Unpaid carers from across North Ayrshire will have an opportunity to enjoy some respite, courtesy of a discount at local cafes.

The news comes as a result of efforts by Irvine councillor and North Ayrshire carers champion, Nairn McDonald.

He said:  “I have managed to get agreement that, from June 1, unpaid carers will be able to use their ‘carers appreciation card’ at the Eglinton Country Park café and Portal Café, Irvine for a 10 per cent discount.

“This seems small in the grand scheme of things but many unpaid carers have come to me asking for this as many of them use these cafes for respite, meet-ups and a wee break.”

The Irvine East councillor added: “This was first raised to me by the Three Towns Carers Group, who regularly meet at Eglinton Country Park café for a catch-up over coffee.

“They hoped that we might be able to replicate the discount available to North Ayrshire Council employees at the café at Eglinton and at The Portal in Irvine and offer a 10 per cent discount if they show their carers appreciation card.

“I took this to the senior management at the relevant department and I am thrilled that this will be introduced from June 1; if any unpaid carer shows their card from North Ayrshire health and social care partnership (HSCP), they will receive the 10 per cent discount.

“The card can still be applied for via the North Ayrshire HSCP website, and the North Ayrshire Carers Centre, and this new discount is just one of many that people can access using that card. This card is our way of thanking our unpaid carers in a small way and we know these discounts go a long way.

“As North Ayrshire’s carers champion and as an unpaid carer myself, I am acutely aware of the struggles and pressures that unpaid carers are facing and this discount at both the Eglinton Country Park café, Kilwinning and the café in the Portal, Irvine will help carers get a wee bit more respite.”