- About Us
- Meet the Staff
- Board of Trustees
- Get Involved
- Our History
- Annual Reports
- Vision and Values
- Our policies
Here at Carers Link we work with carers throughout the East Dunbartonshire area. We know that each carer’s situation is unique and will talk things through with you - and listen to you - to ensure that we tailor support to what you need.
You may simply be looking for some information, or go on to access advocacy, one-to-one support and our courses and groups for carers. However large or small your query, we’re here to help.
No matter who you are or who you care for, Carers Link is here to support you
Jennifer Roe (Chief Executive Officer)
I have been working in the voluntary sector since 1995 and was originally employed in 2003 with the ‘simple’ task of creating Carers Link. My task was to establish an organisation that provided a range of services for East Dunbartonshire’s carers in a flexible way that will suit a wide range of needs. Now, as CEO of Carers Link, it is an honour to lead an organisation where carers and caring remains at the heart of what we do. We have a great team of passionate staff and volunteers, all using our own experiences of caring to make a difference to others.
When I am not filling out funding applications, attending meetings or staring at financial spread-sheets, I enjoy classic rock music and hill-walking (just little hills as I’m scared of heights). I’m a genealogist at heart with family in East Dunbartonshire traced back to the 1600s.
Paul Peter (Operational Manager)
I have overall responsibility for service delivery and development. I help out in most areas of our work, supporting the other members of the team to provide an individual service to carers tailored to their unique situations as well as working directly with carers myself.
Margaret Coats (Finance Manager)
After offering to help out for two weeks back in 2006 due to a staff absence, I’ve never quite managed to leave again! My role over the years has changed as Carers Link has grown and moved from a ‘jack of all trades’ or general dogsbody to focusing more on the finances and legalities with a little bit of fundraising thrown in! Seven years on, staffing numbers have risen from four to fifteen with every work pattern possible, and as we strive to keep delivering and developing Carers Link our many different funding streams mean the accounting is becoming ever more complex year on year. Added to my 17 hour working week, I run after my two grandchildren and in between try to see friends, do craft stuff and bake!
Clair Hegarty (Office Manager)
My role as Office Manager means I am in charge of keeping the office in tip top condition and I have been part of the team since June 2014. Working at Carers Link really appeals to me as I love the older generation which I think stemmed from my close relationship with my gran. I enjoy being outside, travelling, watching cooking programmes, listening to music and rollerblading.
Fiona Campbell (Peer Support Coordinator)
Emma Azzopardi (Young Carer Service Co-ordinator)
I joined Carers Link in 2010 as a volunteer for the popular Carers Call service while studying for my Psychology degree at Glasgow University. Following this I was delighted to be able to become a member of staff in 2012 coordinating the Linked Up service.
The service supports young carers aged 8-18 who care for someone in their family, or are significantly affected by caring. I provide these young carers with tailored support including the opportunity to access information, advocacy, emotional support and the chance to meet others in a similar situation. My main focus is to ensure every young carer I meet is supported and better placed to achieve their own personal goals.
Away from work I enjoy spending time with family and friends and I especially like travelling to new places…most recently I’ve toured round the Highlands and Europe in a campervan!
Janice McGregor (Young Start Co-ordinator)
I joined Carers Link in March this year to work with Young Adult Carers 16-25. I will be able to offer 1-1 support, activities where Young Adult Carers can spend time with their peers and help organise training.
For many years I worked in employability as a Recruitment Consultant/Trainer helping unemployed find employment through placements, training and working with employers to fill vacancies. I am now looking forward to using my skills to work with Young Adult Carers allowing them to fulfil their potential. Information about Linked Up www.carerslinkedup.org.uk to hear how we can provide information, advocacy and support.
Rose (Peer Support Co-ordinator)
Amrit Bedi (Community Support Co-ordinator)
Carers Link provide a whole host of groups and events to help support your caring role.
If you are interested in any of our community groups (carer cafes, chair yoga, dementia carer groups, walking group, carers choir, crafty carers and men’s group) and events please contact me.
Katy Green (Information Coordinator)
As Information Coordinator I make sure that carers in East Dunbartonshire have access to information about the services and support available to them, including through the OPAL Advice Line.
Jon Berry (Lead Training Co-ordinator)
My role is to co-ordinate, source, facilitate and deliver training for carers. I have been in post since 2008 as part of the Caring with Confidence service. I have been privileged to get to know many carers and hopefully helped them to feel better equipped as a result of the service we provide. It is very rewarding to see the difference a little input and support makes, and the increased confidence that comes from learning new skills or from just being able to meet other carers at our groups. As well as this I often speak to community groups about the role of Carers Link supporting carers across East Dunbartonshire.
When I am not working I enjoy photography, flight simulators and generally being a geek. My all-time favourite book is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
Heather McKelvie (Resource Coordinator)
I look after the administration for our Caring with Confidence service, which includes organising the various training and information sessions that we offer to carers. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many of our carers and volunteers, and it’s always heart-warming to hear their stories about the difference that Carers Link has made to their lives.
In my spare time I am a Zumba fitness fanatic and I also love to ski. Other hobbies include pottering around in the garden and spending time with family and friends.
Judith Gaertner (Wellbeing Co-ordinator)
Caring for someone can be very rewarding abut it can affect your physical and mental health, you need to live well and stay healthy so you can continue to care for the person you love. A Wellbeing Review from Carers Link can help you think about what changes you want to make and who can help.
Would you be interested in joining our Board? If you would like to find out more, read our booklet 'Get on Board!' - and if you think it's something you might enjoy, please get in touch.
You can contact Jennifer Roe, Chief Executive Officer for an informal chat. Jennifer can be contacted either by email or by telephoning 0800 975 2131 .
Carers Link East Dunbartonshire
There are currently eleven people on the Board of Management:
Rob Kay, Chair
My name is Rob Kay. I’m 60 and live in Kilsyth. I am married with three children and one grandson, and support my son, Jordan, 20, who has Down's Syndrome. I am a former NHS and Social Work manager, and currently work in market research part time. I enjoy travel and jazz music, and am active in outdoor pursuits.
Susan Young, Treasurer
Dorothy Crawford, Director
Bridie Grogan, Director
I have always been in the caring profession, having been a teacher and then a head teacher for 36 years. Since retiring I have continued to give back to the community by becoming an integral part of the Friendship Circle for the past 18 years, as well as being an active member of my Church and visiting the more infirm members of our congregation. I was also a member of the management committee for the Volunteer Centre in Kirkintilloch for a number of years. I became a board member of the Carer's Link to continue to support the local community and the vital work done by this organisation.
Margaret Hamilton, Director
My name is Margaret Hamilton. I attended my first board meeting on the 3rd Feb 2012. When my own caring role came to an end in 2000 I joined The Milngavie and Bearsden Carers Group. I was on their board until 2002 when the name Carers Link was approved for an organisation to support Carers in Dunbartonshire. When I returned a few years ago I was amazed how the organisation had grown. I have been working as a volunteer for Carers Call for the last two years and I enjoy doing so in such a friendly environment. Unfortunately ill-health has recently prevented me from helping on ‘Carers Call’ but I am still on the board and look forward to being able to help out in other ways.
Sandra Wilson, Director
I joined the board after volunteering since 2009 with office work, events and training courses. I first learned about caring issues while providing information to carers of people with motor neurone disease. Recently I have worked with health and social care professionals and carers researching and designing websites on learning disability and dementia. I am married with two grown up children and have a family member with dementia. I have an interest in bibliotherapy and enjoy volunteering as a StorySharer in a sheltered housing complex.
Gillian Macnaughton, Director
I joined the Board in 2014 as I wanted to do something which would benefit my local community. Carers Link appeared to me to fulfil such a worthwhile role that I was keen to become involved. I live in Bearsden and have 3 children one of whom is still at school. I am a solicitor and have worked in the legal profession since 1983 primarily in the field of litigation.
Derek McLean, Director
As a young adult I was an active volunteer with the Red Cross. My main areas of volunteering were as a first aider, but I was very active in the care of children with disabilities. I was involved in taking the kids away on residential retreats, and assisted in running a Saturday morning activity club for the children. However as years passed, work and family commitments meant that effort was gradually dropped. As I found myself having more time, I wanted to undertake voluntary work again. I felt that I could use my professional experience on a board, and felt that Carers Link was a perfect choice to help in a small way with the work that they do. I joined the Board in October 14 and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and working with the rest of the team. In my normal life, I am a Procurement Manager for CalMac Ferries. I am married to Alison and have an eight year old daughter.
Margo Fraser, Director
I first heard of Carers Link in 2008 when my husband was discharged from hospital with a diagnosis of Guillain Barre Syndrome. I can’t remember who told me about Carers Link but I will be eternally grateful to whoever did as during the difficult five years which were to follow I could not have managed without the help and support I received from them. Last year I offered my services to give something back and subsequently joined the board. My interests are ballroom dancing, gardening and writing and I am the Administrator for Dancesport Scotland which is the Governing Body for Ballroom and Latin American Dancing in Scotland.
Patricia Atkinson, Vice Chair
I became a member of Carers Link over a decade ago when the charity was first established. As a carer for my son I was helping set up a parent support group in the area, for families of children with similar challenges. Carers Link helped us establish our group, AFASIC East Dunbartonshire, and supported me as an individual carer. A few years later they also advised me when I was caring for my late father. I recently took early retirement as a Nurse and Health Visitor to support my son, now a teenager, in working towards some level of independent living. I wanted to assist Carers Link as a Board member, because the help they gave me was invaluable. I am particularly interested in Carers’ Health and finding ways preventing the long term impact of caring on people’s health, especially parents of children with disabilities.
After a career at sea as a Marine Engineer I was a manager in the engineering inspection industry for a multi-national company. Since retiring I have become a Community Councillor in my local area and I spend some of my spare time researching and collecting nautical antiques. I have been a volunteer with Carers Link since 2014. I am part of the Carers Call team and have also been involved in the Emergency Plan project from its beginning. I feel a strong commitment to Carers Link as it provides such a supportive and vital role to so many people in the community.
There are many ways in which you can support Carers Link - especially through getting involved! You can 'Help Us Help Carers' by:
- Volunteering to help deliver our services
- Making a donation or helping to raise funds from sponsored activities
- Joining our Board of Management
- Sharing your views on local and national issues that affect carers
- Being involved in advising East Dunbartonshire Council on developing carer support services throughout the area
- Becoming a Member of Carers Link, thus helping to demonstrate that we represent people who live, work or care in East Dunbartonshire.
If you agree with our aims, you could also become a member. Membership is FREE and entitles you to our regular members e-bulletin and to vote at our AGM. The Carers Link Membership Form can be printed and posted back to us.
Alternatively, send us your details and we will send a form to you. If you would like the form sent by post, please remember to tell us your address.
If you would like to chat about becoming more involved with Carers Link, please call us free on 0800 975 2131 – we would be delighted to hear from you!
2001 - Funding awarded from East Dunbartonshire Council (EDC) Social Work Dept to Council for Voluntary Services (EDCVS) to research support to carers within voluntary sector, identify gaps in services and make recommendations. A Development Worker employed to carry out research and facilitate objectives.
MAY 2002 - EDCVS Carers Organisations Development Project Report published and circulated. Report recommends single organisation to provide support and services to carers throughout East Dunbartonshire. Steering Group established by local carers and officers/staff of local services/organisations with an interest in carer support to develop Area Wide Carers Project.
AUTUMN/WINTER 2002 - EDC approve proposal of independent organisation to provide support services to carers throughout East Dunbartonshire. The new body becomes known as Carers Link. Steering Group formalise as a Management Committee and start work to apply for charitable status. EDC provide funding for a 6-month Development Worker post to provide support to the Steering Group and develop Carers Link to the stage of being ready to deliver services to carers.
SPRING 2003 - Development Worker begins employment in March and initial six-month business plan established. Proposed Strategy for East Dunbartonshire Council submitted.
WINTER 2003/SPRING 2004 - Joint Carers Strategy written and subsequently ratified by EDC. Funding awarded by EDC and Funding Application to Big Lottery successful. Premises chosen and CEO appointed. Final 'start-up' phase of development begins.
AUTUMN/WINTER 2004 - Carers Link moves into new Enterprise Centre in Milngavie, new employees begin work and Carers Link 'opens' to start service delivery in September.
28th JANUARY 2005 - Our official launch! In addition to the formal launch, open days for carers were held in Kirkintilloch and Milngavie, designed to showcase for carers the services and support available to them from Carers Link and from some of the other local organisations with whom we work in partnership. The official launch took place at Milngavie Enterprise Centre and was attended by nearly 70 delegates including John Lyons, MP at the time for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, MSP Dr Jean Turner, and MSP Des McNulty from Clydebank and Milngavie constituency. Also in attendance were local councillors, including Provost Pat Steel and Councillor Fiona Risk who - as Convener of the Social Services Committee - 'officially launched' Carers Link. There was also strong support and representation from many health and social work professionals, local and national charities and from carers themselves. The launch closed with a powerful presentation of stories from carers, narrated by other carers and volunteers.
DECEMBER 2006 - The launch of the Joint Carers Strategy on Carers Rights Day.
2007 - The start of our specialist services with the addition of a Support Co-ordinator for Carers in Mental Health at the end of 2007.
2008 - Following the end of Big Lottery Funding, Carers Link faced a major funding crisis which would have meant the loss of a staff member and all volunteer input, putting the support of over 300 carers at risk. However, Carers Call was saved by East Dunbartonshire Council.
2009 - The start of the Caring with Confidence events early in 2009 following funding from East Dunbartonshire Community Health Partnership saw great expansion, furthered by the securing of funding from the Big Lottery for an Older Carers Peer Support Co-ordinator starting in Autumn 2009.
Please click on a link below to access our Annual Reports.
- Carers want to see the person they care for have the best possible quality of life.
- Carers Link wants to see the carers of East Dunbartonshire also have the best possible quality of life, encompassing help and support for your caring role, and the opportunity to pursue your own needs, interests or work.
- Carers Link wants to see that the carers of East Dunbartonshire are both informed and involved and that your experience as a carer is respected and valued.
Dignity - Treating everyone with dignity and respect at all times.
Realising Potential - Ensuring that all involved in Carers Link - staff, volunteers and carers - are encouraged to achieve all they can and make best use of resources. In particular, carers will be supported and encouraged to get the most from life.
Equality and Diversity - Treating everyone equally and providing support in an environment free from bullying, harassment and discrimination. In addition, valuing all carers, volunteers and staff for their ethnic backgrounds, language, culture and faith, and the contribution each can make. Our Equal Opportunities Policy is available for download.
Choice - Enabling informed choices and providing information on the choice range.
Safety - Ensuring that all involved in Carers Link - staff, volunteers and carers - enjoy a safe and secure environment.
Involvement - Ensuring that carers, volunteers and staff are encouraged to participate in the development and running of Carers Link.
Flexibility - Ensuring that services and support are provided to meet each individual's ongoing or changing needs.
Carers Link has a comprehensive range of policies and work procedures that guide our workings and service delivery. They are not intended as a ‘layer of bureaucracy’ but to ensure that Carers Link operates within a safe, legal and equal environment.
You can view our policies using the links below, or you can call the office on 0141 955 2131.