City carers champion: ‘vital that carers are looked after’

Posted on 11/06/2014 by

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Edinburgh’s first ‘Carers Champion’ Councillor Norman Work marked his inaugural year in the role by setting out the capital’s priorities for supporting people who give unpaid care to family or friends.

Councillor Work launched the City of Edinburgh Council’s Joint Carers Strategy 2014-17 during an event to celebrate national Carers Week.

The Strategy, developed in partnership with NHS Lothian, the voluntary sector and carers, sets out priorities and outcomes for how their valuable work will be supported over the next three years.

It focuses on six priorities:

  • identifying carers;
  • information and advice;
  • health and wellbeing for carers;
  • short breaks and respite;
  • young adult carers;
  • personalised support for carers.

With around 37,859 carers looking after loved ones in Edinburgh, the estimated cost of providing replacement care in the capital is valued at around £771m a year.

Speaking at a celebration event for unpaid carers at the City Chambers, Cllr Work said: “These people do an extraordinary job of looking after a loved one and I cannot over-emphasise how much we value what they do.

“Many do not think of themselves as carers, and often fail to access the services and advice which is available to them through the Council, charities and relevant organisations.

“It is vital that carers, who can be of any age, are looked after, as there is a risk that their health and wellbeing can also suffer because of the stress and pressure caused by their role. The Joint Carer’s Strategy sets out how we plan to do this by building on our existing work.”

Pictured: (l-r) June Anderson, Zahira Hassan, Cllr Norman Work, Sarah Gundry, Calum Gundry amd  Jeanette Scott.

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