New Personal Resilience During Uncertainty E-Learning

A Learn-Pro module for East Lothian Council staff

New Personal Resilience During Uncertainty courses have just been added to learnpro in the Wellbeing category.  These have been developed particularly for the COVID-19 situation.

The aims are to:

  • help you to be aware of your current level of resilience and the reasons for this
  • learn what helps our resilience and what can undermine it
  • help you identify steps you can take to improve your current level of resilience

Once completed, you can also register for a group conference call to discuss your learning with others.  You only need a phone to be able to do this. 

LearnPro can be accessed when working from home – either from a council device – or from your personal device. The link to LearnPro is:

Alzheimer Scotland Mid and East Lothian Services Newsletter

Welcome to our Spring Newsletter. All at Alzheimer Scotland hope you are keeping well.

We would like to share some news and information with you about what’s been happening in Mid and East Lothian and offer some resources that could be helpful in these uncertain times.

Most of our supports have moved to online, telephone and digital formats, due to the current circumstances. Alzheimer Scotland are doing all they can to reach out to all people living with dementia and their families; to ensure that you continue to have all the help you need, when you need it.

In response to coronavirus and in anticipation of an ever-changing landscape, our Annual Conference scheduled for 1 June 2020 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, has now be postponed.

Although all our offices are presently closed, I would like to make a reassurance that we remain available through the usual channels; by calling the office, emailing, or through our 24-hour Helpline.

Please keep well.

Lisa Moodie
Locality Leader

Read full newsletter here

Appeal for donations of mountain bikes & bike equipment for young people with ELC’s 15+ Aftercare Team

The three bikes Davie, Owen and the team have refurbished so far

East Lothian Council 15+ Aftercare Team is seeking donations of mountain bikes asap for young people aged 16-26 who are who use ELC’s aftercare service (having been in residential or foster care). This will help young people during the current COVID19 restrictions to exercise and where necessary travel for shopping without having to use public transport. We hope that this will also help promote better physical and mental wellbeing for many of the young people who are isolated in tenancies or emergency accommodation.

Donations of working bikes for young adults (heights 5 foot – 6 foot) gratefully received! Thanks for donations already received. We still need a further 11 bikes (10 male, 1 female).

If you have a bike to donate, here’s what to do

If you have a suitable bike or equipment to donate, please email a photo of it to Davie Rutherford, ELHSCP Community Payback Team Leader at or call or text him on  07776 170 478 

Davie or ELC colleague Anne Landsburgh from the 15+ Team will arrange to view the bike and organise collection or drop-off of the bikes, in line with the appropriate health and social distancing guidance.

The bikes will be checked over and any necessary repairs carried out by Community Payback Work Supervisor and qualified bike mechanic Owen McAlpine.

Paul Huish, Club & Community Sports Development Officer and team colleagues are also assisting with sourcing bike offers – it is great to have enthusiasm and offers of help from across the Council.

We need cycling equipment too

The young people also require donations of bike locks, working lights, helmets, and repair kits so if you have any to spare, please contact Davie at the email or number above.

East Lothian Community Hospital cycle path survey

ELHSCP plans to develop a cycle path in the grounds of the new East Lothian Community Hospital. As we do this, we would like to get the views of people who walk, cycle or scoot in Haddington and the surrounding area.

The path would provide a link between the Haddington to Longniddry cycle path and Hospital Road, providing better access to both the town pathways and the A199. It would be suitable for cycling, walking and scooting.

Please help us by filling in this quick questionnaire to help us understand more about how people would use the path and what would make it a good path.

Stick Don’t Twist

MELDAP has launched a new Stick Don’t Twist Campaign aimed at helping its service-users to stay safe during COVID-19. Their message is this.

Now’s not the time to change how you use drugs or the type of drugs you use.

  • Stick with who and what you know.
  • Stick with your usual source.
  • Stick with the type of and quantity of drugs you normally use.
  • Stick with the ways you use and how often you use drugs.
  • Stick with having Naloxone around
  • Stick with using clean needles and other drug equipment and keep your hands and surfaces clean when preparing your drugs.

Twisting comes with too many risks for you and others. Stick with what you know.

  • East Lothian Substance Misuse Service: 0131 446 4853
  • Midlothian Substance Misuse Service: 0131 285 9600         
  • Mid and East Lothian Drugs (MELD): 0784 333 9958

Other information available at  

We are With You are providing online and telephone support via the following:  – Free confidential support to people experiencing issues with drugs, alcohol or mental health (online and telephone service)

In addition, people can make direct contact on 0333 230 9468 Or through Scotland Drinkline on 0300 123 1110

RVS invite people looking to beat the boredom of isolation to visit the Virtual Village Hall

The Virtual Village Hall ( is a programme of themed video sessions led by expert tutors and some well-known faces, Royal Voluntary Service activity co-ordinators and volunteers, and supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Activities include gentle exercise, arts and crafts, cooking and baking, technology skills and quizzes with beatboxing, laughter yoga and Zumba Gold planned too.

Winner of The Great British Sewing Bee 2019, Juliet Uzor, will be demonstrating how to sew a simple tote bag, 2019 Masterchef winner Irini Tzortzoglou will be sharing her quick fried pitta bread recipe and couture stitcher Georgina Bellamy will introduce basic embroidery for beginners.

Sessions will be available seven days a week with both live and pre-recorded activities to join in with. Some downloadable guides will be available to print and share and there will be links to official government guidelines and COVID-19 information.

The charity’s hundreds of social clubs and groups are unable to meet during this time so the Virtual Village Hall programme is designed to bring people together to enjoy activities at the same time. The first live sessions will be on:

  • Tuesday April 28 at 3pm: Zumba
  • Wednesday April 29 at 3pm: Laughter Yoga
  • Thursday April 30 at 3pm: Royal Academy of Dance Silver Swans beginners’ ballet class

Join the local RVS Virtual Village Hall Facebook Group

Work continues to support shielding residents

From East Lothian Council’s Inform staff e-zine

Our efforts to support the shielded population in East Lothian are continuing. People at the highest clinical risk should they contract Coronavirus have been sent letters from the Government asking them to avoid all contact with others for 12 weeks. Many of them have local family and friends support to allow them to do this but a number will need extra help.

We have set up an East Lothian helpline which is staffed seven days a week. The number is 01875 824300. The email address can also be used.

Contact centre staff have been dealing with a number of calls coming in. They are also making a large number of proactive outgoing calls to shielded people in East Lothian to make sure they are aware of the support available including food box and pharmacy deliveries. This work is also being carried out by other colleagues in customer services, social work and community housing teams. This week alone, the teams have dealt with more than one thousand incoming and outgoing calls and emails.

We have noted that a number of calls are not being answered and this may be because outgoing calls from the council do not show a number on mobiles and on landlines with a caller display function. We believe some people will not answer calls because of this. We will be putting messaging out this week to let shielded people know we are trying to get in touch. Of course, anyone answering a call from an unavailable number should always ensure the call is genuine. Council staff always say who they are and would never ask for personal details, especially financial information. Anyone shielding can also get in touch with us directly instead.

We have over 2,708 residents on the shielding list in East Lothian (c.2.6% of our population). The largest number per area is Musselburgh, which is home to 26% of our shielded population. 

The Government has also set up a national helpline on 0800 111 400, for those in ‘group 2’, that is people who are not shielding but may require extra help and include  those who have a disability, are receiving mental health support, have dementia, are over 70, pregnant woman and those who receive the flu vaccine for medical reasons.

The national helpline refers people in these groups back to the council for help.

Thank you to our Shared Lives Carers

By Louise Robertson, Shared Lives Coordinator, ELHSCP

I would like to highlight the work of Shared Lives Carers to you all.  In my work as one of the Coordinators of the service, I have been blown away by the level of commitment demonstrated by them in these difficult and challenging times.

Shared Lives Carers share their own homes with the adults they support and in most arrangements the adults live with them full time. Before lockdown most supported adults had other activities, work or other resources to attend but now they are under the same roof 24/7. Shared Lives Carers are providing practical and emotional support as well as themselves coping with the sudden and significant changes to daily lives.

As a Coordinator for the service I try my best to provide support over the phone to these amazing carers but am limited as to what I can do to practically help at the moment. In many conversations I have been quite overwhelmed by the positive attitude and the emotional resilience of the carers who I have so much respect for. I have also heard from some of the people being supported who are really benefiting from living in family homes and having people who care about them at hand to give them all the additional support they need to cope with the challenges of lockdown.

Please think of them when you are clapping or telling others about how much you respect people who work in the health and social care sector and please help us raise awareness of this incredible service.

What is Shared Lives East Lothian?

Shared Lives East Lothian Service is run by East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership. Shared Lives Carers work on a self-employed basis from their homes and provide support to adults who have support needs that may be associated with a learning disability, physical disability, autism, sensory impairment or mental health.

  • Shared Lives Carers share their home and family life with an adult. 
  • It is a service for adults who need some support.
  • Arrangements can be from a few hours a week to providing a long term home.
  • Shared Lives Carers are self-employed and receive a fee for their work.
  • It is run by East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership
  • It is registered with the Care Inspectorate.

Different types of support

  • Day support – sharing hobbies and interests and getting out and about on a regular basis
  • Short breaks – having someone to stay for short periods.
  • Long-term – having someone come and live with you and including then in your family and social networks.  

For more information please contact  me – Louise Robertson Shared Lives Coordinator 01620 827280 or Anne Anderson 01875 824017.  

More information about Shared Lives

New ways of working for COVID-19 and beyond

MSK Physiotherapists are currently trialling the use of iPads to enable us to help those unable to access normal physiotherapy services during COVID-19. This allows people struggling with an MSK complaint access to the information they need to manage their condition by being supported in use of apps relevant to them. We fully expect this practice to continue post-COVID and be rolled out to the drop-in clinics.