The big question

It’s National Carers Week: token gesture or good

Jean Stogdon
Chair, Grandparents Plus

I’m a carer for my husband but the week didn’t register. It always
seems to be year of this or that, or day or week of something or
other – it’s becoming pretty meaningless. These weeks used to have
an impact but now they’ve lost their oomph. Perhaps that’s our
fault for not using them more imaginatively.

Jaya Kathrecha

I was asked to speak at a National Carers Week event so it’s
given me a voice but that’s just once a year. The rest of the time
we are ignored. Our primary care trust did a report on changing
mental health services with no mention of the word carer. And when
professionals assessed my son they ignored my needs.

Joan Scott
director, Action Unlimited

They said it was Carers Week at the carers meeting I go to. It’s a
good idea. Two of my children have learning difficulties but when
they were small nobody ever said to me “are you coping – can we
help?”. If you have learning difficulties you don’t like to ask for
support in case they take your children away.

Ibrahim Koroma
Asylum seeker

It’s also Refugee Week but events for carers seem to receive a lot
more publicity. Carers may think they get a poor deal but they
should try being a refugee or asylum seeker – we really are at the
very bottom of the pile. You are expected to exist with no support
at all – nobody seems to care what happens to you.

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