Merton Council is recognising and celebrating the value and hard work that carers across the borough bring in their roles for Carers Week 2021, which runs from 7 June to 13 June this year.
The theme for 2021’s Carer’s Week is to ‘Make Caring Visible and Valued’ and the council has been working jointly with several organisations in the borough to develop a new five-year plan of action to make this happen.
The Merton Carers Strategy 2021-2026 which has been developed with carers is being launched during Carer’s Week to show the council’s commitment to making lives better for carers in Merton.
The Partners involved with the council include South West London and St Georges Mental Health Trust, South West London Clinical Commissioning Group, Alzheimer’s Society, Carers Support Merton, Merton Mencap, Department of Work and Pensions, Age UK Merton and Healthwatch Merton.
Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign that celebrates the vital contribution of the UK’s unpaid carers, who support family members and friends who have a disability, a mental of physical illness or who need further help as they get older.
The campaign is brought to life by thousands of individuals and organisations across the UK, who come together to support the vital role that carers play, by providing activities for them and ensuring that they are recognised for what they do.
During Carers Week, there will be a free programme of events dedicated to carers taking place across the borough. The events include:
- Health and wellbeing virtual sessions
- Merton Mencap online fun quiz
- Information about support services available
- Morning community walks and refreshments
The new Mayor of Merton, Councillor Michael Brunt – who has dedicated his year to carers, said:
“This year we know that carers across Merton are continuing to face challenges as a result of COVID-19. This Carer’s Week is our chance to say a big thank you to all the unpaid and family carers in the borough. We do recognise them for the valuable support they provide to others and hope that the activities during this week can bring them valuable support, information, joy and companionship.
“We know that carers don’t always choose or plan to be carers, and they can suddenly fall into the role of being a carer without any prior training or preparation. This is sadly true now more than ever before, due to the current health risks and lifestyle changes. That’s why we want to fully identify and support carers with their caring role, during these challenging times.
“Carer’s Week is our small contribution towards carers’ tireless commitment to others and show those who haven’t identified their role as yet, that they are still carers and that they have rights, entitlements and access to much-needed support,.”
Carers UK report that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, over half *(58%) of carers are more stressed and half are saying that it has had an impact on their health and wellbeing, and their ability to take time out.
To see Merton Council’s Carer’s Strategy 2021-2026 and find out more about the events during Carer’s Week, visit here
*Taken from the Carers UK report ‘Caring behind closed doors: six months on’ here