Let’s make 2015 the year we recognise carers

'Carers are fulfilling a vital role in our society' - Liz Smith MSP
'Carers are fulfilling a vital role in our society' - Liz Smith MSP

A Mid Scotland and Fife MSP says 2015 must be year to recognise carers.

Scottish Conservative Liz Smith has backed a campaign urging people caring for ill or disabled loved ones to find out about the financial and practical support they are entitled to.

There are around 50,000 unpaid carers in Fife who provide vital help and support to family, friends and neighbours.

In Scotland, there are an estimated 657,000 unpaid carers, saving the country £10 billion each year.

Ms Smith said: “Carers are fulfilling a vital role in our society, but too often they go without the support they need because they don’t know what is available.

“We must all play a role in helping to identify and support people who are looking after ill, frail or disabled loved ones, and making sure they get the right information and advice about the support they are entitled to as early as possible.”

Simon Hodgson, director of Carers Scotland, said that without help and assistance, carers can find themselves facing financial hardship, health problems and emotional stress. Caring can be tough and finding out about what support is available can feel like finding your way through a maze of information,” he said.

“It’s essential that carers are given information and advice to guide them so they don’t miss out on vital support.”

Carers can order a free copy of ‘Looking After Someone’, Carers Scotland’s guide to carers’ rights and benefits, by visiting www.carerscotland.org or calling the adviceline on 0808 808 7777.