_ Helping the carers

Hundreds of thousands of Scots are being used to prop up the ailing NHS by a government trying to get care on the cheap. That's the claim made by Seb Fischer of the organisation VOCAL (Voice of Carers Across Lothian) which launched its new carers centre in Edinburgh last week.

The most recent census shows that 84.000 people in Lothian provide informal care for a relative or friend. However. Fischer estimates fewer than 8000 of those receive any back-up services. "These people are the pillars of community care.‘ he says. ‘Without them the NHS would be completely collapsing. The blame lies fairly and squarely with the Government.‘

The new carers centre will provide information and a base from which to press for changes in community care policy. ‘We will he campaigning to highlight all the issues which are relevant to carers.‘ says Fischer.

()ne ofthe practical steps VOCAL has

already taken is to launch a new card for carers to carry. Should they be involved in an accident. it lets people know others depend on them. ‘lt is a peace of mind initiative.' Fischer says. ‘A lot of carers are concerned every

' stroke which left him unable to help.



In Lothian, 84,000 people provide informal care for a relative or friend.

time they go out. If you leave someone with dementia in the house it is easy to worry that they will wander out in their night clothes to go shopping. or leave all the tires on because they are cold.‘ The new service covers the whole of Lothian and should be particularly useful for people in rural areas who can be particularly isolated. Marion Miller lives in Newton Grange. Midlothian. and has been caring for her 82-year-old mother since she was diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s Disease in I981. Marion gave tip work four years ago. and last year her elderly father had a

A nurse helps Marion in the mornings. but for the rest of the day she copes alone. ‘There is no put-to-bed service in Midlothian. ifl want it l have to pay for it.‘ she says. ‘When you aren‘t working you can‘t afford to pay

someone to come in every night. The

attendance allowance runs out and l have to make up the difference or do it myself.‘

For Marion. simply coping is a full- time job but she hopes VOCAL will help people like her make their voices heard. (Stephen Naysmith)

VOCAL ('(lll be contacted on 03/ 557 6700.

Enterprise sets curse for rts centre

Following the long queues to see Captain Scarlet and Lady Penelope a few earth years ago, Captain James T. Kirk and the Enterprise crew are set to beam down to the City Arts Centre, Edinburgh to grab their share of cult television adulation. Projected arrival time is Stardate Saturday 4 February 1995.

Ship’s engineer Scottie will have his work cut out when the CAC boldly goes where no other exhibition space

outside the United States has gone before. Together with the Enterprise crew in the Transporter Boom will be a full-size replica of the bridge, plus numerous sets from the Star Trek series and even a couple of Klingons. The exhibition is to coincide with the release of new Star Trek movie which sees the new generation meet the old guard.

Up to a quarter of a million visitors are expected to grab the chance to

‘% H i} ._,.

see one of the great icons of American popular culture. ‘We don’t have a snobbish attitude to art in Edinburgh,’ says Councillor Steve Cardownie, convenor of the district council’s recreation committee. ‘We believe that art should be accessible to the people. Who is to say that Klingons are not artistic in sculptural terms?’ (Thom Dibdin)


I Art Boot Sale Throwing open his car boot to fund an ambitious community project. Kenny Bean hopes to forge links between Scottish and Nepalese children. His work, along with that of Edinburgh-based artists Katayoun Pasban Dowlatshahi and Kenneth Le Riche. is for sale during an art boot sale at The Whole Works. 209 Royal Mile, Jacksons Close. Edinburgh. on Fri 15 and Sat 17. 10am—7pm. and Sun 18.

l lam—6pm. The Whole Works is a complementary therapy and counselling centre. lts new programme is now available at the above address or phone 031 225 8092.

I Arts Space The Out Of The Blue gallery in Edinburgh’s Blackfriars Street is facing a crisis unless it can raise £6000 by next March. Despite receiving grants for its numerous individual projects. the gallery gets no core funding and the money is needed to pay the rent. Besides a gallery. Out OfThe Blue is a mini-arts centre. providing a forum for people to meet and exchange ideas. workshOps for kids and adults. a theatre space for rehearsals and a platform for playwrights. ‘Without the property we 'ean‘t carry on. It’s the nerve centre of our activities.‘ says one ofthe gallery's organisers Anne Marie Culhame. She believes the gallery has fallen foul of the local government reforms. The existing authorities are unable to provide funds and the new unitary authority has yet to come into existence. If you know ofanyone who can help sponsor the centre. contact Out Of The Blue on 03] 557 5976.

I Centre Closes Doors The Edinburgh Unemployed Worker's Centre’s long running battle with its landlords. the City Council. came to an end on Thursday 1 December. Sheriff Officers evicted four people who had been occupying the building at 103 Broughton Street at 7.30am. In the ensuing protest. 21 people were arrested for alleged breach of the peace. However. charges against all but two of them were dropped a week later. Anyone who witnessed the arrests or took photographs during the demonstration should telephone 031 557 0427. Despite the loss of the Centre. users are determined to find somewhere else to carry on with its work. which included a vegan cafe. a meeting place and an gallery. They are meeting every Tuesday in the basement of St Stephen‘s Church. St Stephen‘s Street. at 6pm. All are welcome to these meetings and anyone requiring further information about the Centre‘s future activities should telephone the above phone number.

I Business Start-Up Course Queen Margaret College business development centre. Edinburgh. is holding a business start-up course from Thurs 5 Jan for three weeks. The course is free for anyone wishing to start up a small business. It will run on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and all day on Saturday. Further information is available on 031 539 7095.

I If you have news of any events or courses you want publicised in this column, please forward them to ‘Action’ at The List, 14 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 "E and include a day- time phone number.

The List 16 December 1994—12 January 1995 5