Last week was Carers’ Week all around the UK. Carers’ week is a week of recognition dedicated to all the help and support that carers provide for their charges. It doesn’t matter if the carers are professionals, or if they a friends and family looking after a loved one. This week is all about raising awareness of the valuable contribution these people having in the community, alongside promoting the support that carers of all ages might need.

According to the Carers' Week website, there are 6.5 million people in the UK caring for loved ones. Most of these carers are unpaid for their efforts, and often struggle to balance their care duties with their work lives, and many are often forced to leave work in order to provide vital full-time care.

All around the UK, events have been taking place to support Carers’ Week, and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham was no exception. They had a number of events planned throughout the week. Highlights included:

  • A Day Trip to Whitstable on Sunday 5th June.
  • A Therapy Day at Fanshawe Adult Collage on Wednesday 8th June.
  • A Young Carers Prom on Friday 10th June
  • A Summer Fete at Memory Lane on Saturday 11th June.

A local carers’ charity, Carers of Barking and Dagenham, explained that many unpaid carers around the UK need information, support, advice, and other services to help in their roles, and the residents of Barking and Dagenham are no exception. They often work hard, with little reward besides the happiness of the loved ones they care for on a regular basis.

It can be an isolating and demanding experience for care for people at home, and that is why Carers’ Week, an annual campaign to raise awareness of the difficulties that carers’ face, is important. It is also important that we recognise the significant contributions all carers make in families and communities.

Jon Cruddas MP said: “With social care services under immense strain across the country, and the number of people requiring care steadily increasing, it is important that we recognise the work these essential volunteers provide alongside professional services when it comes to looking after our friends and family.”