OPINION

Carers Week recognises thousands who provide unpaid help and support

Posted On 12 Jun 2022 at 12:01 am

Carers Week comes to a close today (Sunday 12 June). It’s an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges faced by unpaid carers and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

The theme for Carers Week 2022 is: “Make caring visible, valued and supported.”

Carers and the challenges of caring should be recognised in all areas of life, caring should be valued and respected by everyone in our society and carers should have access to the information and support they need, where and when they need it.

It’s estimated that there are nearly 24,000 unpaid carers in our city – that’s 9 per cent of the population, with 20 per cent of those providing over 50 hours of care a week.

Let me take this opportunity to thank you for all that you do. We could not function without you!

Apart from your huge value to your community, you make an enormous economic contribution.

National research by Carers UK estimated that the economic value of the contribution made by carers in our city alone to be £437 million a year.

And the national picture is of 6.5 million carers, contributing £132 billion a year in the UK.

https://www.carersuk.org

On a separate subject, many of you may have noticed the big events tent near Brunswick Square.

This has housed an exciting three-day event all about reducing our carbon footprint and carbon-neutral and carbon-reduced build and energy management.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend a few sessions on

  • creating energy from waste
  • local area energy networks
  • repurposing existing buildings to avoid wasting carbon by demolition and
  • the circular economy – focusing on the potential for employment and growth and building community wealth

I’m sure that many of us attending will have learnt much about what new stuff is out there in the world of construction and energy.

And it is really encouraging to see how forward thinking many in the industry as well as local authorities are, working together towards achieving climate change targets.

Sadly, there is little leadership “at the centre”, particularly around the circular economy, but initiatives are happening locally and collaboratively despite the lack of leadership from government.

Councillor Carmen Appich is the joint leader of the Labour opposition group on Brighton and Hove City Council.

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