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15th June 2012
Launch of carers week on 18th June 2012
It’s Carers Week and in Northamptonshire alone, there are an estimated 70,000 unpaid carers. They are thought to save health and social services around £120bn a year nationally.
Carers can be young or old and can be anyone from sons or daughters to parents or siblings, friends or neighbours. They could be looking after someone who needs their help in their day to day life, either because of their age, a long-term illness, a disability, mental health problem or substance abuse. Many people who are carers do not even identify themselves as carers.
A week of activities was kicked off with a launch event at the Nuffield Gym, Walter Tull Way, Sixfields, Northampton on Monday. The event is being attended by carers, representatives from Northamptonshire Carers charity and NHS staff. There will also be an event at the Balance Gym in Kettering on Tuesday 19th June attended by 26 carers, with a range of activities including zumba. The theme of Carers Week this year is ‘In Sickness and in Health’. Click here for a full list of activities. Pictured below is a group of carers having a Pilates class at the Carers Week launch yesterday.
Here in Northamptonshire, we have the GP Carers Assessment Support Workers (CASW) Service which is jointly commissioned by NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group and Corby Healthcare. The service is provided by local charity Northamptonshire Carers. This was originally launched as a pilot scheme in 2010 in 23 practices before being rolled out across the county in 2011 to all GP practices. The CASW team is pictured below.
Dr Asif Akram, who won the GP Supporting Carers category at the Jane Roebuck Carers Awards earlier this year, said: "I am delighted that the service has now been recommissioned for a further three years, which is excellent news for carers and their loved ones.
"We see carers, and the Carers Support Workers as an extension of the practice and it is vital that we continue to give carers the support they need.
"That is why Carers Week is so important, to help us highlight not only the valuable unpaid work that carers do but also the support that is available to them in Northamptonshire."
Mark Major, Director of Northamptonshire Carers, said: "Carers own health can often suffer as a result of providing ongoing care for the people they look after.
"In Northamptonshire there are a number of initiatives that encourage carers to take a break from their caring role, such as support groups, gym memberships, opportunities to take a holiday and carers’ cafes.
"Time out from the caring role is vital, and we are very pleased to see that the Government will be including new rights for carers around these issues in the forthcoming White Paper on the future of Social Care."
Click here for more information about support for carers available in Northamptonshire. You can also go to the Northamptonshire Carers website here for more information about the vital work carried out by this charity.
Carers Week is organised by a partnership of 9 national charities: Age UK, Carers UK, Crossroads Care, Dementia UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, MS Society, Parkinson’s UK, and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers. Click here for more information on Carers Week.