Support for Young Carers

Support in schools

The Scottish Government recognises that there are at least 44,000 young carers in Scotland and 29,000 of them are under 16. Carers Trust Scotland research suggests that 1 in 10 school-aged children have a caring role while the East Lothian Council 2021/22 “SEE” Survey suggests that this could be as many as 1 in 4.

Young Carer Youth Workers can therefore be found in schools working to:

  • identify Young Carers
  • support Young Carers to prepare their Young Carers Statement 
  • meet Young Carers to get their views on issues that affect them
  • raise awareness of Young Carers rights with staff and pupils
  • help set up local support/activity  groups
  • provide advice and support

Some schools have a Young Carers Champion (a member of school staff) who will work with the Young Carer Youth Workers and Young Carers to develop additional support within the school e.g. lunch clubs and mentoring programmes.

My rights, my say. 
 Helps children aged 12-15 have a say about their support in school.

Independent Advocacy Support

In Scotland, all children have the right to have their views considered when decisions are being made about the support they get with their learning.  My Rights, My Say can support Young Carers aged 12-15year olds to use these rights. It’s independent, confidential and easy to use, and here to make sure your voice is heard. My Rights, My Say (


Support to have a break from caring

Young people in wetsuits

  • we provide regular breaks from caring activities during school holidays and work with schools and other local providers to provide some term-time activities as well.   
  • all Young Carers can access FREE term time Active Schools Activities using the promo code you get when you register with us.
  • apply for a Time for Me Grant to support you to pay for things that would help support your caring role or give you a break from caring. Your local Young Carers Youth Worker can tell you more about this.
  • we are working with Enjoy Leisure to create a Young Carers Membership Programme - speak to your local Young Carers Worker for more information.
  • we can also provide gift vouchers to local attractions such as East Links family Park, John Muir Alpaca’s, Jump Inn and RYZE.


Staff and young people for a group photo at the Young Carers Festival 2023

Young Carers from East Lothian attend the annual Scottish Young Carers Festival. We are planning to return in 2024.


Logo. The Honeypot Children's Charity - one childhood, one chance

Honey Pot is a national young carers charity. They provide respite breaks for young carers aged 5-12yrs and have recently opened a house in Ayrshire. Find out more here Parents | The Honeypot Children's Charity

Merlin's Magic Wand Children's Charity

Merlin's Magic Wand Children Charity

This charity provides vouchers and transport costs for young carers to enjoy a day out. Applications open at various point in the year.

For more information visit  Merlin's Magic Wand Children Charity.


Support when something is bothering you

Logo.  Action for children - sidekick

SideKick is a confidential helpline provided by the charity Action for Children for young carers 13-18years in the UK. You can message them about anything that’s bothering you. Find out more at Sidekick - Sidekick by Action for Children. Text them on 07888868059 or email


Support with finances


young scot logo

Young Scot Young Carers Package

The Young Carers Package is a special bundle of treats available to all young carers, aged 12 to 18. It’s filled with special treats to help you make the most of your free time and support you in your caring role find out more and apply on the Young Scot website.


Young Carers Grant

The Young Carer Grant is £326.65 for young carers to spend as they choose and they can get one grant per year.

It is available for 16-18-year olds who live in Scotland who spend an average of 16 hours caring for someone who receives a disability benefit and are not entitled to Carer’s Allowance on the day they claim. Young carers can combine the hours they spend caring for more than one eligible person in order to reach the 16 hours a week requirement.

The person or people the young person is caring for must have received one or more of the following benefits for at least the last three months:

  • the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • the middle or highest care rate of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) including Child Disability Living Allowance.
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance - either: 
    1. Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (at or above the normal maximum rate), or
    2. War Disablement Pension (at the basic rate).

Also, you can only get a Young Carer Grant if no one else has received a Young Carer Grant payment in respect of the person you care for in the last year.

Find out how to apply


Young Persons Bus Travel Scheme

5 to 21 year olds living in Scotland can apply to access free bus travel

Even if you already have a National Entitlement Card or Young Scot National
Entitlement Card, you must apply for a new or replacement card to travel by bus for free.  Parents or guardians must provide approval for children aged between 5-15 to access the scheme by applying on their behalf.  Young people aged 16-21 should apply themselves.

Find out more and apply on the Transport Scotland website


Support Available from other Local Services

Active Schools

Active Schools offer a range of activities which are free to Young Carers

Find out more about Active Schools


East Lothian Young Carers

East Lothian Young Carers is a local charity providing support to young carers

Find out more about East Lothian Young Carers


Fostering Compassion

Fostering Compassion is a local charity based in Ormiston. They provide humane education workshops and activities to children to restore, encourage and nurture compassion and empathy and raise awareness of the strength of the human–animal bond. They are now able to extend their support to Young Carers. Find out more about the activities they offer here;

Examples of Workshops and Activities | Fostering Compassion


Mental Health Support

Young Carers concerned about their mental health and wellbeing will find a wealth of information, support and advice on the East Lothian Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing website.



MYPAS offer a range of support to young people in East Lothian including counselling, drug and alcohol support and LGBT+ support.

Go to the MYPAS website


Bridges Project

Bridges Project offers a range of supports for young people preparing for live beyond school. From March 2023 Bridges will also have additional support for Young Carers aged 15-25years.

Find out more on the Bridges Project website


East Lothian Works

East Lothian Works is the central point of contact for advice on jobs, self employment, training and skills development for young people.

Find out more about the support available from East Lothian Works


Carers of East Lothian (COEL)

COEL support adult carers. We organise some joint activities in order that our older young carers are familiar with the staff and what the can offer should they wish to transition to this service at 18 years old.

Find out more about COEL



Circle East Lothian provide a range of services to children, young people and families affected by substance use. The Children’s Resilience Service (for 8-12year olds) and the Grow Your Own Routes Service (for 12-26 year olds) both offer 1:1 and group sessions, providing a safe space for children and young people to talk and take part in fun, resilience building activities.

Phone  0131 202 8246 or click here to find out more about these and other services available


Scottish Book trust

Are you caring for someone who is living with dementia? Reading is Caring provides a personalised reading support package specifically designed for those living with dementia and their carers. They offer free workshops to train people who care for someone living with dementia to create personalised, shared and sensory reading experiences that can help maintain their caring relationships, spark memories and relieve stress. For more information visit Reading is Caring - Scottish Book Trust.To sign up for a workshop contact