LifeCare Edinburgh has a variety of community events planned
A charity is helping to keep older people connected this summer.
LifeCare Edinburgh is inviting local people to sign up to take part in its varied calendar of virtual community events. Funded in partnership with Inverleith Neighbourhood Network, Foundation Scotland and The TOR Foundation locals can take part for free. Events include history talks, quizzes, conversation groups discussing current affairs and special events such as the recent private virtual visit to Edinburgh Zoo.
The renowned local charity offers registered care, outreach activities and help at home services for older people living across the North of the city. Established in 1941, the organisation supports over 800 elderly clients a year including those suffering with dementia, mobility issues, those experiencing isolation and loneliness, food poverty, mental health problems and support for carers. The charity usually delivers its calendar of community events in-person at the LifeCare Centre on Cheyne Street, however organisers set up the sessions through Zoom in response to the pandemic.
LifeCare understands that some people need a little encouragement and support to get started using Zoom. Organisers therefore offer free, safely delivered one-to-one support for individuals to get started with the IT platform ensuring they have the skills and confidence to use technology to be part of their community.
Aleks Pacula, LifeCare’s community engagement facilitator, said: “We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to continue our successful calendar of events across the last year – we have more people signed up than ever before. Shifting the delivery from in-person to Zoom had a few challenges at first but everyone is very much enjoying it now and it’s allowing more people to take part. We all look forward to the sessions - it gives us a chance to catch up with each other safely, see a friendly face, have some fun together and learn new things about where we live.
“We’ve received a lot of feedback telling us that the talks bring back fond memories and give people the opportunity to share life-experiences with others. Our free tutorials helping people to use Zoom for the first time have been very popular. I know our regulars found the help really useful at the start and they are unstoppable now! We regularly update our calendar of events online so visit the LifeCare website to find out more and get involved.”
The charity has already announced a few highlights to look forward to across the summer. In addition to its usual weekly schedule of events it will be hosting Lothian castles on film by Anne Daly on Tuesday 29 June at 3pm; The visit of George IV to Scotland in 1822 by Eric Melvin on Tuesday 27 July at 3pm and Greek inscriptions in Edinburgh by Ian McHaffie on Tuesday 24 August at 3pm.
Gavin Barrie, chair of Inverleith Neighbourhood Network, said: “We are extremely pleased to hear about the success of LifeCare’s Community Engagement Project. The important project reaches out to some who may be suffering isolation in our community. The programme demonstrates all that is good when various arms of our community pull together to assist those in need of support. We were delighted to help LifeCare achieve its aims of engaging with local members of our community.”
Beverley Francis, chair of LifeCare, said: “A huge thanks to our generous funders for enabling LifeCare to continue to deliver and grow our important calendar of community engagement activities. These events deliver huge benefits to those in our communities in normal times, but they are even more important through the current time. Activities are designed to keep people connected, give something to look forward to and to provide something stimulating for health and wellbeing needs. We are encouraging anyone that is interested to get in touch to find out more.”
LifeCare Edinburgh is a registered charity and relies on the support of its funders. Key relationships include Barclays, The TOR Foundation, Foundation Scotland, Tesco Bank and all the many local people who take part in community fundraising events.