Carers take pride

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I PERSONALLY did not know much about young carers until the young carers motion was presented to the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) in 2011. I now feel a real sense of pride that, as a youth-led organisation, the SYP have chosen “Care. Fair. Share.” as their national campaign for 2014.

This campaign champions these young people and raises awareness of the need for more help for many of Scotland’s unsung heroes. There are an estimated 100,000 young carers in Scotland who all do a remarkable job caring for the needs of their loved ones. Many of these young people are helping others without a thought for themselves.

The SYP is campaigning to ensure that young carers are treated fairly by government policies, and that their caring situations should not prevent them from entering further education and engaging in social activities.

Since the launch of the campaign in January, my main focus has been to secure the support of local councillors and MSPs.

The responses I have received so far have been unanimously in support of the campaign. I have been invited to present the main objectives of Care. Fair. Share. to both the Labour and the SNP members of the council.

This is a standard of living issue. These young people provide an invaluable service to their families and to society. They do not deserve to be facing such financial hardship; it doesn’t have to be like this.

Terri Smith, MSYP

Communications officer

Scottish Youth Parliament