Carers’ Week celebrates ‘vital contribution’ and highlights support across Hertfordshire
- Credit: Archant
Those who provide unpaid care for a disabled, ill or elderly family member or friend are being celebrated as part of national Carers’ Week, which starts tomorrow (Monday).
Caring can be a rewarding experience but, without the right support, many carers find themselves facing financial hardship, ill-health, emotional stress, relationship breakdown and isolation.
According to the charity Crossroads Care Hertfordshire North, there are 109,000 unpaid carers across the county, who save the local economy £2.1 billion per year.
Heléna Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK, said: “Carers’ Week is a fantastic way to celebrate the vital contribution carers make to our families, communities and wider society.
“We know caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience but, without the right support at the right time, caring can also have a huge impact on a carer’s emotional and physical health, work and finances.
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“Carers have told us it makes a huge difference to their lives when they are supported by their local services and communities.
“Building carer-friendly communities, whether that’s offering a flexible GP appointment, having flexible working policies or raising awareness in schools of caring, can make a positive difference.”
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Crossroads Care Hertfordshire North provides support to more than 800 people caring for vulnerable people, including through its carers’ cafes in Hitchin, Letchworth and Stevenage.
The charity’s respite services enable 45 per cent of unpaid carers to attend vital health appointments, and a specialist dementia respite centre in Stevenage enables 35 people to have a life outside of caring.
Unpaid carers can get help to return to work, and the Caring For Life homecare service provides seven days a week personal care.
Fellow charity Carers in Hertfordshire is holding a drop-in information event at Hitchin Town Hall on Wednesday, June 14, from 11am to 2pm.
As well as meeting other carers, visitors can get information or advice from organisations including the Money Advice Unit and Hertfordshire County Council.
The charity will also have an information stand at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital from 10am to 3pm on Monday, when unpaid carers can register for a Carers’ Passport discount card, which offers savings in shops and businesses.
For more information about Crossroads visit www.crossroadshn.org.uk, and for more on Carers in Hertfordshire see www.carersinherts.org.uk