In the UK, there are 5.7 million unpaid carers, which is estimated to save the UK economy £162 billion a year. However, the role carers carry out is often invisible and unacknowledged apart from by a small handful of people. During Carers Week, which takes place from 10-16 June this year, the theme is ‘Putting Carers on the Map.’

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of carers in the wider community and for employers and decision makers. Caring for someone with an illness, disability, or mental health condition can take a huge emotional and financial toll, with lasting impacts that are often disregarded or downplayed.

Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK said: “We want carers to know they are not forgotten, and they are not alone. The dedicated, committed support unpaid carers provide day in day out has been valued as the equivalent of a second NHS, but often carers tell us that they feel unseen and undervalued.”

“Many are at breaking point, facing challenges managing caring alongside their own health and wellbeing – with 78% of carers worried about being unable to care in the future.”

“Recognition for carers in their communities and at national government level during an election year, has never been more important – making Carers Week a vital opportunity to put carers on the map.”

Carers’ duties often do not end when their loved one is placed in a care home, because they will be tasked with the burden of administering the finances and ensuring all the fees are paid, which can be a complex, time consuming and daunting challenge. 

They may also be responsible for selecting a suitable nursing home and ensuring that it is up to standard, and that their loved one is having all their needs met and is receiving all the nursing care that they might need. The carer will be the first point of contact for the care home staff, and will be invited to attend regular care reviews and meetings. 

They will remain responsible for ensuring that their loved one is adequately clothed and can access services such as the dentist, the hairdresser, and the chiropodist. 

All of this work is often carried out while the carer is supporting themselves and their family, and may result in them having to take out of work or work fewer hours than they would like to, impacting their financial security and employment prospects. 

The charity Carers UK advocates on behalf of carers, and is partnering with Phoenix to launch its ‘Caring for Carers’ campaign. 

Commenting on the partnership with Carers UK, Mary Bright, Group Head of Social Sustainability at Phoenix Group, said: “Through partnering with Carers UK we can support the great work they do and help drive real change in society.”

“Carers UK advocates for, champions, supports and connects carers across the UK, so that no one has to care alone. They also campaign for lasting change.”

The group is advocating for initiatives such as paid and unpaid carers’ leave and flexible working hours for carers. 

2024-07-02T14:44:53+00:00June 15th, 2024|Blog|
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