Carers Rights Day with buzz Neighbourhood Health Worker Ben

Ben carers rights day blog

Hi I’m Ben, I’m a buzz Neighbourhood Health Worker and the Carers lead for buzz too. Carers Rights Day takes place each year, the aim of the day is to raise awareness of the role of carers in our society who often go unnoticed as well as to highlight their rights. This year it took place yesterday on Thursday 25th November and specifically focussed on the rights of unpaid carers. An unpaid carer is generally an adult who provides informal home care and support to a loved one, a friend or someone they know, without any form of paid income for their work. In the past year, Carers UK have reported that unpaid carers have saved the UK a massive £135 billion throughout the coronavirus pandemic. It is clear to see that unpaid carers are vital, not only to the people who they care for, but also to the wider fabric of society and our economy.

We know that in Manchester, the pandemic has contributed to an increase in burnout concerns for unpaid carers, as respite and outside care support from local authorities came to a screeching holt over the past 18 months. As a result, their health and wellbeing has been greatly diminished with isolation and loneliness becoming major challenges for our city’s unpaid carers.

Therefore, it is more important than ever that unpaid carers know their rights and ways in which they they may be entitled to support. The 2014 care act sets out a list of non-negotiable rights that both new and long-term carer can access whenever they wish. These include:

  • Carers assessment: The person receiving care from a carer might need more help than is currently being given. Carers can approach Carers Manchester and ask for more information on how to get a carer's assessment. If a carer is sharing caring responsibilities with another person, including a child under 18, both carers can have an assessment even if the person they care for does not meet the eligibility criteria, or has chosen not to seek support from adult social care.
  • Flexible working time and emergency time off: If an unpaid carer is working, they have the right to request flexible working, time off in emergencies, and parental leave. It is up to an employer if this is paid or unpaid, however each employee has the right to take a reasonable amount of time off work to deal with a dependent, which includes the people they care for.
  • Flu jab: Carers, including unpaid carers, are entitled to have a free flu jab every year from the NHS.
  • Financial entitlements: It’s vital that carers and the person they care for know what benefits and support they are entitled too. This is because it may make a difference to pension entitlements in the future, or whether to bring in extra money to help pay for care.

For more information and support on the plight, fight and rights of unpaid carers in Manchester and beyond, please visit the wonderful Carers Manchester, Carers UK and Carers Trust.

Today, on Friday 26th November, to both say thank you, and as a way to support the health and wellbeing of Manchester’s carers, the No. 93 Wellbeing Centre in Harpurhey (part of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust) and ourselves, buzz Manchester, have come together to host an afternoon tea. This is an opportunity for invited carers from across the city to come along and socialise, build friendships, and (most importantly) share some tea and cake!

If you are a carer or unpaid carer living in the city of Manchester and would like to find out about projects and activities going on in your local area to support your health and wellbeing, please contact us here at buzz Manchester, you can email us at buzz@gmmh.nhs.uk, call us on 0161 271 0505, or tweet us @buzzmanc.

If you want to share your skills, talents or ideas to support your local community or your fellow carers, again please contact us, and we will get back in touch to see how we can work with you and your fantastic ideas!

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Best wishes,

Ben Talbot

Start Well Develop Well Neighbourhood Health Worker & Carers lead for buzz Manchester

07552 249 937

Ben.Talbot@gmmh.nhs.uk

Carers afternoon tea

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