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CARERS AT BREAKING POINT - Local MP calls for recognition for Solihull's carers

June 8, 2009 12:00 AM

Lorely Burt MP is backing this year's Carers Week (8-14 June) in support of Solihull's carers, who are among the six million people in the UK who provide unpaid care for a loved one who is ill, frail or disabled.

Lorely's support comes as new research reveals that almost three-quarters (74%) of carers have reached breaking point due to the pressures of their role. The results show that the strain of caring is causing some carers such extreme levels of stress and depression that they are suffering breakdowns and, in some cases, even attempting suicide.

The Carers Week survey has also highlighted that that the vast majority of carers feel their role is overlooked or ignored by professionals (87%), friends (78%) and family members (76%). Almost two-thirds (63%) say that their lives are made 'much more difficult' as a result, with more than half saying that it has affected their health and left them worse off financially.

Lorely has joined the call for carers to receive more recognition. She says:

"There are thousands of people in Solihull who sacrifice their time - and often their health, finances, work and social life - in order to care for a loved one. They deserve to be recognised for the priceless contribution they make, both to our local community and to society at large.

"I am taking part in Carers Week to express my gratitude and respect for our carers, and also to make them aware that there are services and support available to help them. Caring can be demanding and difficult, so it's important that carers know that they don't have to struggle on alone."

Also supporting this year's Carers Week is Sir Geoff Hurst, England footballer and World Cup hero. Sir Geoff, who has cared for his wife, says:

"Those who care for family and friends mostly do so under the radar, without pay or acknowledgement, and deserve to be recognised for their dedication to the people they care for, not just during Carers Week but for all the weeks of the year.

"Carers face physical and mental challenges every day and should be more visibly supported and appreciated for the generous and loving hard work that they do."

Carers can find out more about local events and activities taking place as part of Carers Week, by visiting www.carersweek.org or calling 0845 241 2582.