Local people urged to add their voice to ‘Make Caring Visible’ message this Carers Week

This Carers Week (8 to 14 June) Iain Gray MSP is asking local people to help recognise the vital contribution made by unpaid carers in East Lothian and show that they want to ‘Make Caring Visible’ by adding their voice online during the week.

Carers Week is the annual campaign to highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

The ‘Make Caring Visible’ theme for this year’s week is particularly relevant during the COVID-19 outbreak when so many carers have been shielding to protect vulnerable family members. It takes less than a minute to visit the Carers Week website and add your voice to the online voices wall in support of the week.

Ahead of this year’s week, Mr Gray has also welcomed the news that Carers of East Lothian has received an award from the University of Edinburgh’s Community Grant Scheme to help fund a project to deliver music therapy workshops for unpaid carers.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“This Carers Week our community is recognising the vital contribution of unpaid carers across East Lothian and all that they do to care and support loved ones. The last few months have put even greater pressure on unpaid carers many of whom have experienced additional financial and caring responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The theme for this year’s week is make caring visible, which I fully understand and support, and I hope local people will add their voices online. However, visibility must be matched by tangible ongoing help and assistance. That is why I’ve already spoken out about the need for decision-makers at all levels to do more to ensure that carers are properly supported with their caring duties not just during Carers Week but throughout the year, every year.”

On behalf of the Carers Week charities, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“This year it is more important than ever to raise the profile of caring and recognise the enormous contribution made by unpaid carers, who throughout the COVID-19 outbreak have played an essential role supporting friends and family who are older, disabled or seriously ill. I am delighted that so many individuals and organisations are getting involved with virtual activities, helping carers to connect to others and access advice and information.   

“Looking after someone can be a hugely rewarding experience, but it sometimes comes with difficulties, including getting the right support. This Carers Week all parts of the community – family and friends, employers, businesses, schools, health and care services – should do their bit to make caring visible and recognise carers’ vital contribution to society.”

Carers Week is the largest annual carers awareness campaign in the UK, in Scotland led by Carers Scotland. In 2020, Carers Week has the support of four other national charities: Age Scotland, Carers Trust Scotland, Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Oxfam Scotland.

To add your voice to the campaign and find out more about local activities visit www.carersweek.org