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Funding for carers' groups

Published: 23 Mar 2016 10:00

£700,000 funding to national organisations.

Carers organisations are to benefit from more than £700,000 of Scottish Government funding over the next year.

The funding will be used to help them deliver a wide range of programmes and projects to support Scotland's carers.

The package will be shared between Carers Scotland, Carers Trust Scotland, Coalition of Carers in Scotland, Crossroads Caring Scotland, Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project (MECOPP) and Shared Care Scotland.

It includes a contribution towards the Young Carers Festival, which gives young carers the chance to come together, meet other people in the same position, and take a break from their caring responsibilities.

In addition, there will be £3 million to Shared Care Scotland and the Family Fund for voluntary-run short breaks.

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said:

"These organisations provide a huge level of help and support to Scotland's carers, and the commitment of their staff is beyond doubt. I believe that this funding package provides good value for money because these groups, and the projects they run, are a crucial part of the Scottish Government's efforts to improve the lives of carers.

"Earlier this year the Scottish Parliament unanimously passed the Carers Bill, which strengthens the rights of carers. As we move to implementation of the Carers Act, these national carers organisations will have an important role to play.

"I am particularly pleased that we have been able to continue funding the Young Carers Festival. When I attended the festival last year it was clear that the event was valued by the young carers present. It gives them a chance to make friends with other young people in their position."

Simon Hodgson, Director of Carers Scotland, said:

"Carers Scotland is delighted to receive this continued support from the Scottish Government. The next two years are going to bring significant changes to the way carers are supported in Scotland and we share the Scottish Government's understanding that it is vitally important that carers, and the professionals they come into contact with, understand what all the changes mean. We are also acutely aware of the importance of supporting working carers and carers trying to get back into the workplace and are confident that the Carer Positive initiative will continue to help make this a reality."

Pete Richardson, Carers Trust Scotland, said:

"On behalf of Carers Trust, I am delighted that the Scottish Government continues to support our work to improve support, services and recognition for carers in communities across Scotland. Anyone can become a carer at any time in their lives, and Carers Trust Scotland will continue to work with network partners to help provide services to support a carer's individual and changing needs throughout their caring journey."

Claire Cairns, Coalition of Carers in Scotland , said:

"We are delighted to have our funding confirmed for 2016-17. This is an important time for the carers movement as preparations begin for the introduction of the Carers Bill in 2017.
It is our aim to support these development by ensuring that carers have a strong voice and are able to participate through local partnerships and in developments at a national level."

Margaret McCarthy, Chief Executive of Crossroads Caring Scotland said:

"We are delighted to receive an award from the Scottish Government.

"Carers now make up 17 per cent of our population. This figure is set to rise over coming years and we need to find innovative ways in which we can support carers. As well as helping us sustain existing services, this funding will help us work to create caring communities where social isolation is reduced, carers feel connected and the wider community benefits.

"Legislation is also changing to support the growing caring population. This funding will enable us to create local resources and opportunities so that carers can participate in consultation and play a role in shaping their collective future."

Don Williamson, Shared Care Scotland, said:

"We are grateful to the Scottish Government for this funding which will help Shared Care to continue our work in 2016-17 to support the development of short breaks for the benefit of Scotland's carers and cared-for people.

"These are undoubtedly challenging times for our sector but we are beginning to see new opportunities emerge with the progress of self-directed support, health and social care integration and of course new carers legislation. We look forward to working with our partners and government to ensure these developments deliver the best possible outcomes."