VOCAL – Voice of Carers Across Lothian

People from VOCAL and Lothian Buses stand of the steps of VOCAL's office for a photo, holding signs with their logos up.
Back row, from left to right: Cammy Addison (Lothian Buses driver), Peter McLeod (Lothian Buses Assistant Depot Engineer), Sebastian Fischer (VOCAL). Middle Row, from left to right: Andrew Warburton (VOCAL Partnership Development Officer), Jan Vettraino (VOCAL), Lora Vernon (VOCAL Head of Digital and Communications), Amanda Laurenson (Lothian Buses driver), Lindsay Wilson (Lothian Buses CCTV Manager). Front row, left to right: Ricé Melrose (VOCAL) and Karen Melrose (VOCAL).

Lothian’s Charity of Choice for 2023/24 is VOCAL – Voice of Carers Across Lothian – a local charity supporting unpaid carers.

An unpaid carer is someone of any age who supports a family member, child, partner, relative or friend who needs help to manage a physical or mental health condition, a disability or addiction.

An unpaid carer could be supporting their son with additional support needs, their wife who has MS or their mum who has Alzheimer’s disease. VOCAL operates in response to the needs of over 70,000 unpaid adult carers in Edinburgh and across Lothian.

3 in 5 people take on a caring role at some point in their lives

The charity supports over 10,000 carers directly each year, in all caring situations and relationships, from their Edinburgh and Midlothian Carer Centres, and through staff based in the community. VOCAL also provides online, telephone and live chat support to carers. Issues that carers face can be very varied, but tend to fall into four main categories:
VOCAL offers carers a range of services, including: