#NeverMoreNeeded: LifeCare Edinburgh
21 August 2020
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve supported local charities and voluntary organisations doing vital work in the community. With a series of small grants, we’ve been able to help those working in the voluntary sector as they tackle the impacts of the crisis in Leith and north Edinburgh. We want to share the stories of these organisations and the importance of these groups and charities at all times, but particularly in the current crisis.
LifeCare Edinburgh’s ethos is a positive celebration of age. The organisation believes in a society where older people are never isolated, lonely or defined by their age alone. They provide tailored, expert and compassionate care which allows lives to be lived to the full, for longer.
There is no denying that coronavirus and lockdown has been extremely difficult for many of the 135 older people that LifeCare Edinburgh support in Leith and north Edinburgh. The restrictions put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus meant LifeCare had to close their day clubs and were unable to help clients get out and about in their communities in the same way.
“It was like getting a Christmas present.”
LifeCare’s clients have been stoic and generally stayed positive but staff could see that the health of those with dementia was deteriorating. The lack of stimulation and social interaction was affecting people’s mental health and wellbeing. Also, carers were struggling as they were not getting respite. While LifeCare were already working hard to ensure essential practical needs were met, as well as staying connected with phone call and socially distanced visits when they were permitted, they wanted to do more.
We were able to provide LifeCare with a small grant for 120 activity packs for clients and carers, with each pack tailored to suit each individual. Typically, a pack would include activities and games to stimulate people’s brains, particularly important for those with dementia, as well as puzzles and crafts to help them stay busy or relax. They added in a few treats for good measure!
“I haven’t done a puzzle for years and I’ve got a bit obsessed with finishing it!”
Photo: Pat opening her pack, and very happy with her parcel.
Photo: Tam opening his activity pack and reading his letter. He is so grateful for his visit and his kind gift.
People clearly enjoyed and benefited greatly from receiving the activity packs as illustrated by these cheerful pictures shared by LifeCare Edinburgh.
Photo: Robert received his activity pack and was delighted.
The activity pack made a big difference to Robert who lives alone. He loved listening to the 50s music which brought back memories of when he could go out dancing. Pat was delighted with the pack especially as she recently came home from hospital and isn’t able to move around a lot. The pack gave her hours of enjoyment and a new love for puzzles. The embroidery set was great to get Betty’s fingers moving again as well as being good fun. Her pack was full of arts and crafts as LifeCare staff know this is what she would enjoy most.
Photo: Betty is absolutely delighted with her surprise visit to deliver her activity pack.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
As lockdown eases, LifeCare are opening up their café for takeaway breakfasts and preparing to start meeting people again.
In 2020, local charities have never been more needed for the vital support they provide to individuals and families, both regularly and with heightened demand during the crisis. The #NeverMoreNeeded campaign is a UK-wide push to remind the government, funders, donors and members for the public how we cannot afford to lose the voluntary sector organisations that we have come to depend on so much this year.
SCVO research shows that at the same time as voluntary sector organisations are seeing a rise in demand for services, they have been changing how they deliver and expecting or already experiencing a drop in income. The voluntary sector needs support more than ever to do what it does best during this crisis and beyond. We are joining in this campaign to help everyone understand the importance of a thriving voluntary sector on our own doorstep in Leith and north Edinburgh.