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Plenty on offer during carers week

A SERIES of drop-in events are set to take place across Shetland in the coming days as part of national carers week.

Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS) support workers will visit all of the isles’ health centres between Monday (10 June) and Friday (14 June).

The staff will be on hand to offer advice and information on being an unpaid carer.

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • Lerwick Health Centre, Mon 10 June, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Brae Health Centre, Tues 11 June, 2 – 4 pm
  • Scalloway Health Centre, Tues 11 June, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Whalsay Health Centre, Tues 11 June, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm
  • Bixter Health Centre, Wed 12 June, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Hillswick Health Centre, Wed 12 June, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Unst Health Centre, Thurs 13 June, 1.30 – 3.30 pm
  • Yell Health Centre, Thurs 13 June, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Walls Health Centre, Thurs 13 June, 3.30 – 5.30 pm 
  • Levenwick Health Centre, Fri 14 June, 10 am – 12 pm

The following week VAS will hold drop in sessions at Market House in Lerwick on 19 June between 12pm and 2pm and 6pm and 8pm.

There will be teas and cakes, and information stalls from services such as Citizens Advice Bureau, while for carers there will be Indian head massages on offer from a Sleeping Beauty therapist.

VAS executive officer Catherine Hughson, said: “It’s hugely important our community recognises the contribution of unpaid carers in Shetland this carers week.

“Our events will support local carers by providing opportunities for them to seek information to help them in their caring role, either at their local health centre during our Outreach sessions or at our drop in events in Lerwick.

“Businesses wanting to support carers can sign up with our respitality scheme to gift breaks to carers.’’

Carers UK say that more than half of carers took over a year to recognise their caring role and that 24 per cent took over five years to identify as a carer.

VAS can offer training and support for the effects being an unpaid carer can have on mental and physical wellbeing.

Kirsten Harcus, VAS carer support worker, said: “We hope that promoting the caring role more widely in communities will encourage people to recognise their caring role.

“By identifying carers earlier, we can provide information and support to enable them to look after their own health and wellbeing which will help them sustain their caring role.”