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Supporting carers - Andrew Marr & Jackie Ashley - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Supporting carers - Andrew Marr & Jackie Ashley

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Seoc, thanks very much for the breakdown. Sobering! I agree that advertising the event here is a bit odd.
Greta, you're welcome :D

Jenny, I understand what you are saying, but raising awareness is important in a number of ways, and on a number of different levels. Firstly, it lets people in similar situations know that their predicament is not unique, and that they are not alone. Secondly, it helps more people understand what others may be going through. Thirdly, it enables those who are able to help, in whatever way, to do so.

Media pressure (which would feature under the third factor) is a response to a need identified by its subscribers, i.e. the public (often as a result of an issue being highlighted by the media in the first place - it's a circle of life thing). The popular press/media will only exert pressure, if Joe/Jo Public is AWARE of, and concerned about, what is happening in his/her world, and consequently makes the necessary demands. That is why raising awareness is so important, it is the greatest and most powerful weapon in our arsenal. It is, quite literally, people power. As far as the media are concerned - it generates revenue! (Sorry for being so cynical - but it's a fact).

Think about it. Awareness worked for Band Aid in the 80s, it's working against the many refugees trying to enter Europe, and we've yet to see its effect on a potential Brexit. That's awareness - never underestimate its power.
SaA, that's an eloquent argument......

Maybe what I'm boiling my scepticism down to is this - awareness is necessary, but it isn't sufficient.

In other words, awareness without action is useless. It can (sometimes? often?) be worse than useless, as it can lead to a sense of 'false achievement' where 'raising awareness' becomes an end in itself rather than a means to an end. Awareness raisers can think 'job done!' when something becomes common knowledge, and then 'give up the fight', or regard it as the only fight.

Only when awareness is carried through into action (ie, change) is it any use. Otherwise it is pointless.

There's also a term I've read in the press, which irritatingly escapes me now, that psychologists and sociologists (social pundits anyway!) have come up with to describe those people who like to think they think 'well' or 'rightly' about something. It was in an article about the migrant problem, and it was used to describe those folk who are all 'compassion for migrants' but don't actually do sod all to help them (they want 'someone else' to do that!!!!) - but they get that lovely 'glow of virtue and self-righteousness' without having to take any of the adverse consequences that inevitably would flow if what they so virtuously believe in (eg, 'Let in all migrants and give them a lovely lovely life in the west at our expense') actually happened.

I think that kind of term can be applied to those whose awareness is raised, so we all 'feel good' about whatever it is that we feel indignant about (in our case, poor societal support for carers) without actually having to do anything to achieve it, or pay for it....

I would say the vast, vast majority of people who do have their awareness raised about an issue that needs addressing don't actually DO anything at all to achieve that change.

I would say that by and large our 'default' position is one of, broadly speaking, 'I'm all right Jack'.....we hope that the problem will only happen to 'someone else'.

Sympathy alone is pointless really. I'm hideously conscious of this every time I post something 'supportive' (hollow laugh) to Eun.....a million million 'Poor you, it's dreadful!' is utterly useless, and simply gives me a 'glow of virtue' thinking how kind I'm being....... (while going down on my knees with abject gratitude that I, personally, don't have to cope with what she copes with........) :( :( :(
PS - and of course, now I can have another lovely 'glow of virtue' because I've been 'brave' enough to criticise my own inaction to help anyone else..... (these 'glows of virtue' are many, many layered....)

PSS - personally, I usually 'solve' the problem of my 'I'm all right Jack' attitude by giving money to charity. It's about the only tangible thing I do. (oh, and here comes another 'glow of virtue' at how charitable I am!!!!!)
Hey Jenny, you'd be hard pressed to find a bigger cynic than me. Raising awareness has many facets - some people may find it edifying, for some it may encourage them into action, whilst a simple small (or in some cases large) financial donation may be enough for others - to quote a well known major supermarket - "every little helps"...

The main factor is that a minority perception of what is right, or indeed wrong, has frequently, with the help of the media and other influential factors, a "creep mechanism", in that over time, what was once ignored, gradually becomes mainstream, by silently immersing itself into the psyche of the majority - who then react, either positively, or negatively.

Raising awareness is no different from advertising and marketing, or even, when taken to extremes, propaganda. If the outcome ultimately benefits, no matter how small, those who are the subject of the campaign, whoever they are, and wherever they may be, then it has succeeded.

If it helps those in need, whilst informing the majority, without them being knowingly coerced, then so be it.

Whichever way - your "glows of virtue" remain in tact. ;)

Respectfully yours, Cynic of the Union.
It's important that caring is discussed in the media and the different ways it affects people's lives.

Jackie Ashley has been involved with Carers UK over the years, including backing our campaign some time ago for paid care leave http://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campai ... and-caring
Thanks Gavin. Slightly off topic, but in response to your post - with respect, paid care leave would only be of help to those carers in full-time employment. It ignores the quite significant number of us, who, for whatever reason, have had to put our careers on hold, or have resorted to non-contractual, or zero-hours, part-time work, due to our caring roles. Such a benefit is of no help to those of us who find ourselves in this situation.

I do agree however, that media involvement, in whatever way, is important in highlighting the plight of all carers.

But, I still question the original point of this thread, which would appear to be promoting an event that is of no direct or indirect benefit to carers per se.
I too am normally the greatest cynic but I do think that something is better than nothing.

I have read interviews by the Marr family on the impact the stroke had on the family and was moved by them. Yes, of course they are cushioned by money but that still does not mean that coping with the aftermath is easy. Andrew Marr's wife spoke of the terror she felt when he left hospital and she had to become an expert overnight, the isolation when everyone asked about him and not her and also how difficult he was to live with when he took out his frustrations on her. These are all emotions we can emphasise with.

Also, I am grateful for the paid care leave campaign. Too late for me but would have been enormously helpful and maybe will enable some carers to remain in employment.

Caring strikes at all levels. We all have different social and economic conditions but many aspects of caring apply to us all. We should stand together in my opinion, not fight each other.
I agree, Anne.
I remember hearing Hilary Devey (woman from dragons den) being interviewed. She'd made a mint, been ruthless, divorced a couple of times and had no children. She had a stroke and said the only blessing was that she had enough money for private care, as in her approach to life she'd driven everyone away from her and was quite alone.
I think there seems to be a little bit of misunderstanding here.

My point is simple. The original post would appear to be an "advert" for a fund raising event, in aid of a charity, whose primary aim is not the support of carers. If it were, then I'd give it 100% backing.

The OP joined the day the post was made, has only made this one post, and has not visited since. Sorry, but it's a piece of exploitative marketing, which in all honesty, should not be permitted.

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