Hundreds of young carers gather for festival


More than 400 carers are expected to attend the event

31st July 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Hundreds of young carers from across Scotland are coming together for a free three-day festival.

This year’s Scottish Young Carers Festival takes place from July 31 to August 2 in Fife.

More than 400 carers are expected to attend the event, where they can share their experiences and take part in activities ranging from circus skill lessons to art workshops.

The festival also gives attendees the opportunity to take part in consultations and discussions about the role of carers and their concerns for the future.

Organisers Carers Trust Scotland (CTS) said the event comes amid a time of “positive changes” for carers on Scotland.

Earlier this year, carers saw the introduction of non-cash entitlements through the Young Scot National Entitlement Card, while in the autumn the Scottish Government will launch the Young Carer Grant, the first of its kind in the UK.

However, CTS said many young carers are still unaware of the support to which they are entitles. The charity is now calling for services and public bodies to work together to ensure that all young carers in Scotland know how to access all the support that is available to them.

Louise Morgan, CTS director, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the twelfth Scottish Young Carers Festival. Thousands of young carers over the years have benefited from this opportunity to have a break from caring, have fun, have their voices heard and be a child or young person first and foremost.

“The festival is also an opportunity to raise awareness of young carers’ rights and the support available.

“Being a young carer is something to be proud of. We want to reinforce that message and increase awareness about young carers in Scotland so that these incredible young people get the support they need and have a fairer chance to reach their full potential in all areas of their lives.”

Public health minister Joe FitzPatrick is attending the festival to speak to young carers.

He said: “These young people should be an inspiration to us all and this festival provides a valuable forum for them to speak with decision makers about what matters to them. 

“The recent findings from the Carers Trust survey show why it is so important that we fund this event and their work. What the Carers Trust do is vital to raise awareness so young carers can access the range of support that is available to them. The Trust’s network supporting local young carer services is also a much needed and valuable service.

“I am very much looking forward to meeting young carers from these services across Scotland at the Festival. I hope they gain as much as they can from the many interesting and varied events – as well as having a good time.”