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. It also helps people who do not think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

There are currently 6.5 million people in the UK who are carers. They are looking after a family member or friend who has a disability, mental or physical illness or who needs extra help as they grow older.

This year, carers across the country are continuing to face new challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support.

The Office of National Statistics and stated that almost half (48%) of people in the UK said that they provided help or support to someone outside of their household in the first month of lockdown in April 2020.

Carers need to be recognised for the difficulties they are experiencing, respected for all they are doing, and provided with information, support and understanding. During Carers Week, we’re coming together to help make caring visible and valued.

Caring has an impact on all aspects of life, from relationships and health to finances and work. This can have a significant impact especially this year with the exceptional circumstances we have experienced. Whilst many feel that caring is one of the most important things they do, its challenges should not be underestimated.

Caring without the right information and support can be tough. It is important that we recognise the contribution carers make to their families and local communities, workplaces and society, and that they get the support they need.

Healthwatch Portsmouth’s What Matters Most to Unpaid Carers report found that:

  • 90% of respondents said that they were not able to access Adult Day/Respite Services
  • 71% of respondents stated that their caring duties have increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • 59% of unpaid Carers identified that they were not able to have a break from their caring responsibilities during the pandemic.

We have been working closely with the Carers Centre in Portsmouth and The Alzheimer’s Society to achieve our shared recommendations to help improve the lives of Portsmouth carers. You can find our full report, recommendations and outcomes here.

Portsmouth Carers Centre thank you cards

In celebration of Carers Week, we invite you to join with Portsmouth Carers Centre in saying thank you to friends, family members and neighbours who care.

Tell us about your hero at home. Portsmouth Carers Centre will display your cards as a collage of thanks to unpaid carers at the Carers Centre and might also use them on social media and share them with news outlets like the local newspaper.

Download the thank you cards here.

Send your message of thanks by:

  • Post: Portsmouth Carers Centre, 117 Orchard Road, Southsea, PO4 0AD
  • Facebook: facebook.com/portsmouthcarerscentre
  • Email: carerscentre@portsmouthcc.gov.uk
  • Or call, to tell them about your hero: 023 9285 186

British gas is sponsoring carers week
British Gas wants to help the 6.5 million unpaid carers living in homes across Britain. They have said ‘It’s important to us because ‘caring’ impacts many of our employees and 1 in 8 of our customers. That’s why British Gas, part of Centrica, have also embarked on a three-year partnership with Carers UK to support those who support others.

We’ve got a thriving carers network for our people and offer flexible working and paid leave for colleagues who are carers at home. We want to help them look after themselves as well as their families and friends. Together we’ll create a world where every carer feels recognised, valued and supported.’