WHO CARES? –  Scotland All-Strong’s commitment to supporting the wellbeing of unpaid carers in Perth & Kinross.

“A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support”
(Carers Trust)

“Carers come from every walk of life. Regardless of age, gender or culture, if you are looking after another person on a regular basis, you are a carer. Every carer’s story is unique and many do not see themselves as a carer, they feel they are fulfilling a role that anyone else would do in a similar situation.”

(PKAVS Carers Hub)

Many have taken on and committed to the role of caring for a loved one, from a few days, to years, decades, and in many cases over a lifetime, without labelling themselves as carers and without seeking support for the often demanding duties they’ve undertaken. The role of caring for and supporting a loved one with severe and complex issues is often done in addition to employment, school, study and family life, and so self-care is frequently seen as the last priority in an already overflowing schedule of ongoing tasks.

Through our blended approach to wellbeing in our unique environment, Scotland All-Strong is committed to working with other local organisations and charities to provide funded programmes of physical activity, mindful relaxation and peer support for unpaid carers in Perth and Kinross.

As of March 2020 we have delivered two fully-funded programmes to service users of Support in Mind, who care for loved ones with mental health issues. We have also provided three programmes to unpaid carers in partnership with the PKAVS Carer’s Hub, with a further three scheduled to start soon, again at no cost to participants, thanks to Perth and Kinross Council’s Community Investment Fund.

By providing positive experiences of several elements of wellbeing, we aim to highlight the importance of self-care, of exercise for stress release and higher energy, of simple relaxation techniques that can be used in daily life when the going gets tough, and of peer support and exchange in a small group environment, which provides social interaction as well as the chance to listen, share and connect.

One of our recent participants from our Support in Mind group, said:

“As a carer it is natural to spend much time and energy worrying about the person for whom you are caring, at the expense of your own health and mental wellbeing. Having time to relax, mix with others, and at the same time knowing that you are improving your fitness and energy levels is so important, and enables you to be stronger in all ways.

We often feel we are alone in our roles as carers and it’s so good to be able to share experiences with others.”

Scotland All-Strong is looking forward to continued and strengthened partnership work to deliver funded programmes to all carers who could benefit from them throughout Perth & Kinross.