Social Justice. Equality. Enterprise.

Carers Week 2011 - Background

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Carers Week is a partnership of 9 national charities:

Age UK, Carers UK, Counsel & Care, Crossroads Care, Dementia UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, MS Society, Parkinson's UK, and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers

The partnership was formed in 2001; the week having previously been organised by Carers UK (then known as Carers National Association). Since that time the number of events and activities has expanded from 200 to over 5,000, and the number of local partners from 70 to over 1,200.

In 2010:

  • More than 100,000 carers took part in Carers Week
  • Over 5,000 events and activities were held across the UK, organised by over 1,200 local organisations
  • More than 300 MPs signed up to support Carers Week

In 2011 we will be highlighting how:

  • the huge impact and contribution that carers make is often unrecognised by society
  • carers need and deserve access to better support and services
  • recognition by professionals, and by others who impact on carers day-to-day lives, can help to make a massive difference

The primary objectives of Carers Week are:

  • Recognising and celebrating the contribution that the UK's six million carers make to those they care for, and to their communities
  • Raising the profile of carers and the awareness about the needs and role of carers; influencing and informing opinion-formers and decision-makers (such as MPs and healthcare professionals) and helping to secure increased resources for carers from central and local government
  • Identifying ‘hidden carers', with the aim of enabling them to access support and services
  • Encouraging local organisations to work together to promote recognition, support and services for carers
  • Highlighting the support and services that Carers Week national partners offer to carers

Carers Week is also about celebrating the contribution that carers make to those they care for, and bringing to the fore the issues carers tell us are most important to them.

With the help of thousands of carers and local organisations who support carers, we will this year reach out to even more carers who currently don't know about or have access to the support and services available to them.

Carers Week is seven days when we pay tribute to every single carer, and the contribution they make to their families and their communities. Seven days when we seek to demonstrate to politicians, opinion-formers and the general public that carers deserve support and recognition not just forone week a year, but for 52

Carers Week is dedicated to the UK's six million carers.

Carers Week is a celebration of the contribution that carers make to those they care for, and to their communities. We bring to the fore the issues carers say are most important to them.

Together with thousands of carers, and local organisations who support carers, we use Carers Week to reach to the tens of thousands of carers who currently don't know about or have access to the support and services available to them.

Carers Week is seven days when we pay tribute to every single carer, and the contribution they make to their families and their communities. Seven days when we seek to demonstrate to politicians, opinion-formers and the general public that carers deserve support and recognition not just forone week a year, but for 52.

Carers experience many different caring situations. A carer could be someone looking after a new baby with a disability, or caring for an elderly parent, someone supporting a partner, or helping to look after a friend or neighbour.

Taking on a caring role can mean facing a life of poverty, isolation, frustration, ill health and depression.

Many carers give up an income, future employment prospects and pension rights to become a carer.

Many carers also work outside the home and are trying to juggle jobs with their responsibilities as carers.

The majority of carers struggle alone and do not know that help is available to them.

Carers say that access to information, financial support and breaks in caring are vital in helping them manage the impact of caring on their lives.

Carers often suffer ill-health due to their caring role.To care safely and maintain their own physical and mental health and well-being, carers need information, support, respect and recognition from the professionals with whom they are in contact.Improved support for the person being cared-for is often what carers most desire.

Carers need support to be able to juggle their work and caring roles or to return to work if they have lost employment due to caring.

With an ageing population, the UK will need more care from families and friends in the future. This is an issue that will touch everyone's life at some point. Carer support concerns everyone.

The Carers Week partnership has been supporting and celebrating the achievements of the UK's six million carers since 2001, and this year will be no different.

From 13-19 June over 1,000 local organisations throughout the UK will be staging events and activities for and with carers, and many of these will be published on this site as well as being publicised locally.

Does your MP support carers?

In March, Carers Week wrote to every MP, inviting them to express their support for carers and Carers Week. Find out what your MP has had to say by visiting this page.

Three MPs have spoken out in support of Carers Week 2011. The Parliamentary ambassadorssaythe awareness week is an opportunity to makepeople realise they're not alone in caring for a loved one.

Kate Green MP(Labour, Stretford and Urmston), Laura Sandys MP (Conservative, South Thanet) and Mark WilliamsMP (Liberal Democrat, Ceredigion) all have different reasons for backing Carers Week this year.

Mark recently introduced a Bill that would improve the rights of carers to request flexible working from their employer. Laura was voted into Parliament last year, and used her maiden speech to support carers. Kate was also elected in 2010. She is heavily involved in opposing cuts to carer's services in her local area.

Young Carers Speak Out

Young carers have been talking to the Carers Week team about what life is like for them. The group of youngsters talk about not only the challenges of being a carer, but also what they like about it.

The video has been made as part of Carers Week 2011: The True Face of Carers

Please watch the video to see young carers speak about their experiences:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cp7emJy1y4&feature=player_embedded

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