Health and Social Care By and For the People - Shaping the National Care Bill
A powerful collaboration between Nick Kemp, the Common Wheel Care Reform Group, Starcatchers and CWC members Chantal, Eunice, Jogob, Marion, Federica, Rumilla, Josie, Bobby, Ryan and Raymond, April’s Anchor Event was a beautiful platform for vulnerability, emotion and calls for change where we came together to share personal experiences of care and hopes for how care can evolve in the future.

The day began with us gathering together to enjoy a delicious vegetable pie from Chantal of Queen Vital Vegan before listening to a deeply interesting history of care presented by Nick Kemp, chair of the Common Weal Care Reform Group. During his talk, he pointed out that the times following great struggle are often the times where great reforms emerge - for example the introduction of the welfare state following the Second World War - which omitted social care but inspired hope for the future of care in terms of how we can build better systems after collectively struggling through the recent Covid 19 pandemic. He shared information and skepticism about the National Care Service Bill which is going through the Scottish Parliament as well as his passion for a true National Care Service where care is accessible and free for all, workers and disabled rights are embedded and it is created in partnership.

During the Q&A, people shared both their lived experiences of care and lack of care, and we were touched to see one person stand up at the front of the room and share that the Community Wellbeing Space was a place where she felt truly, rather than performatively, supported and cared for.

We then entered a beautiful forest-themed space where we collectively created a Care Cafe facilitated by Josie, Jogob Eunice and Marion, exploring how we can live and thrive in an ecosystem of care and what that could look like. While enjoying a cup of tea and various homemade cakes, we reflected on how we like to give and receive care, writing our ideas onto paper leaves that we attached to trees created by Starcatchers.

Bobby and Maryanne then chaired an incredible public forum where we sat in a circle discussing the National Care Service Bill, joined by politicians directly involved in the National Care Service Bill Process. We shared powerful personal stories and radical ideas and held space for each other in deep emotional expression. Federica took detailed notes of the thoughts and experiences shared in this forum which we intend to share in political spaces to further platform and amplify the seldom heard voices of the people who are experts on care, and to translate these voices into tangible change.

Federica then introduced a film made by Josie and Rumilla about care, humanity and nature, which set the tone beautifully for an open mic session hosted by Raymond and Ryan. The evening was filled with hope and joy as we enjoyed individuals sharing their voices as well as group karaoke and dance performances joined by cuddly animals from the forest themed Care Cafe!

We look forward to seeing you at our next Anchor Event: Disability and Creating an Accessible World, Saturday 27th May at the Community Wellbeing Space from 12pm-7pm, where we will be joined by comedian Viv Gee in a comedy workshop based on finding humour in your own experience as part of a day of collaboration and discussion around disability and accessibility.

Community Wellbeing Space,
Westside Plaza Shopping Centre,
Wester Hailes Road, EH14 2SW

All activities are FREE
Edinburgh Art Festival
The Scottish Government
The City of Edinburgh Council
Creative Scotland
Kingdom of the Netherlands
Mondriaan fund