The Eric Liddell Centre has registered a major increase in demand for its services for the second year in a row.
The ELC provided 8118.5 hours of community activity – a 59 per cent increase from the previous year – where 5106 hours were recorded and almost double the 4110 hours recorded in 2015/16.
One hundred and thirty seven groups used the centre during the year for a wide variety of activities including sports and exercise, art, education and training, health promotion and children’s groups.
In addition to this, the Centre has also seen a 40 per cent increase in its number of volunteers.
The centre, housed in a specially repurposed historic former church building at Holy Corner, is a resource for many community groups in the Capital as well as providing office space for a number of smaller charities. In recent years, the Centre has increased its reach and is now delivering services throughout Edinburgh.
Founded in 1980 in memory of the 1924 Olympic 400m gold medalist, Eric Liddell, who lived locally and was the inspiration for the film “Chariots of Fire”, the centre provides a range of support for carers, befriending services and a wide range of educational and recreational opportunities for children, families, young people and adults.
It specialises in care for the elderly and dementia services with the aim of reducing social isolation and promoting independence while supporting people to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Their person-centred day care service, to 70 people per week who are diagnosed with dementia, is carried out by a dedicated team of highly qualified staff and experienced and skilled volunteers.
John MacMillan, CEO of the Eric Liddell Centre said:
“The major increase in demand for the services offered by the Eric Liddell Centre is exciting news for our dedicated team of staff and volunteers who welcome so many local people through our doors and to our services citywide.
“We are delighted to be in the fortunate position of welcoming 90 volunteers every week to support our community based services following a dramatic increase over the year – this will help us to deliver more and higher quality care and support.
“It is good to know that so many people appreciate the wide range of opportunities that we provide for groups, businesses and charities in the Capital.”
The Centre’s Lunch Breaks Group meets on Wednesdays and Fridays and remains popular among local carers and the people they care for. An additional lunch breaks programme hosted in partnership with the Celtic FC Foundation has also proven popular among Centre service users.
The ELC Befriending service matches volunteers with carers based on similar interests. 522 hours of respite break were offered to carers during this calendar year – a 9% increase from 2016/17.