Frank’s Law campaigner to co-chair Tory carer group

Frank and Amanda Kopel.
Frank and Amanda Kopel.
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Frank’s Law campaigner Amanda Kopel is to lead a “hugely important” new group being set up to look at how to help unpaid carers in Scotland.

The Scottish Conservatives announced the widow of former Dundee United footballer Frank Kopel is to co-chair the national carers support review group, which the party is establishing.

Tory health spokesman Miles Briggs will co-chair the body and will work with Mrs Kopel to consider what policies could be put in place to help carers.

It comes after Mrs Kopel campaigned vigorously for free personal care for people under the age of 65, something which came into effect in April.

She said: “This is hugely important, as there are so many carers out there who need help.

“I know there are a lot of carers whose loved ones are still not getting help despite Frank’s Law coming into place.

“I didn’t know what it was like to be a carer before Frankie – no-one is born a carer, we have to learn.

“I’ve walked in the shoes of a carer and know the reality of how difficult it can be.”

The review group – which was launched in Angus yesterday – will work with the estimated 790,000 carers in Scotland, as well as charities and support groups, to help inform the Tory manifesto going into the Holyrood election in 2021.

Mr Briggs said: “We have been the leading voice of change for carers in the Scottish Parliament.

“From delivering increases in the carers’ allowance and securing the delivery of short breaks for carers, to Frank’s Law and the extension of free personal care for the under-65s, our commitment is clear.

“As we look ahead to the next Scottish Parliament elections, we want to go further and make sure that the next Scottish Parliament will deliver and support Scotland’s carers and put them at the centre of policy discussions.

“That’s why the Scottish Conservatives are reaching out to all the organisations and charities who support the hundreds of thousands of adult and child carers across the country.

“As a party, we are determined to do more for them and thank them for the vital care they deliver.”

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said: “There are hundreds of thousands of carers, young and old, across the country. If it wasn’t for them, life would be impossible for some of the most vulnerable people – they deserve to be rewarded and looked after.

“That’s exactly what we’re attempting to do with this announcement and look forward to working with those affected to make these proposals become a reality. It’s also a sign that we are thinking ahead to 2021 and what we can do as a Scottish Conservative government.”