Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign which takes place to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers. It is also a time of intensive local activity with thousands of events planned for carers across the UK.
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.
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 creeps up unnoticed: your parents can’t manage on their own any longer or your partner’s health gradually worsens.
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 care day and night.
Caring will touch each and every one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer or need care ourselves. Whilst caring can be a rewarding experience, it can also have a damaging impact on a person’s health, finances and relationships.
This year local people, services and businesses in Plymouth are coming together to support carers by offering an abundance of activities which will allow them to take some much needed time away from their caring role to relax and support their wellbeing. These include jewellery making, sea fishing, oral health education, legal advice clinics, afternoon tea and music event, amateur dramatics workshops, and trips to Newquay Zoo, Mount Edgcumbe and the theatre.
Lee Sewrey, Carers Hub Manager, says “At the Carers Hub we love organising activities for Carers to attend and relax. Carers have expressed to us that the national Carers Week events are a highlight in their year as someone else arranges everything and they just have to turn up.”
Plymouth City Council commissions a range of local support for carers in the city, including the Carers Hub. Councillor Lynda Bowyer, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care for Plymouth City Council, said: “As a Council we are committed to supporting local carers and Carers Week is a great opportunity for us to both raise the profile of caring and help members of the public to identify themselves as carers and access the support, advice and information that is available to them.
“A lot of carers just see it as part of their everyday role and do no actually identify themselves as carers, but it is so important that carers know what help is out there.”
Wolferstans Solicitors have very kindly donated 10 tickets to a production of the Shadowlands at the Theatre Royal.
Samantha Buckthought, Partner and Head of the Wills & Trust department at Wolferstans, said: “At Wolferstans, we recognise the vital and, at times, thankless role of carers who spend their lives dedicated to looking after their loved ones who are living with an illness or disability. We frequently assist very vulnerable people and their Carers in dealing with legal matters and I act as a professional attorney and deputy for a number of individuals. We recognise that Carers are often acting in the role unofficially and can spend their lives in the background without much support at all. We are proud to support the Carers Hub and Carers Week 2016 for all that they do in highlighting the important role of Carers and we want to join them in thanking them. We hope they enjoy their break and what looks like a brilliant show.”
As part of the week’s events information stands will be held at Sainsbury’s, Armada Way on Monday 6 June from 9am – 3pm and Derriford Hospital from Monday 6 – Friday 10 June 9am – 3pm.
If you think you are a carer or you know someone who is and you would like advice on the support available to carers in Plymouth please contact the Carers Hub on 01752 201890 or email email@example.com.
Carers Hub Plymouth
The Carers Hub Plymouth is a partnership between Plymouth Guild, Age UK Plymouth and Carers Trust Phoenix, and is commissioned by Plymouth City Council. We are dedicated to improving the lives of local carers by providing quality information and practical support.
Part of the City since 1907, Plymouth Guild has been supporting people in Plymouth for over 100 years with information, advice and practical support. It also provides infrastructure support to voluntary and community organisations through volunteer brokerage and promotion of placement opportunities.
Facts about Carers
- 5 million people in the UK are Carers; that’s 1 in 8 adults
- By 2037, it is estimated that the number of carers in the UK will rise to 9 million
- Every day another 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility – That equals over 2 million people every year
- 58% of carers are women and 42% are men
- Carers save the economy £132 billion per year, an average of £19,336 per carer
- Over 3 million people juggle care with work, however the significant demands of caring mean that 1 in 5 carers are forced to give up work all together.