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Carers Week with Kate from Shared Care Scotland

During carers week we wanted to shine a spotlight on a service that provides support to carers within Edinburgh and we reached out to Kate from Shared Care Scotland to hear about the work they do and how they keep themselves well.

Shared Care Scotland‘s mission is to improve the quality, choice and availability of short breaks and respite care across Scotland . We want unpaid carers and those they care for to have regular and meaningful breaks from their caring responsibilities, leading to improved health and overall wellbeing.

Through our work we aim to be an influential, leading voice advocating for carers’ rights and helping shape the future of short breaks provision in Scotland. We also want to be a trusted partner that can be relied on for consistent high-quality information and guidance.

To do this we carry out a wide range of work to help carers plan, find and fund short breaks, including a national online short breaks directory with over 400 short breaks services across Scotland.

We also manage a national Short Breaks Fund that offers grants to non-profit organisations and oversee the development of a national Respitality scheme which provides a unique way for carers centres and the Scottish hospitality sector to work together to provide breaks to unpaid carers.

No two days are the same in my role and I love the variety that it brings. I feel strongly that knowledge is power: carers should be able to know what their rights are to breaks from caring, and be supported to make that a reality.

One project which I particularly enjoyed working on is called ‘Inspiring Breaks’. It was developed in partnership with a range of carers organisations, and harnesses the power of a good conversation into a toolkit that supports carers through a process to identify and plan a break from caring. The feedback from organisations has been really positive and we have been able to offer training modules too.

While I enjoy working with other organisations, one of the most rewarding aspects of my role is in speaking to carers about breaks. Last week we attended an event in the Scottish Borders and I spoke to a carer who had a really intense caring role but had no idea about the support that was available to her to get a break. Seeing first hand the difference a little bit of information made and hearing how we’d made her day is exactly the reason that I still feel passionate about my job after more than 6 years with the organisation.

To look after my own mental health I try to keep a good balance in my life between work and family life, and also get some time to myself to recharge my batteries. This summer I’m walking the Fife Coastal Path with my mother in law. We’re halfway now on the 116 mile trail and getting outdoors beside the sea has been really restorative.”

Find out more about Shared Care Scotland and the support they offer.

Do you live and/or work in Edinburgh and want to share your own experiences of mental health and wellbeing and the different ways keep you well? If you would like us to share your story, please email

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