A social care charity is marking Carers Week by launching an identification card for people providing unpaid care in the north-east.
VSA hopes the card will help carers who are registered with the service identify themselves in situations such as the dedicated shopping hours run by major supermarkets.
The charity’s chief executive, Dr Kenneth Simpson, said the card would “provide carers with the recognition they deserve as equal partners in care”.
He added: “We have written to all the major supermarkets across Aberdeen and are asking them to show support for carers and recognise our verified Carers ID card to enable them to access dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable people.”
The card will be available both physically and digitally for use on smartphones.
VSA carers manager Jackie Campbell said: “A lot of carers were really concerned, during the strict lockdown, about how they could be identified, because some people don’t understand what being an unpaid carer is.
“With this current climate, I think unpaid carers are becoming more recognised, which is something we’ve been aspiring for, for such a long time.”
Addressing carers, she added: “We’re still here, please contact us. We’re here to support you, albeit over the phone, for advice or a chat.
“Please don’t feel alone during this.”
Scott Brebber, 69, is a carer for his wife Kathleen, 68, who has dementia, and has been supported by the team at VSA for many years.
He said: “VSA have been very good with advice and comfort.
“When they contacted me to say they were going to be introducing a carers’ card, I was really pleased. It will give people like me the same benefits as care workers or NHS staff, which is really important.
“Especially at the moment, it can be quite difficult to do things like getting shopping. I’m really hoping the supermarkets come on board with it and recognise carers.”
For further information on the support available and the new Carers ID card, please call 01224 358631 or email email@example.com@vsa.org.uk