Wigan Council launch new strategy to mark Carers Rights Day

Wigan Council has launched a new strategy to mark Carers Rights Day on November 25.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 3:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 3:14 pm
Graham is a carer for his wife Hazel

The work will ensure that unpaid carers are recognised and feel valued and supported.

To ensure this the council’s strategy has four main focuses: working in partnership with organisations that support carers, communicating information and advice, working with young carers and improving the wellbeing of carers.

Coun Keith Cunliffe, Wigan Council’s cabinet portfolio holder for adult social care, said: “We’re really pleased that we can mark Carers Rights Day this year by launching our brand-new carers strategy.

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“It has been designed in close partnership with carers, as well as health, community and voluntary services across the borough.

“Those who care for family members and loved ones don’t always realise that they are carers and can access support as it is second nature to look after those we love without a thought.

“This Carers Rights Day, it’s important to remember that carers have the right to be identified and to access the support that is available to them.

“We’d really encourage anyone who might think that they are a carer to get in touch with our team or Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre who are a great source of support.”

The 2011 census highlighted more than 36,000 unpaid carers living across Wigan borough, with officers believing this figure would’ve grown as the impact of the pandemic continues to unfold.

This strategy puts carers rights at its heart, with statements from carers making up the first page of the document.

One of these carers is Graham, who became a carer over seven years ago to his mother-in-law, and has since become a carer to his wife Hazel after she contracted meningitis.

He said: “After Hazel came home from hospital, the number of appointments we had weekly, if not daily, was huge and I suddenly found myself in a strange position.

“I went to my GP and there was a sign on the wall which mentioned Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre, which the GP mentioned too.

“I thought ‘I need to go and see somebody else’, so I rang Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre and spoke to a wonderful person who invited me to go down and visit them.

“When I visited, I found it really emotional because I was able to start to tell my story.

“It was the first time I felt that somebody was trying to help me as a carer.”

Any carers who are looking for more information should click here.

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