Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK's 6.5 million carers.
A carer is someone who provides care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help as they grow older.
For some, taking on a caring role can be sudden: someone in your family has an accident or your child is born with a disability. For others, caring responsibilities can grow gradually over time: your parents can't manage on their own any longer or your partner's health gradually worsens.
The amount and type of support that carers provide varies considerably. It can range from a few hours a week, such as picking up prescriptions and preparing meals, to providing care day and night.
Caring will touch each one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer or need care ourselves.
For 2018, Carers Week will be centred around looking at all the ways carers can be supported to stay Healthy and Connected. This includes building communities which support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with health and wellbeing needs of their own. Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience but sometimes carers find it challenging to take care of their own well-being whilst caring.
There is fantastic support for carers in the local area with organisations such as the Carers Trust Network based in Harrow Lodge Park, Havering which offer a range of services to support carers. Barking and Dagenham Carers is also a local organisation that put on social events and day trips for carers as well as assisting carers with their day to day responsibilities
Jon Cruddas MP commented: "I'm a huge supporter of the fantastic work that carers undertake across the country and I'm pleased to see increasing levels of support to help young carers in particular. This is a really important week to recognise the dedication of those who provide a valuable service to vulnerable people in our communities."
If you would like to be involved in Carers Week 2018 find out more HERE