Newham is ‘Making Caring Visible and Valued’ this Carers Week (7–13 June 2021).
Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign that celebrates and recognises the vital contribution of the UK’s unpaid carers – supporting family members and friends who are older, have a disability, mental or physical illness or need extra help as they grow older.
This year, carers across the country are continuing to face new challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for relatives and friends who are in need of support. For many others in the borough, providing care and support for a loved one is nothing new. Newham has more than 24,000 unpaid carers, including 1,204 young carers, according to census records. A carer is anyone who provides unpaid support to a relative, partner, child or friend due to illness, disability, frailty, a mental health condition or substance misuse problem.
During Carers Week 2021 Newham Council is inviting health and care services, schools, employers and businesses across the community to recognise the vital contribution made by unpaid carers in our community.
Newham Council and Carers First are hosting events throughout the week to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. Activities include a wellness day, legal workshops and a laughter and happiness session.
Councillor Zulfiqar Ali, Cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “This Carers Week we are recognising the contribution of unpaid carers in Newham by working with our partner Carers First to deliver a range of events so that we can celebrate all that you do. As part of our commitment to Carers Week, the Council is refreshing, in partnership with carers, our Carers Strategy so that we can strengthen and enhance the support available. We will be publishing this new strategy this year.”
On behalf of the Carers Week charities, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic unpaid carers have played an essential role supporting older, disabled and seriously ill relatives and friends, doing so most of the year on their own behind closed doors. They have forgone breaks from caring and much of the support they would normally have relied on.
“As restrictions ease it is vital that we acknowledge the enormous contribution that unpaid carers continue to make day in day out. I am delighted that many individuals and organisations are getting involved with virtual activities, helping carers to connect to others and access advice and information locally.
“Looking after someone can be a hugely rewarding experience, but it sometimes comes with difficulties, including getting the right support. This Carers Week I hope all parts of the community – family and friends, employers, businesses, schools, health and care services – do their bit to make caring visible and show it is valued.”
Hundreds of activities are taking place across the country during Carers Week and many people have Added Their Voice on the Carers Week website to make caring visible this year. To find out more about activities in Newham visit www.newham.gov.uk/carersweek2021