• Text Colour:
  • C
  • C
  • C
  • C
  • Text Size: A A A

Value and support the key messages ahead of Carers Week

31 May 2022

Derry City and Strabane District Council is supporting Carers Week, which takes place from June 6th to 12th this year.

The theme for the week is to 'make caring visible, valued and supported' and is an opportunity to celebrate the invaluable and selfless contribution of all carers within our community.

With many local carers unpaid or facing numerous other challenges, Carers Week is an opportunity to recognise that, in all areas of life, caring should be valued and respected by everyone in our society, and carers should have access to information and the support they need.

The annual event is a way to celebrate their contribution, but also explores how we can better support and value carers. Caring can be hugely rewarding for those who do it, but it often takes a huge physical and emotional toll which must be addressed.

Ciara Burke, Age Friendly Co-ordinator with Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: “DCSDC, as part of its Age Friendly City and Community, recognise the important and valuable contribution carers make to society to support people growing older. Around 7.6 million people work as unpaid carers for a family member or friend. Around a quarter of people aged 45-64 are carers, and even that’s an underestimate. Between them, unpaid carers contribute not only vital psychological and social support to their loved ones but also a massive £132 billion to the economy every year. Yet, all too often, their invaluable contribution is overlooked.

Ciara continued: “Carers UK reports that two in five carers haven’t had a day off in over a year. Too many carers sacrifice their own health, miss out on financial security, and lose relationships because of the pressures that caring places on them. And as estimates suggest that one million over-65s will need round-the-clock care by 2035, the need for carers will only rise, so we need to ensure we are having conversations about how we can best take care of our carers.”

Cathy Magowan, Western Health & Social Care Trust Carers Co-ordinator, added: “Carers Week is an opportunity for us, in partnership with other stakeholders in the community and voluntary sector across the Western Trust area, to highlight and say thank you to the tremendous care and support unpaid carers provide to a loved one each and every day with this year’s theme ‘Making Caring Visible’.  A carer is someone who without payment provides help for a relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without this support.  The support can range from doing shopping, collecting prescriptions, taking the cared for person to appointments, meal provision or personal care. It can be isolating being a carer, and therefore we encourage carers to connect with the Western Trust Carers Support Team. The Carers Support team maintain a Carers mailing list which aims to keep carers informed with up to date information. We also deliver a range of activities either face to face or virtually to assist carers in maintaining their own health and well-being throughout the year and would encourage our carers to take some time out of their caring roles to participate in some of the wonderful programmes.”

For further information on WHSCT Carers service please contact 028 6634 4212 [email protected]

Carers NI helpline can also help provide advice and support. Members of the public can contact them by telephoning 028 9043 9843 or emailing [email protected]. The Carers Helpline is available Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm by phoning 0808 808 7777.

For further information on DCSDC’s Age Friendly programme, visit https://www.derrystrabane.com/agefriendly