Facts and figures, don’t you just love ’em?
In this fast-paced world when the soundbite is everything, here’s a few little numbers to consider:
- There are almost six million carers in the UK.
- One in eight adults in the UK is a carer.
- 3. 3 million people juggle work with caring responsibilities for a disabled, ill or frail relative or friend.
- The main carers’ benefit – Carers Allowance – is £53.10 for a minimum of 35 hours, equivalent to £1.52 per hour.
- People providing high levels of care are twice as likely to be permanently sick or disabled.
- Every year 2 million people take on new caring responsibilities.
- 1.25 million people care for more than 50 hours a week.
- 58% of carers are women, 42% are men.
- 1.5 million carers are over the age of 60.
- Carers’ unpaid contribution is £87 billion each year, yet the decision to care can mean a commitment to future poverty. Many give up an income, future employment prospects and pension rights to become a carer.
I still struggle to class myself as Rachel’s carer. But that is what I have been for the last three years.
It has led to huge changes in our life together and yet some thing never change – I still can’t wait to walk in the front door and see her smile.
The fact I’ve been able to juggle a career and my caring role throughout this period makes me very lucky – something I am acutely aware of and a “luxury” I cherish.
Others are not so fortunate.
As some of you already know – because you have so generously made a pledge of support – I am looking to raise awareness of the role of carers in the UK and of ME/CFS, the illness that forced Rachel to give up work and that has such a significant impact on her life and our life.
I am hoping people will donate 10 minutes of their time, rather than £10and learn more about caring and ME/CFS.
I’m a firm believer that there is strength in numbers and the more people who are aware of issues and willing to lend their voice and their support to a campaign, the more likely it is to be heard.
Closer to the challenge itself – July 11 and 12 – I am planning to outline some ways in which people can use their donated time.
But, for now, clicking on the link above for National Carers Week is an easy, quick win.
Have a read of some of the facts and figures and other sections if you have the time.
I better get back to the day job.