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Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s £20 million helping hand for Scottish carers

This week is National Carers Week and all across Scotland people are taking the chance to think about the 1 in 8 who are carers and the difference those people make to countless lives.

Scottish Government figures estimate there are over 650,000 unpaid carers in Scotland. Often these are people who would say they are simply being a good husband, neighbour, wife; but without whom our society could not function.

At the Big Lottery Fund, Scotland we are acutely aware of the impact caring can have, on individuals, families and communities. That’s why we have spent almost £20 million in National Lottery Good Cause funds on 59 projects to support Scottish carers over the last seven years and it’s why we are committed to supporting carers in the future.

Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers project received over £385,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to support young people in this rural area who are coping with the dual challenges of growing up and caring for a loved one at the same time.

Steven and Ali are two of young men who have been supported by this vital project.

“Well I care for my mum because she’s got cancer,” says Steven who was a member of Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers for five years. He’s now 18 and enjoying work experience in the hospitality trade and drops in regularly to let them know how he’s getting on.

“I came to Young Carers because it provides a coping strategy and just good banter and to hang out with my friends and whatnot.” 

Ali has been with the Young Carers project for three years and has just completed his 5th year exams. He started back to school this week and is working towards his goal of becoming a defence weapons engineer.

Not only has this project been funded by the Big Lottery fund but Skye & Lochalsh Young Carers have recently been chosen as a beneficiary charity of the fundraising event Row St Kilda to Skye. In summer 2014, a team will attempt to row the 100 miles from St Kilda to Portree, in a 19th Century boat they are currently restoring themselves, to raise funds for the RNLI and Young Carers.

Jackie Killeen Big Lottery Fund Scotland Director says, “At the Big Lottery Fund we know how vital the role of carers is in enabling people who need care to safe in their own homes for longer. We also understand that becoming a carer is not always a choice and that it can often leave people feeling isolated, lonely and vulnerable.

“Through our funding we want to make sure that we offer support to people and communities across Scotland facing the greatest need. Over the last seven years we have funded 59 different projects working with carers, young and old, with £19,189,261.

“One of the differences we want our funding to make is to give greater support to people so they can participate fully in their community and live a fulfilling life, and that underpins our commitment and long term support for carers and caring projects.”

Through our Investing in Communities programme the Big Lottery Fund, Scotland wants to support projects which focus on the people who care, young carers and those who are caring for the first time. To find out more go to or if you have a question you can Ask BIG

For more information regarding this release please contact:
Frances Chisholm, Communications Officer
Big Lottery Fund Scotland
0141 242 1458 |

For more information on Big Lottery Fund Scotland (including programmes and grant awards):
Visit the website:
Ask Big
Or call Big Advice Scotland: 0300 1237110

Notes to Editors

The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.

BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 BIG has awarded close to £6bn.

The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £29 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

The Scotland Committee has been making Big Lottery Fund decisions on Scottish projects since March 2007.  As well as taking devolved decisions on Lottery spending, the Committee, led by Chair, Maureen McGinn, has and will continue to play a strategic role in the future direction of BIG in Scotland.

The Big Lottery Fund is investing in Scotland’s communities through its Investing in Communities portfolio, as well as the small grants schemes Awards for All, Investing in Ideas, Communities and Families and 2014 Communities.

Keeping benefit and business grant payments flowing