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Nearly £1m to be given to help struggling carers
NEARLY £1million is to be given to struggling carers to enable them to take breaks from looking after their sick loved ones.
The cash will aid about 8,000 unpaid carers in Buckinghamshire including young carers and parents of children with a disability.
The announcement comes in national Carers Week, a campaign urging greater support for those who are left feeling isolated and struggling with their own health as they look after ill relatives.
Nationwide, about £400m is to be spent by the Government aiding carers with respite.
Charity Carers Bucks has announced a new scheme with Buckinghamshire County Council and the NHS Primary Care Trust will offer over £800,000 for short breaks for carers in the county.
Stephen Archibald, Chief Executive of Carers Bucks said: “Carers do a really hard job, frequently with little or no time for themselves. Caring for someone doesn’t come with regular time off work or set hours.”
A new Carers Trust survey, completed by 3,400 carers, shows two in five unpaid carers are sacrificing their own health by putting off medical treatment to care for someone else.
It also showed that caring had a negative impact on 83 per cent of carers’ physical health, with 36 per cent of carers sustaining a physical injury such as back pain through caring.
Carers Bucks also helps carers from the black and minority ethnic community and those looking after someone with mental health problems including depression.
Councillor Patricia Birchley, BCC Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “It is so important that carers can get a break from their caring role and this extra funding from the PCT will give that opportunity to so many more family carers. This money is a real recognition by government of the huge responsibility that carers have.”
Carers Bucks is holding an event on Thursday at Chesham Town Hall on between 10.30am – 2.30pm to reveal more details about the scheme.
Laughter therapy and relaxation sessions are being offered as well as benefits advice and information about services available to carers.
Dame Judi Dench, Lynda Bellingham and TV presenter and former carer, Fiona Phillips, are backing the national campaign.
In Bucks, Sainsbury’s are among companies holding events to support the campaign, with staff in Marlow and High Wycombe taking part in coffee mornings.
Kim Benge, from the supermarket store in Marlow, said: “I know that many carers in Marlow suffer due to a lack of understanding about what they do – some don’t even recognise themselves as carers.
“This has a real and negative impact on their health, finances, working and social life, and general wellbeing.”
Carers Week is organised by a partnership of eight national charities: Age UK, Carers Trust, Carers UK, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, MS Society and Parkinson’s UK.
For more information about the events and activities taking place as part of Carers Week, visitwww.carersweek.org.
For the Chesham event call Carers Bucks on 0300 777 2722 or visit www.carersbucks.org/newsevents/CarersWeekLaunch.shtml
Are you a carer or do you know someone who is?
What changes would you like to see made to help carers and what else can be done to ease the pressure?
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