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Charity partnership

Carers

The issue

  • There are more than 6.5 million[1] carers in the UK, this is set to rise to 9 million[2] within our lifetime
  • Every day 6,000 people[3] become carers
  • 8 out of 10[4] carers have felt lonely or isolated as a result of looking after a loved one. (Carers UK)

Carers often go unseen in our communities. They look after loved ones, friends and neighbours who’re older, disabled or seriously ill. It can be a full-time job, without the salary. But while they’re busy thinking of others, few notice they’re more at risk of feeling lonely and becoming isolated. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Carers UK – the UK’s leading charity for unpaid carers – for the next five years. Our goal? To help build meaningful connections that make life better for 1 million carers by the end of 2025.

We’re building on our previous work on disability to focus on unpaid carers because they play an essential role in supporting UK communities but are more at risk of experiencing loneliness and social isolation as a result.

 

What we’re doing about it

We’ll work with Carers UK to...

● Facilitate connections between carers

● Raise the awareness of loneliness  experienced by carers

● Help to build carer-friendly communities

● Make sure carers feel supported and welcomed in community networks

 

Staying connected

One of the big things we’ll do with Carers UK is create better digital services for carers. So we’re focusing on improving Carers UK’s existing app and building a brand-new one.

Jointly

This app already makes life easier for carers. It allows them to discuss and organise these responsibilities, which are often shared with other people, using handy little tools like group-messaging, to-do lists, medication info, a calendar and more. Now, we want to work side by side with Carers UK to make it even better – boosting the number of carers who use it and improving the experience when they use it.

And a new digital product

We’ll work on this new app to build meaningful connections for carers and create virtual communities of support. It’ll be a place where carers can come together to connect around shared interests, experiences or their locations. Plus, there’ll be loads of great resources and support for carers to tap into and make their lives a whole lot easier.

 

The recognition they need

On average, it takes an unpaid carer over two years to identify themselves as a carer, and, consequently, to seek the support, resources and advice they need to prevent them from feeling lonely and isolated. We want to halve the time it takes to get unpaid carers to identify themselves, meaning they’ll get help sooner. To do this, we’ll lean on our Customer Marketing and Brand teams to run a recognition campaign that helps raise awareness about, and educate our customers on, unpaid carers and everything they do.

 

Balancing work and care

It’s staggering to think  there are more than 6.5 million[5] unpaid carers in the UK, and as many as 1 in 5[6] are juggling work and care responsibilities, which – given how stressful it can be – often leads to carers reducing their work hours and even resigning altogether. We want to help promote Employers for Carers – the best-practice forum for employers managed by Carers UK – and create carer-friendly workplaces. Together with our community leads, local authorities, the government and our sector peers, we’ll work to get as many businesses and institutions signed up to the Employers for Carers programme. That way, organisations will be better equipped to support their unpaid-carer employees and we’ll create more meaningful connections for more carers as a result. We also want to get all local authorities to sign up to and support this programme, and to help roll out the digital platform aimed at carer residents in their area.

 

Foot-notes

[1] UK Census 2011 - https://www.carersuk.org/images/Facts_about_Carers_2019.pdf

[2] Carers UK, 2014 https://www.carersuk.org/for-professionals/policy/policy-library/facts-about-carers-2014

[3] Carers UK, 2014 https://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campaigns/press-releases/10-6-million-people-to-become-carers-for-older-sick-or-disabled-loved-ones-in-the-next-five-years

[4] Carers UK, 2017 - https://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campaigns/press-releases/8-in-10-people-caring-for-loved-ones-have-felt-lonely-or-socially-isolated?id=5680:the-world-shrinks-carer-loneliness-research-report

[5] UK Census 2011 - https://www.carersuk.org/images/Facts_about_Carers_2019.pdf

[6] http://www.carersuk.org/images/News_and_campaigns/Juggling_work_and_unpaid_care_report_final_0119_WEB.pdf

 


 

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