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#RightToRest: ‘If I were to take a break, I’d worry and feel selfish and guilty.’

White background with navy and teal paint brush strokes. Carers Trust Scotland logo at the top. Text on the left which reads: 'Right to Rest'. On the right is an image from SYP78 of Max Green MSYP and a member of the Carers Trust Scotland YCYAC Advisory Group, Ruth Williams.
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Did you know that 1 in 4 young carers we consulted with felt guilty taking a break from their caring role?

At the 2022 Scottish Young Carers Festival, members of Carers Trust Scotland’s Young Carer and Young Adult Carer Advisory Group attended to conduct peer research. Attendees were asked a range of questions on education, rights and taking a break as a young carer! We found that:

  • 24% of young carers do not feel like they can take a break from caring when they need to.
  • Over a third do not understand their rights around taking a break.[1]

These issues link in with our SYP policy:

The Scottish Youth Parliament believes that all young carers and young adult carers, aged 12 – 25, should have access to more, high quality respite opportunities.

Members’ Motion by Carers Trust Scotland Members, Aaran McDonald MSYP and Ilse Cuthbertson MSYP, at SYP’s 75th National Sitting in July 2021

Why are breaks important to young carers?

It is so important that young carers can take time for themselves. Our consultation work shows that when young carers take a break, this has a positive impact on their health and wellbeing and their education.

As a young carer, I know how amazing it is to get a break away from my caring role and have time to myself. Everyone needs time away from their lives, especially those who are caring a lot of the time. When I take a break, I enjoy having time to myself to read books, going out with my friends and going on trips with my local young carers service. My service has really done a lot to help make sure we all get the opportunity of a break and even help us find funding to go on holidays away when we can. No young carer should ever feel guilty for taking a break.

#RightToRest campaign

To address some of these issues, the Advisory Group created our 2022 campaign, ‘Right To Rest!’ Our campaign goal is to support young carers to take a break from caring when they need to.

We have written blog posts to encourage our peers that it is OK to take time for themselves and what support we have found helpful in taking a break. You can read these on the Youth Advisory Group page on the Carers Trust Scotland website.

The group have also designed postcards and sent these to Carer Leads in each Local Authority. We are asking them to review their Short Breaks Services Statement. This is a document which sets out information on the short break services available for unpaid carers in the community. This document should help unpaid carers of all ages understand their rights around taking a break – that is why it is so important they are accessible to all.

We are also asking Local Authorities to develop a local young carer action plan so young carers know exactly what their rights are and where support exists to uphold these rights.  

Get Involved!

  • You can get involved and support Carers Trust Scotland’s Right To Rest campaign by posting on social media and tagging @CarersTrustScot and #RightToRest
  • If you are a young carer, we would love to hear how you take a break from your caring role. Drop usan email to be involved in the campaign.
  • If you are a local decision maker, please do get involved with the hashtag, #RightToRest and send back a postcard with your pledge to young carers!

[1] Scottish Young Carers Festival 2022 Report:

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