Call goes out to ‘ hidden carers’

Guest speaker at Oldmledrum Rotary Club - Gail McKeitch.
Guest speaker at Oldmledrum Rotary Club - Gail McKeitch.

An organisation dedicated to supporting carers is encouraging local adults who provide care for others to get in touch, so that they can access any help and advice they may need.

Gail McKeitch, a Senior Carers Support and Development Worker with Aberdeen based charity VSA, made the call as she visited the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum last week as a guest speaker.

Mrs McKeitch, who told the club about her role within VSA and what the organisation does to support carers, explained that the team has a role in trying to find ‘hidden’ carers.

An estimated one in eight adults has an unpaid care responsibility for a family member, partner, relative or friend. However, many with these responsibilities are at risk of missing out on the support and advice which is available to them.

She said: “A lot of people who find themselves caring for others simply don’t see themselves as carers. We offer a listening ear, home visits, support groups and the opportunity through carers forums to bring people together with professionals who can give them useful advice.

“We currently have Creative Breaks Funding to allow carers to enjoy some ‘me’ time and a small grants scheme which carers can apply for in order to help buy things that can improve the quality of their own lives.”

Mrs McKeith added: “Recently, we have helped carers to buy an iPad, a polytunnel for all-weather gardening and a sewing machine – all little things which have made a big difference to the people concerned.”

Anyone looking to find out more about VSA’s services in Aberdeenshire can call VSA on 01651873953 or email

VSA prides itself in changing lives for thousands of the most vulnerable people in Aberdeen city and shire, helping them to live the most independent and fun-filled lives possible.

The organisation is the UK’s largest city social care charity and the biggest charity in the North-east.

Its work falls into three main categories: education and lifelong learning, older people services and social care and wellbeing, incorporating carers’ services.

Information bases are located in Aberdeen at 38 Castle Street, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Broomhill Activity Centre, 22 King’s Gate and Northfield Lodge and in Aberdeenshire at Aboyne, Banff, Fraserburgh, Oldmeldrum, Peterhead, and Stonehaven.