Funding of £1m gives breaks to Scottish carers
More than 2,600 carers are to benefit from £1m of funding for short breaks.
The latest round of cash from the Scottish government's Creative Breaks programme will support about 60 projects.
It will be used to give carers the chance to enjoy activities such as residential weekend stays and daytime breaks.
In Scotland, an estimated 650,000 people look after a family member, partner or friend.
Public health minister Michael Matheson said: "There are considerable pressures on adult and young carers, and it is vital that we support them.
"The short breaks fund, now in its third year, plays a large part in giving our carers a well-deserved short break.
"Importantly, these breaks allow young carers the chance to socialise and meet other young people in a similar position."
The Scottish government said more than 190 projects supporting about 9,000 carers have benefited from funding for short breaks to date.
Mhairi Blyth, from Angus Carers Centre, one of the projects awarded funding, said: "All too often carers can become isolated as their caring role develops and this can often result in carers losing contact with friends and missing out on opportunities for them to have time for themselves to relax and unwind.
"This funding will allow us to offer carers a variety of therapeutic interventions at times, and in locations to suit their own personal circumstances."
The funding announcement comes the week before carers from all over Scotland will travel to Edinburgh for the UK's first ever Carers Parliament, to be held at Holyrood on Monday.
Mr Matheson, MSPs and other organisations such as the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the Association of Community Health Partnerships and the Association of Directors of Social Work will discuss issues surrounding caring with those in attendance.