Councillors’ insight into the work of Harrogate’s unpaid carers

5 December 2011

HARROGATE could get its first councillor tasked with championing the rights of the district’s growing number of unpaid carers.

The idea was discussed at a meeting between an all-party group of borough and county councillors and representatives of the charity, Carers’ Resource.

The councillors were paying a fact-finding trip to the charity’s offices on North Park Road to learn more about the launch of its “Eat or Heat” campaign designed to raise awareness of the financial hardship many carers face this winter in the face of mounting energy bills.

Anne Smyth, the charity’s founder, said:

The meeting provided an insight into the daily struggle experienced by many carers in the district, many of whom have lower than average household incomes but far higher energy bills as a result of the vital role they play looking after loved ones.

It also provided a platform for discussing the potential for having a ‘Carers’ Champion’ among councillors – and, while the idea is still very much in its infancy, we are delighted that its merits are to be explored further. It would be a tremendous boost for Harrogate’s ‘caring community’.


Councillors' insight into the work of Harrogate's unpaid carersFact-finding visit …..(from left) County Cllr Geoff Webber;  Cllr Trevor Chapman;  Cllr Reg Marsh;  Alison Straw, of Carers’ Resource;  Mr Adrian Smith, a carer who shared his story;  Helen Brown, of Carers’ Resource; Cllr Jenny Travena;  Cllr Pat Marsh; and Cllr Ian Galloway.

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