This year, Carers Week was bigger than ever, reaching more carers, employers and politicians. The theme was ‘Recognising and supporting carers in the community’ and communities across the UK came together to recognise the huge contribution unpaid carers make to society. Each day focussed on a different area such as work and employment, older carers and mental health and wellbeing.
On the first day of Carers Week, Carers UK, along with six charities, launched new research finding that 73% of people in the UK who are providing, or have provided, unpaid care in their lifetime - roughly 19 million people - have not identified themselves as a carer. The polling also suggests that eight million people (31%) in the UK with experience of providing care have seen their health and wellbeing suffer. To read the full research report, please click here.
Around 1,300 people said I CARE on the Carers Week website to show their support for unpaid carers. There were also over 500 activities registered, with everything from allotment projects to information fairs right across the UK. Carers UK also hosted ten online support sessions throughout the week which included book readings, photography workshops, chats with the Carers UK Policy team, information sessions and more.
The Employers for Carers team spoke to more employers than ever before, and it was brilliant to see our members hosting their own fantastic events. For instance, Clyde & Co hosted a panel session, getting the perspective of four different carers through different seniorities in the business, while Northamptonshire Carers ran multiple activities which even included a choir in the local shopping centre to visibly raise awareness of carers. At Weetabix there was a stand dedicated to carers in the canteen, signposting practical tools and tips, whilst DEFRA showcased the week with multiple blogs and sessions for carers of all different types. Across the Civil Service as a whole there were excellent talks ranging on how to access their Carers Passport through to focusing specifically on fathers who are carers.
The Carers UK Policy team were busy during the week hosting a parliamentary drop-in and a small group of unpaid carers were invited to a reception at 10 Downing Street to be recognised for their contribution to society. The carers, supported by the seven charities behind Carers Week, joined together to reflect on all that carers across the UK do to look after their family members or friends who have a disability, illness, mental health condition or who need help as they grow older.
The reception was hosted by the Minister for Care, Helen Whately MP, who announced a cross-government roundtable to champion carers’ needs which you can read more about here.
If you would like to read more about events that happened throughout Carers Week, you can read the latest news here.