To mark Carers Week, East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (ELR CCG) is raising awareness in support of the thousands of carers in our local communities, whilst recognising that they are all individuals with needs of their own outside their roles as carers.
Across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland there are currently 110,000 carers of which 2,500 are young carers in Leicestershire alone.
Faith Vanne is a professional young carer working with young people from across Leicestershire and Rutland, Faith is also one of the core care providers for her brother Matthew outside of her professional duties.
“For the young people that I work with it’s really important for them to be able to interact with people their own age so that they can get a sense of normalcy. Being able to provide care for people closer to my age enables me to support them to get involved in activities that other teenagers and young adults their own age like to do.”
Faith adds, “My family and I have always been the main care providers for my brother, Matthew. As he’s gotten older and his condition has deteriorated we’ve found that the respite care that we get when we need it makes a big difference to our family. We’re all able to rest and recharge and it also means that Matthew has the opportunity to meet new people and experience new activities.”
This year Carers Week is focused on highlighting the challenges that carers face and recognising the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK, and more locally.
“When people think of carers they often only consider the literal sense of caring, the reality is carers provide many forms of care for their loved ones or those that they professionally care for,” adds Jacqui Darlington a mum of two, from Rutland who has been a carer to her youngest son for over 23 years.
Carmel O’Brien, Chief Nurse and Quality Officer at ELR CCG agrees, “Providing effective support to carers in our communities is really important, many of us either are or know people who care for family members. Without the required support carers could quite easily become isolated, overwhelmed and possibly not know where to turn for help and guidance.
“East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG are proud to be working with partners to ensure that the services required for carers and the people that they care for are what they need and available when they need them.”
Carers UK say three out of four carers feel that their role is not understood or valued by their local communities. Jacqui adds, “My son, Joshua has required additional care from a very young age and at that time I was a single working mum doing the best I could for my two young children.
“I found very quickly that there were a lot of demands on my time and I needed help. It’s difficult for many carers to ask for help but when they do, they really do need it. Sleep is one of things I found that I suffered a lack of, Joshua only sleeps for a few hours a night and I found that I too was only getting a few hours a night which is unsustainable.
“Getting regular support to have care provided for Joshua so that I can look after myself and to get some rest is really important, it means that I can get the time that I need to be the able to provide my son with the care he needs.”
Annually the national Carers Week campaign is brought to life by thousands of individuals and organisations who come together to organise activities and events throughout the UK, drawing attention to just how important caring is.
There are many events happening across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland this month in support of Carers Week, but there are many regular support and activity groups for carers across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to get involved in throughout the year.
Access to regular support ensures that carers are more able to build a network and get regular help, further information and support can be found at:
- Leicestershire County Council
- Adult Social Care Customer Service
- 0116 305 0004
- First Response Children’s Team
- 0116 305 0005
- Support For Carers
- The Carers Centre
- CAREFREE – young carers
- Carers Direct Helpline
- 0300123 1053
- If you are a carer, the helpline advisers can give you information to help make decisions about your personal support needs and the needs of the person you’re looking after.