This week, 8-14 June, is Carers Week.
The annual campaign is supported by six national charities, and is an opportunity to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges that unpaid carers face, and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities across the UK.
A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, mental or physical illness, substance misuse issue, or who needs extra help as they grow older.
Caring responsibilities can arise suddenly or gradually. Many people may not even identity as carers, and probably say that they are just being a husband, a wife, a mum, a dad, a son, a daughter, a friend or a good neighbour.
Often, being a carer can be a positive experience. Taking on a caring role can be very rewarding; it can help deepen and strengthen relationships, and be an opportunity to learn new skills. However, without the right support, caring can have a significant impact on an individual. Evidence shows that caring can cause ill health, poverty and social isolation.
There are 6.5 million people in the UK who are carers, and they are seven times more likely to say they are lonely than the general population.
This year, people across the country are continuing to face new challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support.
As such, the focus for Carers Week 2020 is on Making Caring Visible. The aim of this is to ensure that carers get the information and support they need from services and the wider public.
The campaign emphasises that caring is something that will affect each and every one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer, or need care ourselves.
Grahame Morris MP said, “I am delighted to be pledge my support for Carers Week this year. Whilst the coronavirus pandemic has quite rightly highlighted the vital work of our paid carers, those unpaid carers who work incredibly hard to look after a loved one often go unnoticed. As such, I fully support the campaign’s focus on making caring visible. Given that there are 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK, it is vital that we raise awareness of caring, show our gratitude for carers, and highlight the unique challenges that carers face. We must ensure that carers across the UK can access the services and support that they need.”
You can add your voice and help make caring visible by following the link below: