Carers Week is an annual awareness week which recognises the vital contribution made by people caring unpaid for family members or friends who have a disability, illness, mental health condition, or who need extra help as they grow older.
Andrew Jones MP attended an event in Parliament to mark Carers Week and met with carers to hear about and better understand their experiences of caring during the pandemic, as well as the support they now need.
New research released for Carers Week found that:
- More care is now being provided by unpaid carers than ever before, with the number of people providing substantial care (i.e. over 20 hours of care or more per week) rising by 42% across the UK since October 2020
- One in five of the UK’s adults (approximately 10.6 million people) are now supporting a relative, close friend or neighbour because of chronic illness, including mental ill-health, dementia, disability, or older age.
- 84% of the general public think that the UK governments should provide additional support to unpaid carers, including increased financial support and investment in care and support services so that unpaid carers can have a break.
The seven charities supporting Carers Week in 2022 – Carers UK, Age UK, Carers Trust, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Oxfam GB, Rethink Mental Illness, and The Lewy Body Society – are calling for the Government to put in place a Recovery and Respite Plan for unpaid carers, to recognise the lengths people have gone to during COVID and to mitigate the impact it has had on carers’ own mental and physical health, as well as their finances.
Local MP, Andrew Jones, said:
Unpaid carers have provided crucial support to friends and family members throughout the pandemic, often without any time out for themselves, and it is important that their efforts are recognised, and that they are given the support they need to care safely and well for their loved ones.
I am supporting Carers Week 2022 to ensure unpaid carers in Harrogate & Knaresborough are connected to the support they need and get the breaks they deserve. I back the call for the Government to develop a Recovery and Respite Plan for Unpaid Carers. Locally we have a vital support service – the Carers Resource – who I was pleased to meet with earlier this month and I hope all carers are able to access similar such important support services.