An East Sussex charity is calling on the Government to prioritise carers by committing to its manifesto.
This comes as part of the build-up to Carers Rights Day – a national campaign to help carers understand their rights – on November 21 and the General Election on December 12.
Jennifer Twist, Care for the Carers CEO, said, “For Carers Rights Day we want to make sure local carers are aware of their rights and can get the support they’re entitled to.
“Carers are a vital and often overlooked group in the community. Every day we hear carers’ stories – they are making enormous sacrifices, often putting their own life and wellbeing on hold.
“Their commitment and dedication can be isolating and often caring takes its toll on their physical and mental health, relationships and finances.”
The manifesto focuses on:
• Carers being placed at the heart of a reformed and properly funded system of social care,
• Ensuring carers and their families do not suffer financial hardship as a result of caring
• Increasing funding for carers’ breaks,
• Having a National Health Service that recognises, values and supports carers,
• Ensuring carers are able to juggle work and care with support to return to work alongside or after caring
• Developing a cross-Government programme to work to support unpaid carers and have a strategy or action-plan in place, raising public awareness of carers and caring.
Ms Twist said, “Our health and social care system is in crisis. Unpaid carers provide care which is valued at £132 billion each year – equivalent to a second NHS.
“The Carers UK Manifesto sets out key commitments which will enable the Government to do right by carers.
“We are also asking our local MPs to include carers on their election agenda by campaigning for and advocating policies and resources that will help all carers.
“No one should be left to care alone, yet many carers are not aware of their rights or that support is available.
“We are already in contact with more than 8,000 carers, however we still need to reach thousands more in the East Sussex area.”
According to Care for the Carers, the number of carers in East Sussex has steadily grown to 66,472, meaning 1 in 10 people care for someone.
Ms Twist said, “If someone is a looking after a family member or friend and they feel they need support, please do get in touch with us.”