SYP55 National Sitting 2014
It is difficult to believe that this is the third time we have gathered to speak about Care.Fair.Share., our national campaign for 2014.
What a year it has been!
I can proudly report that we have engaged nearly 4,000 young people in our campaign thus far, demonstrating that young people across Scotland want a fairer deal for young carers. You have spoken to young people through the consultation cards and the campaign pledge cards, through your local media and social media, through local launches and events, calling for change.
We have also met with or written to over 70 MSPs, and dozens of local councillors. Our profile in the Scottish Parliament continues to rise. We have achieved cross-party support for motions recognising the campaign and our research report, “A Costly Youth: The Impact of Caring on Young People in Scotland”. We have been mentioned several times in the chamber, and politicians are taking note of our campaign and its impact. Furthermore, many of you have convinced your local councils to pass motions supporting the campaign, and calling for change.
Our collective efforts have ensured that the guidance for the Education Maintenance Allowance has changed so that young carers do not lose their payments due to absences and situations related to their caring duties. We have changed it for the better, and helped make Scotland a fairer place for young carers.
Importantly, we have also raised awareness across the country about the issues that are facing young carers, a group that is often overlooked. We have created change, and hopefully there is more to come.
Our work is not done. Key meetings are scheduled that could result in even more changes for young carers. However, until then, there is still much work to be done on a local level, but I will let Lauren tell you a bit more about that in just a moment.
It is so important that SYP be able to account for all the amazing work we have done this year, and show how many young people and young carers we are speaking to, and how many MSPs, Councillors and MPs are supporting our cause. It is vitally important that we get this information. Please ensure you fill out the campaign activity survey. Copies of this are enclosed in the Support Worker packs. Please ask your Support Worker for a copy. The more we know about the great work done throughout Scotland, the stronger the campaign will be.
On a final note, can I once again congratulate you all on a very successful campaign thus far. Remember, even though we are about to choose the next national campaign, Care.Fair.Share. is still our priority until January. Keep fighting for a better deal for Scotland’s young carers, and for positive change locally and nationally. I know we can all do it together.
I would like to take a moment, on behalf of the Conveners, to sincerely thank Lauren King MSYP for all the hard work she has put into the campaign so far. She has led from the front, and her passion and dedicate are an inspiration to us all.