Southampton City Council and its partners will be marking national Carers Week (6-12 June) by coming together to make carers feel visible and valued. They will be highlighting the challenges unpaid carers face and recognising the enormous contribution they make not only to those they care for, but to society.
A carer is anyone, of any age, who provides unpaid support to a relative, partner, child or friend due to illness, disability, frailty, a mental health condition or substance misuse problem. An estimated 26% of the UK adult population is providing unpaid care to an older, disabled or ill relative or friend – that is equivalent to one in four adults*. That equates to 66,679 unpaid carers in Southampton. In addition there are over 800,000 young carers in the UK and probably many more children who are carers and don’t even realise.
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. The theme this year is ‘make caring visible, valued and supported’. The campaign also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.
During the week Southampton City Council and its partners across the city will be offering a selection of support and activities and highlighting recent initiatives for Carers. Activities include a tree planting, sending sunflowers to carers, workshops, and sharing the stories of carers across social media and signposting to support.
Councillor Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Health, Adults and Leisure said: “Carers Week provides us with the opportunity to come together to celebrate our many carers across the city and highlight the vital role they play in our communities. We truly value their dedication supporting their loved ones and neighbours day-in and day-out, juggling caring with work and other responsibilities.
“Many people who help and support a family member or friend do not recognise themselves as carers. This means that they miss out on the support that is available to them. I hope that through the activities and awareness raising this Carers Week we can ensure more people access the support and useful information available for carers in Southampton.”
Some highlights for Carers week in Southampton:
Carers in Southampton and Southampton City Council have joined together to host a celebration lunch for around 70 carers on 6 June. Southampton Lord Mayor, Cllr Jacqui Rayment will be attending to add a personal thank you to the City’s carers. In addition social workers will be on hand to answer any questions or concerns the carers may have.
Solent NHS in collaboration with University Hospital Southampton and Southern Health will be hosting an online Make Caring Visible event on 8 June 12.30pm – 1.30pm. This interactive session is open to all – to book your place https://bit.ly/MakeCaringVisible
No Limits will be launching a new young carers welcome pack which has been produced in collaboration with young carers and delivering workshops in schools.
Southern Health will be announcing the winner of its competition where carers were invited to submit photo entries for trust a wide carers booklet and running several small carer group activities such as a tree planting with the Lord Mayor, delivering sunflowers and thank you notes to carers, and cream teas.
University Hospital Southampton will be introducing their new Trust Carers lead, Gloria Ede, who will be working to raise the visibility of carers within the trust, UHS will also be promoting updated discharge guidance around carer involvement, sharing carer stories and promoting the varied support services that are available to both carer’s and their cared for people, including the Patient Support Hub and the sunflower lanyard scheme.
Solent NHS is launching Carer identification training for staff to help them recognise hidden carers and signpost them to support services.
Carers in Southampton are running a number of carer events. Please contact Carers in Southampton 023 8058 2387 or [email protected] to reserve a place
- Monday 6 June – Carers Celebration with Southampton City Council
- Tuesday 7 June – Occupational Therapy Workshop 11am to 1pm at Weston Court
- Wednesday 8tJune – Debt Management – Christians Against Poverty 1pm – 3pm at Thornhill Baptist Church
- Thursday 9 June – Dementia workshop with Admiral Nurse and Dementia Navigators 12pm -2pm at Neptune Court
Southampton City Council is promoting Carer Aware training to support people to recognise the types of caring roles. The training can be done by anyone and only takes 20 minutes to do. It will give you the skills and information to identify hidden carers and assist them to know their rights and find the support they need, both locally and nationally. Carer Aware – Whole Family Approach (Web) (southampton.gov.uk)