Presidents Chosen Charity

2020 President Neil McRae has chosen the Eric Liddell Centre as his charity of choice. Based at Holy Corner in Morningside the centre provides support to people living with Dementia across Edinburgh.

The Eric Liddell Centre supports some of the most vulnerable people in Edinburgh.
We aim to Empower, Inspire and Support.

The Eric Liddell Centre (Scottish Charity Number SC003147) is a local care charity and community hub founded in 1980 in memory of the 1924 Olympic 400m gold medallist, Eric Liddell. We are dedicated to fulfilling his legacy by inspiring, empowering, and supporting people of all ages, cultures and abilities, as an expression of compassionate social values.  Since we were established, we have developed many valuable services: 

• Providing a weekday day care service for up to 70 people living with dementia with ‘excellent’ inspectorate ratings
• Growing our Befriending Service which supports carers across the City of Edinburgh
• Providing affordable office space for 8 small and developing charities
• Helping to change the perceptions of living with dementia, disabilities and mental health issues by showing that a full life can still be lived with the right support
•  Providing volunteering opportunities to a wide range of local community members, including young people from neighbouring schools and people with additional support needs
• Welcoming an average of 2000 weekly visitors of all ages to our range of community based classes including Yoga, Pilates, Martial Arts, music and gymnastics for toddlers

Dementia Daycare

While we offer many programmes to our wider community, we are at the core, a care charity.  Our qualified daycare staff and highly trained volunteers look after some of Edinburgh’s most vulnerable people.  This service not only helps reduce the isolation and stigma of the person living with dementia, but also provides an essential break for their carers.  This vital respite helps to promote independent living and to sustain families living together longer within their community. 

Each week, we welcome up to 70 clients living with dementia into our daycare. During their day, they enjoy art classes, ipad sessions, fitness activities (a walk around the neighbourhood when the weather is fair), reminiscence activities, singing and a tasty, two-course, homemade lunch and snacks.  These group activities foster friendships and keep the client’s minds and bodies active.

Support for Unpaid Carers

In addition to supporting the person living with dementia, we also run services to support the people who look after them every day.  The role of a carer can be isolating and stressful.  Finding ways to cope with the demands of the role and getting the occasional break help to prolong the time that carers can keep their loved ones at home. 


Our befriending service pairs carers with trained volunteers who meet with them regularly to provide companionship and a break from their responsibilities.  They are matched on interests and circumstances so have a good start at building a relationship.  They may meet weekly for a coffee or to attend a fitness class or other activity.  The feedback we get from the carers about this programme is overwhelmingly positive.  This service makes a personal, positive impact on their lives and helps them sustain the role of carer for longer.

Care Support Programme

The Care Support Programme offers free wellness classes for carers. Just an hour a week spent doing Tai Chi, yoga or mindfulness can help reduce the stress of the people looking after their loved ones.  In addition to the obvious wellness benefits of these classes, participant feedback indicates that the consistency and stability of participating in a regular group activity is of equal value.

Lunch Breaks

This programme provides a safe and welcoming group meal experience for people living with dementia and their carers.  Diners can relax and enjoy the company of people who understand the day-to-day challenges that dementia can have on families and friends.

Building a Sustainable Future

We are developing new projects that will add to our programme of services so that we can offer a greater level of support to carers and other members of our community.  We have launched three exciting new projects that expands the range of services on offer to local people:

  • Caring Soles – this pilot community foot care project aims to relieve the pressure on the NHS by using trained volunteers to provide a local, community based non-medical foot care. The implementation of the project has been successful to date and we have recently supported our 400th client. 
  • South West Villages – this project was developed collaboratively by the Eric Liddell Centre, Health & Social Care Partnership and Edinburgh Voluntary Organisation’s Council (EVOC) to map and assess the various programmes and services available to elderly residents of the smaller villages in the South West of Edinburgh. 
  • Daycare Sensory Room – we raised funds to develop a new sensory space for our daycare clients. All work was recently completed and this excellent facility is now being put to good use. 
President Steve Kirk chosen charity 2019

President Steve Kirk has chosen Circle as his charity for 2019.

Circle’s aim is to support the most disadvantaged children and families to improve their lives, promote their healthy development and reach their potential.

We are based in Pilton and have been running a number of projects in some of the most deprived areas of Edinburgh as well as East & West Lothian since 2006 though we were originally formed in 1946 as the Family Services Unit following WW2 to assist families resettle from devastated urban areas. We are particularly proud of our ISSEP partnership with George Heriots school which sees local primary school pupils paired with high school mentors who spend 2hrs per week with them helping with academic or social activities. Both sets of young people get a great deal from the relationship.

We organize 1:1 sessions with both children and parents as well as group activities that can involve the children, parents and other family members individually or altogether. We work with families building parenting skills which can include setting appropriate boundaries and managing behaviours, weekly planners for school attendance, homework and appointments as well as ensuring the family spend quality time together.  We also help them address any health needs and increase awareness of the impact and effect of substance abuse on the children. We can signpost, and accompany, parents to recovery meetings and help them with any setbacks.

As Circle are not time-limited or target led and as our services are voluntarily engaged with we find that families stay with us for longer than other care providers. We have been repeatedly told that our willingness to stick by people makes us a unique service.

If you would like more detailed information on our work then each of our projects publish an Annual Report with stats and case studies, you can find them here –

President Kenny Watling chosen charity 2018

President Kenny Watling has chosen Richmond Hope as his charity of the year for 2018. A fantastic cause carrying out much needed support work in and around Edinburgh. The charity triples day is 16th June at Willowbrae Bowling Club. As usual the EBL expect all clubs to attend this enjoyable day.

President Kenny will be undertaking additional fundraising throughout the season, with more details to follow

President Brian Jempson chosen charity 2017

Teenage Cancer Trust makes sure the seven young people aged 13 to 24 diagnosed with cancer every day, don’t face it alone. We work in partnership with the NHS, providing expert staff and specialist units in Principal Treatment Centres for cancer, and bring young people together so they can support each other.

We also give presentations in schools so young people understand more about cancer and go to the doctors earlier.

Almost half of young people with cancer are not treated in our units. Instead they are treated in hospitals where there isn’t the same level of expertise we provide, and might never meet another young person with cancer. This is a scary and lonely experience. This must change. So we’re building a wider Nursing & Support Service within the NHS to help all young people, wherever they receive treatment. To make this happen, we need to raise more than £20 million every year by 2020.

We rely on donations to fund our vital work. Find out more, get involved or make a donation at Teenage Cancer Trust is a registered charity: 1062559 (England & Wales), SC039757 (Scotland).

President Graeme Swan chosen charity 2016


CHAS is the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland. Our vision is that every baby, child and

young person in Scotland will have access to palliative care when and where they need it. This
sits at the heart of everything we do.

Our role as a charity is threefold:

  • We provide CARE through our two wonderful hospices – Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch – and also through CHAS at Home which has teams working from Rachel House and Robin House as well as dedicated teams in Aberdeen and Inverness, caring for families in their own homes when they need it most.
  • We generate SUPPORT for our work through tireless, year-round fund-raising to secure over £9million, needed every year to run our hospices and provide services to families.
  • We make CONNECTIONS between families, health and social care professionals, the media, supporters and influencers to raise awareness of our work and promote joined up service provision for families.

Caring for a child with a life-shortening condition can place unimaginable demands on families,
physically and emotionally. Quite simply, we are here to lighten their load.