Unpaid carers from throughout Perth and Kinross came together at an event that recognises and celebrates their vital work.
Carers Connect, organised by Perth and Kinross Association of Voluntary Service (PKAVS), allowed unpaid carers to engage with each other and support networks.
The event also saw the launch of the Carers Strategy for the next three years.
Unpaid carer Mel Gibson, who works alongside Perth and Kinross Carers Voice, spoke of the importance of the event.
He said: “We go to events and the amount of carers who don’t know we exist is incredible.
“Carers are so busy doing their caring so they don’t always have the time to get to these events.
“But I think what we are really getting across is [carers] have opportunities to put some input into services themselves.
“Previously carers could not put forward their input and now they can.”
Perth and Kinross Carers Voice is just one of the organisations which attended the event.
It aims to represent unpaid carers’ views at meetings and meets with professionals to improve support for them.
The day also saw the launch of the Carers Strategy for 2019-2022.
This aims to further develop support and services for carers over the next three years, and to help carers in their health, wellbeing and social and financial inclusion where they have been affected by their work.
It was shaped by carers, families and service users alongside staff from the Health and Social Care Partnership.
Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership Chief Officer, Gordon Paterson said: “Our commitment to unpaid carers has been reflected in the dedicated Carers Strategy Steering Group… so we can ensure that unpaid young and adult carers get consistent support so they can sustain their role for as long as they are willing and able to do so, keeping families together longer in their own homes.”
The Carers Connect event placed a significant emphasis on unpaid carers themselves, and the vital contribution they make.
Chief Executive of PKAVS, Paul Graham said: “The conference is going from strength to strength and is getting better and better every year.
“It includes carers of all ages, from ages five to carers in their 90s.
“There is a focus here on the carers coming together.
“We are pleased to see that there are more carers coming together now instead of just professionals.”