What is a carer?
A carer is someone that looks after a friend or family member who needs additional support due to their age, a disability, mental or physical health illness, or addiction.
Approximately 6.5 million adults in the UK are carers. That’s a lot of people. One in eight adults. A lot of young people are also carers. In fact, in England, there are around 800,000 young people aged 5-17 who are carers for a family member.
The figures are startling:
- Four in five unpaid carers are providing more care for relatives
- 78% reported that the needs of the person they care for have increased during the pandemic
- Two thirds (67%) worried about how they will cope with further lockdowns or local restrictions.
Caring for a loved one can have a significant impact on all aspects of a carer’s life be it their health, relationships with friends and family, or their money situation. Even though caring for someone can be incredibly rewarding, without the right support, carers can really struggle to overcome the challenges that come with the role.
Support for carers
But there are many carers out there who don’t necessarily class themselves as a ‘carer’ and so don’t have access to the many help and support services available to them. Thankfully, there are many organisations that are specifically designed for carers – providing information, advice, and support to carers of all ages, from all walks of life
The Stoke-on-Trent All-age Carers Service is run by local organisation North Staffs Carers and as the name suggests, it provides information, advice, and support to carers of all ages across the city. This support includes access to local community, health, and wellbeing services, as well as access to activities, training, and much, much more. You can find out about the Stoke-on-Trent All-age Carers Service here.
For young carers, Action for Children provides support to enable young people who care for a loved one to be able to take a break from caring, join in with fun activities with other young people, and offer “practical and emotional support to ensure young carers enjoy and achieve, just like their peers.”
Carers Week 2022
This year’s Carers Week is focusing on recognising and appreciating the valuable contribution that carers make to families and communities, workplaces, and society as a whole—ensuring that they get the support they need. That’s why this year is zooming in on making caring VISIBLE, VALUED, and SUPPORTED.
Carers Week is an annual campaign from Carers UK to raise awareness of the selfless work of the UK’s 6.5 million carers, celebrating and recognising them for the heroes they are. You can find a ton of information and resources on the Carers Week website, as well as a ton of Carers Week activities taking place all across the country.
If you’re wondering how you can get involved, here are some ideas from the Carers Week resource pack:
- Signpost carers to help and support services in your community. Many local organisations come into contact with carers every day, such as health services, care providers, schools, local employers, volunteers and faith and community groups.
- Share information on your website, in a newsletter or on social media so carers can find out about what support is available
- Recognise the contribution carers make to family life and to strong local communities. For example, faith communities could recognise the contribution that carers make in any virtual services they are running
- You could run an award ceremony, where you recognise and say thank you to local services that support professionals and volunteers who support carers
- Invite carers to tell their stories – through creative writing, photography, poetry, and presentations – and invite key people from your local community to judge or even attend a virtual ceremony to find out more about what caring is really like
- Support any staff who are caring alongside their work you could set up an employee carers’ network to share information.
If your organisation provides carer support, and you would like to take part in one of our Q&A sessions to showcase your work, please get in touch via [email protected]
Categorised in: News