Carers Week 2020 – making caring visible
There are around 24,000 known unpaid carers in the city, but the number of people that care for a friend or relative is actually much higher than that.
Think about all the people you know that look after a family member or friend who are older, disabled, ill or who need support. From those that pop over to cook, clean or do the washing, to those that live with someone and help them manage every day. Carers can be of all ages, including children and young people - we've already completed more than 130 young carers' COVID-19 assessments.
As we all continue to face new challenges, more people are taking on unpaid caring responsibilities - many have taken on the role for the first time and might not identify themselves as carers but they are.
The theme of this year’s Carers Week is ‘making caring visible’, and that’s what I’d like to do. I want to highlight how many people look after someone and recognise how vital unpaid carers really are to our local community. I want to thank you for the contribution you make, not just to those you look after, but also to the local health and care services - this cannot be underestimated.
Supporting our carers
Carers do a wonderful job of looking after their loved ones but all too often don’t take the time to look after themselves. Caring for someone else can be rewarding, but it can be difficult too. It can affect your own health, your relationships or your finances. Without the right support it can be tough. So if you look after someone, please know that there is support out there for you.
In Brighton & Hove we’re lucky to have The Carers Hub – a collaboration between the council, the Carers Centre, Crossroads Care and the Alzheimer’s Society. It’s a place for unpaid carers to go to get advice, support or respite and to find resources or offers that are available to them.
Throughout COVID-19 pandemic the hub has been contacting the carers they know to make sure they are supported, know the latest guidance on caring for someone and to check that they are looking after their own wellbeing.
Celebrating our carers
To help celebrate and give something back to those that care, the Carers Centre has put together an Online Carers Festival. Each day throughout Carers Week they are running a range of online activities. It’s a chance for carers to try a new online activity, from singing, writing and craft, to keeping active, having a debate or enjoying a few minutes of mindfulness. Throughout the week they are also offering discounts on bus travel for informal carers, as well as their ongoing support. Have a look at the Carers Centre website for full line up and more information.
If you are looking after someone, and especially if you’ve never thought of yourself as being a ‘carer’ before, please have a look at the support that’s on offer so that you can look after yourself too.
And once again, thank you.
Councillor Clare Moonan
Chair of the Health & Wellbeing Board
Get support to help you while you care
If you are an unpaid carer for family members or friends, you can contact The Carers Hub to access a range of support and information from their dedicated advice and assessment support services:
- 01273 977000
You can also sign up to the new Carers Digital News newsletter to keep up to date with the digital support and services that are available, as well as a range of resources to provide you with a break.
Support for young carers
The Young Carers Project at The Carers Centre supports children and young people aged 6-17 years, who are helping to care for someone in their family, with a disability, mental health condition, substance misuse issue or long-term illness. Young Adult Carers aged 16-25 can also get specialised support.
Throughout lockdown the Young Carers Painting Club has been trying out different types of art at home - so far they've had a look at pop art, self portraits and street art. Find out more or subscribe to the Young Carers Youtube channel.
Show your support and say a big thank you this Carers Week
- Download and display a Thank You poster, or create your own
- Record a short video message or share a photo of you saying thank you and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Submit your artwork, photography, poetry, useful recipes and any tips to be shared in the Online Carers Gallery.
- Follow the Carers Centre on Twitter or Facebook and use #carersweek to share your story or support
Become a carer supporter
The Carers Centre has been working to improve the lives of unpaid family carers since 1988, but they need your help to continue.
Go to the Carers Centre website to see all the different ways you can support them or you can text BCAR16 £5 to 70070 to donate £5.
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