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 now given the support they need to care safely and well for their loved ones.
I was delighted to attend the Carers Week event in parliament earlier this month. I met with carers to hear about and better understand their experiences of caring during the pandemic, as well as the support they now need.
Last year the Government published a White Paper with proposals for England’s 11 million family carers. In Labour’s view, the White Paper is not ambitious enough. Unpaid carers have been pushed to the limit looking after the people they love. Almost half had not had a single break for five years even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, but the additional funding in the White Paper amounts to just £1.60 a year more for each unpaid carer.
Carers in Withington deserve better. I want carers in Withington connected to the support they need and get the breaks they deserve. We need a long-term vision to put social care on an equal footing with the NHS, at the heart of a modernised welfare state.
I’d recommend carers in Manchester Withington to find support through Manchester Carers Forum, or to get in touch with my office if we can offer any assistance.