Carers Rights Day on Thursday 25 November is an opportunity to help unpaid carers know their rights and find out how to access help and support
Southampton has an estimated 32,057 residents who are unpaid carers – looking after a relative, partner, child, or friend due to illness, disability, frailty, a mental health condition or substance misuse.
We will be teaming up with partners across the city and our commissioned providers for supporting carers (Carers in Southampton and No Limits) to encourage anyone that gives unpaid support to ‘Share that you Care’ and post on social media about the day-to-day responsibilities of their carer role using the hashtag #ShareThatYouCare.
Identifying yourself as a carer can be a challenge. We hope that by unpaid carers speaking openly about their caring responsibilities that it will help other people of all ages that may not have realised they are a ‘carer’ to identify themselves as a carer too, so they can be signposted to the appropriate local support.
Kirsten is a Service Development Officer at Southampton City Council and has been an unpaid carer for over 20 years for her son who has chronic schizophrenia, she said: “At first I didn’t realise I was a carer it actually took me about 10 years to realise, it was only when I started working in the job that I am in and I worked with carers organisations that I realised I was a carer, prior to that I was Stewart’s mother and that was it really.
“It took me a long time to recognise myself as a carer and I think a lot of people are in that situation too and I think it is really important that people do recognise themselves as a carer and they can get the correct support from the local organisations as there is a lot out there to support people.”
Councillor Ivan White, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “More people are caring for a loved one than ever before and Southampton City Council remains committed to helping carers. We hope that by encouraging carers to ‘share that you care’ it will help others who may just simply believe they are helping a family member or friend out of kindness to realise they are a ‘carer’ too, so they can access the appropriate support network.
“This Carers Rights Day, we pledge to continue to work in partnership with commissioned providers and partners across the city to help increase the identification of carers of all ages and to signpost them to our local support services.”
Other activities to mark Carers Rights Day from our partners across the city include:
Southern Health - Carers Rights information packs to be sent to carers as well as training on Carers Rights given to staff on how to support, signpost and advise carers on their rights.