Health bosses in the Black Country and West Birmingham are celebrating the role of carers as part of national Carers Week, especially because of the important contributions they have made during the coronavirus pandemic.
This week (8-14 June 2020) is Carers Week – a national awareness initiative highlighting the important work being done by carers in the community – and local health leaders in the Black Country and West Birmingham are supporting this important campaign.
Jonathan Fellows, Independent Chair of the Black Country and West Birmingham Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) – a partnership of health and social care organisations that have come together to improve the health and wellbeing of people across the Black Country and West Birmingham – said:
“Unpaid carers in the Black Country and West Birmingham have been playing an essential role during the Covid-19 outbreak and should be recognised for their efforts. Carers are often people who are looking after a family member or friend who has a disability, mental or physical illness or who needs extra help as they grow older. Looking after vulnerable people is something that should be valued more than ever during these challenging times.”
The onset of the coronavirus outbreak means that, this year, people across the Black Country and West Birmingham are continuing to face new challenges. Many are taking on more responsibilities than usual, looking after their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support. The theme of this year’s Carers Week is to Make Caring Visible.
Jonathan Fellows added: “I’m incredibly proud of the carers in our local community and the essential contribution they make in helping vulnerable people. In many cases, carers are looking after people who are having to self-isolate or are shielding, which adds to the carers’ responsibilities.
“Caring is extremely rewarding, but our carers also need to be supported as they can often feel lonely, anxious and overwhelmed. They need to be recognised for the difficulties they are experiencing, respected for all they are doing, and provided with information and advice that will help them.
“By being directed to the right services, carers can arrange a break from caring, obtain the equipment they need and also access wellbeing services. We’re proud to be playing our part in making carers more visible in the Black Country and West Birmingham.”
There are more than 6.5 million carers in the UK, and there is a 50:50 chance that any one of us will become one by the time we are 50 years old. Research by Carers UK showed that 70% of unpaid carers are providing more care for loved ones during the lockdown period. Carers Week involves thousands of individuals and organisations coming together to provide support for carers, run activities and highlight the vital role carers play in our communities. Find out how you can get involved at www.carersweek.org/get-involved.