09 June, 2017
Left: Carers Week fun in 2016. The Health & Information Day for Westminster carers will be held at The Stowe Centre, 258 Harrow Road, W2 5ES, on Thursday June 15, 11am-3pm carers network.org.uk/carers-week-2017
UNPAID carers are estimated to save the country £132billion a year according to charity Carers Network, but are rarely given the recognition they deserve.
That is why Carers Week, which runs from Monday to Friday next week, exists – to raise awareness of the 6.5 million unpaid workers’ contribution.
The aim is “building communities that support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own.”
As part of the week, carers in Westminster are invited to a special health and information day at The Stowe Centre, from 11am to 3pm on Thursday.
There they can meet fellow carers and browse information stalls, but also partake in some well-deserved pampering with free hand-massages, talk to health trainers and enjoy a light lunch. Adult social care, the NHS and other local organisations will host a range of stalls at the event, organised by Carers Network.
The local independent charity, which offers help to over 4,500 unpaid workers in central London organise a range of events, such as river cruises, city tours, and arts workshops at the Queen’s Gallery for its carers.
One carer helped by the charity said: “I have been struggling to cope with looking after my mother alongside working and caring for a young child. The support and advice I have been given had made me feel less isolated and knowing there is someone to contact has been a huge weight off my mind”.
A spokesman for Carers Network said: “Unpaid carers mean a great deal to Britain. They are in a very insecure position, but are making a huge contribution to the economy, and have been estimated to save the country an annual cost of £132 billion.
“More has to be done to offer support on a larger scale, as many people simply can’t afford to take time off.”