.30-2.30pm Zoom Carer Café , Parent Carers Email: elaine.dukes@vsa.org.uk Tel: 07809 847433

Tuesday 15th September 2-3pm Zoom Carer Café Email: hazel.reid@vsa.org.uk Tel: 0122401224 358546


Tues 27th October at 3-4pm and 7.9pm Zoom Mental Health In Forum Email: arlene.malcolm@vsa.org.uk Tel:01224 358135

Monday 21st September 1.30-2.30pm Zoom Carer Café, Parent Carers Email: elaine.dukes@vsa.org.uk Tel: 07809 847433 Wed 23rd September 1.30-2.30pm Zoom Toolkit “Taking care of me” Email: elaine.dukes@vsa.org.uk Tel: 07809 847433 Thursday 24th September 10-11am Zoom Carers Café Email: teresa.massie@vsa.org.uk Tel 01224 358627 Friday 25th September 1-2pm Zoom Carers Café. Email: donna.lawie@vsa.org.uk Tel 01224 358545

Thursday 8th October 10.30-11.30am Zoom Carers Book Club Email: louisa.donaldson@vsa.org.uk Tel: 0122401224 358546 Monday 12th October 1.30-2.30pm Zoom Carer Cafe, Parent Carers Email: elaine.dukes@vsa.org.uk Tel: 07809 847433 Wednesday 14th October 11am- noon Zoom Toolkit “How to be heard” Email: donna.lawie@vsa.org.uk Tel 01224 358545 Tues 20th October 1.30pm-2.30pm Zoom Parents Carers Toolkit “How to be heard” Email: elaine.dukes@vsa.org.uk Tel: 07809 847433


Thursday 29th October 10-11am Zoom Carers Café Email: teresa.massie@vsa.org.uk Tel 01224 358627 Friday 30th October 1-2pm Zoom Carers Café. Email: donna.lawie@vsa.org.uk Tel 01224 358545

Newsletter August 2020

COVID-19 Update VSA has been caring for the people of Aberdeen for 150 years, and during this time, we have supported generations of your families through two world wars, the Spanish Influenza pandemic, and the Aberdeen Typhoid outbreak.


Newsletter August 2020

The health and well-being (both physical and mental) of the people we care for, and our staff is of the utmost priority for VSA.

We know this time has been challenging for all carers, and that is why we introduced our ID cards, created digital well-being packs, and why we introduced Zoom cafĂŠs. We want you to know we are here for you.

We have been monitoring the situation since midJanuary and implemented our enhanced prevention and control protocols across all our services ahead of government advice; a conscious decision that we believe saved lives.

Throughout this period we have provided: 45 fuel poverty grants distributed

1000 mental wellbeing support calls made to unpaid carers

1600 unpaid carers supported

Mindfulness session accessed and watched by over 2000 people New carers ID card launched

5000 people accessed and read our new digital carers magazine


Newsletter August 2020

Face Covering Exemption You may have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering if, for example: - You have a health condition

made to wear a face-covering or denied access to public transport or shops.

- Y  ou are disabled, including hidden disabilities, for example, autism, dementia or a learning disability

We ask for people to be aware of the exemptions and to treat each other with kindness.

If you are providing care for someone with a health condition or disability, and a face covering would be inappropriate because it would cause difficulty, pain, or severe distress or anxiety to the wearer or the person in the care of the wearer.

This will be continued to be kept under ongoing review as we move through the phases of the route map out of lockdown.

Individual discretion should be applied in considering the use of face coverings for other children including, for example, children with breathing difficulties and disabled children who would struggle to wear a facecovering.

www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid19-phase-3-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/ pages/face-coverings/

Those exempt under the guidance and regulations do not have to prove their exemption and should not be


Flu Vaccination Programme Vaccine programme is expanded to protect those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic. This winter, to protect those most at risk from concurrent infection of COVID-19 and flu, the Government is expanding the vaccination programme to new groups and increasing the capacity to vaccinate more people than ever before. Groups who will continue to be eligible for the free flu vaccine include those aged 65 and over, those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, children aged between two and five, primary school children, health care workers, and young and unpaid carers. Social care workers, people over 55, and household members of those who are shielding will all be eligible for the free seasonal flu vaccine. The Scottish Government will look to extend to those aged 50-54 if vaccine supplies allow. Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “The seasonal flu vaccination programme helps to protect the most vulnerable and alleviate pressure on the NHS. This will be more important than ever this year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. “That’s why this flu season, we are extending free eligibility to social care workers who provide direct care,

household members of individuals who are shielding, all those aged 55 and over, and those aged 50-54 if vaccine supplies allow. “We want to reassure those who may now feel anxious about leaving home to get vaccinated. Getting the seasonal flu vaccine, especially when you have free eligibility, is one of the ways that you can support the NHS while protecting yourself and others this winter. “If you think you are eligible for the vaccine, please visit NHS Inform, and if you receive a letter inviting you to get a vaccine, please follow the instructions.” NHS Scotland Health Boards will be delivering the expansion of the vaccination programme and will be taking a phased approach. This allows boards to begin vaccination for different groups, as soon as the necessary supply of vaccine becomes available while prioritising those most at risk. The first phase will begin in October and will include those who are already eligible, household members of those shielding, and front-line social care workers. The second phase is planned to begin in December and will incorporate those aged 55 to 64. Find out more on the NHS Inform website.

Newsletter August 2020

The use of Self-Directed Support (SDS) by Carers during COVID19 The Scottish Government issued guidance in May 2020, setting out how SDS should be used more flexibly while services are impacted due to Covid-19. You can download it here The coalition of Carers in Scotland undertook a survey with carers to look at how this guidance has been implemented and how SDS has been used by carers during this time. Our report brings together the views and experiences of over 200 carers across Scotland.Â

You can download it here


Newsletter August 2020


Newsletter August 2020

New Aberdeen Care At Home Arrangements Take Shape

place) to support you and your carer to achieve your outcomes. The word outcomes mean different things to different people. Within this context, when we refer to outcomes, we mean achieving what will maintain or improve your health and well-being.

Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership (ACHSCP) is making plans to improve how care is delivered to people living in Aberdeen.

Purpose of this formal consultation

Care and support services in people’s homes across the three ACHSCP localities have been successfully awarded to the Granite Care Consortium (GCC) under new commissioning arrangements. GCC is a new consortium of 10 local care and support providers who have a well-established history of providing care to thousands of our residents in Aberdeen over many decades; if you receive any care at home services, letters have been distributed to inform you of these updates.

The formal consultation will contribute to a proposal for a new model of day support, which is due to be considered for approval at the Integration Joint Board’s (IJB) meeting at the end of October 2020. The purpose of the consultation is two-fold:

1. T  o ensure that those directly involved in current day

care provision (those people who receive the support, their carers, and the providers of the support) understand the new model and the implications of the changes that will take place and can contribute their ideas for how this transition can best be made.

For more information please see link below: www.aberdeencityhscp.scot/globalassets/pr_careat-home_21-august-2020.pdf

Locality Empowerment Groups Re-Imagining Day Support Online Session

2. T  o inform the wider public about the changes that

are taking place and gain their views about how best this transition can be made.

It is important to note that this approach to codesigning and co-producing the new day support model will continue after its formal adoption by the IJB i.e., we will continue to work with you over the coming months to achieve our commitment stated above.

This is your opportunity to hear more about the new model; let us know about what is important to people and how local communities can support the changes moving forward.

If you would like more information, please email ACHSCPTransformation@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Background and our Commitment

Please see the link below to Eventbrite webpage to book your place: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/localityempowerment-group-re-imagining-day-supporttickets-117957202167?aff=ebdssbeac

Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership are currently reviewing its provision of day support. Our commitment – to work with you, your carers, and our partners to ensure that there is sufficient choice of activity, local to your community (people or


Newsletter August 2020

Making Caring Visible OUR PHOTO COMPETITION Here are the photos sent in for the competition we ran during Carers Week. We’re sure you will agree that the 3 winning pictures captures different aspects of coping during Covid 19.

Well Done All! 19

Newsletter August 2020

VSA Carers Story Shahnaz Bashir is a registered carer for her 15-year-old son Waleed who lives with epilepsy, cerebral palsy and is registered blind. Shahnaz, with her husband Syed, and two children, has lived in Aberdeen for a little over a year now, having moved from Pakistan to Glasgow 10 years ago. Shahnaz first moved from Pakistan to Paisley to start her MPhil at the University of West Scotland; she was the first female from her family and district to accomplish higher education. When she first moved, she had to leave her home and move to a new country all alone, which was a difficult time for her. Shahnaz did not know anyone; it was a huge cultural challenge, and Waleed specifically found it upsetting being in Pakistan without his mum as he did not fully understand why she had left. After two months, Shahnaz’s family moved to Scotland to be reunited, which was an emotional time for everyone. When Waleed moved over, one of the first things she did was register him with a GP; because of

his learning difficulties, Shahnaz wanted to ensure she could get support. It was a surprise for Shahnaz when the GP asked her which school Waleed attended because children with learning difficulties do not attend school in Pakistan. Shahnaz spoke about how emotional this was for her, as she had no idea that in Scotland, he could go to school, and she knew this would be great for him. Shahnaz’s older son, Shahzad Ahmad, is also registered as a young carer for his brother and helps his mum and dad support him. Shahzad plays cricket for the Stoneywood cricket club and is also very academic, which lead to him receiving an offer from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Medicine to train to become a Doctor. When Shahzad received the offer, the whole family decided to move support 20

Shahzad’s dream. When they decided to move in 2019, Shahnaz asked their carer service in Glasgow, who could help support them in Aberdeen; they were advised of VSA Carers. When they moved to the city, they contacted VSA, and Shahnaz and her eldest son are now both registered at VSA as unpaid carers. How have VSA Carers helped you since moving to Aberdeen? The team has been fantastic; they signposted me to different opportunities to meet other Carers, provided me with information about mental well-being, and where to get further information. Initially, moving to Aberdeen was a bit unsettling for us, as we do not have any family or friends here, and because of Waleed’s learning difficulties, and so we wanted to find an organisation that could help us.

Newsletter August 2020

I can’t attend Carers cafés at the moment due to lockdown, which has been hard because I only really started going to them when this crisis began. VSA has held virtual events, but it is nicer to see people in person. As a full-time Carer for my son, a mum for my eldest son, and a wife, it is nice to know I have VSA Carers there to help support me if I need it. My carer adviser is a fantastic lady. She calls me a few times during lockdown as well and provides me with excellent advice. What is your day to day routine? I get up before my family to prepare breakfast for everyone, and then help Waleed into his wheelchair down for breakfast. I also help him eat as he cannot do this by himself. Once my husband leaves for work, I then help Waleed get washed and dressed for the day ahead. My eldest son Shahzad would typically go to University; however, due to lockdown, he has been at home the past few months to help me with the morning routine. Due to Waleed’s learning difficulties, he gets bored at home, so we try to take him out for a walk every day. He loves the sounds of birds, wind, and water, so it helps relax him. We also enjoy going as a family, and it is good for us to get fresh air. Waleed also loves music, and my the

eldest son, when we are out, often puts headphones on with his favourite music; we know if Waleed doesn’t like a song as he knocks the headphones off. His favourite song is “Qarara Rasha,” and this is in Pushto language. He loves listening to it when we go to the park.

different videos of how to care for people with learning difficulties. We post these on my husband’s Facebook also to share with family and friends. It is a great pleasure when receiving messages from other carers from other countries. The modern technology is helping the carers, too.

After our walk, we go home, and I usually start to prepare dinner while Waleed and his brother watch TV. As he is blind, he cannot see the TV, but he loves the sounds. My husband gets home from work, and we enjoy dinner as a family before I get Waleed ready for bed.

When lockdown is over, I will enjoy being allowed to go back to Carers Café as I do not know many people in Aberdeen; I hope it will be an excellent way to build some friendships. People in Aberdeen are very lovely and friendly. What do you see in your family’s future?

Having my eldest son home during lockdown has been great for Waleed; they have such a special relationship, and I love seeing them together. We moved with Shahzad because Waleed would really miss him and would be very upset. What do you like to do to relax? It is hard to find time to relax, as being a fulltime Carer, I am always thinking about what Waleed may need next. However, I have the support of my husband and son, and as a family, we are all there for each other. My eldest son loves producing videos of how we care for Waleed, and I enjoy helping him film these. We have a youtube channel, “Shining Stars,” that my son updates with


I am very happy to be in Scotland. We had a lovely time in Glasgow, and now we are very happy in Aberdeen. I want to write a book: “My journey from the north of Pakistan to the north of Scotland.” My older son Shahzad is a very nice and kind boy. I like it when he helps someone. In the future, we want to help those parents who have children with special needs. Parents and Carers here in Scotland are fortunate. I came here from a developing country, and I knew about the many challenges that Carers and people with special needs face in their daily life. That is the main reason why I have started Shining Stars so that I can spread awareness to people in those countries.

Newsletter August 2020

Mental Health In-Forum We would like to remind you of our Mental Health In- Forum. This is a chance for carers and families of people with a mental health condition to come together in a safe and informal environment. Due to the current restrictions of the Coronavirus, we have been meeting virtually. This still enables us to have the opportunity to:

Answer each other’s questions Exchange knowledge, tips, and ideas Occasional “expert” question and answer sessions Cover a different topic each month Our next meetings are: Tuesday 29th September 3pm -4pm & 7pm-9pm Tuesday 27th October 3pm-4pm & 7pm-9pm If you would like more information or would like to join a meeting please contact: Arlene Malcolm Tel: 01224 358135 Email: Carers.Info@vsa.org.uk


Newsletter August 2020

Fuel Poverty Fund We recognise Carers can often experience higher bills than the rest of the population for extra heating, transport costs, and food shopping due to their caring role. We are delighted to announce that we have a funding opportunity for carers, who during these challenging times and with winter approaching, maybe experiencing increased pressure with keeping up with their bills for food and fuel. Please get in touch with our carer’s team to find out more about this fund. Tel: 01224 358538 Email: Carers.Info@vsa.org.uk

Carers ID Card Following the June launch of our brand-new Carers Identification Card - timed to coincide with National Carers Week 2020 – the VSA team has been delighted with the level of interest in this scheme. We are now pleased to confirm that an ID Card is available on request to all those unpaid Carers in Aberdeen City who are registered with our Carers Support service.

While we sincerely hope that the current progress in easing restrictions will continue, holding a Carers ID card may offer you some reassurance of Carer visibility should a return to stricter measures become necessary in the future.

Enabled by support from the Scottish Government Wellbeing Fund, our ID Card is designed to give our Carers the recognition they deserve and make them easily identifiable as an equal ‘partner in care’ – marking their contribution alongside the NHS and the Health and Social Care sector.

All we require from you is an up-to-date photo for your card – if you think along the lines of a passport-style headshot with a plain background, that is ideal. If you would like to request a Carers ID Card, then please contact your Carer Advisor for further details. You can:

In our recent times of crisis, the ID Card has proven useful in allowing many of our Carers to access those shopping facilities and benefits available to Vulnerable Groups and Key Workers in some city supermarkets. We are confident this has helped to relieve some of the stress which the coronavirus outbreak, and resulting emergency measures, have placed on our unpaid carers.

• Find your Carer Advisor’s contact details on our full contacts list • Email the admin team at carers.info@vsa.org.uk • Give us a call on our General Enquiries number - 01224 358631


Newsletter August 2020

Useful Links & Contacts NHS inform NHSinform.scot

Mental Health Aberdeen: 01224 590510

UK Government gov.uk/coronavirus

Penumbra, First Response Team: 0800 234 3695

Aberdeen City Council COVID Crises Helpline 0800 0304 713 (Mon - Fri 8am - 6-pm) aberdeencity.gov.uk/services/people-andcommunities/coronavirus-covid-19

NHS Grampian Healthpoint: 08085 202030 MIND Have produced a helpful guide to offer support to people around taking care of your mental health and wellbeing during this time.

Grampian Coronavirus (COVID-19) Assistance Hub 08081963384 (8am-8pm) gcah.org.uk

Find out more here: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/ coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

NHS Grampian 0345 456 6000 Community Meals (Through Bon Accord Care) bonaccordcare.org/what-we-do/home-support

Mindfulness Local mindfulness teachers live sessions on Facebook to help cultivate a sense of community.

Coalition of Carers www.carersnet.org/2020/03/covid-19-advice-forcarers/

Five broadcasts a week: Mon/Weds/Fri 8pm (30 mins) and Tues/Thurs at 6.15pm (10 mins).

Carers UK www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/coronaviruscovid-19/coronavirus-covid-19

Or catchup: www.facebook.com/Grampian-MindfulnessCollective-100679641617121/

Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership www.aberdeencityhscp.scot/our-news/covid-19coronavirus-updates/


VSA Carers Service’ Team Contact Details: Jackie Campbell, Carers Service Manager 01224 358628 | Jackie.Campbell@vsa.org.uk Judith Watt, Carer Advisor Team Leader 01224 358539 | Judith.Watt@vsa.org.uk Arlene Malcolm, Carer Advisor 01224 358135 | Arlene.Malcolm@vsa.org.uk Donna Lawie, Carer Advisor 01224 358545 | Donna.Lawie@vsa.org.uk Elaine Dukes, Carer Advisor 01224 212021 | Elaine.Dukes@vsa.org.uk Hazel Reid, Carer Advisor 01224 358629 | Hazel.Reid@vsa.org.uk Louisa Donaldson, Carer Advisor 01224 358546 | Louisa.Donaldson@vsa.org.uk Teresa Massie, Carer Advisor 01224 358627 | Teresa.Massie@vsa.org.uk Helen Donald, Carer Contact Centre Enquiries 01224 358631 | Carers.info@vsa.org.uk Yvonne Matthew, Carer Administrator 01224 35853 | Carers.info@vsa.org.uk

You can also visit our website to access our digital wellbeing kits:



Our Locations VSA Aberdeen locations 1. Airyhall 2. Arrdeir House Care Home 3. Broomhill Activity Centre


4. Broomhill Park

Aberdeen Airport

5. Craigton Grove 6. Cloverfield Grove 7. Crosby House

Bridge of Don


8. Easter Anguston Farm 10. Linn Moor Residential School


11. Mercat Bookshop


12. Millbank House



n Do

9. Linn Moor Campus




13. Northfield Lodge 14. Richmondhill House

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

15. Ruthrieston House Care Home

University of Aberdeen


Woodend Hospital

16. St Aubin’s 17. Westerton Crescent

20 Rubislaw

18. Woodside Activity Centre

North Sea

19. VSA Head Office

13 Ferryhill Balnagask





9 5

Cove Bay


Get Involved: vsa.org.uk

vsa aberdeen



Support vsa

Registered in Scotland as Aberdeen Association of Social Service operating as VSA Company Registration Number 18487; Registered Scottish Charity Number SC 012950 Head Office: 38 Castle Street, Aberdeen AB11 5YU

Profile for VSA1870

Aberdeen Carers Autumn Magazine  

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