The Scottish Government has announced the investment of an additional £750,000 into carers centres to enable them to react flexibly to the needs of carers in their areas.
Feedback from national and local carer representatives suggests there is a demand for extending existing services such as befriending, counselling or online support groups, as well as offering additional grants for carers which can be used for expenditure such as leisure equipment, hobbies or entertainment subscriptions.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:
“Unpaid carers play a vital role in society but without the right support, caring relationships can break down, which can result additional health or social care support being needed for the cared for person, their carer, or both. This funding will enable carer centres to decide how best to promptly meet local need. It is designed to ensure more unpaid carers - including young carers - can benefit from a much-needed break and emotional support.”
Don Williamson, Chief Executive of Shared Care Scotland, welcomed the support:
"COVID-19 has made life hugely challenging for unpaid carers, many of whom are struggling on with little or no opportunity to have any breaks from their caring. We therefore very much welcome this additional funding from Scottish Government which will go towards increasing the capacity of local carer services so they can provide support to more carers, including with accessing breaks, to help them over the particularly difficult winter months.”
We captured some experiences of unpaid carers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Celia Sweeney, who cares for her son Paul, shared her story of caring during the pandemic - the challenges, as well as the opportunities and what she believes needs to happen post-Covid.