Carers Week – 7 -13 June 2021
This week is Carers Week, an annual campaign aimed at raising awareness of the challenges unpaid carers face and recognising the contribution they make to family, friends and the wider community.
A carer is someone who provides unpaid care to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health or physical condition or otherwise requires extra help and support. The annual campaign highlights the vital roles that these people play in society with a view to making carers ‘visible and valued’. It also aims to help those people with caring responsibilities that don’t currently identify as a carer to access much-needed support and information.
There are reportedly 6.5 million carers in the UK, and this year they have experienced unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. New research released especially for this year’s campaign has shown that the majority of carers are providing more care than before the pandemic. In addition, 72% of carers have not had any breaks from their caring role during the pandemic and over a third feel that they are unable to manage their caring role. The role of carers during the pandemic has relieved the strain on other health and care services. However, this has had an impact on the health and wellbeing of many carers in the UK.
There are six charities supporting Carers Week – Carers UK, Age UK, Carers Trust, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Oxfam GB and Rethink Mental Illness. These charities are calling on the Government to provide additional funding for unpaid carers’ breaks so that those providing upwards of 50 hours of care are able to take time off for their own health and wellbeing.
How can we get involved?
The Carers Week website provides information for carers and for those wanting to get involved in supporting the campaign. Ways to get involved include:
- Showing your commitment to helping ‘Make Caring Visible’ by making a pledge to the Carers Week Virtual Pledge Board; and
- Taking part in one of the national activities for Carers Week 2021
The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.
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