York’s Liberal Democrat councillors are highlighting the amazing work of local carers and calling on the Government to urgently introduce a support package for paid and unpaid carers.
Carers Week, which will run from Monday 7 until Sunday 13 June, is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK, with a theme of ‘Make Caring Visible and Valued’.
Around 19,000 people in York are looking after elderly, disabled or vulnerable people, whilst many other people who provide care do not recognise themselves as a ‘carer’.
Research from Carers UK showing that nationally:
• 64% of carers have not been able to take any breaks from their caring role during the pandemic,
• 74% feel exhausted and worn out as a result of caring during Covid-19, and
• 44% say they are reaching breaking point.
Local Lib Dem councillors are calling on Ministers to recognise the incredible work being done by carers across the city and country by introducing a comprehensive support package, which would include:
• Raising Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year, and expanding the number of carers who are eligible for it.
• Giving councils emergency funding for respite care so carers can take breaks.
• Introducing paid Carer’s Leave and requiring employers to make reasonable adjustments for carers.
Recognising the challenges the pandemic has brought to carers across the city, York’s Liberal Democrat Councillors have also secured an investment of £50k to support carers to access resources and support as a part of the 2021/22 Council Budget.
Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult social care, commented:
“People looking after their loved ones are doing a remarkable and important job in very difficult circumstances.
“Despite this, the Government has overlooked carers who need far more support than they receive at present, with unpaid carers in particular left to face mounting financial and emotional pressures.
“Carers have taken on dramatically increased caring responsibilities during this pandemic. Most haven’t been able to take a single break since the pandemic started. They are simply exhausted.
“During this year’s Carer’s week, we are reiterating our calls for carers to be recognised and given the support they require and deserve. Our care system could not manage without them and the Government need to acknowledge this.”