Carers Week was established to celebrate the contribution made by the UK’s six million carers.
MPs are encouraged to play their part and I was pleased to attend a House of Commons reception on Monday at which I met national organisers to discuss the aims of the campaign. Then on Friday I attended a Carers Week event in the constituency to talk to local carers about their own views and experiences.
As somebody who has been in the situation myself, and also with relatives and friends who have had to become carers late in life, I understand the incredible contribution they make to their loved one’s quality of life at sometimes real cost to themselves.
What I mean is that jobs and careers are given up, social life curtailed, with too often a financial cost to themselves and their families.
This is happening all around us, too often unsung and unnoticed because in the vast majority of cases they do it because it is for a loved one.
It is important that all of us recognise this and I am pleased it is beginning to happen. The Government is looking at how effective support can be given while more immediately £400 million has been given to support more breaks for carers and £800 million specifically for breaks for those looking after disabled children.
It is important to recognise the value of carers and perhaps even offer some form of help in making their lives and therefore the lives of their cared ones a little better. Even if it is just to provide some company.
Being a carer is something that most of us will undertake at some point in our lives so let’s start improving the quality of that choice now and for the future. Carers helpline 08088087777.