People across Cornwall who are caring for a family member or friend are urged to get in touch if they look after someone who relies on their support.
Cornwall Council commissions Cornwall Carers Service to provide information, advice and guidance to people who regularly provide unpaid support to someone close to them.
This support can be lots of different things, from regularly providing someone with a hot meal to helping them get dressed.
Cornwall Council cabinet lead for adult social care and health Andy Virr said:
“It is estimated that unpaid carers save the UK £162 billion every year so it is absolutely vital that they get the right support they need to keep providing the invaluable support.
“You might think that what you do is just looking after someone, or that it is just something that, as a family member or friend, you are expected to do but in reality it is so much more than that and there is a wealth of support out there for you.”
Cornwall Carers Service is a partnership of five voluntary organisations whose aim is to support carers to improve their wellbeing.
Jayne Price, care and prevention manager of the service said:
“When someone calls our advice line they can expect a warm and friendly welcome, and many of our workers have first-hand experience of being a carer.
“We will ask a little bit about your caring role and explore with you any areas that might be difficult. Once you have had time to talk and share with us what is important for you, we will look together at your options and connect you to support and resources that can help.”
As well as being entitled to a carers assessment there are also free training sessions, social outings, financial advice and access to grants, peer support groups and much more.
There is a specialised service provided by Kernow Young Carers to support young carers and young adult carers to help reduce the impact of their caring role.
They work with education providers, families and community agencies to help provide wrap around support. This is achieved through activities, residential breaks, funding, upskilling schools, signposting and targeted 1-1 support.
Cllr Barbara Ellenbroek, Cornwall Council cabinet lead for children and families said:
“We know how the strain of caring for a family member can impact a child or young person’s physical and emotional health.
“It’s so important that anyone providing this sort of support speaks to someone about how this might be affecting them and, to get in touch with the carers service so that they can access the support they need.”
Cllr John Bastin, Joint Chair of the Carers Partnership Board said
“Carers are an extremely valued resource with a wealth of skills and experience to offer. The Board is fully supportive of those services who support carers, so they can continue to care for their loved ones, enabling them to stay at home for as long as they wish to.”
The Cornwall Carers Service has more information about the support on offer and how to get in touch.
More information for adult carers and young carers can be found on the Council's website.
The Healthy Cornwall website also has a range of information on training and wellbeing support.
Find out more about Carers Rights Day