Clare Lally, from the newly launched Carers Labour Network, marks Carers’ Rights Day.
There are more than half a million unpaid carers here in Scotland, making up one tenth of the population. I am one of them.
Our voices are not always heard even though our value to society is immense.
Unpaid carers provide support and care out of love and compassion, often to those who are amongst the most vulnerable. It is a job with little recognition and support, despite the value of unpaid carers in Scotland being immense.
It is also a position that many people may find themselves in at some point in their life.
That is why I am delighted to play my part in Carer’s Labour Network which will result in concrete promises that will improve the lives of carers across the country.
I’m especially excited to play a role in developing a Scottish Labour Carers Manifesto for the 2016 election. This manifesto will be written by fellow carers and will address the problems we face in our everyday life.
I know how difficult being a carer can be, both mentally and financially. It can be extremely frustrating trying to get the support needed, from access to respite services to finding the appropriate home care support.
Scottish Labour recognises the problems that we face and are working behind the scenes to change the lives of unpaid carers.
The political appetite for change is there and Labour wants to ensure that carers are given the support they individually require, such as respite care.
But they don’t want to do this alone. Scottish Labour is reaching out to carers across the country and asking you to join me in helping to shape our future. Together we can have a direct say in delivering the change needed to address the problems we face.
Sign up to the Carers Labour Network and together we can develop a manifesto that will bring real change to carers throughout Scotland.