Carers Week 2016 will be held across the UK until June 12.
The event seeks to raise awareness of and increase support for unpaid carers who look after someone who couldn’t manage without their help.
When a friend, partner or family member becomes ill or disabled, you may start doing things to make life easier for them.
As time progresses, the amount of support required can grow, and some carers start to feel trapped in their caring role, feeling as if they can’t walk away now or that they would be giving up on the person they care for.
Within East Sussex alone, there are an estimated 60,000 unpaid carers, saving the taxpayer around one billion pounds between them.
For Carers Week this year, Care for the Carers is working to build Carer Friendly Communities to increase support for unpaid carers within their communities, and improve understanding of the challenges that unpaid carers face every day.
Attempting to get to a doctor’s appointment on time, go food shopping, or go on holiday are all made much more complicated when there is someone else who relies on you for their health and wellbeing.
Eastbourne carer Roger Strange-Burlong cares for his wife and revealed his struggle.
He said, “One of the hardest things to do as a full time carer is to look after yourself.
“You just tend to put your loved one first, but if your health suffers then they suffer too. You have to make time for yourself where you can, and try not to feel guilty about it.”
New this year is the Carers Challenge – which sees carers groups across East Sussex inviting local community leaders to listen to carers talk about the challenges they face in their day-to-day lives.
The Lord Lieutenant of Sussex, Mr Peter Field said, “There are many thousands of carers working day-in, day-out supporting people whose lives would otherwise be intolerable; they do so without acknowledgement and often without reward.
“Carers Week and the Carers Challenge provide an opportunity for the wider community to appreciate their dedication and offer their own support.
“I commend the efforts of those caring for others and I encourage everyone to do as much as possible to value this incredible group.”
Care for the Carers is also encouraging people to #GoPurple for Carers Week, with East Sussex law firm So Legal signing up to take part, raising awareness among their staff and clients, and raising some money at the same time.
If you would like to take part – contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an information pack, and tweet your purple pictures during Carers Week with the hashtag #GoPurple.
Care for the Carers is the Carers Centre for East Sussex, commissioned by East Sussex County Council and the NHS to support unpaid carers.
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