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Carers Rights Day can help you understand your rights and access support available to you.

Carers Rights Day 2020

Do you know your rights?

Most of us will provide unpaid care for someone who is older, disabled or seriously ill at some point in our lives. Whether you are a new carer or have been caring for someone for a while, VAS Carers Support Service believe that it’s important that you understand your rights and are able to access the support that is available to you as soon as you need it.

Each year, Carers Rights Day helps us:

  • ensure carers are aware of their rights

  • let carers know where to get help and support

  • raise awareness of the needs of carers.

This year’s theme is Know Your Rights. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of caring, affecting carers’ access to support and services, and their physical and mental health. Many are caring for the first time, while those who’ve been caring for a while are facing greater challenges and pressures than ever before. It’s never been more important for carers to be informed and know their rights.

Kirsten Harcus, Carers Support Worker at Voluntary Action Shetland said ’’ We want anyone who is in a caring role to know where they can go to access support when they need it. Many people don’t realise they are in a caring role until it becomes too difficult for them to cope. We can help carers find out what support is available to help them in their caring role. If you are not a carer yourself but know someone who is, you could check that they know where to go to access support. ’’

To help you know what you are entitled to, Carers Scotland produce their Looking After Someone guide, which gives carers the full picture of the practical and financial support available to them every year. For more details about the Guide please visit our news item here An electronic version of the latest 2020/21 guide can be found here or you can contact VAS Carers if you would like a paper version of the Guide.

The Guide recommends three important steps you can take to find out what you are entitled to:

1. Get a benefits check - please visit our SIC CAB page to find out more about this

2. Find out about practical support

3. Connect with other carers

VAS want to support and empower carers to manage their caring role and have a life alongside caring. As well as providing support and information, VAS can help local carers to access short breaks. Their service also supports Young Carers who often miss out on opportunities to play, learn and socialise.

Catherine Hughson, Executive Officer of VAS said:” We are delighted to support Carers Rights Day, unpaid carers give valuable support to those they care for, very often not realising they are a carer and the support they are entitled to anything we can do to advise, support and encourage them is very worthwhile. This service has become even more important during the current pandemic and this service has been instrumental in assisting unpaid carers in various ways.

To find out more about how VAS Carers Support Service can help you in your caring role contact [email protected], telephone 01595 743 923 or visit www.shetlandcarers.org They are also on facebook and Twitter as Shetland Carers.

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