This Carers Week we’re celebrating our dedicated unpaid carers, looking after those who can’t care for themselves during the coronavirus pandemic and all year round. Cllr Helen Holland and I have written an open letter to all Bristol carers to thank them for their enormous contribution to their families, local communities, and society, and ensure that they get the support they need. Please share this with carers you know.
To Bristol’s carers,
During national Carers Week (8-14 June), we would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you who provides unpaid care to a family member, friend or neighbour. We know things have been extra hard during the pandemic and many of you are caring alone or shouldering extra responsibilities.
Many of you have also taken on this role since the current crisis by stepping in to support loved ones who are vulnerable or shielding.
We want to recognise the enormous contribution all of you make to families and communities across Bristol. You make a world of difference to individuals who need care, sometimes round-the-clock, supporting their health and wellbeing. Without you, the health and social care system simply would not work.
There are over 40,000 unpaid carers in Bristol, many of whom will be young people. However, we know there may be more who are caring for a loved one with very little help. Looking after someone can be a hugely rewarding, but it can also be challenging, and you may be struggling with poverty, isolation or ill-health. It’s important to know that you are not alone and we are here to help you.
If you provide unpaid care to a family member, neighbour or friend who has a disability, mental or physical illness, substance misuse issue or needs extra help as they grow older – we encourage you to make sure that you are getting the right support in your role.
If you are under 18 years old and look after another person at home, you may be a young carer. You might look after someone because they are disabled, have a long-term illness, have problems with drugs or alcohol or find it hard to cope with being a parent or carer. You are undertaking an enormous task and your wellbeing is important to us.
You can get help as a carer using these resources:
- Find out more about Young Carer Services at www.bristol.gov.uk/social-care-health/support-for-young-carers or call the Young Carers Team at Carers Support Centre on 0117 958 9980
- Call Carersline on 0117 965 2200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit the Carer Support Centre website at www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk
- The We Are Bristol helpline is also available to support people with a wide range of needs. Call the free phone number on 0800 694 0184.
Thank you for everything that you do.