This year, as people across the country are facing new challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Carers Leeds is highlighting the key role played by unpaid carers to support health and social care in Leeds.
This year’s Carers Week campaign (8-14 June), supported locally by Carers Leeds and citywide partners including NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is asking people come together and help “Make Caring Visible.”
Leeds has at least 74,000 unpaid carers, and more people are taking on extra caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support.
Carers Leeds will use the week to show what life is like for carers during lockdown to shine a light on the importance of carers. The charity is asking carers to create videos, blogs, photos and any other creative routes to show their experiences of caring, and they will share this content online throughout the week.
Dr Sarah Forbes, GP and Associate Medical Director for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The COVID-19 crisis has understandably seen a focus on celebrating frontline health and care professionals as well as key workers.
“However I want to take this opportunity to recognise and thank the city’s carers who have really rallied around to help. It is no exaggeration to say that without the support of carers, the health and care system in Leeds would find itself experiencing greater challenges.
“Our organisation and our partners are truly inspired by the ‘roll up your sleeves’ attitude shown by the city’s carers. We welcome the celebration of carers led locally by Carers Leeds.”
Val Hewison, Chief Executive of Carers Leeds said: “I have been so impressed by both our city’s response to finding new ways to support those who need it most and also by the resilience of carers. You sort of learn to roll with the punches when you’re caring for someone anyway, but the way I’ve seen carers embrace zoom support groups and telephone 121’s has given me a real boost.
“We have worked hard to make sure no carer has been forgotten during lockdown and the Carers Leeds team will continue to adapt to support carers in a way that works for them, and help make carers visible for all to see how incredible their contribution is to our city. Please help us achieve this and make sure we leave no carer behind.
“Carers need to be recognised for the difficulties they are experiencing, respected for all they are doing, and provided with information, support and understanding.”
As well as highlighting the role carers play in supporting people, Carers Leeds is offering people an opportunity to have a break from caring as they attend events online such as wellbeing sessions, fun quizzes and Zumba sessions.
To take part or for more details, take a look at the Carers Leeds events page: https://www.carersleeds.org.uk/events/.