LOCAL MPs who supported and spent time with carers in their constituencies have been publicly thanked.
Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Stephen Lloyd, Wealden MP Charles Hendry and Greg Barker, MP, for Pevensey and Westham, all received certificates at the Houses of Parliament for taking part in the Carers Challenge.
The three MPs, together with Polegate and Seaford MP Norman Baker, all took part in the Carers Challenge this winter spending time with some of the 51,000 carers in East Sussex.
The carers represented a variety of ages and situations all of whom look after family members or friends who could not manage without their help.
The MPs witnessed the reality of caring and the commitment and willingness shown by the carers to look after their loved one and acknowledged the high price carers paid both financially and socially.
The carers also had the opportunity to tell MPs how they could be helped in their caring role and to live fuller lives.
Jenny Ballard, chair of East Sussex charity Care for the Carers, said, “It was a great opportunity. I’d like to thank all the MPs for giving up their time to spend with carers in their constituencies and helping us raise awareness of the enormous contribution carers make to our community particularly in the current economic climate.”
East Sussex charity Care for the Carers has supported adult and young carers to improve their quality of life for over 20 years.
It is estimated carers save East Sussex County Council and the local NHS £700 million a year in care costs.
Liz Fenton, from Care for the Carers, said, “With expected cuts in public services, we asked carers to give MPs an insight into their caring role, to highlight the support they need and the important contribution that Care for the Carers makes to the lives of local carers.”
Stephen Lloyd said, “It was a real privilege to take part in the Care for the Carers challenge.
“So many of their members do such great work in Eastbourne and Willingdon, which is why I was particularly pleased to quiz the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan-Smith, earlier this week.
“As a member of the Parliamentary Work and Pensions Select Committee I reminded him of the significance of the many carers in our town and throughout the UK.
“Carers are the unsung heroes of our society and their plight too often goes painfully unnoticed, so I’m very grateful to groups such as Care for the Carers which work so hard to redress the balance.”