East Lothian Council is Establishing a New Service for Young Carers

The main aim of this service is to ensure all young carers have the same opportunities at school and in their community as others their age. The charity East Lothian Young Carers also continues to operate, though it is no longer funded by East Lothian Council.

The ELC Young Carers Service has a small team of staff from the Bridges Project and ELC and work closely with schools. We already have staff linked to the Secondary Schools and are in the process of recruiting staff who will make links with the Primary Schools. In the meantime, the Co-ordinator Young Carers is the main contact for primary aged Young Carers.

We are aiming to:

  1. Raise awareness of Young Carers rights with staff and pupils, particularly their right to a Young Carers Statement ( a way for Young Carers to reflect on, and let key people in their lives know, how their caring role affects them and put plans in place to achieve their own personal goals).
  2. Meet Young Carers to get their views.
  3. Help set up a support group in school/local community if that is what local Young Carers want.
  4. Provide a “drop in” so that Young Carers can get advice and support.
  5. Support Young Carers to prepare their Young Carers Statement or offer guidance to whatever adult the Young Carer chooses to help them prepare their statement.
  6. Offer school holiday activities. We have already arranged for Venturing Out and Wilder Outdoor Education to provide activities in each of the 6 larger towns during Easter, Summer and October 2022.

 You can find out more about Young Carer Statements at  What is a Young Carer Statement? | Young Scot . We have now set up a new on-line system for preparing Statements.

Ideally, we would like all our young carers to identify themselves using the questionnaire on the ELC Website Who is a Young Carer? | Young Carers | East Lothian Council or by scanning the QR code on the poster and postcard you will find in schools and other council offices. Knowing who our Young Carers are will help us to develop a service that meets their needs.

In the lead up to Young Carers Action Day on the 16th March we will be showing our gratitude to Young Carers by awarding a £20 payment towards a “break from caring” activity. All we ask is that Young Carers complete the identification questionnaire and send us a picture/photo/sentence to tell us how they spent their £20.

Young Carers can also apply to a local fund (if they meets the criteria) to support them to have a break from caring. More information can be found at Financial Support for Carers (coel.org.uk)

All Young Carers aged 11-18yrs can apply for a Young Carers Package of special treats. Find out more at The Young Carers Package – Young Scot | Young Scot

Young Carers aged 16-18yrs may be eligible to an annual Young Carers Grant of £305.10. Find out more at How to Apply for the Young Carer Grant | Young Scot

Finally, can I remind you that children and young people are now entitled to free bus travel. However, they need to apply for this. More information is available at Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme | Transport Scotland

If you would like to discuss any of the above please contact:

Marie Prior
Co-ordinator Young Carers
Inclusion and Wellbeing
mprior1@eastlothian.gov.uk
07792061554