Just ahead of Carers Week, Birmingham Carers Hub Carer Marie Bushell appeared on BBC Midlands Today. Marie is a Carer to her husband Michael, her older son Connor who has dyspraxia and other disabilities and is carer to her younger son Jayden who has autism. On top of that, during lockdown, Marie was also providing support to her Mum before she died of lung cancer earlier this year.
In the clip shown on Friday 4 June, Marie describes what her role as a carer involves such as attending GP and hospital appointments, helping with physio exercises, providing emotional support as well as doing all the household chores.
A report by Carers UK, found that 4.5 million people became unpaid carers since the start of the outbreak and that existing Carers took on a lot more due to the closure and restrictions of usual support services.
Forward Carers and Birmingham Carers Hub partners did not close and has been a constant source of support since the pandemic began. Chantell Marler, Project Manager for Forward Carers told the BBC reporter Audrey Dias that,
“If Carers don’t access support, information and advice or even just connecting with other carers, they can burn out very quickly which can leave the person or people that they provide care to at risk.”
Being a Carer impacts day to day life, so positive encounters at places of work, education, healthcare settings, shopping and recreation and so on, can lighten the load of the caring role. With that in mind, Forward Carers is on a mission to create Carer Friendly Communities so any interaction a carer has is a positive and understanding one.
One such organisation that is already doing this, is last year’s Carer Friendly Business Award winner solicitors Nicholls Brimble Bhol. Rob Bhol also featured in the news item and explained how his company provides flexible working for their employees who also have caring responsibilities and they provide discounted legal advice for Carers. Forward Carers is calling for other businesses and organisations across England to do the same – to support Carers emotionally and financially in any way they can.