Carers Week 2021

(Courtesy of West Sussex County Council)

Over 100,000 people are thought to be regularly caring for a friend or family member in West Sussex, so this Carers Week, running from 7 – 13 June, it’s more important than ever to raise awareness and shine a spotlight on the information and services available to family and friend carers across the county.

Backed by West Sussex County Council, the NHS and West Sussex charity, Carers Support West Sussex, there’s plenty on offer to help those looking after friends and family.

With more than 29,000 carers currently registered in West Sussex, including young carers, young adult carers and adult carers, this is still only a fraction of the estimated number of family and friend carers believed to be living in West Sussex. Carers Support West Sussex are urging those not yet registered to sign up to access the support they may require now or in the future.

This year, family and friend carers are continuing to face new challenges because of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support.

As part of Carers Week, Carers Support West Sussex has put together a programme of carer focused workshops, where attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn something new or improve knowledge;
  • Virtually meet others in a similar situation and have a chance to socialise;
  • Have a break from caring roles.

A majority of these are online classes, but if you are able, there are also picnics taking place at Parham House in Pulborough, Swanbourne Lake in Arundel and a coastal walk starting in Ferring. More information on these sessions can be found on the dedicated Carers Week page on the Carers Support West Sussex website. 

Amanda Jupp, Cabinet Member for Adults Services at West Sussex County Council, said: “Carers Week is a really important time in the calendar as it is a great way of reminding all of our family and friend carers here in West Sussex that there is help and support available for them whatever situation they may find themselves in.

“Caring is such a huge responsibility and many carers spend so much time looking after someone else, that they forget to take some time for themselves, which is where Carers Support West Sussex can prove invaluable as they run carer groups, a Carer Response Line, help carers access free counselling and provide funds so that carers can do something for themselves, amongst many other things.”

Sonia Mangan, Chief Executive at Carers Support West Sussex also said “This year’s Carers Week theme is ‘Making Caring Visible and Valued across West Sussex’ and we aim to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges family and friend carers face and recognise the contributions they make to families and our local community.

“Across England and Wales carers save the UK economy more than £150 billion every year, and with the pandemic seeing more individuals taking on a family and friend caring role, we need to make sure that these people get exactly what they need to stay well whilst caring for someone else.”

For anyone that can’t attend the workshops, there is still plenty that Carers Support can offer you after the week has finished, including a free Carers Discount Card, which gives family and friend carers in the county a range of exclusive offers and discounts.

The aim of the scheme is to promote the health and wellbeing of carers whilst alleviating some of the financial strain that is often placed upon them by their role.

To find out more and for further information about the great work that Carers Support West Sussex do for family and friend carers across the county, visit their website.