Carers Week, which runs every year from the 8th to the 14th of June, is a campaign designed to raise awareness and highlight the issues faced by those unpaid carers out there who are tending to families and communities throughout the UK. This annual event, celebrated by thousands of individuals and organisations, provides support to carers and runs activities designed to draw attention to the importance of the caring role within our society.
This year Carers Week is unique in that, due to the coronavirus outbreak, those who are caring for others across the UK are facing new challenges , and many have taken on more caring responsibilities than ever before – whether that be caring for elderly or disabled relatives or friends, or supporting vulnerable neighbours. In response to this, Carers Week is urging people to come together to help ‘Making Caring Visible’, providing information, support and understanding to those who find themselves working in a carers’ capacity – maybe for the first time.
There are 6.5 million people caring for others in the UK, and that can have an impact on all aspects of their life from finances and work, to relationships and health The challenges faced should not be underestimated, and it is vitally important that we recognise the contribution carers make to society, and ensure they get the support and recognition they deserve.
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So, why should you get involved?
Caring will affect all of us at some point in our lives – either because we will take on that role for an elderly or sick relative or friend, or because we will be reliant on others to care for us. Most of those who are currently caring for someone in their lives don’t give themselves the title of ‘carer’. Instead they call themselves husbands and wives, daughters, sons, friends….meaning that more often than not they are not connected to the support and information networks that are vital to carers. Of course caring for someone can be highly rewarding, but it certainly comes with difficulties and frustrations too. Carers Week aims to alleviate some of this, by providing those much needed resources.
You can raise awareness of caring and the importance it plays in our lives and the lives of those we love, by organising an activity within your community or place of work. You can register your activity on the Carers Week website and download all the information in order to promote your activity and raise awareness.
Or why not make a pledge instead, or spread the word about Carers Week on social media, using the hashtag #carersweek and show your support and appreciation for all those unpaid carers out there, and ensure they get the information and help they need.