North Yorkshire County Council is backing a national campaign to reach out to the tens of thousands of carers that offer unpaid but vital support to family and friends.
In North Yorkshire alone there are estimated to be more than 60,000 carers and nationally it is estimated that carers save the economy £119 billion a year.
Carers Week, which runs next week from 9 to 15 June, celebrates their work and aims to raise awareness to improve the lives of carers and the people they care for.
The theme this year is Carers Week Quest, a drive to reach out to carers, particularly those who don’t identify themselves as carers, but simply as a wife, husband, son, daughter, mum, dad or other family member helping a loved one. Without the right support, carers can become cut off and their physical and emotional health, work and finances can suffer.
The Quest encourages people to sign a Pledge Wall on the Carers UK website, www.carersweek.org/carers-week-quest , to say what they will do to support carers.
County Councillor Clare Wood, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Health and Adults Services who has also signed the Pledge Wall said: Carers perform vital work looking after their loved ones – family and friends – but their work often goes unnoticed and they can so easily become isolated, and their quality of life and their own health can deteriorate because of their responsibilities. We have to make sure that they too are supported to continue this work.
Richard Webb, the county council’s director of Health and Adult Services, has also signed the Pledge Wall and, in the run-up to Carers Week, attended North Yorkshire Carers Forum to hear first-hand from carers what works well and what could be better for them.
The County Council supports carers in many ways, including:
• A carer’s assessment, which helps to make sure that both the carer and the person cared for get the right support. In 2013/2014, 2,500 carers had assessments.
• Support following assessment can include a carer’s grant to allow the carer to have a break from caring. The grant can be applied for once a year and is generally up to £250. Last year, over 1,000 carers benefited from grants.
• Respite care to give carers a break from caring, while the person they care for is looked after. In 2013/14, respite care was provided for 784 people.
• A carer’s emergency card to offer cover if a carer is suddenly unable to carry out their duties through illness or accident. There are 5,214 carers with a card.
• Support and advice for young carers.
Find out more about these and other forms of support at www.northyorks.gov.uk/carers or call 08458 727374.
During Carers Week, events to bring together and support carers will be held around North Yorkshire. These include:
• the launch of an online forum that will enable carers to connect to others across Harrogate, Craven, Bradford, Leeds and Hull;
• an information event at Thirsk Garden Centre;
• a time for tea event at the Carers Resource in Harrogate;
• Ripon Carers afternoon tea at the Community House;
• an information stand at Scarborough library;
• an awareness stand about young carers at Pindar School in Scarborough;
• stands at Selby and Tadcaster markets; and
• an adult carers trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
Find details of all events here: http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/media/28205/Carers-Week-activities-in-North-Yorkshire/pdf/Carers_week_activities.pdf
Picture shows left to right, front to back: Carer Ashleigh Joechim ; Cllr Clare Wood; carer June Briggs; Andrea Hobbs, chief exec of the Carers Centre and Patrick Duffy, Health and Adult Services manager, North Yorkshire County Council