Balhousie Care Group homes hit hard by Storm Arwen are giving a big shout-out to the local communities as well as existing staff who stepped up to help them.

The award-winning Balhousie Care Group, which runs 26 care homes across Scotland, saw power outages, water shortage and phone and Internet signals down at the weekend and into this week. In the Angus and Aberdeenshire regions, which were particularly hard hit, everyone from shops and relatives to Police and healthcare partners rallied round.

Balhousie Alastrean House near the village of Tarland in Aberdeenshire saw a power outage last Friday night and all of Saturday. A back-up generator finally kicked in in the early hours of Sunday morning and is still serving the home a week later, while energy suppliers work to fix the problem.

In the meantime, Alastrean’s care home staff worked with torches and their chef cooked up batches of soup to help keep residents warm. Staff, who are doing extra hours because of sector-wide shortages, stayed to work around the clock to support residents.

Balhousie Maintenance Operative Robbie Roberts cleared out a local B&Q store of torches and batteries before setting out from his home in Angus to help his colleagues in Alastrean. A call-out to relatives of the residents resulted in torch and food donations.

Extra support also came from Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership and the local Police. Police provided an escort to the supplier of the electricity generator and knocked on staff doors to ask them to come in for shifts, as phone lines were down.

A burst water main in Huntly meant Balhousie Huntly care home was without water for a time over the weekend. Again, staff rallied round and the local Tesco donated 25 litres of water to the care home.

When Balhousie The Glens in Edzell, Angus lost power last Friday evening, staff member Liz Hunter and her husband battled the treacherous weather to cut down some trees so that staff could get in to work safely. Meanwhile, Val Di Vara chip shop in Brechin and Bel’s Butchers in Edzell provided hot food and chip suppers when power went out again on Tuesday.


Said Brenda Marr, Home Manager at Balhousie The Glens: “Liz and her husband are very deserving of recognition for their work cutting trees down, and both Bel’s and Val Di Vara saved the day for us with hot food. Also, a big thank you to all the staff who rallied round, thought out of the box and managed to make sure that, despite the lack of power, all of our residents were cosy comfy and well fed.”

In Arbroath, where Balhousie Care Group has two care homes, McDonald’s provided tea and coffee for hardworking staff and their residents.

Jill Kerr, Group Chief Executive Officer at Balhousie Care Group, said: “Our staff and communities went over and above last weekend during Storm Arwen and are still stepping up to make sure our homes run as smoothly as possible. I want to say a huge thank you on behalf of the company to all our community partners who have helped us through it and, personally, to our devoted and hard-working staff. They truly are all about our residents, and their dedication in the face of extreme challenges is inspiring.”

Pictured: Residents and staff give a thumbs up to all who helped.

Balhousie Alastrean is near the village of Tarland, Aberdeenshire.