Civic leaders have pledged their support for the Scottish Youth Parliament’s campaign to ensure young carers are treated fairly.
Representing the Shetland Partnership, the organisation responsible for community planning, SIC political leader Gary Robinson and NHS Shetland chairman Ian Kinniburgh signed a pledge of support.
The national Care.Fair.Share campaign seeks a greater recognition of young carers’ situations so that they are not prevented from entering further education or being able to take part in social events.
It aims to alleviate financial strain on young carers and among its demands are:
• Addressing inconsistencies in the administration of the Educational Maintenance Allowance that result in many young carers losing their EMA entitlement;
• Additional funding for young carers struggling to afford further education due to their caring responsibilities;
• Alleviating the cost of travel for young carers between school, work, and home to fulfil their caring and education duties.
Mr Robinson said: “I’m pleased to support the principles of the Care.Fair.Share campaign to give young carers a fair chance. Many young carers live on low incomes and suffer financial strain trying to look after family members whilst trying work part time or study.
“We need to take steps to address this wherever we can.”
Mr Kinniburgh added: “Young carers provide an essential service to their families and society and the resulting financial hardship and inequality of access many young carers face in Scotland is unfair.
“It is estimated that the work of young carers directly benefits the UK government by around £1.6 billion annually. We should recognise the contribution they make by supporting change to improve their life chances.”
The Shetland Partnership works together to meet the Shetland Community Plan which is a long term vision for Shetland. Community planning involves public, private and voluntary and charitable organisations working together, with communities.