Scottish buildings light up to celebrate homecare workers

On the evening of Wednesday 22 September 2021, significant buildings in across Scotland will be lit up in yellow to acknowledge care at home staff. This initiative is in line with the ‘Celebrating Homecare’ event taking place on the same day.

‘Celebrating Homecare’ is an online event developed by the Homecare Association in conjunction with the Care Workers’ Charity. It’s all about celebrating the amazing difference homecare makes in people’s lives every day. It is also being supported by care associations across the UK and Ireland including Scottish Care, Care Forum Wales, Independent Health & Care Providers (Northern Ireland) and Home and Community Care Ireland.

The Partners for Integration team, along with Scottish Care, supported by the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the Care Inspectorate will be marking ‘Celebrating Homecare’ by lighting up buildings in Scotland to give thanks to the homecare workforce. This initiative is also supported by the Health and Social Care Partnership for Edinburgh, West Lothian, Argyll and Bute, Aberdeen, South Lanarkshire, and Perth and Kinross.

The buildings will include the St Andrews House and Victoria Quay in Edinburgh, Civic Centre in West Lothian, Castle House in Dunoon, McCaigs Tower in Oban, Marischal College in Aberdeen, Hamilton Townhouse in Hamilton, and Perth Bridge and St Paul’s Square in Perth. Partners for Integration and Scottish Care also encourage care at home workers to join in the celebration and visit these buildings at 8:00 pm on Wednesday.

The buildings will be lit up in the colour yellow, which was chosen to symbolise the flame of a candle. This relates to another initiative by Scottish Care – ‘Candle for Care’, whereby candles are lit every Tuesday at 7:00 pm to express gratitude to all those who provide care and support during the COVID-19 crisis and in memory of all those who have died from COVID-19.

To be able to stay in the place you call home and to remain around family, friends and community is a desire many of us have, maybe most especially when we are ill or requiring support and care. It is this independent living which thousands of homecare staff enable people to achieve every day across the UK.

Throughout the pandemic, care at home staff has continued to support some of our most vulnerable people in their own homes, ensuring their health and safety whilst combatting the challenges of COVID-19. They provide support not only to individuals but their families too. Recent months have also seen unprecedented demand in home-based care organisations, despite this, the homecare workforce has rallied together and gone above and beyond their roles to deliver quality care.

The homecare sector shows us caring, resilience and compassion at its best. Yet this workforce is often undervalued and not recognised. This workforce deserves recognition for their dedication and professionalism every day of the week, regardless of weather, risk or fear.

Jim Carle, Joint National Lead for Partners for Integration, Scottish Care, commented:

 “This ‘light up’ is an acknowledgement of the care at home workforces’ uphill battle to continue to provide an incredible service for the past 18 months like no other, as they have faced and met the challenges of Covid-19.  In an extended period of unprecedented demand, they have gone above and beyond. To acknowledge the magnificent contribution they make to the vulnerable individuals they care for on a daily basis, which is truly worthy of celebration. Our heartfelt thanks for their dedication and care.”

A relative of a service user said:

“During the Pandemic, it has been a lifeline for my mother to have carers support her at home. We live around 90 minutes away and supporting mum daily would be challenging, particularly as my husband is going through cancer treatment. On the occasions when we have met with carers, usually when delivering meals for mum, we’ve both been extremely impressed by their care and professionalism.

My mother very much enjoys the company of the carers and the support they provide. It gives her a focus and also a ‘raison d’etre.’ It’s encouraging to hear that they are supporting mum leaving her flat for short walks. Our thanks to all the carers.”