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Assistance available to young carers in Aberdeenshire is outlined

By Kyle Ritchie

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Aberdeenshire Council and its partners are continuing to raise awareness of young carers so they can receive support they need.

Many young people do not realise they are young carers, and their caring role is sometimes not recognised by others, including friends and teachers.

A young carer is defined as anyone under the age of 18, or 18 if still at school, who cares for a family member or friend due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction.

Aberdeenshire Council’s director of education and children’s services Laurence Findlay said: “Caring for a relative or friend is rewarding, it may also be draining and add to that attending school and doing homework, juggling all these competing priorities can make a young person feel alone and unsupported.

“Through identifying young carers’ Aberdeenshire Council along with our partners will target support to make their lives, and the lives for those they care for, as stress free and enjoyable as possible.”

Young carers may do practical tasks such as cooking, cleaning or shopping, collecting or giving medication, nursing or personal care.

They could look after brothers and sisters and provide emotional support such as talking to someone who is distressed or listening to their worries.

Young carers may not have the time to do things others their age do. They may also feel stressed by their caring role.

There are rewards and opportunities available to young carers thanks to Young Scot’s Young Carers Package. It includes vouchers, access to subscriptions and exclusive opportunities.

Aberdeenshire Council’s head of children’s services Leigh Jolly said: “There is a host of fantastic rewards and opportunities available courtesy of Young Scot for young carers.

"These packages of support give young carers the chance to take a break so they can return to their caring responsibilities refreshed.

"Thanks very much to Young Scot and Quarriers Aberdeenshire Carer Support Service for providing invaluable assistance to young carers which will help them flourish.”

Due to coronavirus lots of the treats can be used at home such as vouchers for Spotify, PlayStation, Amazon and more.

There are also wellbeing boxes with books, games and puzzles for young carers to spend some screen-free time with their household.

The rewards change regularly, so there is always something new to claim, enter to win or apply for. Previous ones included discounts in certain stores and leisure venues, along with free cinema tickets and it is hoped these will make a return soon.

The Young Carers Package is part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to recognising the contributions of young carers across Scotland, which also includes the Young Carer Grant for eligible 16-to-18-year-olds.

It is hoped the treats will support young carers to make the most of their free time and allow then to feel supported in their caring role.

To find out what is included and how to sign up visit https://young.scot/get-informed/national/young-carers-package

Leaflets and posters were distributed to all schools in Aberdeenshire in November last year to raise awareness of young carers to professionals and school pupils.

Leaflets and posters are available to raise awareness of young carers.
Leaflets and posters are available to raise awareness of young carers.

Anyone who would like additional copies of the leaflets and posters can email carersupport@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

The Aberdeenshire Getting It Right for Every Child website at www.girfec-aberdeenshire.org/category/young-carers has information relating to young carers, including the referral form for Quarriers who provide a Young Carers Support Service with more information at www.quarriers.org.uk/services/young-carers-support-service-aberdeenshire

To contact Quarriers call 01467 538700 or email aberdeenshirecarers@quarriers.org.uk

For further details on Aberdeenshire young carer, or adult carer, support, email carersupport@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or visit the Aberdeenshire Council website www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/carersupport

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