This year, as people across the country are facing new challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Carers Leeds is highlighting the key role played by unpaid carers to support health and social care in Leeds.
This year’s Carers Week campaign (8-15 June), supported locally by Carers Leeds and citywide partners including NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is asking people come together and help “Make Caring Visible.”
Leeds has at least 74,000 unpaid carers, and more people are taking on extra caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support.
Carers Leeds will use the week to show what life is like for carers during lockdown to shine a light on the importance of carers. The charity is asking carers to create videos, blogs, photos and any other creative routes to show their experiences of caring, and they will share this content online throughout the week.
Dr Sarah Forbes, GP and Associate Medical Director for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The COVID-19 crisis has understandably seen a focus on celebrating frontline health and care professionals as well as key workers.
“However I want to take this opportunity to recognise and thank the city’s carers who have really rallied around to help. It is no exaggeration to say that without the support of carers, the health and care system in Leeds would find itself experiencing greater challenges.
“Our organisation and our partners are truly inspired by the ‘roll up your sleeves’ attitude shown by the city’s carers. We welcome the celebration of carers led locally by Carers Leeds.”
Val Hewison, Chief Executive of Carers Leeds said: “I have been so impressed by both our city’s response to finding new ways to support those who need it most and also by the resilience of carers. You sort of learn to roll with the punches when you’re caring for someone anyway but the way I’ve seen carers embrace zoom support groups and telephone 121’s has given me a real boost.
“We have worked hard to make sure no carer has been forgotten during lockdown and the Carers Leeds team will continue to adapt to support carers in a way that works for them, and help make carers visible for all to see how incredible their contribution is to our city. Please help us achieve this and make sure we leave no carer behind.
“Carers need to be recognised for the difficulties they are experiencing, respected for all they are doing, and provided with information, support and understanding.”
As well as highlighting the role carers play in supporting people, Carers Leeds is offering people an opportunity to have a break from caring as they attend events online such as wellbeing sessions, fun quizzes and Zumba sessions.
To take part or for more details, take a look at the Carers Leeds website: https://www.carersleeds.org.uk/events/.
Notes to editors
About carers week
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.
About Carers Leeds
Carers Leeds offers a range of both general and specialised support to the 74,000 carers across Leeds and is a network partner of Carers Trust. For over 20 years, they have had an experienced and dedicated team providing confidential information, advice and support to unpaid carers.
Carers Trust is a national charity that works to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.
Carers Leeds is there to provide vital information, advice and support to carers throughout Leeds. Their expert team of Carer Support Workers are available through the advice line which is open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm. Call 0113 380 4300 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a carer?
A carer is anyone who, without payment, looks after a friend or family member living with dementia, illness, disability, mental health issues or a substance misuse problem who couldn’t manage without support.
For some, taking on a caring role can be sudden: someone in your family has an accident or your child is born with a disability. For others, caring creeps up unnoticed: your parents can’t manage on their own any longer or your partner’s health gradually worsens.
The amount and type of support that carers provide varies considerably. It can range from a few hours a week, such as picking up prescriptions and preparing meals, to providing care day and night.
Caring will touch each and every one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer or need care ourselves. Whilst caring can be a rewarding experience, it can also have a damaging impact on a person’s health, finances, and relationships.
Facts about carers
1 in 8 adults (around 6.5 million people) are carers
- Every day another 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility – that equals over 2 million people each year.
- 58% of carers are women and 42% are men.
- 3 million people provide over 50 hours of care per week.
- Over 1 million people care for more than one person
- As of 2019, there could be as many as 8.8 million adult carers in the UK.
Carers save the economy £132 billion per year, an average of £19,336 per carer
- 5 million people in the UK are juggling caring responsibilities with work – that’s 1 in 7 of the workforce.
- However, the significant demands of caring mean that 600 people give up work every day to care for an older or disabled relative.
- Carer’s Allowance is the main carer’s benefit and is £66.15 for a minimum of 35 hours, the lowest benefit of its kind.
People providing high levels of care are twice as likely to be permanently sick or disabled
- 72% of carers responding to Carers UK’s State of Caring 2018 Survey said they had suffered mental ill health as a result of caring.
- 61% said they had suffered physical ill-health as a result of caring.
- 8 in 10 people caring for loved ones say they have felt lonely or socially isolated.
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Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively, please email us at: email@example.com