The charity ‘Ex-Saints’ is providing around 30 young carers with an opportunity to have a fun filled day out with a trip to Paulton’s Park on Saturday 4th June. Southampton FC legends Matt Le Tissier, Mike Earles, Reuben Agboola, Hughie Fisher, Glenn Cockerill, Manny Andruszewski and Gordon Watson will accompany the youngsters to a free day trip to the Park, with travel, food and expenses all covered as well as giving away signed football shirts.
Mike Thew, Chairman of Ex-Saints says, “It’s a wonderful day out for all the youngsters. They’re able to forget about the role they play as carers for the day and just enjoy being a child and having some fun.“
The work of carers around the country will be recognised as part of this year’s Carers week (6th June – 12th June). Southampton City Council is working alongside Carers in Southampton (CIS) and Southampton Voluntary Services (SVS) Young carers Project to acknowledge the incredible commitment that carers of all ages make to the people they look after.
A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, parent or relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage without their help. The people they care for may be frail, ill, disabled or have a mental health problem or learning disability. Often, carers will not realise they are acting as a carer and think they’re simply doing what anyone else would in the same situation. Helping people to identify that they’re working as an unpaid carer often enables them to then access support services that are available.
Carers come from all walks of life and are of all ages. Young carers in the city are supported through the Southampton Young Carers Project based at SVS. It aims to provide young carers with a range of support as well as information and guidance, breaks away from home and their caring responsibilities, and a chance to meet other young carers and make new friends.
Young carers give up a lot of their free time and often miss out on social events and simply being a child.
Leader of Southampton City Council, Councillor Simon Letts, explains, “The support given by the carers in the city makes an immeasurable difference to the lives of so many. The care they give enables people who would often have to be dependent on professional care staff, or even in a hospice, hospital or care home, to remain in their own homes and to continue with their normal lives. The events that are taking place this week help to underline the often unnoticed work of people who act as carers. They will also help more people to identify if they’re acting as a carer without realising it.
“The case studies tell poignant real life stories and illustrate the sacrifices that carers often make in order to provide care to loved ones or friends.
“The financial impact that carers have on the economy, both at a local and national level is huge. It is estimated that unpaid carers save the UK over £100 billion each year. That’s the same cost as running another NHS. England alone has around 5.4million carers, with Southampton having an estimated 36,000.”
Southampton Strategy for Unpaid Carers and Young Carers 2016-20 has been written and adopted by a number of organisations within Southampton. To see which organisations have committed to the Strategy visit: http://www.southampton.gov.uk/health-social-care/carers/. Under the Strategy Southampton City Council is implementing ‘pledges’ that it has made to carers in the city, these include, ‘Updating working practices to identify carers and to recognise their important role’, ‘Promoting Carers Aware e-learning’, ‘Sourcing, developing and piloting a ‘Carer’s Health-check’, ‘Increasing the identification of Young Carers’ and ‘Developing age appropriate information for Young Carers’.