Care for the carers, urges Dearne MP

A DEARNE MP has teamed up with TV presenter and former carer Fiona Phillips to support this year’s Carers’ Week in June, and recognise the contribution made by people throughout Rotherham, Barnsley and the Dearne who provide unpaid care for someone who is ill, frail or disabled.

The theme for this year’s Carers’ Week is ‘in sickness and in health’, and recognises the strain families are under as they see and experience services being cut back. It calls for better financial and practical support for the diverse range of people who have caring responsibilities.

Research carried out recently found that many carers are at breaking point; A total of 47 per cent of unpaid carers surveyed said they were made ill by money worries, and 45 per cent of them said that caring had pushed them into debt.

John and Fiona have joined together to pay tribute to carers, and to urge that they receive more support in their caring roles.

John said: “Thousands of people in Rotherham and Barnsley sacrifice not only their time, but also their money and their health in order to care for a loved one. Together they save this country an incredible £119 billion every year. It’s vital that carers are offered regular breaks from caring, and health checks so that they can be supported. It’s important that carers know that they don’t have to struggle on alone.”

Fiona Phillips said:“From personal experience, I know caring can demand a lot of your time and attention, which in some cases can put pressure on other areas in your life such as financial responsibilities and relationships. These problems can prove to be exhausting and mentally gruelling and can really take a toll on your health and wellbeing.  I hope that Carers’ Week can again help to achieve change, and make a real difference to the lives of carers in this country.” 

Helen Clarke, the Carers’ Week Manager said: “I’m delighted that MPs are listening to carers’ concerns and supporting this year’s Carers’ Week. We must take action to support the UK’s 6.4 million carers. Many are paying the price of a care system in crisis - being forced to give up work to care and often pushed into ill-health, financial hardship and debt because of a lack of support.”

Carers Week will run from June 18 to 24.