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Minister launches Carers Week in Wales

by Beth Evans 27 February 2015
Minister for Health and Social Services joins appeal to support those caring for loved ones
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Professor Mark Drakeford AM has joined five major charities in Wales to launch a nationwide drive to reach out to thousands of carers missing out on vital support and services. 
From today, the five charities are calling on individuals and organisations across Wales to sign up to Carers Week 2015, which takes place in June.
Wales website image
From left to right, Keiron Rees, Carers Trust, Rosanne Palmer, Age Cymru, Lowri Griffiths, Macmillan Cancer Care, Professor Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services, Lynne Hughes, MS Society Cymru, Keith Bowen, Carers Wales
Too many carers across all age groups are struggling to look after older, disabled or seriously ill loved ones alone. This year Carers Week 2015 will focus on Building Carer Friendly Communities urging individuals, organisations and service providers in every community, including schools, hospitals, GPs and local authorities to take action to improve the lives of carers. 
This could mean running or attending one of thousands of events which will take place across the country, between 8th and 14th June, or by pledging to support carers in some way. For example an employer could design and implement a carer-friendly policy, a GP could be more flexible about appointment times or an individual could visit a neighbour in a caring role. 
Minister for Health and Social Services, Professor Mark Drakeford AM said   
“All of us at some point in our lives are either going to be caring for someone or need the help of a carer, so it’s in all our interests to get better support in place and to really recognise the huge contribution they make to our society.
We sometimes think we’re an uncaring society; but with more than 121,000 people in Wales becoming carers for older, sick or disabled loved ones every year, the numbers suggest otherwise.
As a government we are committed to ensuring we do everything we can to support carers across Wales and thank them for the invaluable work they do day in, day out. That’s why we have legislated to ensure that from April 2016, carers in Wales will have equal legal rights to those they look after. The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act addresses real life issues which matter to carers. It ensures they receive the help they need, in the ways they need it.”
Carers Week Manager Diana Walles said: 
“This is our call to action to urge individuals, organisations and service providers to wake up to the needs of carers and do their bit. Across the UK 6.5 million - 1 in 10 people - are caring for a loved one. Without help and assistance at the right time carers can find themselves facing financial hardship, health problems, emotional stress and relationship breakdown.” 
Carers Week is made possible by Carers UK joining forces with Age UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support and MS Society and their Nation offices in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Individuals and organisations can sign up and also pledge their support to the initiative at
Notes for Editors 
·Carers Week will take place from 8 - 14th June 2015 UK wide 
·Case studies and spokespeople available on request 
·Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign which takes place to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers. It is also a time of intensive local activity with thousands of events planned for carers across the UK. In 2014 more than 5,000 events took place across the country. 
·Carers Week is kindly supported by Sainsbury’s and Nutricia. 
Media Contact:
Keith Bowen 029 2081 1370 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Beth Evans 029 2081 1370 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Twitter: @CarersWeek 
Carers UK is a charity registered in England and Wales (246329) and in Scotland (SC039307) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (864097)
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