About Carers Week 2020
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we are unable to hold any group session but would hope that by joining our partner agencies and voluntary sector organisations we are able to promote Carers Week via our social media platforms.
Around 6.5 million people in the UK are carers, looking after a parent, partner, child or friend. A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help as they grow older.
Carers Week 2020 is made possible by Carers UK working together with five other national charities. Together they’re asking local communities, organisations and individuals to join them in ‘Making Caring Visible’. British Gas, part of Centrica, is the headline supporter of this year’s Carers Week. Carers Week supporters and sponsors
Join in the conversation online using #CarersWeek.
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What is a carer?
A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who need help with their day to day living due to a disability, mental or physical illness, substance misuse issue, or who needs extra help as they grow older.
For some taking on a caring role can be sudden; someone in your family has an accident or your child is born with a disability.
For others, caring responsibilities can grow gradually over time: your parents can’t manage on their own any longer; your partner’s or your child’s mental or physical health gradually worsens.
How can caring affect you?
The amount and type of support that carers provide varies considerably. It can range from a few hours a week, such as picking up prescriptions and preparing meals, to providing emotional or personal care day and night.
Carers can help with personal things like getting someone dressed, helping them to the loo, helping them move about or administering their medication, they can also help with things like shopping, laundry, cleaning, cooking, filling in forms or managing money.
But without the right support caring can have a significant impact. Evidence shows that caring can cause ill health, poverty and social isolation. This is why Carers weeks 2020 is focused on Making Caring Visible, to ensure that carers get the information and support they need from services and the wider public.
Caring is something that will affect each and every one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer, or need care ourselves.
Making Caring Visible
Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience, but carers often find it challenging to take care of their own wellbeing whilst caring and find that their contribution to society is not recognised and celebrated. Its impact on all aspects of life, from relationships and health to finances and work, should not be underestimated. Caring without the right information and support can be tough.
That’s why, this Carers Week, is focused on ‘Making Caring Visible’ to ensure that carers get the information and support they need from services and the wider public.
Everyone has a part to play in making sure these carers are seen, heard, and understood; and helping them to get the support they need to care.
Making Caring Visible will help carers get the information and support they need:
Advice and information
Caring can be extremely complicated, now more so than ever before, whether grappling with how to keep you and the person you care for safe, understanding the benefits system, or accessing care services. Too many carers do not know where to turn, or how to get the advice they need. There are many places that provide carers with these resources, including local and national carers’ organisations.
Looking after someone can be hard work and carers often miss out on the support services available to them. A carer’s assessment looks at what support they might need to help the cope better in their caring role. Services can connect carers to a range of support that is available locally and will provide up-to-date information and advice.
Visible to friends, family and at work
Caring can lead to feelings of loneliness and being disconnected from friends and family, as well as, for some, having to balance work and care. Meanwhile social isolation and social distancing has meant that some carers find themselves removed from those normally around them.
Visible to other carers
Caring can be difficult and isolating, so speaking to someone who knows what they are going through can make a big difference. Carers Week is an opportunity for carers in your community to share experiences and build new friendships. Whether by phone or online, keeping in touch with carers can be of huge importance and can help them feel recognised, supported or loved.
Visible to the general public
Most people don’t expect to become unpaid carers, but the reality is that there is a 50:50 chance that any one of us will become one, by the time we are 50 years old. By raising awareness amongst the general public, we can better support carers, help more people anticipate caring in the future, and recognise the huge contribution carers make to society.
Action for Carers – Surrey
East Surrey Carers Support Association
Surrey and Borders Partnership
Surrey Care Association
Surrey County Council – Support for Carers
Surrey Heartlands Carers
Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board Guidance leaflets:
Making decisions for loved ones
SSAB Next of Kin
Bournemouth University – Next of Kin