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By Debbie le Quesne

Don’t miss out on Carers’ Week 2015

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If it happens to have passed you by, we’re in the middle of Carers’ Week 2015 (June 8 – 14) and the exposure seems better than ever.

Television, newspapers, industry magazines, radio and the internet is full of the national initiative with big local implications. There’s loads of coverage and there’s still time to get involved.

The focus this year is on building carer friendly communities, which ideally would support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals too with needs of their own.

More than 100 MPs from all parties attended the launch of Carers’ Week 2015 in Parliament on Monday, to show support for the thousands of unsung heroes and heroines.

They spent time talking and listening to carers’ personal experiences of caring, what it means to care on a daily basis and how this has impacted on their lives.

The MPs made commitments such as: “I pledge to speak up for carers in Parliament”, “I pledge to guide carers to local support”, and “I pledge to build carer friendly communities.”

This is all heartening stuff and we know the week got off to a flying start with Carers’ Week Manager Diana Walles saying: “Almost 2,000 people and organisations have already pledged to actively engage with carers in their local community for Carers Week and into the future.”

But Diana’s messaged that “we still have a long way to go” is so true. I believe caring should not only receive parliamentary support but that same commitment should also come from community.

We all need to take some responsibility.

Those who are care providers also need to seize this opportunity of promoting the good care their staff bring. Rarely are there rogue individuals, but they’re the ones who steal all the headlines every time. Let’s take the chance to help change some of the preconceptions of care in celebrating the work of those who are the real pillars of the industry – the carers.

Carers’ Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. Check out the Carers’ Trust wall with Google and get in there.

Supports and sponsors include Age UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support and the MS Society.

Be part of it and celebrate just how important our carers are.

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