South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine last week lent her support to the Scottish Youth Parliament’s Care. Fair. Share. campaign.
The campaign seeks to highlight the adverse financial effects that many young people experience as a result of caring for a relative.
Ms McAlpine launched the campaign at an event in Edinburgh, along with her colleague Claudia Beamish MSP, with whom she co-convenes the Cross Party Group on Carers in the Scottish Parliament.
The SNP MSP said:
“The important role that young carers play in our society cannot be overstated.  Young carers provide an invaluable service to their families, community and indeed to Scotland as a whole.  It is estimated that there are around 100,000 young carers in Scotland. 
“The Care Fair Share campaign focuses primarily on the financial hardships that young carers can face, and with good reason.  According to research, the majority of young carers experience economic deprivation.
“The Scottish Government is supporting unpaid carers and young carers through manifesto commitments as well as through the national carers and young carers strategies, Caring Together and Getting it Right for Young Carers.  These policies are being supported with over £112 million of funding being directed into local authorities, Health Boards and the Third Sector to improve outcomes for unpaid carers, young carers as well as the people they care for.  Annual events such as the Carers Parliament and the Scottish Carers Festival have been pivotal in raising awareness of the issues faced by young carers and providing some much needed respite.  
“However, despite this clear commitment to the well-being and support of carers the pace of improvement is simply not taking place quickly enough.
“The Care Fair Share campaign will be pivotal in highlighting the issues faced by young carers and will be a welcome tool in the fight to address the injustices currently faced by this group.  This is an issue that everyone, of all political hues and none, are keen to overcome and this consensus should be welcomed and utilised.  Working alongside the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament, I have no doubt that members of the Scottish Youth Parliament will use their passion and energy to drive forward this change.”