To celebrate the launch of Carers Week, 10-16 June 2013, Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, has joined forces with actress Lynda Bellingham, to recognise the contribution that carers in Oldham make on a daily basis.

Carers Week is an opportunity to celebrate the 6.5 million carers across the UK and raise awareness of the impact that caring has on people’s lives.

In 2013 Carers Week will be focusing on whether the nation is Prepared to Care? The campaign will highlight how the UK’s current carer population is coping, how effectively government is supporting the growing numbers of carers, and whether the wider population is prepared for future caring responsibilities.

As part of Carers Week, a number of events will be held in and around Oldham, to help carers access support and advice. Carers can find out what’s going on at

Debbie said: “Every day across Oldham and Saddleworth 1 in 8 people will care for a loved one in some form. This hidden group of people give up their time, sometimes their jobs and often make life changing sacrifices to care for someone.

“Carers save this country an incredible £119 billion1 every year. That’s why I believe as a society we must be Prepared to Care for our carers. My experience of caring for my mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease, has taught me the challenges and stresses of caring for a family member.

“To demonstrate that we value the work done by unpaid carers, we must make sure we recognise the demands involved and do everything we can to make it as easy as possible for people to continue to care. This includes ensuring the provision of health, psychological or financial support carers require.

“It’s also important to recognise the unique challenges faced by young carers who are often given huge responsibilities and can become isolated amongst their peers, often affecting them for the rest of their lives.

“However, we should also remember how rewarding it can be to care for a loved one and encourage those who are willing to do so to take up this responsibility. The role of carers is extremely important and their contribution to building a supportive society is immeasurable.”

Actress and former carer, Lynda Bellingham, said:  “My sister and I cared for our mother when she had Alzheimer’s and so I know first-hand the impact that caring can have on someone’s life. That’s why I’m supporting Carers Week because I believe it’s vital that help is made available, especially when you consider that every day 6,000 new people will take on a caring role for a loved one. Carers in this country do a fantastic job and we must come together to support them.

“It’s fantastic to see MPs like Debbie pledge their support for Carers Week and carers in Oldham, Saddleworth and across the UK. Events like this ensure that carers stay at the top of the political agenda and it’s also an opportunity to remind MPs and decision makers of the overwhelming contribution that carers make.”

Angela Barnes, Oldham Council Carers Development Worker at The Link Centre, commented: “Carers form the backbone of our society and that’s why Carers Week is so incredibly important to not only recognise their contribution, but ensure they get the help and support they need.

”I hope as many people as possible will get involved with our events across Oldham and help send a message to all carers that they’re not alone and that they’re valued by society.”

Carers Week is delivered by a partnership of national charities – Age UK, Carers Trust, Carers UK, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, MS Society, Parkinson’s UK and supported by the Stroke Association and Bupa’s Carewell. In 2013 it is sponsored by Sainsbury’s Plc and the sector skills council in England Skills for Care.

Keep up to date with Carers Week and events happening in Oldham at:              Twitter @carersweek



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