ONLINE events, wellbeing walks and support for carers will be available next week as part of National Carers’ Week, which runs from 7-13 June.
The theme of the week is Making Carers Visible and Valued. Its aim is to make sure people identify themselves as carers in the first place, and then make sure that they know what support is available to them locally.
In Leicester, carers can get free advice, help and support from the Leicester Carers Support service, which is run by Age UK on behalf of the city council.
Over the course of Carers’ Week, a series of events will take place on Zoom. These include information sessions on all aspects of caring, virtual “carers’ cafes” for an informal chat; and advice on benefits and bills.
There will also be ‘back to nature’ and ‘walk and talk’ sessions, taking place at Abbey and Cossington parks; plus a ‘taste of allotment life’ session in New Parks. These sessions will take account of covid restrictions – and the weather!
All the events are free to join, but booking is necessary. For more information and a full list of what is taking place, visit https://www.ageuk.org.uk/leics/our-services/support-for-carers/carers_week_2021/ or call 0116 222 0538.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Sarah Russell, who leads on social care and anti-poverty, said: “If you look after someone in your family, or a friend, who could not manage without your support, then you are a carer. This Carers’ Week, we want to make sure as many people as possible know what help is out there for them if they are in this position.
“Carers have played an even more vital role during the coronavirus pandemic. All carers are entitled to a covid-19 vaccination, whatever their age – so make sure you get yours as soon as possible, if this applies to you.
“Leicester Carers Support Service can also provide free PPE for carers. And its wider role is to offer carers a wide range of help, advice, information and companionship.
“With the number of people providing unpaid care to a friend or family member in Leicester thought to have increased from 32,000 to 46,000 during the pandemic, it’s essential we show carers that they are not alone – that they are visible and valued by society.”
Andy Williams, Chief Executive for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “I would like to thank all of our carers for their tremendous efforts. During the pandemic, NHS staff have been widely praised, and rightly so, but we also need to acknowledge the huge contribution of unpaid carers, and remember that they also work on the frontline.
“Caring is extremely rewarding, but can also be an overwhelming experience. Anyone wanting to register as a carer can do so by getting in contact with their GP surgery, and this will help them to access support for the challenging work that they do.”
Anthony Donovan, Executive Director of Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland, said: “Due to the covid -19 crisis the past year has been very difficult for carers of all ages and they have faced numerous challenges and difficulties. Carers really have provided a crucial and invaluable role in supporting their family members and friends and in many cases without considering their own health needs. This year it is really important that we do all we can to support Carers’ Week and recognise the tremendous contribution that all unpaid carers make.
“Our Leicester Carers Support Service is committed to supporting carers throughout the city, by providing information and advice and ensuring that they remain visible and valued. We believe that it is essential to reach out to carers to help them feel less isolated and to respond to their needs.”