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Every day 6,000 people take on a new caring role in the UK. 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 "I'm just being a husband, a wife, a mum, a dad, a son, a daughter, a friend or a good neighbour."

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. We should all be prepared to care.

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

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

We're the MS Society. We're a community of people living with MS, scientists, campaigners, volunteers and fundraisers. Whether you have MS, or care about someone who does, our community is here for you through the highs, lows and everything in between. We understand what life's like with MS.

Over 100,000 of us in the UK have MS. It's unpredictable and different for everyone. It's often painful, exhausting and can cause problems with how we walk, move, see, think and feel.

Almost 9 in 10 people living with MS rely on unpaid care from family and friends to meet their needs. This means there’s a huge community of people affected by MS. Often, these people see themselves as relatives or friends first and might not think of themselves as carers.

If you’re affected by MS and you need information and support you can visit our website, or call us on our Freephone MS Helpline 0808 800 8000.

How we support families and carers


We have lots of information for the families and carers of people with MS. You can order or download information booklets from our website or via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you have any questions about our information you can contact the Information Team on 020 8438 0799.

Emotional support

The confidential freephone MS Society helpline is here to provide information and emotional support. As a carer, or someone close to someone with MS, you can call the helpline on 0808 800 8000, from 9am – 7pm, Monday to Friday. You can also speak to other carers via the online forum for carers.


Our Carers' grant fund provides grants for things like leisure activities and personal development. There are three chances to apply – as a young carer, as a 'transitional' carer aged 16 – 24, and as an adult carer. We also have the Short Breaks and activities fund, to which carers can apply for help towards the cost of a wide range of different types of breaks. Contact the Grants Team on 020 8438 0700 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Local support

Our network includes 268 local groups that offer emotional and practical support, information, grants, social activities and events. Find your local group here.


We campaign with carers by engaging with parliamentarians, policy makers and other partners to improve services and support for carers. Visit our website to find out more, or to get involved in our campaigns.

If you're supporting a loved one through cancer Macmillan is here for you.

You may feel like you're just doing your bit - but the support you provide is vital. From helping with household chores or personal care, to providing transport or just being there to listen. It makes all the difference.

We understand how being a carer can affect you - physically, emotionally, and financially. Caring can be a fulfilling and positive experience, but you may also feel overwhelmed or exhausted. You're likely to need support too and we're here to help - from free information booklets to details of self-help and support groups. You may be eligible for financial help or rights at work. We can help guide you through.

Visit to find out more or call our Support Line free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 8am-9pm).

Financial support

When you're supporting someone with cancer, your finances can feel the strain. Whether it's transport to hospital, picking up extra shopping or helping with their bills and household costs - it can all add up. You may have reduced your working hours too. If you're worried about money or work, we can help. Call our Support Line or visit to find out more.

Emotional support and practical help

Sometimes it can be hard to put on a brave face when you're supporting a loved one with cancer. If you have questions or just need to talk things through, we're here to listen. Whatever you need, call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 8am-9pm).

You can also access support through our Online Community. Go to

We have information resources on how to manage the practicalities of supporting someone through cancer, as well as coping with the impact on your work, finances, relationships and emotions. It's all free and available at

We can also direct you to local services in your area that can help you, such as local carers' centres and support groups. Call our Support Line to find out more, or visit

Charlotte Argyle, Carers Support Programme Manager at Macmillan:

"There are over 1.4 million people in the UK looking after a loved one with cancer, yet half don't receive any help to care. It's essential that cancer carers get the support they need to maintain their health and well-being, as well as their caring role. Macmillan offers practical, emotional and financial help for carers and the people they care for. We also campaign to raise awareness and improve support for carers throughout the UK."

As a charity campaigning to give a voice to older people on the issues that matter to them, Independent Age is proud to support Cares Week 2018. Every day our Helpline advisers hear from older people and their families about the challenges they are facing, so we understand the important role that carers play.

Carers Week recognises the valuable contribution that people make when they look after an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend. There are 6.5 million carers in the UK and 1.5 million are over 60. Every day, 6,000 people take on new caring responsibilities.

Independent Age Chief Executive, Janet Marrison, says:

“Carers play an extremely important role in our society. Not enough carers get the support or recognition they need. We were shocked to learn from our research that there are at least 380,000 older carers in England who provide 50+ hours of care a week without any help from their local authority. Carers Week 2018 not only gives us an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work that carers do, but it also gives us the chance to think about what we can be doing as a community to support those with care responsibilities.”

About us

Every day in the UK there are thousands of older people struggling to make ends meet, battling ill-health and coping with inadequate care, support and housing. Many also face endless weeks, months or even years feeling completely alone.

At Independent Age, we support older people to stay independent and live well. We offer quality information and expert one-to-one advice to older people, their families and carers, regular calls and visits to lonely older people through our Friendship Services, and a strong campaigning voice.

We also inspire people to support us in whatever way they can, from becoming a volunteer to running a marathon or giving a regular gift.

For more information, visit our website

Call us on 0800 3196789 for information, to arrange free, impartial advice from an adviser or to order one of our free guides. Lines are open Mondays to Fridays, 8am-8pm and Saturdays, 9am-1pm.

Age UK is the country's largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life.

In the UK we help more than seven million people every year, providing support, companionship and advice for older people who need it most. We work as part of a network of independent charities which includes Age UK; our national partners Age Cymru, Age NI and Age Scotland and over 150 local Age UK partners in England.

Age UK and many of its local partners are pleased to participate in Carers Week 2017. We provide help and support to carers across the country in many different ways - such as offering counselling and support groups, sharing advice on Carers Assessments and benefits, and providing day care and respite, or organising fun activities to allow carers to relax.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK says:

"Caring for someone is a tough job which places a heavy and emotional toll on the carer. Two million of those who care for a family member or friend in this country are themselves older people, often with their own health problems. And astonishingly, more than a hundred thousand people in their eighties and beyond are caring full-time.

"All carers need our support – whether individually with us all trying to help out or at a society level with Government and Local Authorities making sure that respite services are readily available and employers offer flexible working arrangements. No easy task when there is a risk of a complete collapse of social care in some parts of the country.

"Age UK provides independent information and advice to help carers and their families now. We also campaign to reform the care system and help carers get the support they need in the future."

For more information visit or call our free advice line on 0800 678 1174.

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, and this can lead to them struggling with poor mental or physical 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 and one where carers are able to look after their own health and wellbeing too. We give expert advice, information and support. We connect carers so no-one has to care alone and we campaign together for lasting change. 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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 millions of people 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 to stay healthy and connected.

During Carers Week 2018 Carers UK will work with our active membership of over 40,000 carers. We will engage our hundreds of volunteers, over 100 organisations who are members of Employers for Carers, as well as almost 300 affiliate members - local 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 CBE, Chief Executive, Carers UK said:

“Carers Week has become a regular fixture in the calendar in the UK where we come together as communities, individuals and organisations, to celebrate the vital contribution carers make every single day. Caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience, but without access to 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 come together to help carers stay healthy and connected ,supporting them to look after loved ones without putting their own lives on hold.”


Carers Trust is a major charity for, with and about carers. With local Network Partners we support carers in their homes through the provision of grants and replacement care, and in the community with information, advice, emotional support, hands on practical help and access to much needed breaks.

Our vision is that unpaid carers count and can access the help they need to live their lives. 

We offer specialist services for carers of people of all ages and conditions and a range of individually tailored support and group activities.

To find your nearest Network Partner, visit or call 0300 772 9600.

Giles Meyer, Carers Trust Chief Executive, said:

“Three in five of us will become a carer at some point in our lives, that’s why it is vital that we help to raise awareness of carers and the important role they play in their families and within the community.

“Caring isn’t something we plan for, so if or when it happens we need to ensure the carer receives all the help and support they need to carry out their role as an unpaid carer.

“Carers Week plays a key role in raising awareness of carers’ needs, as well as highlighting the many services available to them from charities like ourselves."

Carers Week is the UK's 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.

This Carers Week, we’re coming together to build communities that support the health and wellbeing of carers. Around 6.5 million people in the UK are carers, looking after a parent, partner, child or friend. 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. Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience but sometimes carers find it challenging to take care of their own well-being whilst caring. The impact of caring on health and well-being should not be underestimated this Carers week we will be looking to share examples of good practice from supporters of which have helped carers to stay Healthy and Connected.

Find out how you can get involved in Carers Week to help carers to stay Healthy and Connected.

Carers UK organises Carers Week annually. We respect the privacy of visitors. Carers UK collects "personal information" about you to allow us to identify you. This includes your name and email address, as well as information volunteered by yourself. Any information we collect about you will be stored securely and treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. We will not pass your personal details to other people or organisations.

If you indicated that you are interested in receiving regular information we will send you communications regarding our work and activities, either electronically or otherwise.

Cookies on Carers Week website

Cookies are small text markers stored on your computer that enable us to understand how people use our website. No personally identifiable information is stored on the cookies. In common with many similar websites, we use them to help remember preferences and for anonymous statistical measurements - for example so we know how many "hits" a page has had.

You can control and delete cookies

Even though Carers UK does not use cookies to collect personally identifiable information about you, you might still want to restrict or block cookies. You can do this through your internet browser (Internet explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox etc). Use the help function to find out how.

This website has detailed information on how to block, restrict or delete cookies as well as more general information. However if you restrict cookies for the Carers Week website then there is a risk the website will not work fully.

What cookies do we use?

These are the main reasons we use cookies on the Carers Week website

Google Analytics

This is a service we use from Google that collects information about how people use our website. We use this to make sure we are providing the best service we can to our web visitors. Using cookies Google Analytics stores information about

  • what pages you visit
  • how long you stay on the page
  • how you came to the site
  • what things you click on

Although we collect this information we do not collect any personal information - so we don’t know what your name is or where you live. And the information we collect cannot be used to identify you. Also this information is for Carers UK’s use only and we don't allow Google to share it.

Joomla Content Management System

Joomla is the system we use to build the website and update the pages. In a similar way to Google analytics this also collects information about how many times a page has been visited and how many times a file is downloaded (Things like the PDFs of our research reports and briefings)

Third-party cookies

Many of our pages have a "Share this" function that allows you to share content with your friends or colleagues via email, Twitter, Facebook etc. We use cookies to make this service work. It tells us what items a person has shared, how many people are sharing and how many page "Hits" we have got as a result of the sharing. Again we do not collect anything that personally identifies you.

Cookies that are set by other websites

If you are using the sharing facility already mentioned (ie Share content with Facebook, Twitter) then it is possible those websites (ie. Facebook) may also set a cookie when you are also logged in to their service. Carers UK does not control these type of cookies.

Very occasionally we embed things like video, audio and pictures from other websites such as such as YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr or Soundcloud. This means it looks like one of our webpages but the video is being fed through from another site (ie YouTube) This means that every time you visit one of our pages with this sort of embedded content, those other sites may use their own cookies to record that you watched or views the content. Carers Week has no control over these cookies so you should check the relevant website for more information.

The Carers Week website contains links to other websites, blogs and social media. These are provided as other useful sources of information. Inclusion of a link to another website does not imply endorsement of any kind as to their content or quality.

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Carers Week 2018

These organisations joined together to make Carers Week happen in 2018

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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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