As both Local MP for Gosport and Minister of State for Care, Caroline Dinenage was delighted to be in attendance for the opening event of Carers Week 2019 yesterday, where she had the opportunity to meet with and show her support for carers from Gosport area and beyond.
Carers Week, which this year runs from 10th – 16th June, is an annual campaign across the UK which seeks to raise awareness of the innumerable challenges with which carers are faced, whilst giving recognition to their endless efforts to support families and communities nationwide.
“I am so incredibly grateful for the invaluable work of our carers, both on a local and national scale. The selfless love and care they give to their families and friends, must never go unrecognised. That is why I’m so happy to have had the opportunity in Carers Week to have met with so many carers, to hear first-hand about their experiences and their concerns. ‘Getting Carers Connected’ is a campaign which helps connect our carers to more advice, information, financial help, and support networks.”
A carer is someone who provides regular unpaid to support to those who are sick, disabled or elderly. They are more often than not family members or friends, who feel that it is their unequivocal responsibility to look after those closest to them who need extra help. At present there are around 6.5 million carers in the UK.
Although for many carers this is an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience, they often lack the adequate support and means required to carry out these responsibilities, which in turn can have a hugely negative impact on their own lives and wellbeing. One in three carers across the UK say that they feel socially isolated by their work, whilst almost three in four feel that their efforts are undervalued by their community. This isolation can have a knock-on effect on their relationships, career, health, and finances, hindering both their ability to lead their own lives and their involvement in the public sphere.
The main aim of Carers Week 2019, now in its 25th year, is ‘Getting Carers Connected’. They list that they wish to help carers get better connected to:
- Advice and information about financial and practical support
- Care and support services, including carers’ breaks
- Support from other carers
- Technology and equipment that can make caring easier
They are calling upon communities, businesses, employers and healthcare professionals to offer their support to carers, enabling them to do their bit whilst sacrificing as little of their own health and wellbeing as possible.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
"A reluctance to talk about caring is affecting millions of unpaid carers across the UK, meaning many aren't getting the practical and emotional support they need. Most of us will look after someone, or be cared for, at some point in our lives so it's in all of our interests to start the conversation and speak more openly about caring. This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Carers Week and we want to see more people involved than ever before. It's a golden opportunity for all parts of the community – family and friends, employers, businesses, health and care services – to get the UK's unpaid carers connected to help and support."