MP teams up with TV star to support carers

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DEARNE MP John Healey has teamed up with TV presenter and former carer Fiona Phillips to support this year’s Carers Week in June.

Held between June 18-24, the event recognises the contribution made by those people in Rotherham and Barnsley and throughout the UK who provide unpaid care for someone who is ill, frail or disabled.

The theme for Carers Week 2012 is ‘In sickness and in health’, to honour the strain families are under as they see their services cut back.

It calls for better financial and practical support for the diverse range of people who have caring responsibilities.

Research carried out in 2012 found that 47 per cent of unpaid carers said they were made ill by money worries, and 45 per cent reported that caring had pushed them into debt.

John and Fiona have joined together to pay tribute to carers, and to urge that they receive more support in their caring roles.

John said: “Thousands of people in Rotherham and Barnsley sacrifice not only their time, but also their money and their health in order to care for a loved one.

“Together they save this country an incredible £119 billion every year. It’s vital that carers are offered regular breaks from caring and health checks so that they can be supported.

“I am taking part in Carers Week to show my respect and appreciation for our carers.

“I also want to let them know that there are services out there to help them. Caring can be so incredibly demanding. It’s important that carers know that they don’t have to struggle on alone.”

Fiona Phillips said: “From personal experience, I know caring can demand a lot of your time and attention, which in some cases can put pressure on other areas in your life such as financial responsibilities and relationships.

“These problems can prove to be exhausting and mentally gruelling and can really take its toll on your health and wellbeing. 

“I hope that Carers Week can again help to achieve change, and make a real difference to the lives of carers in this country.”