Support For Carers

Unity Carer Centers offer specialist information, support advocacy and advice. Respite away from the role in the form of day trips, health and wellbeing services, social activities and peer support from fellow carers.

If you are an unpaid or family carer of almost any age you can access support from our Carer Centres in South and North Ayrshire (including Arran and Cumbrae).

The person receiving care can be a relative, friend or neighbor. Care can be provided in more simplistic ways such as helping with the weekly shop to cooking meals. Support is not restricted to physical care but can be also emotional support ranging from just giving a listening ear or taking care of their financial affairs or their own health.


“A person who provides physical or emotional care to family or friend”

Young Carers & Young Adult Carers

A young carer is between the age of eight and eighteen years old who provides support to a family member, whose life is affected by alcohol and or drug misuse, mental or physical illness or disability and who may have emotional and physical responsibilities beyond those normally given to children of their age.

Young adult carers are between the age of 18 and 25 years old. Again similar to young carers they may be looking after their mother, father, brother, sister, and grandparents but at this older age this might extend to close friends or partner.

Respite Breaks

Looking for some respite away from your caring role?

You can apply for funding towards the following items as examples:

  • I.T Equipment
  • Equipment for hobbies/sports
  • Overnight breaks

If you would like more information, please call the centre on South 01292 263000 North 01294 311333 or alternatively email us at or

Download the poster here.

Smiling woman relaxes drinking a coffee

Information & Downloads

Support for adult carers

Are you an adult carer?

An adult carer is 18 years or older. Each carer and the person they provide support for is an individual so the support that is provided will be unique to them. However, there are certain roles and tasks that many carers can and do provide, and these can typically include the following:

  • helping someone get up and dressed in the morning
  • supporting them to eat/drink
  • helping someone to have social opportunities
  • doing household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, washing and shopping
  • supporting with budgeting and money matters
  • supporting someone with letters, phone calls and emails
  • accompanying them to appointments
  • providing general company and companionship

Why might someone need the support of their carer?

There are lots of different circumstances that can lead to a person being supported by a carer, and these may include any one or more of the following:

  • dementia
  • frailty as a result of ageing
  • physical disability
  • learning disability
  • sensory impairment
  • acute episode of illness/disease
  • long term health condition
  • mental ill-health
  • alcohol or drug misuse
  • terminal health conditions such as cancer

Providing care and support for individuals with a range of complex health conditions can be challenging. Due to a variety of unforeseen circumstances the level of input an individual requires, and the subsequent demands on the carer, can change frequently and dramatically. We recognise a change in circumstances can have a significant impact on the carer in respect of their own health and wellbeing.

Getting support

An Adult Carer Support Plan is an important way of identifying your needs as an unpaid carer. One of our Social Workers or one of the team from North or South Ayrshire Carers Centre will arrange a good time to meet you to have an informal discussion about your caring role.

The support plan gives you the opportunity to identify the following:

  • your thoughts and feelings about caring
  • your relationship with the cared for person
  • your social and leisure activities
  • your physical and mental health
  • your education and work life goals
  • what would make things easier for you to carry out your caring role
  • whether a short break is needed
  • what would happen in an emergency, if you were unable to care.

Following the Adult Carers Support Plan discussion, we will make a plan to help support you. We will also let you know whether your needs are “eligible” for support from the local Health and Social Care Partnership. We use Local Eligibility Criteria to help us make this decision.

We will meet the needs of carers whose needs are Critical and Substantial. If you do not have needs that are Critical or Substantial, we will give you information and advice, including what local support is available. This could include, for example, help from North or South Ayrshire Carers Centre.

If at any time you feel that things you do to look after your relative or friend has changed or increased you can ask for a review of your Adult Carer Support Plan.

If you think an Adult Carer Support Plan could benefit you, please contact your local South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership office on 0300 123 0900m, or for North Ayrshire contact your local Health and Social Care Partnership office.

You can also contact North and South Carers Centre directly via the contact page on this website, we can discuss and complete an Adult Carer Support Plan with you.

South Ayrshire Carers Information:

South Ayrshire Draft Adult Carers Strategy 2018-2023:

South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s draft Adult Carers Strategy 2018-2023 sets out what we will to do over the next five years to better support Adult Carers in South Ayrshire.

Carers, carer organisations and partners, including South Ayrshire Carers Centre, Crossroads and Ayrshire Hospice have been involved in the development of the draft Strategy.

We now want to hear your views on the draft Strategy, so please complete the short survey. Your feedback will help to inform the final version of the Strategy.

South Ayrshire Carers:

South Ayrshire Carers Centre
43 Sandgate,

Tel: 01292 263000

You can email us via the contact page.

North Ayrshire Carers:

North Ayrshire Carers Centre
174 High St,
KA12 8AN

Tel: 01294 311333

You can email us via the contact page.

Carer’s News

A collage of images showing carers at activities such as horse riding, tourism and afternoon tea and coffee in 2024

North Ayrshire Carers Newsletter – June 2024

A lot has changed since the last newsletter in January. We’ve added a Short Breaks Officer and an Activities and Well Being Officer to our team; we’ve launched a new Carers Information website and delivered our biggest Easter activity program. New carers groups in Kilwinning, Irvine and Arran; we celebrated…

Read more

South Ayrshire Carers Centre Newsletter May 2020

I would like to take this chance to wish everyone well and to remain safe during the recent challenging situation we are all facing and of course is unprecedented, covid-19. I hope you and your families are all keeping well during this difficult time and there is no doubt that…

Read more
Newspaper cutting showing original article

Cash Is A Welcome Boost For Carers

This following article originally appeared in the Ayrshire Post October 2015. A charity supporting unpaid carers is to dish out cash grants for respite trips. The Unity Enterprise Centre supports unsung heroes across South Ayrshire. And more than 200 people have benefited from £20,000 of grants within the last year. Now…

Read more