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Your spotlight on local services

Blog: Did you know three out of five of us will become a carer at some point in our lives?


Carers week happens once a year, and this year it is happening from the 10th – 16th June. The theme this year is getting carers connected, whether to their communities, to services, to advice and information, to friends and families, or to other carers.

Did you know three out of five of us will become a carer at some point in our lives?  

According to inews, there are 8.8 million unpaid carers in the UK today, and it was highlighted by express.co.uk, that they save, as of July 2018, British taxpayers £139 billion each year.

To put this into context, if you saved £10,000 everyday, it would take you 38,082 years to save up to £139 billion.

A carer is a person that takes care of someone who is close to them (for instance a family member, friend or partner) as a result of them having an illness, disability, mental health problem, or even an addiction. Carers assist them with everyday activities and personal care needs. Anyone could be a carer, including children and young people, as well as adults.

With that in mind, according to youngminds.org, the BBC estimates that there are approximately 700,000 (8%) young carers in the UK. Carers.org say that 56% of young adult carers, in colleges and universities are struggling, due to their role. Furthermore, 27% of carers aged 11-15 miss school or have educational difficulties. Missing even just one day of school can have a negative effect on them, particularly for the older students learning for GCSEs, as students can feel left behind, and struggle to find support to catch up.

For some carers caring alone can be isolating. One example raised was by  Eagle Radio when they spoke to a young man called Josh, aged 20, who looks after his mother, who suffers from cancer and arthritis. Josh said: “…you kind of feel a bit on your own a lot of the time because obviously a lot of people don’t understand or don’t have the same experience so it can be quite isolating and lonely.” This could be corroborated by inews , which said that unpaid carers are seven times more likely to suffer from loneliness than others. Moreover, Josh has said “I can’t meet up with my friends a lot of the time or go out in the evenings and stuff like that because I have to look after my mum.”

In order to appreciate the carers in our society and the essential role they take, carers week raises the awareness of what they do, and seeks to bring them together.

This week, Carers of Barking and Dagenham are running a number of activities, so you can get involved, and connect with others:


If you, or someone you know are in need of support, here are some websites that you could visit:

Barking and Dagenham Carers provide advice, information and support for people who care. 

Carersuk are the UK's only national membership charity for carers; they are a supportive community and a movement for change, and share experiences and offer support.

An NHS support guide and information for carers; explains options and where you can get support.

NHS webpage for advice for young carers with information and general guidance

Young Minds are leading the fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, whatever the challenges, and get the best possible mental health support.

Action for children offer young Carers  offers practical and emotional support to ensure they enjoy and achieve, just like their peers. They campaign for all children to have an equal hand in life: 

Find out more about carers week 2019 here:



Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham
Lifeline House
25 Neville Road
Dagenham, Essex RM8 3QS

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