A PAISLEY woman who has been campaigning for free travel for carers is gearing up to submit her petition to the Scottish Government.
Amanda Macdonald cares for her mum, who was diagnosed with early onset dementia when she was 48.
She has received support from Fixers UK, a charity encouraging young people to make positive changes and a Young Adult Carers Forum.
However, the next step for 26-year-old Amanda is almost set to present her petition to the transport minister and McGill’s buses.
Since surpassing her original 500 signature target, Amanda is hoping for a final push of support to reach 1,000.
She said: "I am actively involved in volunteering through the Renfrewshire Carers Centre such as my role as chairperson in the young adult carers forum where we tackle issues that they face.
"I started the petition as through personal experience as I have seen and lived the struggle of having to find money for transport to get to places.
"This includes college, visiting my mum in hospital or the care home that she is in, as it is too far away to walk to from where I stay.
"People often assume that carers don't need to worry about transport as some people who are cared for have a companion bus pass however not every person has it.
"It is dependant on the cared for persons benefits and in instances such as my own the person I care for is now in a care home so even if my mum had a companion bus pass this would be of no use to me."
Carers often have to pay for transport costs even if the person they care for has a concession companion card.
They often need to collect prescriptions from the chemist, do the shopping and pay the bills all of which is generally easier without the cared for person being present.
Amanda continued: "Many carers will face the same struggles as I do with their caring role so I think this may be why so many people have signed the petition so far.
"I hope the petition can reach as many decision makers as possible. I would really like to see a day where carers no longer had to struggle where transport is concerned.
"Carers should receive different support from a better rate of carers allowance to more respite.
"I believe that everywhere should have a carers centre and raise awareness of it as I didn't find a carers centre until I was 24.
"I know that in my case there were times where I had to decide between being able to eat a meal or seeing my mum that week.
"Free or concessionary travel for carers would stop this one barrier and make carers lives easier.
"To an ordinary person with no caring responsibilities this may seem like such a small and unnecessary need but to a carer this could have a huge impact on their lives by giving them a chance to live a life for themselves."
You can show your support via www.change.org/p/free-concessionary-transport-for-unpaid-carers-it-should-be-our-right