Up to 1 in 7 of any workforce could also be carers

Written by  Thursday, 11 July 2013 00:00

Jennie Self

Jennie is Fundraising Manager at Trafford Carers Centre, which was established in 1996 to provide support for informal carers in the Trafford Area.

“People often don’t recognise themselves as a carer but if you support a friend, partner, relative or neighbour who could not manage without you, then that’s what you are,” says Jennie. “We are a registered charity that supports these unpaid carers in our area.”

Understood and valued

The Centre aims to support both young and adult carers. “We help them recognise their own needs, achieve their aspirations and make sure they feel understood and valued,” says Jennie. “Three million people in the UK juggle paid work with looking after someone, which means up to 1 in 7 people in any workforce could be carers.”

The service provided by the Centre brings commercial as well as social benefits. As Jennie points out, “When businesses encourage their working carers to register with us, the support available could make their caring role easier, helping to alleviate the pressure they may feel and so help them to be happier and more productive at work.”

Practical help

The Centre is there for carers in a whole range of ways. As Jennie says, “We offer a helpline for information and advice, a 24-hour emergency card service plus a lot more. We provide assessments to help carers look after their own health with free counselling and complementary therapies, as well as providing funding for welcome respite breaks. There’s also specialist support for young carers, and for those dealing with end of life and bereavement.”

Jennie on networking…

“Matt Fraser is a solicitor and fellow member of Bowdon Business Club. His firm, Freeths, has worked with us to develop our Carer Friendly Policy for companies to use when employing people who are also unpaid carers. This is enormously valuable because very few organisations are aware of their obligations towards carers – for example their right to flexible working options and time off in emergencies.”

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