Event to support carers across West Yorkshire and Harrogate
West Yorkshire and Harrogate, Health and Care Partnership shared their vision and aspirations for the 260,000 unpaid carers, including young carers, living across the area at a special event in Wakefield today (14 December).
Over 60 representatives from voluntary and community organisations including, Carers Count, Carers Wakefield and District, Carers Leeds and Carers Resource attended the event supported by health services, local councils and Carers UK to find out how they can contribute to the WY&H vision for unpaid carers and share good practice.
Many carers are ‘hidden’ providing the majority of care without formal support, around the clock, 365 days a year. A lot of young people care for parents and siblings with long term health conditions and with an ageing population the demand on carers is set to increase.
Supporting carers well so they have good health and wellbeing is a priority for West Yorkshire and Harrogate, Health and Care Partnership. Early help reduces carer breakdown, limits support needed over the long term and prevents further ill health. It also enables carers to remain in work, benefiting their household income and local economy.
Guest speakers on the day included Rob Webster West Yorkshire and Harrogate, Health and Care Partnership CEO Lead, Emily Holzhausen OBE from Carers UK, Fatima Khan-Shah, Partnership Lead for Carers and Neil Churchill from NHS England.
Fatima said “It’s great that so many people attended this important carers event today. It’s the first of many opportunities for people to hear about and contribute towards the work taking place in Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale; Harrogate; Leeds, Kirklees and Wakefield. It highlighted the amazing contribution carers make to the health and social care economy not just in WY&H but nationally. We will now be developing our approach to consider how we can work better together to support carers of all ages across WY&H.
Rob Webster said “There are more carers than there are NHS staff. Carers are an essential part of our plans for the future of the health and care system. We know that caring roles and experiences are all different. Whether you are looking after your mum, a person with mental health illness or a partner with physical and learning disabilities then we need to support you to be well. Young carers are twice as likely to forego education, employment, or training. Many carers find it hard to hold down employment, with many of those unemployed saying they would like to work. Others are unaware of any benefits or formal help they are entitled to, often feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to cope. This needs to change and that is why we are supporting unpaid carers as a WY&H partnership priority”.
Steph Elcock from St Annes Community Services said “It was great to see everyone coming together, under one roof and such a varied group of carer support organisations and services, sharing good practice to ensure we put carers needs first”.