Carer Support Wiltshire is running a series of virtual events and activities for this year’s Carers Week. Running from 8-14 June, Carers Week shines a light on the thousands of unpaid carers there are in the UK. Across the UK today an estimated 6.5 million people or 1 in every 8 are carers and this includes many thousands who live in Wiltshire.
‘Making Carers Visible’ is the theme this year and Carer Support Wiltshire, along with other Wiltshire-based organisations are encouraging carers, and everyone in the community, to celebrate and recognise the contribution of this often-hidden group of people known as carers.
Despite the Covid-19 crisis making this year’s event an entirely online one, research carried out by Carers UK demonstrates it is more important than ever to highlight the work of unpaid carers. 70% of unpaid carers say they are providing more care due to the crisis and 55% feel overwhelmed as a result.
Carer Support Wiltshire will be running virtual cuppas on Thursday and Friday as an informal way that carers can connect with other Wiltshire carers along with Carer Support Wiltshire staff. Anyone who is a carer who would like to join an event should email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The team will also be launching some fun downloadable activities that children can get involved with.
Across the Carer Support Wiltshire website and social media platforms, Carer Support Wiltshire will be sharing stories from local carers about some of their struggles, successes and ways that they cope with caring for someone.
Judy Walker, Chief Executive, Carer Support Wiltshire said:
“Carers Week is always an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on the amazing work of Wiltshire’s unpaid carers and we are looking forward to taking part in a wide range of activities throughout the week.
“Many carers are ‘hidden’ and don’t view themselves as a carer. They often just feel it’s something that any parent, child, spouse, partner or friend would do, and don’t think about their own needs. We hope to raise awareness in Wiltshire of what a carer is and the incredible work that they do, often behind closed doors.”
Shona Tomlinson, Chippenham cares for her 9 year old daughter Anabel, who has a rare chromosome disorder and has been diagnosed with autism, hypermobility and hypotonia. She said:
“Being her parent is amazing, she is one awesome 9 year old. She’s caring, bubbly, creative and very funny. Being her carer is exhausting and at times really hard. Anabel rarely sleeps before 2am, she now often needs to use a wheelchair, takes regular medication and needs constant supervision. We do daily physio sessions, spend time learning new coping skills and adapt our lives to make Anabel’s easier in any way that we can.
“I never thought of myself as a carer, but registering with Carer Support Wiltshire was amazing for me – it made me realise that I do need support and I am a person in my own right. It’s so easy to get lost in the process of caring for your child and putting all your energy into becoming their support and strength, you forget your own need for support.”
To find out more about this year’s Carers Week, please visit www.carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/carers-week-2020/