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National Care Organisations


National Carer Organisations (NCOs) exist to represent carers across Scotland and give them a voice at a national level. There are seven NCOs in Scotland, who in many cases have a particular area of interest with regard to supporting carers. The NCOs are; Carers Scotland, Carers Trust Scotland (formerly the Princess Royal Trust for Carers), Coalition of Carers in Scotland, Crossroads Caring Scotland, MECOPP (Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project), Shared Care Scotland and The Scottish Young Carers Service Alliance. A brief summary of the particular work of each NCO is given below as well as a link to their website.

Carers Scotland

Carers Scotland work as part of Carers UK to;

  • give expert advice, information, support and training, including publishing briefings on policy changes

  • connect carers so no-one has to care alone

  • provide a self-advocacy toolkit is designed to ensure every carer has appropriate support

  • carry out research and promote good practice

  • innovate to find new ways to reach and support carers.

Carers Trust Scotland

Carers Trust Scotland provide comprehensive carers support services in Scotland, through a unique network of independent carers centres and young carers services throughout Scotland.

Carers Trust Scotland work with these centres to improve support, services and recognition for carers in communities across Scotland.

Coalition of Carers in Scotland – COCIS

COCIS work for carers in Scotland to achieve full recognition as equal partners in care and ensure they enjoy good health and a life outside of caring. COCIS works to;

  • provide networking, information and mutual support for carer-led organisations

  • bring carers and workers together to explore issues, analyse developments and identify key issues affecting carers in Scotland

  • develop a collective response to key issues so that the carers voice is heard at local, regional and national level.

Crossroads Caring Scotland

Crossroads Caring Scotland provides support services for vulnerable people and their carers, supporting people of all ages regardless of their illness or disability. There services can include;

  • preparing and serving meals and helping clients to eat and drink

  • assisting with toileting and personal hygiene and assisting in the management of continence

  • administering medicines

  • helping client with dressing and undressing

  • providing companionship and emotional support

  • assisting with mobility

  • keeping the client’s room tidy and undertaking all essential laundry

  • taking clients on outings.


MECOPP works specifically to;

  • support Black and Minority Ethnic carers to access supports and services appropriate to their caring situation.

  • raise the profile of Black and Minority Ethnic carers and their needs at a national level, including active involvement of Black and Minority Ethnic carers in consultations.

  • develop a strategic response to identified gaps in service provision.

  • support Gypsy/Traveller communities in Scotland.

Shared Care Scotland

Shared Care Scotland aim to improve the quality and provision of short breaks in Scotland, by offering services including events, publications and research reports, and an online directory of short break services. Shared Care Scotland operate the Short Breaks Fund on behalf of Scottish Government, providing grants to third sector organisations that support unpaid carers to take a break.

Shared Care Scotland also contribute to the development of policy and best practice for carers.

The Scottish Young Carers Service Alliance 

The Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance is hosted by Carers Trust Scotland. It is made up of organisations which support young carers and it raises awareness of young carers and the kinds of issues they face – from missing out on educational and vocational opportunities, to bullying, mental health problems and struggling to juggle caring with friendships.

The Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance provides all young carers initiatives in Scotland with information and support so that they can provide the best possible services to young carers.

The Alliance provides support to national policy, guidance and legislation to make sure that the needs of young carers are acknowledged and met.