South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has paid tribute to the thousands of carers around the south of Scotland in honour of Carers Week 2022 (June 6-12).
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.
This year, Carers Week aims to make caring Visible, Valued and Supported, and charities such as Carers Scotland will be raising awareness of the urgent need to improve the recognition and support we give to millions of unpaid carers.
Carers have had a particularly challenging time during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Carers Week 2022 presents an excellent opportunity to recognise the amazing job they do on a day-to-day basis, providing unpaid care and support for others.
The pandemic has meant that local employers have had to adapt to the additional pressures placed on employees who may have found themselves with extra caring responsibilities in the past two years.
In 2019, Colin Smyth was recognised as a Carer Positive Engaged employer. The scheme is operated by Carers Scotland with the aim of recognising employers who offer best support to carers, allowing them the flexibility they often require to provide care at home.
Colin Smyth said: “The impact of caring on all aspects of life should not be underestimated, and carers have faced an even more difficult time during the recent Covid pandemic.
“While many feel caring is one of the most important things they do, it presents many challenges.
“It is vitally important that we recognise the contribution carers make to their families and local communities, workplaces and society, and that they get the support they need.
“Carers Week is a great opportunity to pay tribute to our fantastic carers, but I want everyone in the south of Scotland to go further and make sure we do all we can to support and recognise their contribution all year round.
“The pandemic increased the challenges which carers face and we must ensure those who have caring responsibilities have as much support as possible.
“Since 2020, many people have found themselves with additional caring responsibilities which they have to balance with work. It is vital that employers listen to carers’ concerns and help put in place the support they need.
“I am proud to be recognised as a Carer Positive Engaged employer. I would encourage all local organisations who have not yet signed up to become a Carer Positive Employer to consider doing so. The process is straight forward and ensures that employers review their practises to ensure they can properly support carers they may employ.”