Celebrating our unpaid carers this Carers Week

This Carers Week (7-13 June) the council and NHS East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group is working alongside Slough Carers Support to recognise and celebrate our carers in Slough.

The theme for the week is “Make Caring Visible and Valued.” There is a packed virtual timetable for the week with many online events and workshops. From online resources to social groups, news, discounts and wellbeing support, there are many forms of support you can access if you’re a carer in Slough. For more information about the virtual events including details about how to book please visit: www.sloughcarerssupport.co.uk 

Carers UK estimate 6.5 million people living in the UK today are carers. That is one in eight adults who are caring, unpaid, for family or friends: around 12,000 carers living in Slough alone.

This could be a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or is affected by mental health or substance misuse. It includes young people under 18 who may be caring at home. Providing care for another person can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. But there can also be times when people who care find themselves struggling.

Mike Woolridge, Integration Delivery Lead, NHS Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We recognise that for many carers this has been a particularly tough year and many more may have become carers, or taken on providing additional support to help and support loved ones through the pandemic. We want them to know that there is support out there for them, and also connect them together with a really great programme of events and activities running throughout Carers Week.”

Councillor Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for social care and public health, said: “Throughout the pandemic a spotlight has been shone on the valuable work unpaid carers do looking after their families, friends and neighbours every day. National Carers Week is a wonderful opportunity to recognise and celebrate the amazing contribution carers make to our community here in Slough. The online events and activities scheduled for this Carers Week will give our carers a chance to socialise, have fun and take a well-deserved break from their caring roles.”

Kinder Bassi, Carers Lead, Slough Carers Support said: “We listened to what carers’ groups in Slough said and have responded by providing a regularly updated information resource and a dedicated telephone number for carers to get in touch. The pandemic has led to many more people taking on caring responsibilities with many not aware they are carers, let alone of the help available in the community. We are often their first point of contact and from there we can signpost to local carers’ groups and help them to access legal and financial support and provide Carers Discount Card. Unpaid carers are also invited to sign up to a monthly e-newsletter providing updates and news to keep them informed — it also includes events and training to support their day to day lives.”

Many people who carry out caring responsibilities do not recognise themselves as carers but may benefit from some support and could be unaware of the help available to them. Many may feel they are simply carrying out ordinary responsibilities as a friend or family member.