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Carers are often “hidden” looking after a family member or helping a friend or neighbour with day to day tasks and may not see themselves as a Carer.

Are you looking after someone?

Caring for someone can happen very suddenly, sometimes overnight or you may find yourself doing more and more over many months or years. Looking after someone can affect your physical and emotional wellbeing and impact on you financially and socially.

A carer is generally defined as a person of any age who provides unpaid help and support to a relative, friend or neighbour who cannot manage to live independently without the carer’s help.

Carers often face multiple daily tasks attached to the helping role they have taken on and it can change their entire lifestyle and place an enormous strain on them. However, many carers also say that with the correct information and support, caring can be a rewarding and positive experience.

Voluntary Action Shetland supports unpaid carers in Shetland by working to establish a network of local support through our Carers Centre, outreach groups, 1-1 meetings, signposting to relevant support agencies and through our Virtual Carers Centre. The Virtual Carers Centre will offer carers in Shetland a one-stop shop approach to relevant information for carers.

We want to help carers:-

  • Find time for themselves
  • Keep healthy
  • Feel less stressed
  • Plan for the future

The Carers act now means that the local authority has a statutory duty to provide carers with the following:-

Carer support plans and young carer statements can be carried out by Social Workers, Senior Social Care workers in the outer areas of Shetland. VAS are currently working with Shetland Islands Council to agree a service level agreement that will include VAS carrying out some of the Carer Support plans that carers are entitled to.

As well as our website, we now have a Facebook and Twitter accounts for useful meeting dates and information.

For further information contact 01595 743980 or email:

What are our services?

  • One to one support for carers
  • Support Groups
  • Virtual Website, Carers Facebook and Twitter Pages
  • Grants available for Short Breaks
  • Respitality Scheme offering Short Breaks
  • Signposting to relevant services
  • Training to help you in your caring role
  • Help with emergency planning
  • Quarterly Newsletters
  • Support when caring role comes to an end
  • Opportunity for Carers to influence strategy/policy

An adult carer is anyone aged over 18 years who is supporting someone without being paid to do so.

A Young carer is someone who is 18 years or under who provides unpaid support to a family member or friend who could not manage without this help due to illness, disability, mental ill-health or a substance misuse problem. If you care for someone in this way, help is available to you. If you are 18 years or under, please visit the Young Carers page to find out how we can support you.

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