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New National Lottery funded project gives a voice to Scottish carers

The National Community Fund announces £10.3 million to 345 Scottish groups

A retired soldier from the isle of Unst in the Shetland Islands has welcomed the news of a £160k National Lottery award to the Coalition of Carers, which will help to give him and thousands of other unpaid carers across Scotland a collective voice.

The group, which has over 20 years’ experience of supporting unpaid carers is one of 345 community projects across Scotland today (WEDNESDAY 31 AUGUST) sharing in over £10.3 million from The National Lottery Community Fund. A full list of projects is attached (view in app for best experience)

It’s estimated that there are around 800,000 unpaid carers in Scotland and projections indicate three out of five people will become carers at one stage of their lives.* This is something that retired soldier Jim Guyan, 75, and his wife Sheila know only two well having become kinship carers to their teenage grandson whilst also caring for their son who has depression.

They are amongst 200 carers from across Scotland who will benefit from today’s funding. With the £160,000 award, the Coalition of Carers will employ two new part-time members of staff who will go out into the community speaking to carers directly, helping them to articulate the challenges and pressures they face to inform understanding at a national level.

Jim said, “The biggest problem for unpaid carers is getting them to recognise that they are indeed unpaid carers and that there is also a support mechanism there for them to turn to.

“It’s long overdue but good that this funding means that the voices of people who, until now, have been unrepresented will be included so that we get a full and cohesive picture of what life is like for unpaid carers across Scotland.

“We have been shouting for years and this is now our chance to be heard.”

Claire Cairns, Director, Coalition of Carers in Scotland welcomed the funding for the project, which focus on those living in rural and island communities and people from South Asian communities. She said,” The last few years have been particularly difficult for carers, as many health and care services have been reduced or suspended. Many have had to provide even greater levels of care, often without any access to any support or breaks from their caring role.

“This has left many thousands of carers feeling isolated and without a voice. This funding, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, will allow carers from some of the most isolated communities to connect and develop networks of support and feel empowered and able to influence the future provision of health and social care services.”

Announcing the funding, The National Lottery Community Fund’s Scotland Chair, Kate Still, said: “This funding announced today will help improve the lives of thousands of people in communities across Scotland.

“The information collated by speaking to unpaid carers in all sets of circumstances and locations will give a true picture of just how varied the role is and will be a step towards transformative and cohesive change at a national level.

“National Lottery players can be very proud that they are helping to support this vital work which will help make a difference to so many.”

The National Lottery Community Fund distributes funding on behalf of National Lottery players who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK.

Thanks to National Lottery players, last year we awarded over half a billion pounds (£588.2 million) of life-changing funding to communities across the UK. Over eight in ten (83%) of our grants are for under £10,000 – going to grassroots groups and charities across the UK that are bringing to life amazing ideas that matter to their communities.

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Notes to Editors


About us

We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. National Lottery players raise £36 million each week for good causes throughout the UK**. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, £43 billion has been raised for good causes which has supported over 635,000 projects***, benefiting millions of people - that’s 255 projects per postcode area***.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

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