This Carers Week (8-14 June), Wirral Council is reaching out to unpaid carers to thank them for the meaningful work they do all year-round.
The theme of this year's campaign is 'Making Caring Visible'. Throughout the week, organisations across the UK will be raising awareness, thanking unpaid carers for what they do, and directing them towards support agencies.
There are over 40,000 carers in Wirral - which is 12.6% of the borough's population. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, over 10,000 of those carers were providing 50 hours plus per week to those who need them.
Coronavirus has meant that many carers now have additional responsibilities. This can be due to the restrictions placed on vulnerable people they care for who are shielding, or because some of the services they relied on for a break have been temporarily suspended.
For the last 10 weeks, communities have 'clapped for carers' to show appreciation to key workers whose expertise and care have been invaluable during the pandemic. But for many who provide unpaid care for family members, relatives or friends, the practical, physical and emotional support they give often goes unnoticed.
Wirral Mayor, Councillor Tony Smith, has recorded a video message to carers, which is available to watch on Youtube.
Who are carers?
Carers can be of any age. They provide care to vulnerable people with ill-health or frailty - including people with dementia, learning disabilities, physical disabilities or mental health needs. Some carers support people who have drug and alcohol dependencies.
Support for carers
Wirral Council has joined up with Carers UK to provide a free package of support for carers, including the Jointly care co-ordination app for smart phones, tablets, laptops or PCs. When you register for the website, please use the Free access code DGTL2844.
With people now living longer with ill-health and long-term health conditions, the number of people juggling work and caring responsibilities has increased. The council has also developed a Working Carers Policy, and encourages other employers to develop similar in order to support carers working in their organisations.
Young carers under 18 are less likely to be identified, their caring responsibilities can sometimes lead to physical and emotional problems, and have an impact on their education.
Wirral Barnados runs a service to help identify and support young carers, which takes self referrals (from young people/families) as well as referrals from local community organisations. If the team could offer guidance to a young carer you know, or you are a young carer and would like to know more, please contact 0151 650 5488 or email email@example.com.
Other Carers Support Services:
- Wired Carers Support Service - 0151 670 0777 or online
- Age UK Wirral's Dementia Care Line - 0151 488 7804
- Carers Direct Helpline (national) - 0300 123 1053
For more information about support for carers in Wirral, please visit Wirral Council's website.