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Thursday, 11 June 2020

Army of unpaid carers hailed as ‘unsung heroes’ of coronavirus hardship


Cheshire East Council will be focusing on celebrating and raising awareness around the borough’s estimated 40,000 unpaid and hidden carers, as part of national Carers Week which starts this week running from 8-14 June.

The annual campaign highlights the challenges of having sole responsibility for looking after a vulnerable loved one. Whether this is a young child or teenager caring for a relative or vice versa, a son or daughter caring for an elderly parent or spouse caring for their partner with a terminal illness – it is important all carers have access to vital support. 

This year, the theme is ‘making carers visible’ as carers are continuing to face new obstacles as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. The council received seven new referrals of young people to the carers’ hub service in May, five of which are aged 12-17 and two 5-11.

Councillor Kathryn Flavell, cabinet member for children and families, said: “The council recognises the need to gain the trust of unpaid carers of all ages and reassure them that we can help – our carers’ hub does exactly that. Given the current circumstances of Covid-19, young carers may be feeling extremely isolated, and we want them to feel fully supported by our services.”

Councillor Laura Jeuda, cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “Cheshire East carers’ hub works closely with Crossroads Together, a charity who offer respite care for up to three hours, with full PPE, while the carer has a break. Unpaid carers are the unsung heroes of this pandemic, providing unconditional care to a loved one is a hardship no one should have to face alone.”

The council commissions its carers’ hub from n-compass, who are experts in providing a high quality care service that makes a difference in people’s lives. Both providers want to ensure the unpaid carers of Cheshire East are given the recognition and respect they abundantly deserve, for the relentless work they do daily.

Teresa Jennings, CEO of n-compass, said: “The theme of Carers Week, ‘making carers visible’ has never been so relevant as it is today. The current national crisis has led to many unpaid carers having to provide even more care for their elderly, sick or disabled family or friends.

“Whilst the current crisis has rightly shone a light on the work of carers and the critical role they play, we need to ensure that the army of unpaid carers we work with every day at our Cheshire East carers’ hub are supported. Without them the health and social care system would simply not be able to manage.”

Carers can contact the hub by calling 0300 123 5034 or completing the ‘I need help’ section at cheshireeast.gov.uk/peoplehelpingpeople.

The council and Crossroads Together work collaboratively to support carers across the borough. Please contact cheshireeast@crossroadstogether.org.uk or call 0333 323 1990

for advice and support.

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