Making Caring Visible this Carers Week

Southampton City Council and its partners will be marking national Carers Week by coming together to make carers feel visible and valued

They will be highlighting the challenges unpaid carers face and recognising the enormous contribution they make not only to those they care for, but to society.

A carer is anyone who provides unpaid support to a relative, partner, child or friend due to illness, disability, frailty, a mental health condition or substance misuse problem. During the COVID-19 pandemic many residents have found themselves in a position where they have become carers to people who prior to lockdown were reasonably independent but were forced to shield and self-isolate.

Stephanie - Carer's WeekFor many others in Southampton, providing care and support for a loved one is nothing new. An estimated 26% of the UK adult population is providing unpaid care to an older, disabled or ill relative or friend – that is equivalent to one in four adults*. That equates to 66,679 unpaid carers in Southampton.

The theme for national Carers Week, which runs from 7 to 13 June, is ‘Make Caring Visible and Valued’.

During the week Southampton City Council and its partners across the city will be offering a selection of support and activities and highlighting recent initiatives for Carers. Activities include Laughing Yoga for young carers, Carers Walks, free Carer Aware training for all, peer support sessions and social media awareness campaigns.

Southampton City Council and the local NHS have co-signed a pledge to ‘Make Caring Visible and Valued’ and continue to shine a light and support local carers across all the work the organisations do in the city and in partnership together. The pledge has been signed by Councillor Ivan White (Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care), Guy Van Dichele (Executive Director Wellbeing Adults & Health (DASS)), Dr Sarah Young (Clinical Director at NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group) and Stephanie Ramsey (Managing Director Southampton Local Team, NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG and Director of Quality and Integration, Integrated Commissioning Unit Southampton City Council and NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG), pictured.

Councillor Ivan White, Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care said: “We recognise the valuable role of our many carers across the city, they are often ‘unsung heroes’ providing care day-in and day-out for loved ones in our community. We value the work they do and their tireless dedication.

Carers Week is a chance for us to celebrate the good work they do and recognise that we need to play our part in supporting them. We are pledging this week to make carers feel visible and valued and continue to work in partnership to help increase the identification of carers of all ages and to signpost them to our local support services. I encourage anyone who is a carer or knows a carer to get involved with the carers week activities happening in the city.”

Carers week events and activities

During the week, Southampton City Council and its partners across the city will be offering the following support and activities and highlighting recent initiatives for carers.

Southampton City Council

  • Carers Week Pledge — Southampton City Council and the local NHS have co-signed a pledge to ‘Make Caring Visible and Valued’ and continue to shine a light and support local carers across all the work the organisations do in the city and in partnership together. The pledge has been signed by Councillor Ivan White (Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care), Guy Van Dichele (Executive Director Wellbeing Adults & Health (DASS)) , Dr Sarah Young (Clinical Director at NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group) and Stephanie Ramsey (Managing Director Southampton Local Team, NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG and Director of Quality and Integration, Integrated Commissioning Unit Southampton City Council and NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG).
  • Carer Aware Course — To support residents and employers to recognise the types of caring roles, online Carer Aware training is available free of charge. The training can be done by anyone, takes 20 minutes and gives participants the skills and information to identify hidden carers and assist them to know their rights and find the support they need, both locally and nationally. You can do the training on our website.
  • Carer Friendly Southampton Scrutiny Inquiry — Southampton City Council has recently undertaken a Carer Friendly Southampton Scrutiny Inquiry, which welcomed feedback from local carers and people that are cared for. The Inquiry was to identify opportunities to improve support for carers in Southampton. The final report has been published with recommendations; in summary those recommendations are:
    • To identify more carers
    • To improve information, advice and guidance
    • To improve assessments
    • To improve support for carers in Southampton
    • To help carers stay in, enter or return to work, education and training
    • To improve the involvement of carers
    • To improve co-ordination of support for carers, and with carers
    • To improve the sharing of data and intelligence to support carers
    • To measure progress in delivering improved outcomes for carers and to recognise the contribution carers play in our health and care system

Read the full conclusions and recommendations. Southampton City Council and their partners are now working on the strategy which will mirror the inquiry findings and response to the inquiry in the form of a plan. To get involved please contact Carers in Southampton by emailing strategy@carersinsouthampton.co.uk

Carers in Southampton

Carers in Southampton events aim to address needs recently identified by Carers UK for carers to take part in more physical activity, to both reduce loneliness and improve their wellbeing. See the full Carers in Southampton event schedule

  • Meet The Advocacy People — A charity that helps you in accessing mental health services, NHS complaints or social care services. Wednesday 9 June 10am-12noon. Tickets are available on the Carers in Southampton website.
  • Carers Walks — Carers Walks scheduled Tuesday 8, Wednesday 9, Thursday 10, Friday 11 across city parks. Professionals are invited to join, booking necessary.
  • Peer Support Sessions — One morning session and one evening session of ‘Cuppas’ which are peer support sessions via Zoom with a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) facilitator.
  • Fitness Sessions for Carers — Don’t Tone Alone will offer an introductory offer health and fitness session online for carers.

No Limits

  • Laughing Yoga for young carers — The laughing yoga session is an opportunity for Young Carers to have fun and enjoy some respite after a difficult year. The session will take place Wednesday 9 June and is an opportunity to celebrate Young Carers and all that they do, helping them to feel valued.
  • Top tips for young carers — Top tips written by Young Carers for Young Carers will be shared on the No Limits social media channels to raise awareness of the importance of having respite from caring responsibilities. They will also be sharing useful information about how Young Carers can access support.

Solent NHS

  • Carers Blog — Solent NHS will be raising awareness for carers that are managing their professional careers as well as their role as a carer in their personal lives via a series of blog posts. The blog will help to shine a light on the incredible work of unpaid carers, whilst highlighting the resources and support available to them.

University Hospital Southampton

  • Carers Strategy — The Trust has a new carers strategy.
  • Sunflower Lanyard Scheme — Throughout the week University Hospital Southampton will be highlighting the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme to encourage carers to sign up. The hidden disabilities Sunflower Lanyard is a discreet way for people with hidden disabilities to show that they need extra support, help or a little more time.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

For further information on any of these events or request how to get involved email: carer.involvement@southernhealth.nhs.uk

  • Youth Board — Carers Week Instagram Take over — On Monday 7 June young carers will take over the Southern Health Instagram, to help raise awareness of young carers and to provide information on how to access support and how others can support them.
  • Carers and Carers Leads Network Event — Wednesday 9 June — An opportunity for staff and carers to join together online to learn more about the work of the Trust to better engage, support and communicate with carers, families and friends. Agenda Items include:
    • Perinatal Carer Peer Support Workers — to talk about their roles as being exclusively for carers and how their roles support their teams and the carers
    • A carer’s experience of supporting a family member with an eating disorder, their experience and the support/engagement received within the Eating Disorders Services
    • An update on progress towards Triangle of Care accreditation and embedding the approach/concept of Triangle of Care within the services
  • North/Mid Hampshire Adult Mental Health Carer Support Group — Wednesday 9 June — The group have invited their local Divisional Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals to listen to the group and their experiences.
  • Friday Carers Peer Support Group — Friday 11 June — The group meets weekly, and for Carers Week, they have invited the Lead Governor for the Trust to attend. Half of the session will surround feeding back and ensuring their voices are heard, half of the session will be on reflecting how carers feel valued, some of the positive aspects of caring and the importance of looking after their own wellbeing as carers too.
  • #CarerDefinitions — Social Media Campaign — Throughout the week social media users are encouraged to use the hashtag #CarerDefinitions whilst engaging in a conversation around what the word carer means to them. @Southern_NHSFT

*Source: CW_2020_Research_Report_WEB.pdf (carersuk.org)