What is Carers Week?
This week is Carers Week, an annual campaign that: raises public awareness of caring; highlights the immense challenges faced by unpaid carers; and recognises the contribution carers make to their families and UK society.
Carers Week is a major focal point of the year for over 130 carer-focused charities across the UK. Each charity focuses on supporting unpaid carers in its own area. And together, the charities form a comprehensive national network of support for carers, co-ordinated by national charity, Carers Trust.
What is happening in the City of Westminster, the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and The Royal Borough Kensington & Chelsea during Carers Week?
One of the charities within The Carers Trust Network is Carers Network, which this year is supporting over 5,500 unpaid carers across the City of Westminster, the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and the Royal Borough Kensington & Chelsea. During Carers Week, Carers Network will be busy raising awareness of who carers are, what free support they are entitled to and how they can get better connected within the community to access that support.
Carers Network also aims to generate local publicity that will help local people who care for someone (but don’t recognise themselves as a carer) to realise they have caring responsibilities, and that this entitles them to support from local agencies.
Looking forward to this year’s Carers Week, Carers Network’s Chief Executive Sally Miller, said:
“Unpaid carers are the backbone of our community. They provide round-the-clock care to a family member, often without support or a break, saving our health services millions of pounds. But caring can be incredibly challenging with carers too often getting little or no leisure time to relax. Many of the carers we work with talk of feeling increasingly isolated and lonely as their caring role grows. Without proper support and respite this can take a terrible toll on a carer’s health and wellbeing.
“That’s why this Carers Week we are not just asking for carers’ contribution to be recognised. We are also calling on everyone in the community – from schools and businesses to local authorities – to acknowledge their responsibility in identifying carers and young carers among their employees and pupils, and then to make sure those carers have the information and support they need to maintain their health and wellbeing.”