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Help Available Locally

Ability Shetland

Ability Shetland supports the efforts of disabled people to realise their full potential in all areas of life.

In addition to providing advice and information to service users and service providers, Ability Shetland runs a variety of clubs and recreational activities throughout the year.

Contact: Stephanie Bain Tel: 01595 743922 Email: Website: Ability Shetland

Advocacy Service for Shetland

From 1st October 2022, there will be a change to how statutory independent advocacy is available to people in Shetland.

The Advocacy People are the new provider of independent advocacy. This is a telephone and online service available via their Contact Centre - see details below:

The Advocacy People is an independent charity and all of the services provided are free and confidential.

Independent advocacy supports an individual or group speak up for themselves. It helps people make their own decisions and have as much control as possible over their own lives.

Independent advocacy can:

  • help safeguard your rights
  • help you access information
  • make sure your voice is heard

Tel: 0330 440 9000 Email:

Alzheimer Scotland, Shetland branch

Alzheimer Scotland offer a range of support and activities for people with dementia, their partners, families and friends to help maintain abilities, social activities, relationships and community connections.

The local Dementia Resource Centre is located at:

Shetland Dementia Resource Centre, 66 Burgh Road, Lerwick, ZE1 0HJ and is open for enquiries on Wednesdays and Thursdays each week from 1pm - 3pm. Meetings with Jan Brown (Dementia Advisor) can be arranged outside these hours - please call 01595 720344 or 07795 256424.

For details of their monthly activities programme please contact Alanda Anderson on 01595 720344 or 07760 177049.

Jan and Alanda work part time: Wednesday Thursday and Friday

**Please call their Locality Lead: Catriona MacRitchie on 01851 307467 or 07824 561305 if you have an enquiry on a Monday or a Tuesday**

The 24 hour Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 3000 is still available 24/7 and is free. Or you can email

There is also a NEW telephone helpline recently launched by Alzheimer Scotland. The National Dementia Advisor Service 0300 373 5774 is available from 9am - 4pm Monday to Friday and charged at local rates.

Tel: 01595 720343/344 (Dementia Resource Centre) or 07795 256424 (Jan)

British Red Cross

Empower individuals to manage their independence and support them to attend health and wellbeing appointments and activities in the community. Wheelchairs available for loan.

Contact: Nicola Stove Tel: 01595 695498 Website: British Red Cross

Citizens Advice Bureau

The Shetland Islands Citizens Advice Bureau can provide information to carers in Shetland. The service is free, independent, impartial and confidential. CAB offer advice on many issues that you may encounter as a carer, including legal matters, employment, housing, benefit entitlement and debt.

They can run a check to see if you are claiming all the benefits you and the person you care for are entlitled to, support you if your benefit is being reviewed or stopped and help with representation at social security appeal tribunals; give advice on housing issues, fees for accessing respite or residential care, and advise what to do if you need to arrange Power of Attorney, a Guardianship Order, Intervention Order or the Access to Funds Scheme.

Tel: 01595 694696 Website: CAB Facebook: CAB Facebook

Clan in the Community, Shetland

As of June 2022, Clan Cancer Support relocated it's Shetland Base to Islesburgh Community Centre.

Clan’s services are based on the first floor and they offer emotional support to anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis.

Services available:

  • Emotional support and counselling
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Nutrition, Health and Wellbeing Support
  • Dedicated Children and Family Service
  • Cancer Support Groups

Tel: 01595 697275 Email: Website: Clan Cancer Support

Healthy Shetland

The Health Improvement Team is part of NHS Shetland. They work to improve the health and wellbeing of the Shetland population by developing new ways to tackle health issues. They work with individuals, families, communities, businesses, voluntary organisations and Government (local and national) to tackle these issues and make Shetland a healthier place to live and work. Read more

Tel: 01595 743330 Email: Facebook: @healthyshetland

Independent Living Centre

The Independent Living Centre (ILC) is a purpose-built building in Gremista, north of Lerwick, and is the base for the Occupational Therapy Service provided jointly by the Shetland Islands Council and NHS Shetland.

Occupational therapy provides practical intervention to empower people to make maximum recovery from illness or disability and to overcome barriers that prevent them from doing the activities (or occupations) that matter to them. This support increases people's independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life.

The Occupational Therapy Service supports around 2,000 people of all ages in the isles, who require specialised assessment and intervention to return them to, or allow them to remain independent, in their own home.

Community Occupational Therapy Services may include the provision of specialist equipment, adaptations to properties, teaching new skills or techniques to allow independence in managing activities of daily life. Intermediate Care Occupational Therapists provide services to people who have current health problems and need transitional, and intensive, support to get back to their former level of independence at home.

The service also provide Occupational Therapy services for children (based at the hospital), support to people with acute health conditions currently in hospital (medical, surgical and pre-operative planning consultations), and through an Employability Pathway aimed at those who wish to return to employment opportunities.

Tel: 01595 744319 Website: Independent Living Centre

Learning Disability Nurse

The Learning Disability Nurse in Shetland can provide advice, guidance and support to families of someone living with a learning disability. He also provides supports for autistic spectrum disorders including strategies for challenging behaviour. You can contact Gary directly or Shetland Carers can make a referral on your behalf.

Tel: 07385 425036 or Email:

Mind Your Head

Their aims are:

*to deliver mental health support services across Shetland

*to research and respond to mental health and associated needs within the community

*to work in partnership with existing organisations to further the aims of the charity

*to raise mental health and wellbeing awareness in Shetland

For more information about their support services, please visit their website

Relationship Scotland Shetland

Conflict in relationships and families is normal. What is important is how conflict is dealt with, and sometimes people need help to work out how to deal with conflict in a constructive way. Relationship Scotland Shetland are there to offer that help. They have a range of services that can support you through relationship problems, family separation, family breakdowns including within child parent communication, community and neighbour disputes. If you are experiencing any of these or any other conflict and are not sure what to do then please get in touch.

Tel: 01595 743859 Email:

Royal Voluntary Service

The Royal Voluntary Service provides a range of services to older people within the community, including transport (e.g. to doctor/hospital appointments, collecting pension, shopping), companionship, and social and lunch clubs.

Tel: 01595 743914 Website: Royal Voluntary Service

Self Directed Support

Adult social care delivery has changed in Shetland. The guiding principle is to ensure that everyone in Shetland is able to live and participate in a safe, vibrant and healthy community. SIC want people to achieve this by having as much choice and control about how their social care and support is provided. The term self-directed support (SDS) is used because it emphasises that you are in control.

Here are some examples of how Self-Directed Support can work.

Craig's SDS Story - Option 2 - Dignity and Choice A Video of Craig's story is also available here

Edith's SDS Story - Option 3 - Outcomes

Kevin's SDS Story - Option 3 - Dignity and Choice

Maggie's SDS Story - Option 2 - Collabaration

To find out more about SDS and how it works in Shetland follow the link Here is the leaflet

Shetland Befriending Scheme

Befriending provision is on a 1:1 basis. Those who access the scheme are matched on a 1:1 basis with an adult volunteer. The pair meet either weekly or fortnightly over a limited period of time (minimum of six months) The scheme currently has three sections as follows:

  • Children and Young People age 7-15 years
  • Adults age 16+ years
  • Adults age 60+ affected by Dementia

There are a whole range of reasons why individuals may want to be part of the scheme but all can benefit from taking part in lots of different and exciting activities in their local community. The members of staff and volunteers at the scheme support individuals who can benefit from some additional input.

Open: 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday Address: Market House, 14 Market Street, Lerwick, ZE1 0JP
Tel: 01595 743907 Email: Website: Shetland Befriending Scheme

Shetland Care Attendant Scheme (formerly Crossroads)

Shetland Care Attendant Scheme (SCAS) is an independent charitable organisation who provide trained Care Attendants to give carers a break in their own homes. This enables the carer to have some quality time to call their own as they wish, with the knowledge that their loved one is happy and being kept safe. This enables the carer to continue in their caring role knowing they are going to have regular breaks, and thus enables them to keep their loved one staying at home. Overnight support is also provided to give carers a full night's uninterrupted sleep.

Carers who may be absent or living away from the person in need of care are also offered a service to ease their concern or anxiety because they live elsewhere.

Tel: 01595 743931 Email: SCAS Facebook: click here

Shetland Community Connections

Shetland Community Connections, offer support, advice and signposting to any person living in Shetland with additional needs. We work with people of all ages, children, families, carers, adults and older people.

We offer support and advice in setting up direct payment packages, giving information, helping people through becoming an employer, working with Personal Assistants, and support to purchase services. We also help local people understand their options in terms of Self Directed Support and Personal Budget.

Telephone: 01595 745091 Email: Facebook: click here

Shetland's Community Health and Care Partnership

Community Care Services are available to people with:

Dementia, physical disabilities, mental health problems, sensory impairments, learning difficulties, HIV/AIDS, elders, children with disabilities or a disabling illness, people who are terminally ill.

Services available to carers from Shetland's Community Health and Care Partnership include:

Assessments of carers’ needs, support and advice for individuals, carers & families, information and advice, respite care (short breaks), day care, home care, training (stress management, benefits advice, etc), aids and adaptations, specialist support for young carers, health visitor services, pharmacy service.

Tel: Shetland Community Health Care Partnership on 01595 743060 Website: Community Health and Social Care
Emergency Tel: Emergency help 01595 695611 is available outside office hours (evenings, weekends and holidays)

Shetland Islands Council - Children's Services

The local authority has a duty to provide a range and level of services appropriate to children's needs. According to the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, a child in need may be someone who is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or to have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development unless the local authority provides services.

It may be that parents or carers are unable to promote the child or young person's welfare for a variety of reasons, for example they may be affected by ill health or substance/alchohol misuse.

Children and young people affected by disabilities or who have additional support needs or social, emotional and behavioural needs can also be a child or young person in need.

An assessment of need, involving gathering sufficient information about a child's health, welfare and development, and about the child's circumstances within his/her family and community, will be undertaken to enable an informed decision to be made about what services, if any, should be offered.

Provision of need under these circumstances will be co-ordinated and monitored through the GIRFEC procedures.

You can find more information from their website

Shetland Islands Council - Adult Services

Shetland Islands Council support people who have needs or risks that affect their health, well being or restrict their participation in community life. This may be due to a disability, illness or other factor.

Support comes in many forms and means different things to different people. Historically, the Council has provided community support with buildings that have specific functions, such as residential care, respite and day services.

Social care services are evolving. In Shetland, our With You For You, single assessment process, is led by you, and helps SIC to identify how they can best support you to maintain and develop your ability to be in control of your day-to-day life.

The With You For You process involves continual listening, learning and focusing on what is important to someone, now and in the future, then acting on this with their family, friends and anyone else the person wants to involve. As a result people will be assisted to work out what they want; they will agree the support they require.

Community Support services are based on the ethos of person centred solutions that make sense to you, increase independence and reduce intrusion into private lives. Their ambition and aim is to find flexible solutions to individual need and to support you to find sustainable and safe ways to maintain your health, well being and community participation.

For more information contact the website

Stepping Out Group

Stepping Out group provides a chance to get out and meet people in Yell. They meet every couple of weeks in various halls around Yell. You are welcome to just visit your nearest hall or you go along everytime. As well as the chance to sit and chat there is always a quiz and they usually have other visitors along or an activity. Soup, sandwiches and fancies - cost £3.50 or donation.

They would love to see you and you are welcome to just come along. If transport is stopping you, then get in touch with Karen, and they may be able to help.

Tel: Karen on 01595 745091 or 07909 966161

Young Carers Support

A Young Carer is someone who is under 18 years of age, who provides unpaid support to a family member or friend who could not manage without this help due to illness, disability, mental ill-health or a substance misuse problem. If you care for someone in this way, help is available to you from Shetland Carers - please visit here. You can also request a support plan called a Young Carer Statement through Social Work.

Tel: Duty Social Work on 01595 744420

Adult Learning

Adult Learning is part of the Council's Community Planning and Development Service. They help adults and families make positive changes in their lives by working together to develop skills for learning, life and work. Whether you want to develop new skills or refresh existing ones, get ready for employment, get support with reading, writing, numeracy or digital skills, improve your confidence and wellbeing, or simply enjoy new opportunities to learn, they can explore the options with you.

Tel: 01595 743888

Shetland Women's Aid

Shetland Women's Aid is for anyone experiencing domestic abuse or gender-based violence, or concerned about a friend or relative.

Tel: 01595 692070 Email:

Shetland Recovery Hub and Community Network

Shetland Recovery Hub and Community Network support anyone affected by drug or alcohol issues. Support is available for anyone concerned about their own, or someone else's, alcohol or drug use.

The Recovery Hub is based in Lerwick, though will be working in support of people right across Shetland. The Hub's focus is on giving people the opportunity to work together, with each other and with support services, to minimise the harm caused by drug and alcohol use.

Tel: 01595 744402 or Email:

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