Carers Week is an annual campaign which raises awareness of caring, highlights challenges unpaid Carers face, and recognises the contribution they make to families and communities across the country.
Carers Week also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as Carers and access much-needed support and guidance.
The campaign is all about organisations and individuals joining in supporting and recognising Carers, holding activities and highlighting the vital role they play in our communities.
There are 6.5 million Carers in the UK, supporting family members or friends who have a mental health problem, disability, physical illness or who need extra help as they grow older.
Please scroll to the bottom of this page to see quotes and testimonies from Carers we support.
Carers Week 2020 – Making Caring Visible
Due to the new challenges Coronavirus has created, many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for relatives and friends. Therefore, the theme this year is ‘Make Caring Visible’, ensuring Carers are recognised, respected and provided with information, support and understanding.
Caring can impact on all aspects of life – from relationships and health to finances and work. This should not be underestimated. Caring without the right information and support can be tough. It is vital we recognise the contribution Carers make and that they get the support they need.
Stockport Mind Mental Health Carers Support Service
We have a service supporting mental health Carers. This is for the Carers of adults who have a mental health problem or are experiencing emotional distress.
We provide confidential, impartial information, support and advice to adult mental health Carers, where the person they care for lives between the postcodes SK1 and SK8.
Our service includes one-to-one support, drop-in groups, workshops, activities, trip, a Carers Choir and statutory Carers assessments.
The service can help support Carers to talk more about their caring role and how to best support loved ones, meet other Carers for peer support, access information, services and courses, and contact relevant professionals on behalf of Carers.
Due to Coronavirus, the face-to-face elements of this offer have been adapted to be delivered over the phone or online, where possible. We are still here to support Stockport’s mental health Carers and have been offering telephone support and video call drop-ins via Zoom.
This week we are collecting quotes from Carers about the challenges they face, things that help, and reasons for hope.
Linda – Caring during Coronavirus
“There are both negative and positive themes, but I will start with the positive. This time off has given me time to do ancestry and trace my family back, on my dad’s side first. I have the bug now and am really enjoying it when I have time.
I have been checking how many steps I walk a day, baking and reading more, catching up with friends and colleagues through e-mail.
The best of all has been the glorious weather, which has got me through it. I have had time to think, relax when I get a minute, listen to the birds and get friendly with two little robins.
Of course I have tried to involve my son with everything – like gardening which he has been helping with – and walking more with our dog, checking his steps.
My son’s budget was stopped over 12 months because he wasn’t very well. He had deteriorated after changing his medication. They stopped his budget because he wouldn’t see his support worker. All this time I am still his Mum and Carer. We are still in the middle of sorting or trying to sort it out, an unbelievable situation.
I’ve had Shingles twice, a severe chest infection which the consultant thought was pneumonia; so it does have an impact on your health, even though I’m quite a positive person. My son is still up and down with the paranoia, and of course the Autism/Asperger’s.
But my caring role never goes away – 24 hours a day trying to support my son, who now needs to learn again. He went to University but he needs to brush up on so many of his skills and interests, like history, football, films, music, computer, mobile phone. It’s difficult to get him to engage I know, but he doesn’t like change (part of his Asperger’s) so all this time he basically hasn’t done anything since they stopped his budget.
With a new worker on the case I’m hoping things will get moving. This story is just giving you an insight of our lockdown. But most of all – Stockport Mind and Signpost for Carers – thank you for working so hard and carrying on supporting Carers.”
Signpost for Carers
Another Stockport organisation that provides support in this area is Signpost for Carers. They have kindly produced the poster below. Where we support mental health Carers, Signpost will support people who are caring for people for other reasons, so we are working alongside each other to ensure Carers are not left without support.