Alliance Councillor for Castlereagh South, Sorcha Eastwood, has highlighted the vital role carers have in our society, as she backed Carers Weeks 2019.
With an estimated 6.5 million people in the UK who are carers, Sorcha said it’s essential that we make sure carers don’t find it difficult to take care of their own wellbeing.
New research by Carers NI reveals that more than 70,000 people in Northern Ireland have quit their job to care for a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill.
She added: “Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience but carers often find it difficult to take care of their own wellbeing while they are caring for others. Its impact on all aspects of life from relationships and health to finances and work should not be underestimated. We need to ensure that we care for the carers.
“Carers Week, which starts on 10 June, is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities. It also helps people who don't think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.
“Advice is available for carers to ensure they are receiving the full support and benefits they are entitled to. It is also possible to share experiences with other carers through a network of local groups.
“Our community would be so much poorer without the many thousands of carers across Northern Ireland and it is important we appreciate and value their commitment and dedication.”