Grant of over £3,000 will help provide breaks for unpaid carers

Unpaid carers in Shetland are set to benefit from an award of £3,203 made to Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS).

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 are classed as a young carer (under 18).

Shared Care Scotland has operated the fund on behalf of the National Carers Organisations and the Scottish government since 2011.

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.

The fund pays for the development of new services that create opportunities for carers and their families to meet friends and enjoy leisure activities together or possibly for families to enjoy a much-needed family break away together.

Voluntary Action Shetland carer support worker Kirsten Harcus is full of praise for the short-break grants.

VAS carer support worker Kirsten Harcus said: “We want to encourage carers to take time out for themselves to recharge their batteries. This funding allows us to offer carers a grant to take a short break (or a series of regular breaks) of their choice in order to look after their own health and wellbeing.”

Kevin Smith, who provides care for his mother, is one of those who has benefited from a short-break grant. He used it to enjoy a weekend break at the “Wigwams” with his wife and two sons.

Mr Smith said it was important to him to get some time to spend as a family and he reported feeling less stressed after his break.

“These types of grants are invaluable as caring is a huge commitment and it can completely dictate your life,” he added.

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

“Care in the community could not continue without the support from the hundreds of unpaid carers giving valued support to individuals.”


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