Did you know, Southampton has an estimated 36,000 carers?
6 – 12 June is Carers Week and the local NHS and Southampton City Council are working alongside Carers in Southampton, Southampton Voluntary Services (SVS) Young Carers Project and the charity MIND to acknowledge the incredible commitment that carers of all ages make to the people they look after.
Often, carers do not realise they are a carer, they’re simply doing what needs to be done to help their family member or friend. Helping people to identify that they’re acting as an unpaid carer often encourages them to then access support services that are available.
What’s happening in the city during Carers Week?
- 5,000 carnations are being distributed to businesses, health care services, charity shops and people walking to work. A small card attached to each flower draws attention to the free services available to unpaid carers in the city. Those who receive the flower are also being asked to pass it on as a gift to an unpaid carer in recognition of the contribution they make.
- Pharmacies across Southampton will be dispensing medicines into 5,000 specially prepared paper bags signposting where unpaid carers can get free support, advice and guidance.
Where can carers find support?
If you would like to know more about help and support for carers in the city, talk to your GP or one of the organisations locally which can offer valuable assistance to carers:
If you care for someone, or know someone who does, then you may also find these online courses useful. One course gives information for young carers under 18, and the other is for adult carers. The courses give information on local and national support services, carers rights and financial information.
What are we doing to support carers in the city?
Together with Southampton City Council, through our joint Integrated Commissioning Unit, we have made the following pledges to carers in the city:
- updating working practices to identify carers and to recognise their important role;
- promoting Carers Aware e-learning
- developing and piloting a ‘Carer’s Health-check’
- increasing the identification of young carers
- developing age appropriate information for young carers.
You can also find out more about what Southampton is doing to support carers in the Southampton Strategy for Unpaid Carers and Young Carers 2016-20 on the Southampton City Council website.