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Community / Carers week puts unpaid carers in the spotlight

MARKING Carers Week, the annual campaign to raise awareness of the many thousands of unpaid carers in the UK, Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has paid tribute to the invaluable work many people do by looking after loved ones.

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart. Photo: Shetland News

“I want to thank them, and especially acknowledge the extra difficulties that have come with looking after family and friends during the coronavirus pandemic,” the MSP said.

“Caring can have a real impact on the carers’ health and wellbeing, something that can be particularly the case for young unpaid carers.”

Her views were echoes by Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Maree Todd, who added that the Scottish Government had made additional funds in support of unpaid carers.

“I am forever in awe of our carers. Looking after someone can be hard work and quite often carers can forget to look after themselves,” the Scottish Government minister for children and young people said.

“Carers Week works well to make the role of carers more visible to the wider health and care system, and through this, the need for support can be recognised.

“I’m pleased to see the Scottish Government kickstart Carers Week with the announcement that £300,000 from the £350 million communities funding is to be given to support young carers across Scotland.”

During the week Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS) hopes to raise the profile of unpaid carers while also trying to identify hidden carers who are not currently receiving support from the local organisation.

Carers support worker Kirsten Harcus said the charity wanted to support and empower carers to manage their caring role and have a life outside of care.

“Given the current situation, I expect people are able to appreciate more than ever what a carer has to do every day,” she said.

“Carers Week provides a great opportunity for the local community to think about who is in a caring role.

“We want carers to come forward to get the support they are entitled to which will hopefully make their life a bit easier.

“It is crucial that carers continue to take breaks in order to look after their own health and wellbeing and we hope that, by providing different activities throughout Carers Week, carers will be encouraged to take regular breaks.’’      

Carers can find out about support available which could help them in their caring role from VAS Carers Support Service by phoning 01595 743980 or emailing carers@shetland.org.