Every day, 6,000 people become carers. Many don't know how or where to get help. For some, caring comes suddenly: someone you love is taken ill or has an accident, your child is born with a disability. For others, caring creeps up unnoticed: your parents cannot manage on their own any longer, your partner's health gets gradually worse. No matter what the circumstances are, caring is rarely in the plan.
Many carers are stretched to the limit – juggling care with work and family life, or even struggling with poor health themselves. Carers often find it hard to make ends meet if they're unable to work or if they've reduced their working hours to care.
At Carers UK, we want a world where carers are supported not only to cope with the challenges of looking after someone, but to build a life of their own too. A life which includes caring but is not overwhelmed by it. We give expert advice, information and support. We connect carers so no-one has to care alone and we campaign together for lasting change.
Carers Week has always been a great opportunity to focus on carers, raising the profile of what families and close friends do, unpaid. We know that there are people out there caring day in, day out, supporting loved ones who are disabled, older or seriously ill and need care, but for many what they do is unrecognised. During Carers Week we ask local communities and individuals to find new ways to reach out and help carers.
Carers UK will engage all of our networks in Carers Week 2017. We'll be working with our active membership of carers, our hundreds of volunteers, over 115 employers engaged in our Employers for Carers forum and our network of local, affiliated organisations, who are in touch with carers in communities throughout the UK. Together we can all make carers feel valued and supported for the huge contribution they make.
Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive, Carers UK said:
“Carers Week is a fantastic way to celebrate the vital contribution carers make to our families, communities and wider society. We know that caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience, but without the right support at the right time, caring can also have a huge impact on a carer's emotional and physical health, work and finances.
Engaging all parts of our community from GPs and pharmacies to supermarkets, universities and employers Carers Week is an opportunity to grow understanding of carers and caring and to build communities that help us all look after loved ones without putting our own lives on hold”