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Duror & Kentallen community website
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Geese, by Natasha Maccallum Millar

Care in the Community

Care in the Community has changed considerably over the recent decades. While the range of available welfare and health services has grown, so likewise have our expectations of what we feel is “our due”. Meanwhile there has been a dramatic shift in the structure of the community, away from multi-generational family groups, where each family member looked after the other as required – grandparents minding grandchildren while parents worked, the children then looking after their parents as they grew older. Never has Care in the Community been such an important issue, and all the more so in rural communities such as our own, where many of the services we need may only be found in Fort William or Oban.

All of us will probably need help at some stage in our lives – not just as we grow older, but maybe because we have had a debilitating accident or illness, or because we have a child with special needs or because we have developed a mental health problem.

With older members of the community often living on their own, and individuals or family units trying to cope with any number of these problems, we have a collective responsibility as community members to “look out for each other”.

There are however, inherent problems in this concept, not least that none of us want to be a bother to our friends and neighbours – of course, we would not feel the same awkwardness if the required help were available from a service. On the simplest level we might need someone to give us a lift to the shops or pick up a prescription, clean the house or provide a daily meal. Indeed, we might need respite from having to care full time for someone who is unable to do any of these things.

Whatever our problem, and however restricting it is on our lives, most of us want to stay in our own homes – which means trying to source the appropriate level of care in order for this to be possible. This can be a daunting task, which would be so much easier if we made it our business as a community to be aware of what is available and share that knowledge, identifying our needs and working together towards fulfilling them.

See below for our list of some of the available care services. Our aim should be to steadily increase it to cover all our community’s needs. None of us know when we might need help, but the more effort we put collectively into our Community Care while we are fit and able, the more benefit we should get as individuals when we are not.

Other useful contacts

Aids Helpline

0800 567123

Alcoholics Anonymous

0845 769 7555

British Red Cross Society

01631 562 485

Cancer backup

0808 800 123 408

Carers and Family Support Group

0141 221 8100


0800 1111

Couple Counselling Argyll

01631 563 297

Crossroads North Argyll

01631 562 277

Drugs Helpline

01631 564 482

Lorn Counselling Service

01631 566 666

National Eczema Society

0870 241 3604

Oban Council on Alcohol

01631 566 090

Parkinsons Helpline

0808 808 3000


0845 790 9090

Teen Aid

01631 570 555

Women's Aid (Fort William)

01397 705 734

Women’s Aid (Oban)

01369 706 036 / 01631 567089

Women’s Aid (national)

0131 475 2372

Care Providers

Crossroad Caring Scotland (Lochaber)

Services Offered : 24 Hour Care • Adult Care (18+) • Care for Children • Personal Care (on a contracted hours basis)

Care Offered : Cancer Care • Companionship • Dementia • Elderly Care • Food Preparation & Serving • High Dependency Care, two carers attending • Hospital Discharge • Learning Disability • Medication Assistance • Mental Health Condition • Palliative Care • Personal Hygiene Care • Physical Disability • Respite cover • Sensory Impairment • Shopping Service / Errands • Sit in Service

This is a charity funded through Social Work Department. Referral can be from the Social Work Dept., the GP or the carer. The service can be paid for out of the carer’s attendance allowance - fees guide : £13.50 to £15.00.

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Crossroad Caring Scotland (Lochaber), Glenloy Street, Caol Shopping Centre, Caol, Fort William PH33 7DR

01397 701 020
Care Providers

Age Scotland

Through its substantial grants programme for older people’s forums and groupings and its team of fieldwork staff across Scotland, the organisation aims to support and build strong, local older people’s groups, forums and communities.

Age Scotland also develop and sell products and services appropriate to the needs of older people to raise money for its charity work.

Scottish Helpline for Older People    0800 12 44 222

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The Helpline is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Age Scotland. It offers an independent, confidential and impartial telephone-based information service to people aged 50 and over and those associated with them such as their carers and families.

Contact Joe Cowan, Development Officer, Age Concern and Help the Aged In Scotland

PO Box 7050,
Fort William
PH33 9AF

Tel. 01855 821 809
Mob. 07801 500422

0800 12 44 222
01855 821 809 / 07801 500 422
Care Providers

Alzheimer Scotland

Alzheimer Scotland is a national charity helping people with dementia, their carers and families. Members include carers, relatives, people with dementia, professionals, groups and organisations.

Their 24 hour, freephone Dementia Helpline 0808 808 3000 provides information and emotional support for people with dementia, those who care for them and anyone with a concern or query regarding dementia.

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Alzheimer Scotland’s Lochaber Branch  works with the national organisation, Alzheimer Scotland’s Highland Carer Services and local care providers to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers by:

  • raising public awareness of dementia
  • providing information and support
  • signposting people to appropriate help
  • fundraising to facilitate practical assistance
  • supporting local dementia information line 01397 708948 which
  • provides information on local services
  • supporting Way Ahead Group: a group for people with dementia
  • supporting Lochaber Dementia Carers' Group
  • resourcing a Dementia Carers' Library

You can contact the local branch:
by e-mail on, or
by phone 07801 500 422 (Branch Secretary, Jo Cowan), or
by letter to Jo Cowan, Branch Secretary, Alzheimer Scotland Lochaber Branch, c/o Voluntary Action Lochaber, An Drochaid, Claggan Road, Claggan, Fort William, Lochaber PH33 6PH.

0808 808 3000
Care Providers

Alzheimer Scotland Highland Carer Services

The Branch Committee meets on the last Wednesday of every month (except July and December). For details of current times and meeting venue, please contact the Branch Secretary on 07901 974 719.                      

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07901 974 719
Care Providers

Care Lochaber

Community Car Scheme

With 2 days’ notice, you can ask for a car to take you (or a friend/neighbour) where you need to go if you can’t get there by public transport (eg medical or social appointments). This service costs min. £3 to max. £10 return, payable to the driver. Drivers get all out-of-pocket expenses paid.

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The community car scheme is funded by the Highland Council and Lloyds/TSB Foundation for Scotland, The Robertson Trust and The Moffat Charitable Trust.

More volunteers are needed -  If you are interested in volunteering please contact the Volunteer Development Officer email

01349 781 410
01397 701 222
Care Providers

Lochaber Dementia Carers’ Support Group

Meets on the first Wednesday of the month between 1.30 and 3.30 in the Montrose Centre, Inverlochy.

Contact via Alzheimer Scotland Highland Carer Services.

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07901 974 719
01463 711 707
Care Providers

Lochaber Hope

Lochaber Hope offers Hope, we provide a service that supports Lochaber people to cope with a wide range of sensitive and personal issues such as: Abuse, Anxiety, Addictions, Bereavement, Bullying, Child Related Issues, Critical Incident Counselling, Debt, Depression, Eating Disorders, Self Confidence, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Relationship Issues, Sexual Issues, Sexuality, Stress.

Counselling Service: counselling is confidential and non judgemental. Qualified, Experienced Counsellors are available to work with all ages: daily including weekends and evenings. Counselling for Children and Young People.

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Most of the time, life ticks along and we cope, but all too often this is NOT the case. Life is intense and often overwhelming, when depression or low self esteem kicks in issues appear insurmountable.

Lochaber Hope is for everyone; unemployed, employed, retired, people with a disability, a mental health need, in recovery from substance misuse or an addiction, skilled or unskilled, or anyone who has low confidence, low self esteem or feels isolated. Lochaber Hope will allow people to rebuild a sense of value and belonging to the community.

01397 704 836
Care Providers

Lochaber ME/CFS Support Network

Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E: having this illness, or caring for someone with it, can be a horribly isolating experience. But it doesn’t have to be.  

Join Lochaber PVFS/CFS/M.E. Support Network - It’s free!

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Care Providers

Social Work Department

Works closely with Care Lochaber, providing these services:

> Occupational Therapy to assess the patient’s needs for care in the home (grab rails/ramps etc.)
> Personal care/feeding/medication as required (up to three visits a day if necessary)

Referral can be from the hospital, GP, Crossroads or by self-referral. If you are over 65 your personal care needs are free. If you are under 65 you may be eligible for a disability living allowance. If, through being a carer, your earnings are restricted, you may be eligible for a Carer’s Allowance.

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01397 707 025