Stuart Anderson MP has pledged to champion and support unpaid carers across Wolverhampton South West this Carers Week, which runs from 8-14 June.
Carers Week is an annual awareness week which recognises the vital contribution made by people caring unpaid for family members or friends who are older, disabled, or seriously ill.
New research released for Carers Week shows that an additional 4.5 million people in the UK have started caring for someone who is older, disabled or living with a physical or mental illness since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The six charities driving the awareness week are calling on individuals, organisations and services in local communities to help get unpaid carers connected to practical and financial support they need. So often, carers put their own needs behind those they care for.
In Parliament, Stuart Anderson MP recently asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what extra support can be provided for people who have informal carers who are having to shield themselves during the Covid-19. It was confirmed that, in addition to more traditional forms of care, providing emotional support to a disabled person will count towards the carer’s allowance threshold of 35 hours of care a week.
Local MP Stuart Anderson MP said: “I recognise the exceptional work that the Department for Work and Pensions is doing at this time. I want to applaud the work that everybody in Wolverhampton is doing, from following the Government guidance to caring for loved ones.”
“Having suffered from suspected Covid-19 myself, I consider myself fortunate to have a strong local support network in place to help me and my family. I would encourage anyone who requires help to reach out – to their MP, NHS, council, or NHS Volunteer Responders. My team did an outstanding job helping constituents in my absence.
“Since coming out of self-isolation, my top priority has been supporting constituents; from volunteering at the food distribution centre to lobbying for more investment in Wolverhampton. I want to continue working for the good of Wolverhampton, seeing the City emerge from Covid-19 as strong as possible.”
“I am supporting Carers Week 2020 to ensure that unpaid carers in my constituency are connected to the support that they need.”
On behalf of the Carers Week charities Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: “This year it is more important than ever to raise the profile of caring and recognise the enormous contribution made by unpaid carers, who throughout the Covid-19 outbreak have played an essential role supporting friends and family who are older, disabled or seriously ill.
“Looking after someone can be a hugely rewarding experience, but it sometimes comes with difficulties, including getting the right support. This Carers Week all parts of the community – family and friends, employers, businesses, schools, health and care services – can do their bit to make caring visible and recognise carers’ contribution to society.”
For Carers Week 2020 charity Carers UK has joined forces with Age UK, Carers Trust, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Oxfam GB and Rethink Mental Illness to help raise awareness of caring around the country. The headline supporter is British Gas, part of Centrica, with Nutricia also supporting.
Virtual carers’ events are taking place across the country this week, and thousands of people have already added their voice to the Carers Week voices wall. To find out more about events in [insert area] or add your voice to the wall go to www.carersweek.org