A CHARITY with a mission to care for carers is celebrating a successful first year as an independent organisation.

Crossroads - Annandale and Eskdale - provides much-needed breaks for those caring for a relative or friend at home.

To focus resources more fully locally and reflect the particular challenges of a wide rural area, the management board decided last year to become independent of Crossroads Caring Scotland.

A stalwart of the organisation for many years, chairman Dr Liam Kieran explained that while they had great respect for the Scottish organisation, members felt more could be achieved as a local administered body.

He said: “I’m pleased with progress so far as we get to grips with new challenges and additional work.

“It’s not simply a case of saving the affiliation fee, the change has meant we are more closely involved in tailoring policies, systems and guidelines to best meet the needs of our service users and the communities we serve.”

Most Crossroads users are referred by the local authority.

With demand growing, the charity is seeking to add to their pool of experienced care attendants willing to work on a part-tome regular basis, even if they have only a few hours to spare each week.

Anyone interested in learning more about Crossroads can do so by contacting service manager Michael Turner on 01461 204240.