Carers Week 2023

5-11 June 2023

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.

To find out more

To mark the start of the week we would like to share the story of our members Donald and Carol Bissett. Carol kindly wrote the following about her experiences.

Wife and Carer. By Carol Bissett

"2001 a life changing event: my husband suffered a spinal injury resulting in complete quadriplegia. Although he came from a medical background and I from nursing, the effect on both of us was profound and scary. We both made the conscious decision that whatever the future held we would face it together. We became convinced that the way for was for me to become his main carer, thus allowing us to live our lives in our own ‘special’ normal way. And so the journey began.

What a steep learning curve it proved to be. As we navigated our way around personal care, moving and handling, and the return of both of us to work, there were times of anxiety and doubt. Had we made the right choice? All this was interspersed with lots of love and humour. We both enjoyed the good times and knew that the difficult times always pass. Never regretting the decision to ‘go it alone’, we know and like that we both have control of our lives and living on our terms with the freedom and independence to do what we want, when we want, and how we want.

Has it been a success? Yes, very much so. 22 years on we are a strong together as ever and would definitely make the same decision again. We have no regrets. I have to add though that none of this would have been possible without the love and support of our family and friends, as well as the understanding and support of our local health care professionals. I appreciate that our choice would not suit everyone but it has suited us and we both feel our lives are richer for it."

Unpaid carers/families

According to the latest Scottish Government figures, it is estimated there are between 700,000-800,000 unpaid carers in Scotland.   This is saving the health budget approximately £164bn a year.

For many families who are caring for a loved one or a friend, they do not see themselves as an unpaid carer, however, many end up needing support themselves due to the toll of their caring role. 

Carers Centres do help by giving support, advocacy and access to grants for carers and also support to young carers who are caring for a parent. Carers Centres are charities and may have close links with social work and health services.

Every year the Scottish Government delivers to partners the Time for Living Fund and you can apply for this small grant through your local Carers Centre. For more information online please go to:

You can find your local carers centre here