I was pleased to be able to fulfill a promise today to visit the Princess Royal Trust Carers in Airdrie to see the vital work that is carried out by them in the community all around Airdrie, Coatbridge and further afield.
Our first meeting was due to be in December but as the snow fell, those plans where put on hold as there was enough for the carers to do without me getting in the way.
Margaret Mitchell MSP was able to come along with me today and bring her extensive knowledge of Holyrood and how to drive change through the parliamentary system.
It was very moving to share other people’s experiences being carers having been one myself. The sense of commeraderie between the people there was brilliant to see. The carers network provides training to people experiencing the wide and diverse issues thrown up by the needs of the loved ones they care for.
Some issues came up with regard to ambulances, respite care, common sense in relation to the treatment of patients for the good of patients and not the people who treat them and a whole range of other points.
Thanks to Lesley for having us there and to the carers who came along to spare their valuable time to talk to Margaret and me.
Updated: Press Release
Carers Week 2011 13th-19th June 2011
This week (13th-19th June 2011) is National Carers Week and this year’s theme is ‘The True Face of Carers’ which calls for greater recognition and support for the diverse range of people who are carers.
To celebrate this and in support of Scotland’s near 660,000 carers, Margaret Mitchell MSP, Scottish Conservative & Unionist member for Central Scotland, visited the Princess Royal Trust Lanarkshire Carers Centre in Airdrie. Margaret was accompanied by Robert Crozier the former Scottish Conservative Candidate for Airdrie Shotts who had intended to visit in December but the visit had to be cancelled due to the bad weather.
Commenting on the visit, Margaret said:
‘It was a great privilege to visit the Princess Royal Trust Centre in Airdrie and to meet with a number of carers who were a true inspiration and who gain so much from meeting each other and attending the centre. The visit marks Carers Week which highlights the incredible contribution carers make to our communities. Carers Week is also about letting carers know what services and benefits they are entitled too.
‘The latest figures estimate that Scotland’s unpaid carers are now worth a staggering £10.3 billion each year. On average Scotland’s approximately carers save the economy £28 million every day by providing unpaid care for family and friends.
‘There are over 85,000 carers in the Central Scotland region alone that save the economy around an estimated £1.3 million every year.
‘However, carers are priceless to those for whom they care. It is a sobering thought that at any time, anyone can find themselves becoming a carer for a family member of friend. 3 in 5 of us will be a carer at some point in our lives. Caring is often a 24 hour a day job and these amazing individuals give their time, money, energy and affection to those for whom they care.
‘There are many issues in regards to carers which need to be addressed in this parliament, such as, greater access to respite services and an annual health check for all carers. Health checks are essential to ensure that carers are healthy and do not suffer adversely because of their caring duties.
‘It is essential at a time when, according to new research carried out to coincide with Carers Week 4 out of 5 carers are worried about cuts to services, we work hard to give Scotland’s carers the support they need and deserve.
‘We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Scotland unpaid carers many of whom put their own life on hold to care for a loved one. I will continue to work with carers’ organisations such as the Princess Trust on behalf of Carers through out Lanarkshire and I hope that Carers Week will raise awareness of these local heroes.’