With an estimated 750,000 unpaid carers in Scotland, the value of the role they fulfil not just to those they care for, but more broadly in Scotland, cannot be underestimated.
Anyone can become a carer at any time, and at any age – from a young child to the very elderly – and the person they care for may be affected by disability, physical or mental health issues, frailty, or by substance misuse. For some carers this can be a life-long caring role, but others may care for shorter periods of time. But what is clear is that, regardless of their age, or the challenges that their caring role may bring, a carer is also a citizen, someone who has the same rights as everyone else, and someone who is entitled to a life alongside caring.
At Shared Care Scotland we share this goal, and work towards our vision of a Scotland where everyone who receives support or provides unpaid care can live a full and satisfying life, with the assistance they need to take regular, quality breaks from the everyday demands of their caring routines.
The introduction of the Carers Act in Scotland will help secure a more sustainable future for carers in Scotland and we are delighted to see the fundamental importance of this change – and the work of unpaid carers across Scotland – being recognised through the Carers Champion Award* at the first Scottish Social Services Awards. Through our work with projects funded through the Short Breaks Fund, and through our wider networks, we continue to be amazed and inspired by the numerous people and organisations working across Scotland to champion the rights of the unpaid carers they support. The work that they do, both with supporting carers, but also ensuring that their voices are heard loud and clear across Scotland is well worth the recognition of the Carers Champions Award.
Find out more about all the awards on from the Scottish Social Services Awards website.
*This award is sponsored by the National Carer Organisations in Scotland comprised of: Carers Scotland, Carers Trust Scotland, Coalition of Carers in Scotland, Crossroads Caring Scotland, MECOPP, Shared Care Scotland and the Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance.