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Age UK South Gloucestershire is ‘Making Caring Visible and Valued’ this Carers Week

Published on 11 June 2021 10:22 AM

Age UK South Gloucestershire is ‘Making Caring Visible and Valued’ this Carers Week (7–13 June 2021)

Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign that celebrates and recognises the vital contribution of the UK’s unpaid carers – supporting family members and friends who are older, have a disability, mental or physical illness or need extra help as they grow older.

During Carers Week 2021 Age UK South Gloucestershire is inviting health and care services, schools, employers and businesses across the community to recognise the vital contribution made by unpaid carers in South Gloucestershire.

1 in 3 older people (aged 65+) is a carer, equivalent to 4.1 million older people. Many are at breaking point and yet struggle on alone. The majority of these older people are looking after a partner as older couples try to manage living at home for as long as possible, leaning on each other for support. A minority of them care for disabled sons and daughters.

Carers are committed to their role and want to look after their loved one, but they also often tell us they wish it wasn’t so hard. Many admit to being exhausted and worried about how long they can carry on, and the consequences if they become seriously ill themselves. We believe that the task of providing care ought to be fairly shared between individuals, families and the state, but as public funding falls further and further behind the growing demand for care we worry that very old people are being expected to fill the gap.

This Carers Week we are recognising the contribution of unpaid carers in South Gloucestershire by pledging our support and adding our voice on the Carers Week website: https://www.carersweek.org/

On behalf of the Carers Week charities, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic unpaid carers have played an essential role supporting older, disabled and seriously ill relatives and friends, doing so most of the year on their own behind closed doors. They have forgone breaks from caring and much of the support they would normally have relied on.

“As restrictions ease it is vital that we acknowledge the enormous contribution that unpaid carers continue to make day in day out. I am delighted that many individuals and organisations are getting involved with virtual activities, helping carers to connect to others and access advice and information locally. 

“Looking after someone can be a hugely rewarding experience, but it sometimes comes with difficulties, including getting the right support. This Carers Week I hope all parts of the community – family and friends, employers, businesses, schools, health and care services – do their bit to make caring visible and show it is valued.”

For Carers Week 2021 charity Carers UK is joining forces with Age UK, Carers Trust, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Oxfam GB and Rethink Mental Illness to help raise awareness of caring around the country.

All six charities driving Carers Week 2021 are calling on individuals, services and organisations to do their part in Making Caring Visible and Valued – recognising the contribution made by carers and helping them get the practical, financial and emotional support they need to care for a loved one.

Hundreds of activities are taking place across the country during Carers Week. To find out more visit: https://www.carersweek.org/