Carers Week, an annual awareness campaign celebrating and recognising the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers, is taking place between 10th June – 16th June. This year’s theme is “getting carers connected in their communities”.
In India, Nepal and Bangladesh we connect carers through our 470 established carers groups. Carers meet together in their groups to discuss the challenges that they face and to come up with solutions to their problems. By joining together, carers are given a platform from which they can generate awareness of their situation and from which they can seek support from their local communities and governments.
Our carers groups have taken various actions over the years which have improved the wellbeing of the carers themselves, as well as the persons they care for. Common actions taken by the carers groups include:
- Accessing medical care through the arrangement of carers health camps
- Establishing group saving schemes that provide financial support to carers through small interest loans
- Arranging training programmes so carers can learn new, income-generating skills
- Setting up community caring centres which provide carers the opportunity of respite
- Campaigning for the recognition of the rights of carers within civil society
Many carers have felt empowered as a result of their participation in carers groups. A member of Sirivennela carers group in Chakralla village, India said: “The carers group is a safe space for me. Previously, I was lonely and isolated. Now I have the chance to discuss my personal problems with people who really understand. It is unique and totally different to other community groups – we are one group, on one path, moving towards our own development.”
We are proud of our carers groups and for everything they have achieved so far. We agree that the theme of this year’s Carers Week is essential for the wellbeing of carers and for the recognition of the vital role that they play. If you would like to learn more about Carers Week you can visit their website here.