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Carers’ Week 2024: Putting carers on the map

Thousands of people in the UK take on new, unpaid caring responsibilities every day, often without realising that they have become carers.  This national Carers’ Week (10-16 June 2024), local NHS and social care organisations are encouraging those who take on caring responsibilities to come forward and receive the support they are entitled to.

Carers’ Week is a time to acknowledge the irreplaceable contributions of the over ten million carers across the UK and the many challenges they face. This year’s Carers’ Week has a primary focus on recognising and amplifying the voices of unpaid carers.

A carer is anyone who looks after a family member, friend or loved one outside of work or volunteering, and does not receive a salary.  The person they care for may have a disability, mental or physical illness, or need extra help due to ageing.

Michelle Evans-Riches, a programme manager at Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board who has also served as a trustee of a local charity for carers, said:

“There’s lots the NHS can do to help people who have caring responsibilities: for example, have you told your general practice that you are a carer?  But I also want us to ensure that all local carers are aware of their entitlements, such as social security payments and an assessment carried out by your local authority.

“With more and more carers having to take on the responsibility alongside full- or part-time work, and the cost-of-living crisis causing further stress and hardship, it is vital that anyone who has caring responsibilities gets the help they’re entitled to.”

If you or anyone you know is a carer, there are local services to support you, wherever you live in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.  Assistance ranges from support hubs to charities, with many focusing on particular disabilities or illnesses.  To find support, you can visit these organisations:

Carers in Bedfordshire

Carers Central (Luton)

Carers Milton Keynes

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