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Carers Doing an Amazing Job.

December 2, 2014

Last Friday was Carers’ Rights Day and I went along to a whole day event put together by the B&NES Carers’ Centre in Radstock to mark the day. Like most I have a very personal reason to support the Carers’ Centre because like most I had somebody very close to me who was a carer. For many years my mother was a carer first to my grandmother and then to my father. 20 years ago there was no such ‘label’ and my mother did what she did without thinking that she was a carer or needed extra attention, never mind speaking about having any rights. Speaking to carers last Friday this is exactly how most feel; they do what they do out of love and responsibility. Most people don’t chose to become a carer, life just throws this role onto them and they respond. And they do an amazing job! There are statistics about the money carers safe or put into the national economy, but it doesn’t really reflect the extent to which most people put their whole life into the role of being a carer.

While having a label might be a problem it also has an advantage. Firstly it recognises that there are now a large number of people who are all in a similar situation. Furthermore being a carer is no other label than the ‘label’ of being a parent or an employee. It helps to break down the isolation into which many carers find themselves and allows them to speak about issues that they all share. It also means that there are now organisations like the B&NES Carers’ Centre who actively support carers and raise the profile of their role. These in turn has led to speaking about carers’ rights and has helped define the role of carers to the extent that there will be a new law called the Care Act which is currently making its way through parliament.

No law however can truly honour what it means to be a carer, because the role is so tightly woven into peoples’ personal lives. But it can help with practical support and more awareness to make sure our carers receive the help they need to continue with the amazing job they do.

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