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Notes to Editors
Suffolk Family Carers
Established 30 years ago, Suffolk Family carers is an independent charity supporting family carers as young as 5 years throughout Suffolk. Family Carers lives can be restricted because they are looking after a relative, partner, friend of child who cannot manage without help because of age, an illness or disability. Our purpose is to gain recognition of the important contribution family carers make to society and provide them with support, advice and information to help them in their caring role so that they are less likely to need care themselves.
Who is a carer?
A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help as they grow older.
For some, taking on a caring role can be sudden: someone in your family has an accident or your child is born with a disability. For others, caring creeps up unnoticed: your parents can’t manage on their own any longer or your partner’s health gradually worsens.
The amount and type of support that carers provide varies considerably. It can range from a few hours a week, such as picking up prescriptions and preparing meals, to providing care day and night.
Caring will touch each and every one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer or need care ourselves. Whilst caring can be a rewarding experience, it can also have a damaging impact on a person’s health, finances and relationships.
Facts about carers
- 78,000 people in Suffolk are carers; that’s 1 in 8 adults (Census 2011)
- By 2037, it is estimated that the number of carers in the UK will rise to 9 million (Carers UK)
- Every day another 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility – that equals over 2 million people every year (Carers UK)
- 58% of carers are women and 42% are men (Census 2011)
- The unpaid care provided by the UK’s carers is worth £132 billion per year, an average of £19,336 per carer (Carers UK, University of Sheffield, University of Leeds)
- Over 3 million people juggle care with work, however the significant demands of caring mean that 1 in 5 carers are forced to give up work altogether (Carers UK)
- A BBC Survey (2010) estimated there are more than 700,000 young carers
- There are 376,000 young adult carers in the UK aged 16-25 (Census 2011)
- 1 in 5 people aged 50-64 are carers (Census 2011)