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Highlights from Carers Week 2015

12 June 2015

Thank you to everyone who has helped make this year's Carers Week the most successful ever!

We've had 2290 individuals and organisations sign-up this year so far, 1,730 pledges of support, and thousands of events taking place around the UK.


MP support

132 MPs from all parties attended the launch of Carers Week 2015 in Parliament on Monday 8 June, to show support for carers. They spent time talking and listening to carers' personal experiences of caring, what it means to care on a daily basis, and how this has impacted on their lives.

The MPs made pledges such as: "I pledge to speak up for carers in Parliament", "I pledge to guide carers to local support", and "I pledge to build carer friendly communities."

We're putting all the MP's pledges up on our pledge wall. 


MP photocall collage1

From left, clockwise: Cat Smith MP (Labour), with MS Society and Age UK, David Jones MP (Conservative), with Age UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Carers UK, Greg Mulholland MP (Lib Dem) with Independent Age, Carers Trust and Carers UK. Dr. Lisa Cameron MP (SNP) with Reginald Baker, carer for his wife.


Carers Week charities came together in Parliament, with the Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP

The new Minister for Community and Social Care, Alistair Burt, along with the Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, Margaret Dangoor who cares for her husband, NHS England, ADASS and Employers for Carers, discussed how we can all build Carer Friendly Communities that better recognise and support carers.

The findings of Carers Week's research into carers' experiences of their communities, formed the basis of a really constructive conversation which ranged from how hospitals can be encouraged to adopt carer friendly policies, to the role of employers enabling employees who care to support each other through peer to peer networks, and the benefits for families when a health or care professional takes on a coordinating role.


Carers Week Roundtable event 10th June 2015 with Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP web 

Back row (from left to right):
Neil Churchill, Director of Patient Improving Patient Experience (NHS England), Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director (Age UK), Lucy Schonegevel, Public Affairs Manager (Macmillan Cancer Support), Cathie Williams, Chief Officer (ADASS), Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, (Minister of State for Community and Social Care, Dept. of Health), Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive (Carers UK), Gail Scott-Spicer, Chief Executive (Carers Trust), Victoria MacDonald, Health and Social Affairs Correspondent (Channel 4)

Front row (from left to right):
Margaret Dangoor (Carer), Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, Janet Morrison, Chief Executive (Independent Age), Craig Hughes, Sovereign Wealth Fund and UK Real Estate Leader, (Price Waterhouse Coopers, Employers for Carers member), Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive (MS Society)


The Scottish Parliament debate

This took place during Carers Week and recognised the immense contribution of Scotland's carers. It highlighted the scale of caring across Scotland, as well as recognising many of the challenges carers face. The Carers (Scotland) Bill is currently going through Parliament, so this was a great opportunity to reflect on its progress and what more can be done. The Minister mentioned Heléna Herklots of Carers UK, and her Hill Challenge - as she climbed Calton Hill with her earlier this year!


We launched the Carers Checklist, which was endorsed by NHS England

The Checklist is a simple list looking at the things that carers have told us are important in making their community carer friendly. This includes key health services like GP practices, hospitals, but also the workplace, schools/colleges, and services on the high street. This is a supportive tool for carers and others to use to determine whether their local services are providing carers with the help they need.

The checklist also enables local providers, businesses, employers and other local services to take simple steps to make a difference to carers' lives.

To download and use the Carers Checklist click on the image below:




We had a pledge from Ray James, President of ADASS 

Ray James said "I'm delighted to support this year's Carers Week and to work with organisations locally in Enfield and nationally to help build Carer Friendly Communities." 


Ray James Cropped3 2 


We also had pledges from: 

  • Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Office:
    "We pledge our support to Carers Week. We will be raising awareness of different initiatives available to help carers working within the Civil Service."
  • Baroness Ilora Finlay, British Medical Association:
    "The British Medical Association applauds the vital role that carers play in supporting their relatives' health and well-being. We also understand the challenges that they face, and the potential health problems that they can develop as a result of their dedicated role, which is why we are pledging our support for Carers Week 2015."
  • Jeremy Hunt MP, Health Secretary
    "Carers are too often the unsung heroes of our communities, so I welcome the opportunity to pay tribute to the 6.5 million people in our country who selflessly support their family, friends and neighbours. Carers now have more rights and support than ever before, but we can all play a part to make sure our communities are carer friendly – I commend the Carers Week campaign to raise awareness of this vital issue."

NHS England blogged about and published articles on caring

This included Kelly's blog about her personal experience of caring, and Neil Churchill, Director of Patient Improving Patient Experience at NHS England, wrote the piece: 'Supporting carers is at the heart of NHS England'. 


Social Media  twitter2  facebook

As well as organisations and individuals sharing their events on social media all week, we've had tweets from celebrities including Ruth Langsford, Chris Evans, Michael Ball, Ken Bruce (Radio 2), Johnnie Walker and Stephen Fry, as well as from a range of MPs! 


Events and Activities

Thousands of events have taken place throughout the UK this week.   Here are just a few examples:


Carers Support Wiltshire held a Creative Carers group in Salisbury, Wiltshire on Monday. The carers that attended worked together to make a beautiful collage for Carers Week:

Carers Support Wiltshire


Macmillan Team at Lister Hospital pledged their support to building Carer Friendly Communities for Carers Week:

Macmillan  Lister 


Carers Support North East Lincolnshire had a carers' photo booth at one of their Carers Week events:

Carers Support NEL 


Crossroads Hertfordshire North hosted a carers afternoon tea which was attended by students from the University of Hertfordshire:

Crossroads Herts  web


Gemma Finnegan pledged to raise awareness of caring amongst the public and to give them information and advice:

Gemma Finnegan


The Sunderland Carers' Centre held its Canine Companions Dog of the Year Show in the Carers' Centre Gardon on Thursday. Local Mayor, Cllr Barry Curran, and Mayoress, Carol Curran, presented rosettes to the winning dogs - West Highland Terriers, Mollie and Huey:

Sunderland Carers dogs1


Age UK Cornwall held an information stand, giving advice and support to carers:

Age UK Cornwall


Islington Carers Hub organised a day of pampering, relaxation and a chance to unwind (in partnership with Centre404 and Camden Carers' Service):



The team at Carers UK pledged to continue supporting carers:

DSC 0052 cropped


The MS Society, Derby Branch held a Carers' Traditional Afternoon Tea. Derbyshire carers came along to have a chat with MS Society carers, who offered advice and support throughout the afternoon:

MS Society Derby Branch Carers Week Traditional Afternoon Tea web


Sainsbury's showed why Carers Week is so important for their colleagues and customers. You can watch their carers' film here. 

Sainsburys Helping Hands 


Lyn Campbell from Carers Northern Ireland did a sponsored headshave to raise awareness of carers!

Lyn Headshave


And the 'Jana Reinhardt Jewellery store' made a lovely offer:

"We've been listening to carers' stories all day today on the radio and felt really moved. So we decided to treat one of the many hard-working carers to a £200 jewellery voucher to spend on our website. We are asking people to nominate a carer they think deserves a treat."


Thank you to everyone for making Carers Week 2015 such a huge success!







Carers Week 2018

These organisations joined together to make Carers Week happen in 2018

  • logo01
  • Carers UK new logo
  • image description
  • 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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