Last week, was carers’ week. A week that aims to improve the lives of carers and the people they care for.


There are 500 people in Scotland taking on new caring roles every day. If we are not carers now, we will be in the future.


And given that we are all living longer, there will become a point when we need to be cared for too.


Taking on a caring responsibility can significantly impact on every aspect of your life.


Indeed, a recent survey found that more than half of people who look after someone with ill health say the workload has strained their relationship with their spouse or partner.


Almost two-thirds said the pressure of looking after someone made it difficult to maintain friendships and just under half of carers said they had given up work because of their caring role.


While there has been much progress in supporting our carers in recent years, these statistics show that there is still work to be done.


It’s in this context that I attended the launch of Inverclyde’s Carers Charter at the Municipal Buildings in Greenock on Monday.


The charter will recognise and support the vital role that the estimated 8,000 carers in Inverclyde play in the community.


It will put carers at the centre of the process and will involve them in the planning of care and delivery in Inverclyde.


It will also set out the rights that carers have and the support they can access.


If you’re an unpaid carer looking after friends, family or neighbours and you need information or advice, you can visit Inverclyde’s Carers Centre at 68-70 Cathcart Street or you can contact the centre on 735 180.