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Citadel has been working with carers since 2021. We offered creative opportunities to unpaid carers meeting in Eric Liddle Centre and St. Margaret's House with Care4carers. Workshops in drama, photography and creative writing have been appreciated by the group who find it difficult to take time out for personal creativity.


  • An Edinburgh mum has written a play as a tribute to her late son, after spending 29 years as his full-time carer, Rhona McAdam, 62, will debut her work for the first time next month, with the play, 'Caring', based around her own experiences caring for her disabled son, Ruairidh.

    Born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Ruairidh sadly passed away earlier this year aged 29, with Rhona's play depicting some of the struggles they had overcome during his life. Giving an insight into the daily life living with a disabled teenager, the play will be performed by the Citadel Arts Group on November 3 and 4, with support from the Lottery, will be free, with a special invitation extended to carers’ groups in the city.

    Rhona McAdam, who lives in Colinton, says: “It’s a realistic view of a mother caring for her teenage son. “She is finding it tougher to care for him because he has a lot of physical care needs. Now he’s getting older she is maybe mothering him too much. In the play it’s his fifteenth birthday and she’s telling him he can’t have another beer.”

    According to charity Care for Carers there are now more than 800,000 adult carers in Scotland, and 82 per cent have no time for respite or breaks. Basing the character of Joey on her own son Ruairidh, boys and young men with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy lack a protein which causes progressive muscle weakness, leading to respiratory problems and difficulty swallowing.

    As well as losing her son this year Rhona also lost her husband Iain, who died during lockdown in December 2021. Sharing that the play has given her a welcome focus, Rhona added: “These are characters and these are their struggles - but it could be any teenager or any mother. All Joey wants to do is play on his X Box For Joey it’s a world where he can do things, run, and fight. I tried to make it realistic. Mum is no saint - in fact neither Mum or Joey is angelic.

    “They are both a bit grumpy with each other. Mum is tired and a bit frustrated and Joey resents his mum for being annoyed. I wanted to show the reality of caring - but also that normal life goes on - whatever difficulties you face.”


    Caring, which will be directed by Mark Kydd, will be staged at the Storytelling Centre on November 3 and 4.  Erica Whitaker Wallis, of Care for Carers said: “Across Scotland, there were an estimated 700,000 to 800,000 unpaid carers before the COVID-19 pandemic. Survey work from Scottish Government in September 2020 suggests the number of adult carers had grown to around 839,000. As a result of the pandemic 90 per cent of carers are spending more time caring, with 82 per cent having had no access to respite or breaks from caring.

    “It is therefore more important than ever that we continue to shine a light on the vital contribution that unpaid carers make to our society. As an organisation we work alongside community partners to provide carers with access to short break opportunities which this year has involved providing drama workshops with Citadel Arts.

    "For a carer, just a few hours break away from their caring role can make a big difference to their wellbeing which is why we view these partnerships as so important.”





    Leithers One Family Review by Mark Fisher

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