SIC - Orkney & Shetland valuation joint board

Community / More funding for unpaid carers

VOLUNTARY Action Shetland (VAS) has been awarded over £2,500 to support unpaid carers to take a break from their caring role.

The money, from the Scottish Government’s Short Breaks fund, is for distributing grants of up to £150 to unpaid carers who provide a significant amount of caring for another adult or who are classed as a young carer (under 18 years).

Voluntary Action Shetland.

VAS carer support worker Kirsten Harcus said: “We are delighted to receive money again from the Short Breaks fund in order to support carers to take a break, or a series of regular breaks, from their caring responsibilities.

“We want to promote good health and wellbeing for all carers, and this funding enables carers to do so – by having a break of their choice.”

The aim of the fund is to increase the range and choice of short breaks opportunities for carers of adults, young carers and the people they care for.

Two examples given include a person who used his grant to buy garden supplies, which allowed him to switch off from his caring role, and a woman who bought baking and cooking ingredients.

VAS executive officer Catherine Hughson said: ‘’This small grant makes a huge difference to unpaid carers, to give them a much needed break from their caring role.

“The need for this support is of crucial importance at any time but particularly so during this current crisis. Care in the community could not continue without the support from the hundreds of unpaid carers giving valued support to individuals.”

As well as issuing short break grants, VAS provide breaks to carers through their Respitality Scheme.

This works by local businesses donating a gift, such as a dining experience or overnight hotel stay, which VAS will then pass onto carers registered with the scheme, to enjoy a short break.

More information is available online.