“Let’s raise our voices together and Make Caring Visible” is the strapline for this year’s Carers Week: a time for us to focus in on, fight for, uphold, applaud, stand in awe of and embrace (but not physically!) the unpaid carers at the heart of our communities.
Carers in our midst so often go unrecognised: they often don’t recognise themselves! I know as a wee girl I didn’t. Growing up with profoundly deaf parents whose first language was BSL (British Sign language) I trotted along to medical appointments, meetings at the bank, acted as an interpreter in everyday life and translated the news! I was happy to do it; I didn’t know any different but it didn’t half make me grow up quick!
In North Lanarkshire, there are an estimated 36,000 unpaid carers of all ages, 10% of our community, who do what they do out of love, devotion, obligation and because of circumstance. Most of them have no expectation of support and care for themselves and the job they do. But the job they do is important, not only to the people they are caring for, but to us all, and we cannot do without them. A recent Oxfam report estimates the economic value of unpaid caring in Scotland to be a staggering £36 billion.
This year VANL have joined many other organisations and individuals in Carers Week, pledging our support:-
VANL pledge to work closely with our partners across North Lanarkshire in continuing to:-
- increase awareness of unpaid carers and the vital work they do;
- work with others to ensure carers are seen, heard, and understood;
- work with others to help carers to get the support they need to care.
A massive thank you to all.
Community Solutions Programme Manager