Additional £750,000 investment will help people take a break from caring roles.
An investment of £750,000 in local carer centres will increase support for unpaid carers of all ages, helping them to take a break from caring and access other much-needed help.
This recognises some of the challenges faced by unpaid carers, with many regular sources of support having stopped or moved online due to the pandemic.
It also comes in response to concerns about increasing pressure on carers – particularly while many traditional respite breaks are restricted or unavailable.
The funding will allow local carer centres 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.”
On behalf of Scotland's National Carer Organisations, Don Williamson, Chief Executive of Shared Care Scotland, said: "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.”