Carers Week 2020 was a very different campaign to previous years; occurring in the middle of a pandemic.
To start with we spent a lot of time questioning how we would coordinate the the local campaign during 'lockdown' and ensure our efforts were going to be of significance to local carers who are under increased pressure and demand as a result of the pandemic.
We decided to focus the week on launching our website to ensure all local carers knew what support was available to them as well as (easy to navigate) useful information, advice and news relevant to them. We also wanted to draw attention of unpaid carers to the wider public and really Make Caring Visible locally whilst delivering messages of thanks to recognise and value the challenging role undertaken.
We had some fantastic support during Carers Week from local organisations who are the ones working hard to provide services specifically designed to understand, guide, empower and ultimately support carers to sustain their role without adverse impact on their own health and wellbeing.
Some well known local faces also got behind the campaign and helped us reach 17,685 people across the week through our Facebook page alone.
In case you missed it, here are the local campaign supporters and their messages:
Steph McGovern, television presenter:
George Friend, Middlesbrough FC Captain:
Andy Preston, Middlesbrough Mayor:
Mark Adams, Joint Director of South Tees Public Health and chair of The Junction Foundation:
more from David:
Carers week is a time where we can make sure our local carers are recognised and appreciated for their amazing contribution throughout the year, and the difference they make to those they care for.
There are around 1.4 million people nationally providing 50 or more carer hours a week for a partner, friend or family member, making a significant contribution to society and the NHS.
The new ‘We Care You Care website’ will be the first place for carers to go in identifying support and we’re keen to support the site’s further development.
The Coronavirus pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone. However, alongside our health and social care professionals, carers continue to put others before themselves and their commitment and hard work is valued every day, not only during carers week.
more from Dr Hollingsworth:
"Here in Middlesbrough we have a huge number of carers who work tirelessly to keep the cogs of our community turning. As a GP I am constantly reminded of the vital work carers play in supporting the health and wellbeing of our community. Whether you care for a family member, a neighbour, a friend, for an hour a week or full time, thank you. You are recognised, you are appreciated and we are proud to have you as part of our team."
Thank you to everybody who helped to Make Caring Visible in Middlesbrough and an even bigger thank you to all local unpaid carers working tirelessly, often without recognition and support!
Our work to reach as many unpaid carers in the local area, to ensure everybody who needs it knows what support is available and how to access it, will continue in line with the developments of the South Tees Carers Forum.
If you want to support our work by sharing your experience of looking after a loved one or know of a service which is not featured on our website please do get in touch we would love to hear from you!