The Unsung Heroes campaign, led by Forward Carers, was set up to raise awareness and celebrate the role of family Carers across Birmingham. The campaign was part of Ageing Better in Birmingham and funded by The Big Lottery Fund. The Unsung Heroes campaign came to an end in June 2020 and was spread over two years to raise awareness of Carers and to increase Carer’s knowledge of what support was available to them. The campaign has been evaluated by Dr Leon Quinn and Dr. Anna Hraboweckyj from the Social Effectiveness Research Centre and we are pleased to share these results with you.
The key findings are:
- 65% of Carers thought the Unsung Heroes campaign had increased the awareness of the issues Carers face & encouraged activities, employers, organisations and institutions to be carer friendly
- 75% of Carers were more aware of the services and support available to them because of the Unsung Heroes campaign
- 58% of Carers said the Unsung Heroes campaign had made them feel like they had more help around them
What did Carers think about the campaign?
Part of the evaluation involved interviewing Carers to gather their views about the campaign and to see if the three main objectives had achieved positive outcomes.
Outcome 1 – Increased Awareness of Older Carers’ Issues
“It was something good for carers to show that they have been recognised for all they are doing.”
“I’ve always been a carer, and it’s great that carers are being recognised.”
“It’s nice to see that older carers are now being taken into consideration and that awareness of older carers does exist.”
As well as raising awareness of older carers and their issues with other bodies in general, the campaign also made some Carers more aware of their own issues.
For instance, one older carer reported that it “made me aware of how different carers are and how our needs can change over time – I realise how important support networks are”.
Sometimes the project made beneficiaries think of themselves as older Carers for the very first time – as one put it, “I have never really seen myself as an older carer as I have to stay very fit and healthy to look after my elderly mother!”
Outcome 2 – Greater Awareness of Support Available
Various methods were used to advise Carers about information they could access as well as support that was available to them. For example, press releases and short video clips of real Carers sharing their experiences and a range of toolkits were developed to provide a snapshot of available information.
“It’s made me aware of help I can use which I didn’t realise was there.”
“It helped me become aware of what help is around for me and the person I care for.”
“It made me aware that there is more support for me than I originally thought.”
“The project notified me of available information and help.”
“I found out what services I could access.”
“Enabled carers to see they’re not alone and have support at hand.”
Outcome 3 – Reduced Isolation
“I don’t feel like I’m alone doing this caring anymore. It’s made me more confident.”
“That help is out there when a carer needs help and support – knowing others are in the community going through the same ups and downs in a carer’s life.”
“Understanding that you are not alone when you are struggling to cope with various problems.”
“The regular contact during the lockdown has made me feel as if I am not on my own. Thank you.”
“It’s made me feel more valued and less isolated. I think this is a brilliant initiative and has brought people more confidence and involvement within the community.”
As one older carer put it, “any sort of awareness raising is always good – it makes you feel less alone and that others are in the same boat”.
Thank you to all of the Carers that took part in this campaign, your time and contribution has been invaluable, we couldn’t have done it without you!
Launch of Carer Friendly BrumCarer Friendly Brum
As a result of this campaign, Forward Carers has launched Carer Friendly Brum, a new initiative to continue raising the voice of Carers across the city and increase support from every facet of the community.
To find out more visit our dedicated web pages on creating Carer Friendly Communities.