Carers Week 2020 – 8-14th June
Carers Week is an annual event which highlights the challenges unpaid carers face and seeks to recognise the contribution carers make to their families and communities. In Surrey alone, unpaid carers save the local economy a staggering £1.8 billion every year. Yet many carers feel lonely. And in the coronavirus outbreak, many are more worried than ever about the health of those they look after. So this year we want to make caring visible.
Making Caring Visible
Caring often takes place behind closed doors which can leave unpaid carers feeling under pressure and alone. We all have a part to play in helping carers to be seen and heard whether through our work or by reaching out to family, friends or neighbours who have a caring role and letting them know we are there.
Incredibly, new research released this week by Carers UK finds that an estimated 4.5 million people have started caring (unpaid) since the COVID-19 outbreak began. When combined with those already already providing care pre-crisis, that means there could be as many as 13.6 million carers across the UK – 26% of the UK population. Their research also shows that the public are overwhelmingly in favour of increasing support for unpaid carers, with 75% agreeing ‘the Government should do more.’
The impact of COVID-19 has had a huge affect on young carers (aged under 18) too. A large group of young carers, from organisations across England got together to talk about their challenges. They’ve written an amazing guide explaining how best to support them ‘Top Tips to Supporting Young Carers in Education during COVID-19′.
Surrey County Councillor Alison Griffiths is Cabinet Member for Carers, and of course leads on carer matters within Surrey County Council. She has produced this short video for Carers Week, thanking Surrey’s carers for all that they do.
This Carers Week
Tied into Carers Week and its theme of ‘Making Caring Visible’, we ran a competition asking our carers to creatively illustrate this theme. You can see our entries here – a mixture of paintings, drawings and poetry. We’re delighted to announce the winner is Emma Trout who penned the poignant poem below.