Alzheimers Scotland Mid and East Lothian Services newsletter

From Michael Huddleston, Dementia Adviser, Alzheimer Scotland Edinburgh & Lothians  

An update on our support

I hope this update finds you and your loved ones safe and well. It is over four months since the coronavirus pandemic impacted on Alzheimer Scotland. We are now beginning to see glimpses of ‘normality’ and are optimistic that this will mean we can recommence some of our local support and activity. At the absolute forefront of our plans is safety. Things will start slowly and on a small scale, however with the support and agreement of all the relevant Local Authorities, National Government and Public Health guidance we will build on this soon. I would like to thank you all for your ongoing understanding of this and we will keep you up to date on local developments.

  • Read newsletter here
  • Download Memory Leaf template here

Michael Huddleston
Dementia Adviser
Edinburgh & Lothians  
0131 654 1114  
07831 859490 

Meet the Team – Laura Dickson, CWIC East Lothian Mental Health line

Laura says:

‘I’m a Mental Health Occupational Therapist, who has a background in Physical and Mental Health Rehab and Acute services, as well as working as a Student Mental Health Adviser before moving into Primary Care Mental Health.

‘The corona virus pandemic is having a huge impact on people’s mental wellbeing. I feel privileged to work in such a dynamic service that really helps people get back on their feet, offering same day access to the right support at the right time.’

Find out more about CWIC East Lothian Mental Health line at

VAWG information July 2020

By Vernonica Campanile

Dear VAWG local network

I hope you find this information useful – still some focus on Covid-19 but as we move forward the sections are interspersed with wider information.

East and Midlothian

  • What About the Men: The safe and together implementation group is undertaking a scoping exercise within local areas to identify what support is available for men in relation to parenting and domestic abuse. This is with a view to developing an information resource for men and staff to allow easier signposting and clear pathways for referral  Can you please consider the following question:  ‘What organisations in the local area work specifically with men in relation to their parenting or domestic abuse?’ and send relevant information to Veronica  (or Lesley Watson or Jen Fraser by 10/08/20.
  • Midlothian Pride Survey The Midlothian People’s Equality Group (MPEG) would like your help. They have compiled a short survey asking for people’s views on the possibility of creating a Midlothian Pride event for 2021.  Get involved and have your say – this survey is managed by the charity Pink Saltire.
  • East Lothian and Midlothian MARAC – SafeLives Scottish Marac Survey (attached).  This survey of Scottish MARACs  was carried out during the early stages of Lockdown (April—May 2020) . It’s worth noting that most would have had a couple of MARACs since lockdown, when there were still a lot of teething issues around remote MARACs and things have moved on for many areas since this data was gathered. It is an interesting report on how MARACs in Scotland faired during those first few challenging months. It was interesting that some areas have struggled with agency attendance. We are heartened that in East Lothian and Midlothian we have continued to work effectively together despite the disruption to our normal working arrangements – this is testament to the our collective continued commitment to MARAC.
  • Women’s Fund for Scotland: Covid Response, Recovery, Resilience:  Grants of up to £5,000 are available under these 2 areas: Emergency Response and Recovery and Resilience.  The Emergency Response strand is intended to equip organisations to deal with the changes required because of the covid-19 outbreak, to provide – so far as possible – the seamless provision of services.  The Recovery and Resilience strand is intended to support organisations adapting their normal working practices to conform to any Government guidelines relating to Covid-19, whilst continuing to meet the needs of the women and girls they work with. In 2020 there will be one round, the deadline for receiving completed application forms and supporting documentation is  4pm, 10th of August 2020. You can get more information here


  • Ending childhood adversity a public health approach  In a new report published on 23rd June 2020, Public Health Scotland sets out the importance of taking a public health approach to ending childhood adversity. This involves evidence-based action at a population level, acting on the social determinants of health in order to prevent poor outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need to prevent and mitigate childhood adversity, making it more important than ever to share the learning and progress made in this area. Sexual abuse, domestic abuse and other forms of gender based violence feature in the report.
  • Poverty, Inequality and Covid 19, Improvement Service: The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the world, but there are certain groups of people for whom the virus and the measures to stop the spread of the virus will have a greater negative impact. Research on influenza has found that in an epidemic, poverty and inequality can exacerbate rates of transmission and mortality for everyone.  This useful overview includes a section on gender based violence.
  •  Social media materials for FE/HE institutions to support victims of GBV:  New social media materials have been produced to help universities and colleges across Scotland support staff and students who might be experiencing GBV while social distancing measures are in place.
  • Gender Based Violence:  Disabled people and women with learning disabilities in particular are at a greater risk of experiencing Gender-based Violence. Public Health Scotland, SafeLives and partners have published easy read posters to highlight the risks of Gender-based Violence during the Covid-19 pandemic. The posters can be found here  EASY READ
  •  Upstream Prevention Pack  Stop It Now! Scotland have created an Upstream Prevention pack designed to help keep children safe from sexual harm.  The pack contains practical advice and resources for professionals, individuals and families. Leaflets are designed for online use and print. . If you wish to receive printed copies of any of these items, please contact .
  •  Safe Lives Scotland – new Domestic Abuse Network: Meeting No 1: June 2020 – practitioners explored the challenges and needs of services as we prepare to move out of lockdown read briefing no 1  *** biggest challenges moving out of lockdown– capacity, safety, meeting staff needs / what services need – staff, logistics, clarity, partner flexibility …
  •  Free learning opportunities:  Public Health Scotland’s Workforce Development Team has launched two new learning hubs.
  •   Do you work with young people? The NHS has developed a short and anonymous survey for staff working with a young people in a wide range of settings. This is to try and find out more about the risks of teenage pregnancy and poor sexual health and help shape the response to young people across Scotland. If you work with young people please fill in the survey
  •  Dogs Trust Freedom Project, dog fostering service for people fleeing domestic abuse, are hosting an online training session on Thursday 13th August at 11am. This free, hour long session will take place on Zoom and explore the dynamics of pets in domestic abuse relationships – it will include an overview of the project and time for questions and answers. To apply email Ashley Szafranek at:
  •  Equally Safe Bulletin No 121, July 2020 – attached

UK and International

  1.  Using Evidence for Change: Domestic Abuse:   These four papers are focused around the area of supporting multi-agency communication in working with domestic abuse in families with children

United Nations EVAW COVID-19 briefs

Safe & Together – free materials 

New programmes on BBC I-Player

Mrs America –  excellent accurate drama on the feminist movement’s struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment in the United States from 1960 until today (still not amended) and the counter Republican Women’s movement!

I May Destroy You – a  ‘must see’ fast paced comedy-drama series with and by Michaela Coel on sexual relations, rape, consent, friendship, speaking out, young and black in the publishing world … Find out more about Michaela Coel in this fab James McTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh TV festival

Further reading

Best wishes


Veronica Campanile
Violence Against Women and Girls Coordinator
East Lothian and Midlothian Public Protection Office
Room F28 Brunton Hall
16 Ladywell Way
Musselburgh EH21 6AF
Direct tel: 01620 827475 
Mobile: 07540 101 227/EMPPO Tel: 0131 653 5150

ELTRP News July 2020

East Lothian Tenants and Residents Panel News is full of information about the different ways we support our members during the lockdown. You can find out about the hard work and activities undertaken by the groups, Executive Committee and our priorities going forward. 

ELTRP Panel News

COSLA Elected Members Bulletin

From Stephanie McCourt, COSLA

Welcome to the latest Elected Members Bulletin, your weekly update from COSLA covering issues related to COVID-19.

Read the latest COSLA Elected Member Briefing here.

Crisis funding for people with prepayment meters who are struggling with rising energy costs

From Morag Cockburn, Senior Partnerships Officer, Home Energy Scotland


We recognise that householders may be struggling with their fuel bills at this time, perhaps staying at home more than usual or experiencing reduced incomes – we can help. Our free, impartial energy advice service from Scottish Government is open, with our telephone advisors working safely from home to help householders worried about their energy bills or struggling to stay warm.

In particular we have access to newly available crisis funding for people with prepayment meters who are struggling with rising energy costs. Please share this with your contacts but we would really appreciate if you don’t make the following information public, as eligibility will be assessed by our advisors alongside the other advice they provide. The funding comes in the form of top-up vouchers – the advisors will have a chat to the client and provide information and support with managing energy use and if they are eligible they will be referred to receive a code which can be redeemed at PayPoint / Post Office.

If you want to share the information via your networks, we suggest this messaging:

We’re working in partnership with Home Energy Scotland, the energy advice service funded by the Scottish Government. Home Energy Scotland provide support for households with prepayment meters, including access to crisis funding. We can refer you to Home Energy Scotland, especially if you’re finding it hard to stay warm and keep up with your bills or you can call free yourself on 0808 808 2282.

We also have a useful flyer that you can download here.

If you have any questions, would be interested in being set up on our online referral portal or would like hard copies of the attached leaflet please get in touch.

Many thanks,


Morag Cockburn
Senior Partnerships Officer
Home Energy Scotland | 36 Newhaven Road | Edinburgh | EH6 5PY
| Mobile 07554 881 501 | Direct Dial 0131 468 8659

For updates, information and advice on energy efficiency in the South East like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation supports outdoor wellbeing space for staff at East Lothian Community Hospital

Staff at East Lothian Community Hospital now have access to an attractive and comfortable outdoor space thanks to charitable funds received from Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation.

Before the new benches and parasols were installed, staff would either stand during breaks or sit on the ground if they wanted to grab some fresh air. Now, thanks to the funding provided, they have access to a more comfortable and welcoming outdoor space to rest, relax and take some much needed time out from long and busy shifts, while also still being able to adhere to social distancing requirements.

‘The health benefits of spending time in the fresh air are wide ranging, from helping to reduce stress and fatigue to improving mood and reducing heart rate. In fact, spending just 20 minutes outdoors is enough to spark a positive change.

‘Staff wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do at Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, so we were delighted to be able to support East Lothian Community Hospital with their wellbeing project. Making the most of these outdoor spaces is not only important during these times of increased stress and pressure, but is also something from which staff can benefit beyond the pandemic.’

Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation’s Green Health Programme Manager, Ian Mackenzie

And here are some of the reactions to the new facility

‘Thank you so much Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation for supporting this wonderful facility for our hard-working health and social care staff. 

‘Promoting staff health and wellbeing is key to all that we do in the Partnership and the rooftop garden is a fantastic resource for people needing to take a break and reset during the course of the working day.

‘I know that it’s much appreciated and our staff based at East Lothian Community Hospital are already making good use of it.’

Councillor Fiona O’Donnell, Chair of East Lothian Integration Joint Board

‘We are very lucky to have this lovely new building with designated outdoor staff areas and fabulous views over the Lammermuirs.

‘During the Covid-19 restrictions, we thought it was important for staff wellbeing to have some areas within the hospital where they could get away from their clinical area, taking time for some self care on their breaks, especially during the lovely weather we had.

‘Unfortunately there was not enough furniture for all staff to sit and enjoy this so we applied to Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation and they kindly funded these picnic tables and benches.’

Suzanne Walker, Community Psychiatric Nurse at East Lothian Community Hospital

‘I am so grateful to the Foundation for the kind donation of the benches. We are so lucky to have such a beautiful outdoor space at East Lothian Community Hospital, and all the staff are really feeling the benefit of being able to sit comfortably outside during breaks.

‘In fact, one staff member commented to me that they had already had a socially distanced team catch up on the benches.’

Community Clinical Lead Physiotherapist, Victoria Houston

Beavering away for the Abbey

Laura Scott our Activities Co-ordinator at the Abbey has sent us this YouTube link from North Berwick Beavers.

The film was made by Beavers leader Laura Hill.

Laura says:

‘Beavers will now be sending us Origami Fish and we are creating an Under The Sea mural which these will be added to, with photos as we progress. Very pleased with this. 👍

‘The Great Indoors Badges are the Scouting Association’s response to enable them to stay engaged with their groups during the Covid pandemic. It fits in well with their regular community engagement themes because it encourages Beaver groups to find out about members of their community and how they have dealt with Covid.

‘And also, by kindly sending us origami fish, they are demonstrating a new skill they have learnt, to be used in our collaborative mural.’


North Berwick Day Centre Newsletter No. 4

From Ian Donald

Welcome to the latest North Berwick Day Centre newsletter.

Can I draw your attention to page 3 where there is a picture and short story of a young girl who is helping out at the centre with baking for members instead of helping abroad during her gap year which was cancelled due to COVID; so there is a silver lining after all!

Many thanks

Ian Donald
North Berwick Day Centre

And it’s goodbye to John

After over 20 years service with East Lothian Council and now East Lothian Health & Social Care Partnership, John Gibson, Senior Workforce Development Officer in Adult Services is retiring.  Many of you will have met John throughout his working career in his training and workforce development role.

John’s last day with us will be the 17th July so if you would like the opportunity to say cheerio in a safe and socially distanced way please contact  or and we will share details of you how can do this.