Helping to ‘Make Caring Visible and Valued’
The theme for this summer’s Carers Week campaign was to ‘Make Caring Visible and Valued’. The overall campaign is an annual event to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.
Fitness Pass: This year we linked up with Sheffield Young Carers and Sheffield City Trust to launch a special 7-day fitness pass that provided free access to SCT’s gyms, fitness classes and swimming pools for adults registered with us. At the same time young carers (aged 8-25) being supported by SYC had exclusive access to a ‘free ice-skating session’ at Ice Sheffield.
Outdoor Events: We arranged four outdoor activities for carers. The weather was lovely and the reaction of the 30 plus carers that took part was superb, with comments such as: “It’s good to see people face-to-face again and spend some time with other people who have experience of caring.”
Free Training: We also teamed up with other organisations to provide a free, interactive training session for practitioners in health, education, social care, and the voluntary sectors. Over 20 health and care professionals participated in the training delivered by Nell (from SCC) and Laura (from SYC).
Publicity Campaign: We had five radio interviews during the week. This included adult carer Noida and young carer Thomas on BBC Radio Sheffield plus our Carer Adviser, Saphina Munir’s interview on Link FM done entirely in Urdu. We also had a front-page headline and a double page spread in the Sheffield Star plus another news item in the online version of The Star. We also had coverage in the newsletters of local VCF organisations, plus our own E-bulletins and posts on social media encouraging people to visit our website – which saw 58% more sessions in Carers Week.
Our Chief Executive, Pauline Kimantas, commented: “A big thank you to everyone that was involved with or supported this year’s campaign, as we couldn’t achieve so much without the support of partners. The activities around Carers Week were a different way for some carers to take a short but important break from caring to enjoy themselves. Just as importantly, the coverage of the campaign helped raise awareness of the contribution made by thousands of unpaid carers in Sheffield to help family and friends”