New service centre to help carers opens in Stonehaven

Some of the carers and Moira Hurry at the opening of the new VSA and Pamis centre
Some of the carers and Moira Hurry at the opening of the new VSA and Pamis centre

A new centre has opened up in Stonehaven to replace the one that was destroyed in the devastating floods six months ago.

The old VSA and Pamis building that was on Arbuthnott Place survived the flood from three years ago but was destroyed in the subsequent flooding last December.

The new centre will act like a hub for both the VSA and Pamis as a focal point for meetings in South Aberdeenshire.

Despite the two notorious floods that caused devastation two support workers refused to stop working, offering help and support to carers and those with learning difficulties.

Moira Hurry, a support worker from VSA, and Jenny Whinnett from Pamis both continued to work and are pleased to have the new centre in Stonehaven’s Evan Street.

Speaking to the Leader, Moira and Jenny told of their devastation of seeing the old office destroyed and the empathy they felt with those whose homes were wrecked.

Moira said: “It was really sad for something that had been so friendly and carering for people to be destroyed.

“The carers were upset. They were afraid they wouldn’t have the service to meet up once a month. With the help of the community, though, we were able to continue these meetings.

“I remember coming down to the office as I saw it on TV and not being allowed access.

It was devasting to see some of the residents walking around in a daze - it was heartbreaking to see.”

Jenny added: “Knowing how we felt about seeing our office so damaged, it was very easy to translate how we felt and to see what some of the people were going through.

‘‘We really had empathy for them. “

Carers at the official opening last Friday are delighted that the centre has reopened.

Silv Peden, a carer, said: “This centre will be a great help to me.

‘‘I used to think I was on my own, but I now get the chance to meet other carers with like minded-problems to work on solutions.”

Jim Jobson agreed: “It is somewhere for carers to meet like- minded people, somewhere to chat and bounce ideas around.’’

Moira added that the centre was a free service for carers who, sometimes, might not know who to turn to when they need help and support.

She added: “It will mean we will have a base for carers to meet others and to have our regular monthly meetings which will help give advice as we sometimes have speakers coming in.

“We can organise events and trips and this is the base for it. We can have one to one meetings with carers and have carers assessments and look at possibilities to support people for funding applications for short breaks.

“Carers can sometimes find themselves in a situation where they don’t know where to go, what to do.’’

For more information you can drop by the new office at 52 Evan Street.