Plymouth is preparing to mark National Carers Week from Monday 12 to Friday 16 June.
Across the city, the charity Improving Lives Plymouth are working with services and businesses to provide events and activities for carers and their families to attend. These include creative writing workshops, sea fishing, oral health education, legal advice clinics, afternoon tea and music event, painting and craft workshops and a day trip to Looe.
Plymouth City Council commissions a range of local support for carers in the city, including Caring for Carers which is a partnership between Improving Lives Plymouth and Age UK Plymouth and is dedicated to improving the lives of local carers by providing carers assessments, quality information and practical support.
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.
This year’s events’ are focussed on building Carer Friendly Communities and services and businesses are coming together by offering an abundance of activities which will allow carers to take some much needed time away from their caring role to relax and support their well being.
Lee Sewrey, Caring for Carers Manager said: “Carers Week is a great time for us to recognise the individuals who work tirelessly to care for their loved ones and I would like to thank all of the people who have supported this year’s activities and events. As part of the Building Carer Friendly Communities campaign we would love to hear from more businesses and organisations who would like assistance from us to understand how they could better support carers in their community. We have developed a carer awareness pack that is available on our website and we can offer face to face training and support.”
Councillor Lynda Bowyer, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care for Plymouth City Council, said: “Carers Week is a great chance 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.
“These people do such a wonderful job and it is only right that they should be looked after.”
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. Many people don’t identify themselves as carers, they feel they are just doing what anyone else would so they don’t always know what support is available to them.
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.
If you are a carer or you know someone who is and you need information or support in your caring role please contact Caring for Carers at Improving Lives Plymouth on 01752 201890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For a full list of events, please download the Improving Lives May newsletter by clicking here.