Press Release - National Carers Week 2014


Press Release

National Carers Week – 9th to 15th June 2014.

Highlighting the work of Carers

National Carers Week is a UK-wide annual awareness campaign taking place from Monday 9th to Sunday 15th June 2014, highlighting the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million Carers – to their families and communities – in providing unpaid care for someone who is ill, frail or disabled.

By providing unpaid care for someone, Carers save the economy an incredible £119 billion per year – that’s the same cost as running the NHS. Despite this – and the fact that 3 in 5 people will be Carers at some point in their lives – Carers often face a lack of recognition in all areas of their lives.

This year’s Carers Week theme is the ‘Carers Week Quest’ and aims to be the greatest-ever drive to reach out to Carers in the UK. Its aim is to improve the lives of Carers and the people they care for by raising the profile of Carers and recognising the contribution they make; helping people identify themselves as Carers and enabling them to access the support, advice and information they need. It will also highlight the challenges of caring and campaign for sustainable funding for services and support for Carers and the people they care for.

Derbyshire Carers Association (DCA), the leading Carers organisation in Derbyshire, has been supporting Carers for over 25 years and is marking this year’s Carers Week by organising a host of events all across the county, from 10-pin bowling, a Carers Service in Derby City Cathedral to a musical event with the Alfreton Male Voice Choir. Carers who are gardeners (and shoppers!) are invited to visit Dobbies Garden Centre on 11th June to meet and share their experiences with other like-minded people.

Just in time for Carers Week, DCA are also launching their new website, packed full of the latest news, advice, information and Carer stories to help keep people informed and up-to-date with developments. Further recognising how social media plays an important part in today’s society, Facebook followers are also welcomed to DCA’s pages.

The often hidden role of Young Carers is also being addressed with an innovative new project to identify and recognise the contribution younger Carers make to society. DCA has recently been awarded funding by The Big Lottery to lead a new project to assist younger Carers on their caring journey.

Signing the Pledge
Hosted at the Carers Centre on West Bars, Chesterfield – Friday 6th June sees Derbyshire Carers Association joined by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins, health professionals, GP staff and Carers to launch a new ‘Carers Pledge’ campaign – aimed at reaching thousands of Carers in the area who are missing out on support and services.

The group are requesting as many Derbyshire GP surgeries and hospitals as possible to join the campaign. The launch will be followed up with a roadshow working corroboratively with all health professionals signing up to the pledge.

Currently, DCA advises and supports over 10,000 Carers across Derbyshire, but Helen Weston, DCA’s Teaming Up For Transition project leader stated: ‘There are over 120,000 ‘hidden’ Carers in Derbyshire alone and our mission is reach out and assist as many people as we can. This can only be done through close partnership working with multiple agencies including community and support groups, the statutory and voluntary sectors and health professionals in surgeries and hospitals.’

‘It is vital that partner organisations work together and support ‘The Carers Pledge’ to identify and signpost Carers in the community. Having Toby Perkins’ continued support has raised the profile of our services and we are very grateful to him and his team. We will be working more closely with GP surgeries to offer Carer awareness training, advice and guidance.’

Narinder Sharma, CEO for DCA added: ‘Many Carers suffer due to a lack of understanding about what they do – some don’t even recognise themselves as Carers and how it can have a negative impact on their health, finances, working and social life and general well-being.’
‘We are reaching out to these Carers via our local offices, our new website, Carers events and initiatives such as the Carers Pledge – to assist them in any way we can. As an irreplaceable component in the health industry, Carers deserve recognition, advice and support to help them continue in their often arduous caring roles.’

For further information regarding Carers groups, events or your local area office, please click to www.derbyshirecarers.co.uk.

For further information/update please contact:
Kevin Miles, based at the Carers Centre, West Bars, Chesterfield. Tel: 01246 222373 Ext 2.
Or E-Mail: kevin.miles@derbyshirecarers.co.uk