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  • Information on our website not intended to be a substitute for independent advice. We make every effort to make sure the content is accurate and up to date, but we accept no liability in relation to typographical error or third party information.

Risk management for events & activities in support of Carers Week

  • Carers Week is a campaign made possible by Carers UK and other national supporting charities.
  • Supporters will hold activities and events in "support of" and NOT on "behalf of" Carers Week or any of the supporting charities.
  • Event organisers are responsible for the health and safety of participants.
  • Event organisers acknowledge that any views or opinion expressed or promoted during your activity or event are solely the ones of the individuals involved and do not necessarily reflect those of Carers UK or other supporting charities.
  • You agree that you are responsible for the actions of people involved in the organisation and delivery of the event or activity. 
  • Carers UK accepts no liability or responsibility for any actions or results or adverse situations created as a direct result of your activity.
  • Carers UK will not be responsible for any loss or damage to anyone else's image caused by your activity.
  • Carers UK Public liability Insurance does not provide cover for events which others manage in support of Carers Week. Please arrange your own Public Liability insurance if needed.
  • You are responsible for conducting your own risk assessment for any risk associated with your activity. You can find guidance on risk assessment at http://www.hse.gov.uk/event-safety/managing-an-event.htm

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.

The campaign is brought to life by thousands of individuals and organisations who come together to organise activities and events throughout the UK, drawing attention to just how important caring is.

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This year we're focusing on Building Carer Friendly Communities. Communities which support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own.

Download our research report to find out what we're calling for and how we can all help build Carer Friendly Communities.

Carer Friendly Communities are aware of the part played by unpaid carers within their community. They have some understanding of a carer's daily reality; that they can be under a lot of pressure, and are often hidden from view.

When a community is Carer Friendly, every corner – from the hospital, workplace, primary school, to leisure services and beyond – will be geared towards addressing the needs of carers.

This means that if you're caring for someone unpaid, local services and systems will remove obstacles and make sure things are done differently so your life is a little bit easier.

'Doing things differently' would include an employer creating Carer Friendly policies by listening to the experiences of their workforce, or a GP practice offering alternative appointment times to carers unable to attend due to their caring responsibilities.

Carer Friendly Communities reach out to support carers where they can. Working together, Carers Week and all the partner organisations are committed to building communities like these.

What do carers say they want?

The Carers Week charities work with carers across the country and listen to what is important to carers and their families, and what they need from the people, organisations and services in their lives.

Carers say they want to live in communities that support them to care well and safely, that respect their caring role, and help them to be involved and consulted about the care and support of the person they care for.

Carers also say that they want to be supported to be healthy themselves, to be able to work if they want to, and to have a life of their own outside their caring role. They want to be treated as an individual with needs of their own, and not only as a carer of someone else.

'I am only recognised as being my wife's husband. I have never been asked what role I play in her care.'

'We are pleased to say that we have a good relationship with most of the more qualified professionals with whom we have to work. Many consultants realise that we know [our daughter] and her condition better than they ever could, and use the information we give them in order to treat her more effectively.'

'Generally I feel that my role as a carer is recognised and valued, but I sometimes feel awkward about joining in with the conversation in case my input is misconstrued as putting words into my partner's mouth.'

Why should communities be Carer Friendly?

3 in 5 of us will be carers in our lifetime. As our population ages and people live longer, often with complex health conditions, more and more of us will be called upon to care for an older, disabled or seriously ill loved one.

By 2037, there will be 9 million carers in the UK. Many people will care for someone multiple times in their lives, but often do not think of themselves as a carer - they are just a husband or wife, son or daughter, parent or friend, doing what needs to be done.

The human cost of our communities failing to support carers is high. People are rarely prepared for the huge impact that caring responsibilities can have on their lives, with 3 out of 4 carers saying they were not prepared for caring.

Caring can be a fulfilling and positive experience, but caring without enough support can also have a negative effect on someone's health, career, relationships and ability to live a life of their own outside their caring role.

'Support is offered but not always in the right way, and it can be patronising and difficult to get information.'

  • Full-time carers are more than twice as likely to be in bad health than non-carers.
  • 1 in 5 UK adults have seen their work negatively affected as a result of caring, including 2.3 million who have quit work and almost 3 million who have reduced their working hours to care at some point in their lives.
  • More than half (54%) of carers are struggling to pay household bills or to make ends meet, and over a third (35%) are cutting back on essentials like food and heating.
  • 40% of carers have had a breakdown in a relationship with a family member, and 60% have found it difficult to maintain friendships.

A lack of support for carers can also have serious consequences for business, the economy and society. Employers lose valuable employees when people feel they can no longer juggle work and care, and health and care services come under pressure when carers are pushed to breaking point.

  • The cost to the economy of carers having to give up work to care is £5.3 billion.
  • 6 in 10 carers have reached breaking point, and a quarter required medical treatment as a result.

It is clear that urgent steps must be taken to ensure that society and our immediate communities work for carers, and they can get the help and support they need.

From doctors to shopkeepers, pharmacists to employers, politicians to family members - there is more that we can all do to help the people around us and build Carer Friendly Communities which support carers to lead healthy, safe and fulfilling lives.

What difference would Carer Friendly Communities make?

In all corners of our communities, we see ways in which the support to carers could be improved. For many carers, that support is severely lacking. But, we also see good examples of how communities can become Carer Friendly.

In this section, we're using the following themes to explore how we can build Carer Friendly Communities:

Carers Week is brought to life by the individuals, groups and organisations holding events and taking action throughout the UK.

What is caring?

When people need help with their day to day living they often turn to their family and friends. Looking after each other is something that we do.

Up and down the UK there are 6.5 million people caring unpaid for an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend. These people are called carers but they would probably say that they are just being a husband, a wife, a mum, a dad, a son, a daughter, a friend or a good neighbour.

Carers help with personal things like getting someone dressed, turning them in their sleep, helping them to the loo, helping them move about or administering their medication. Carers also help with things like shopping, laundry, cleaning, cooking, filling in forms or managing money.

The reasons people might need help can vary. Maybe they were born with a disability or had an accident that left them disabled. Or they have an illness or disease. Their problems may be physical or mental. They might need help because they are getting older and frail. But what doesn't vary is that they need help, and if you look after someone - for whatever reason - caring is part of life.

Carers Week celebrates and recognises the contribution of all of the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers.

How does caring affect your life?

For many people caring is brief, maybe helping someone who has come out of hospital to get back on their feet - a few intense months that turn your life upside down and then it's over. For others it may be a regular obligation of a few hours a week helping out. For those with disabled children it can be a lifelong commitment. Some people are caring round the clock, 24 hours a day. How caring affects you depends on how much you are doing, what else is going on in your life and to some extent what kind of a person you are.

Caring can be a rich source of satisfaction in people's lives. It can be life-affirming. It can help deepen and strengthen relationships. It can teach you a multitude of skills and help you realise potential you never thought you had.

But without the right support caring can have a devastating impact. Evidence shows that caring can cause ill health, poverty and social isolation. When caring is intensive and unsupported you can struggle to hold down a job, get a night's sleep, stay healthy and maintain your relationships with friends and family.

When caring happens, many people are shocked to find out just how little support there can be. Help is often out there, but talk to any carer and they will tell you to be ready to fight tooth and nail for every bit of help you get. To find out more about the advice and support available here.

Caring is something that will affect each and every one of us. The statistics show three out of five of us will become carers at some point in our lives.

During Carers Week events take place all around the UK to involve carers and make them aware of the support and services available.

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Carers Week 2018

These organisations joined together to make Carers Week happen in 2017

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  • Carers UK new logo
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  • independent age
  • macmillan
  • MSS-logo-orange partnersrow
  • MND logo
  • Which Elderly Care logo

Proudly supported by:

  • The Lockwood
    Charitable Foundation
  • Nutricia

 

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