Many of us don’t think about the caring role in our day-to-day lives or if we do it’s a passing thought.  But most of us at some point in our lives will inevitably take on caring responsibilities and become one of the estimated 10 million carers in the UK.

Just think about that figure.  That means that 1 in 5 of us provide care for someone in an unpaid capacity.  For some of us the shouldering of the caring role will be a sudden and life-changing event, for others it will be something that grows gradually, but for 45% of carers this means caring for more than 90 hours a week.

The burden of caring can take its toll.  Many carers find that their own physical and mental health suffers as a result.  And the rising cost of living has been particularly hard felt by carers.  Many carers reduce their work hours or give up work completely, to meet the needs of their cared for, resulting in financial hardship and increasing isolation.

The issues faced by carers are complex and multi-faceted and that’s why Carers Week is so important in raising awareness.

Feel Good Suffolk would like to champion the hidden work and support that carers provide.  Carers UK estimated in 2021 that the value of the care being provided by unpaid carers was a staggering £162 billion a year.  To put this into context, the budget for NHS spending in the 2021/22 financial year was £156 billion.

This year’s Carers Week focuses on putting UK carers on the map and making them visible. I’ve joined the thousands that already have, and we urge you to visit their website and add your support to the campaign

We’ll be following the caring role throughout the year and providing behaviour changing advice to help carers cope.  If you are a carer or have any advice you would like to share, or if there is an issue you’d like us to raise, then do get in touch with us we would really like to hear from you.

Caring will touch all our lives in some way, whether it’s today or in the future or whether we anticipate it or not.  We couldn’t put it better than Rosalyn Carter, former First Lady, when she said.

“I’d like to say that there are only four kinds of people in the world.  Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”