Caring for the Carers
A new strategy for adults and young people who provide care and support to family members and friends in South Tyneside has been agreed, setting out how the Council and its partners will support carers in the future while celebrating their unwavering dedication.
The Carers' Strategy has been co-produced by the Council, the NHS, community and voluntary organisation but, most importantly, the people who provide the care and support themselves who will have a key role in supporting the delivery of the plan. The strategy is further evidence of how the Council is delivering on its priority of supporting vulnerable communities.
The strategy seeks to raise awareness and ensure that carers are identified and recognised by all organisations and employers in South Tyneside for their valuable contribution within families, communities, workplaces, and society. One in four local people with caring responsibilities said that they had not been recognised by anyone as a carer. This can make it difficult for them to access the activities and support for their own health and wellbeing.
The strategy recognises that many carers struggle to balance employment with their caring role. The Council and its partners want to increase access to stable and supportive employment for carers and they hope to achieve this by supporting employers to become carer friendly organisations by finding practical and sustainable ways to support carers in work and their managers.
The strategy also sets out how the Council and its partners will help carers to stay better connected by helping them to boost their digital skills.
Carers will also be helped to look after their own health and wellbeing and ensure they have opportunities to pursue their own interests.
Councillor Anne Hetherington, lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: "Every carer in South Tyneside is providing invaluable support to family or friends. These quiet heroes often hold families together, keeping loved ones safe while not always recognising the enormous contribution they make to society.
"Caring, by its very nature, is a selfless act but it is important that we reach out to carers to ensure they have the support they need to keep themselves well."
She added: "Without our carers, the health and social care system would become overwhelmed so it is vital that our carers know how to access support when they need it and understand how valued they are."
The strategy also seeks to address the issue that young carers risk not reaching their full potential due to their caring responsibilities. It sets out how young carers will be supported to achieve their goals by working with employers and teachers to ensure they have access to development opportunities.
Councillor Adam Ellison, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "We know from talking to young carers that they have the same aspirations as other young people; they want to have a social life, be happy and find a good job. Their caring responsibilities should not prevent them from achieving any of these goals.
"We are committed to giving all our young people the best start in life and we will do all we can to make sure they realise their potential."
The strategy will be launched at an event on Monday 21 March from 1:30pm at Jarrow Focus, Cambrian Street, Jarrow. Anyone who would like to attend to find out more about the strategy can register for a place by emailing Jacqui.email@example.com