Jeff Smith, Labour MP for Manchester Withington, has pledged his support for Carers Week 2020.
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
Caring has a huge impact on every aspect of a person’s life, from relationships and health to finances and work. With coronavirus, carers are currently facing even more difficult circumstances.
New figures show an estimated 4.5 million people in the UK have become unpaid carers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is on top of the 9.1 million unpaid carers who were already caring before the outbreak, bringing the total to 13.6 million. But many people don’t identify themselves as carers – they simply see themselves as spouses, parents, children or friends – meaning that they aren’t connected to vital information and support that can help them with caring.
For Carers Week 2020, six charities – Carers UK, Age UK, Carers Trust, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Oxfam GB and Rethink Mental Illness – are calling on the UK Government to recognise and raise awareness of the role unpaid carers are playing during the pandemic and ensure they are supported through it, and beyond.
They are also asking politicians and members of the public to help #MakeCaringVisible.
The campaign aims to get more people to recognise the contribution carers make to their families and local communities, workplaces and society, and help them access proper support.
“This year’s Carers Week takes place in particularly difficult circumstances. With millions already acting as carers for their relatives and loved ones, coronavirus has meant many have taken on more responsibilities for those who may be shielding or have fallen ill, or have had to adopt new ways of working to ensure the safety of the vulnerable people in their care.
Our unpaid carers are unsung heroes and I’d like to say thank you to all the carers who do so much for our local community. I would also encourage anyone with caring responsibilities to make use of the resources being shared by the charities supporting Carers Week.
Alongside Labour colleagues, I’ll be working to ensure we build a better society on the other side of the pandemic, and that must include proper help and financial support for our unpaid carers.”
To find out more about caring, visit this page.
To find out how you can help Make Caring Visible, visit this page.
If you’re a carer, you can access information and advice here.