Unpaid carers living in West Dunbartonshire are at the heart of everything we do, and we wanted to show community-wide support for carers.
In July we launched our Valued Carer initiative and are now working alongside more local businesses.
We developed this initiative to support our unpaid carers who were amongst those hit hardest by the pandemic, while also encouraging local people to support local businesses.
While carers registered with Carers of West Dunbartonshire will receive a Valued Carer Card and be able to access unique discounts, promotions and services – the card plays a greater role within the initiative.
It also lets local carers know every local store or business who display a Valued Carer logo appreciate what they do and recognise the thousands of hours of unpaid care delivered by local people every year.
For many carers this is as important as the discount.
Lynn Cochrane is a full-time carer for her elderly father.
Speaking at our launch event in the Abbostsford Hotel, she said:
“To see a sign in a shop window to say ‘Valued Carer’ goes a long, long way.
“During the past couple of years, Carers of West Dunbartonshire were my only contact with the outside world.
“But now I know I can go into any shop with that sign on and someone will listen to me on the days I don’t have anyone else to talk to.
“It means so much.”
There are 10,000 unpaid carers in West Dunbartonshire and everyone who is registered with us is entitled to a Valued Carer card.
West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership is backing the Valued Carer card by encouraging every local business they commission services from to sign up to support the initiative.
We want to give something back to the local businesses who join the scheme so we are offering Carer Awareness Training sessions which can be done in-person or online.
We have also partnered with Clydesider magazine.
They provide us with free magazines for our carers and will offer a 5% discount to any of their advertisers who sign up to the Valued Carer Initiative.