Wirral carers deliver more than half a million hours of care every week
Latest figures show that 26.5% of Wirral’s estimated 40,000 carers self-reported at least 50 hours of weekly care work. This amounts to approximately more than 537,000 hours of unpaid work.
The 2018 figures are released during National Carers Week, 10 – 16 June, as Wirral’s care services, partners and local charities, raise awareness of the vital work that carers do for the community.
The theme for this year’s Carer’s Week is, ‘Getting Carers Connected in their Community’, a theme that is welcomed by the local authority who want to reach out to the many hard-working carers in the borough.
Cllr Chris Jones, Wirral Council's cabinet member for Adult Care & Health, said: “There are thousands of people in Wirral who are providing care to someone close to them; a family member, relative or friend.
“But research shows that the majority of these people providing care probably wouldn’t think of themselves as a carer.
“The figures are quite staggering, but even they do not give us the whole picture of the work that carers do in Wirral. There are many people working 5, 10 or 20 hours a week caring for those around them in addition to the half a million figure we’re seeing today.”
Speaking of the awareness week, Cllr Jones continued: “Carers Week gives us a platform from which to offer support to carers who may not class themselves as such. These unsung heroes play a vital role within the community as carers clearly relieve strain from local support services and charities.”
Throughout the week Wired, Wirral Information Resource for Equality and Diversity, will hold a series of awareness raising events, alongside Wirral Council, the first being their launch event on Monday 10 June at Pyramids Shopping Centre from 10am - 3pm.
The events will offer members of the public the opportunity to discuss support options with local providers, recognising the issues and challenges that carers face while also seeking out more carers who are not yet known to local support services.
One way that carers can connect to support in Wirral is by downloading the carers app ‘Jointly’, made available for free by the council.
The app offers a range of practical tools and resources for carers such as shared calendars, task lists and local agency contacts.
Cllr Jones continued, “Caring for someone else can be very rewarding but it can also be stressful, isolating and can impact on the carer’s own health and wellbeing. Many carers also navigate the added pressure of juggling their caring and work responsibilities.
“We hope that through raising awareness during Carers Week, we can encourage even more carers in Wirral to download Jointly, gaining access to a variety of support options for the cared for and indeed themselves.”
- If you are looking after someone, or know somebody who is, Wirral Council is offering the Jointly app and other support resources for free to help manage care: https://www.jointlyapp.com/#welcome
- Carers looking for support can also contact the Carers Helpline on 0151 670 0777 - Wirral’s single point of access for carers. This hassle-free helpline will help to find the right options for you by referring you directly to services in your area.
- All are welcome to attend the Carers Week Launch event, alongside Mayor Tony Smith, at the Pyramids Shopping Centre on Monday 10 June, 10 – 3pm. Organisations including Age UK Wirral, Invigor8, Wirral Mencap, Wirral Change, Barnardo’s, Macmillan and more will be on hand to offer advice and support.