Recognising and supporting carers in the community

At the start of National Carers' Week, Cllr Mariam Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, talks about the amazing work done by unpaid carers.

Carers play an amazing and often unsung role in society, helping to support loved ones, neighbours and friends as well as helping to sustain our health and social care system.

National Carers’ Week is a great opportunity to recognise the work they do, particularly those who are unpaid and often under-appreciated, though this week should act as a way of reminding people of the work they do throughout the year – not just for one week.

There are more than 91,000 unpaid carers in Birmingham, and it is expected that the number of carers nationally will double after 2030. Many carers balance work with caring responsibilities and it is important that the city offers them help and support.

Too many carers go to bed not knowing how much sleep you will get, whether they will be able to do what they planned to the following day. This is why every little bit of help can be vital, whether it is respite care, understanding what benefits are available or how to access transport for those who don’t have their own.

Carers face real challenges in not only trying to provide good care while dealing with other issues, but it can impact on mental and physical health, education and employment.

The Birmingham Carers Hub provides a range of services including statutory carer assessments, advice, information and guidance, practical, emotional and peer support including 1:1 support and carers groups, advocacy, awareness-raising, engagement and so much more.

Forward Carers has been doing an excellent job running the hub on behalf of the city council and our partners at Birmingham Children's Trust and Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board and were successful in their bid to run it for another five years. So, this is the perfect week to formally re-launch the service.

Many people are now balancing work, children and caring for an aging parent and increasing numbers of older people often care for their partner and grandchildren. Parents of children with complex needs know they will be lifetime carers and the positive shift away from institutional care to living independently with care at home will only increase the need for carers.

Birmingham Carers Hub will take a whole life approach to reduce the impact of the transition between different ages and stages of life. We want to ensure that people get the right type and level of support at the right time.

This year’s theme for Carers’ Week is ‘Recognising and supporting carers in the community’. It is so important for us to come together to recognise the huge contribution unpaid carers make to our local communities and society as whole. Carers, you keep the wheels turning and make an untold difference to the quality of life to the many people you care for. Thank you.

This blog was published on 5 June 2023.

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