About carers

Unpaid carers provide care and support to family members, friends and neighbours. The people they care for may be affected by disability, physical or mental ill-health, frailty or substance misuse. A person does not need to be living with the person they care for, or providing a certain number of hours of care, in order to be considered a carer.

There are an estimated 729,000 unpaid carers in Scotland. This includes 29,000 who
are under the age of 18. However, research1 published in June 2020 showed an estimated 392,000 additional people in Scotland have become unpaid carers a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This brings the total number of carers in Scotland to 1.1 million.

About this manifesto

This manifesto has been developed by the National Carer Organisations, in consultation with unpaid carers across Scotland. We are Carers Scotland, Carers Trust Scotland, the Coalition of Carers in Scotland, Crossroads Caring Scotland, MECOPP, Shared Care Scotland, and the Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance. Together we have a shared vision that all Scotland’s unpaid carers will feel valued, included and supported as equal partners in the provision of care. The NCOs aim to achieve this through the representation of carers and giving them a voice at a national level.

We believe we can deliver more for carers by working together to share our knowledge and experience, and by focusing our collective efforts on achieving improvements in areas of policy and practice that are of greatest concern to carers.

This manifesto has been developed in two sections: section one outlines recommendations for change for all unpaid carers; and section two sets out more direct considerations for young carers and young adult carers.