Young Carers Action Day is an annual event organised by the Carers Trust to amplify the voice of the estimated 29,000 young carers across Scotland who care for a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition or addiction problem.
Over the last six years it has raised awareness of young carers’ incredible contribution to their families and communities, with this year’s theme focusing on protecting young carers’ futures.
The SNP Government recognises the needs of young carers and - since some modest social security powers were devolved - has sought to help them.
Since October 2019, young people in Scotland who care for anyone on disability benefits can benefit from the Young Carer Grant, the first benefit of its kind in the UK.
The payment of £305 was awarded to over 2,000 young carers between October 2019 and October 2020 and the SNP Government’s initial investment of £0.6 million in 2019-20 is expected to rise to £1 million in 2020-21 as more young carers apply.
Young carers aged 11-18 can also benefit from a nationwide Young Scot package of discounts and opportunities designed by young carers themselves, with extra discounts available at certain stores and leisure venues as well as free cinema tickets and curriculum vitae preparation advice.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Young Carers Action Day gives us the opportunity to highlight the incredible commitment of Scotland’s young carers, especially in these challenging times.
“Their contribution is very much appreciated by the SNP Government and it is only right they are supported in return.
“I therefore encourage every young carer to go on the mygov.scot website and apply for the Young Carers’ Package as well as the Young Carers’ Grant for those aged 16-18. If it’s been a year since you last submitted your application, make sure you apply again.
“The past year has been tough for anyone with caring duties, which is why I am delighted that the SNP Government recently announced £300,000 from the COVID-19 communities support fund specifically support to young carers.
“Young Scot will receive £200,000 to provide online subscriptions and e-vouchers for young carers, while £100,000 will go to expanding the Time to Live small grants scheme.”