"Carers can't afford to be ill" - Local MP backs initiative to highlight the plight of millions of UK carers

June 6, 2008 6:14 PM

Mark is supporting carers in the Cheadle constituency

Mark Hunter MP has teamed up with charity ambassador and TV & Film actress, Pam Ferris, to show his support for carers in the Cheadle constituency who are amongst the six million people in the UK who tirelessly devote their time, efforts and energy to looking after a loved one.

Mr Hunter and Pam, best known for her roles as Ma Larkin from the TV series "The Darling Buds of May" and more recently Aunt Marge in the Harry Potter films, are supporting Carers Week and paying tribute to the huge contribution that carers make, every day of the year, to those they look after, and their communities.

This year carers week, from 9th to 15th of June and now in its 14th year, marks the issue of carers' health with the launch of a national survey showing that, "Carers can't afford to be ill." The survey of 2,000 carers reveals that a large majority feel their health is worse as a result of the strain of caring (for many, up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) and highlights that many carers frequently neglect their own health, and often have no-one to talk to about their concerns or daily difficulties.

Mr Hunter says: "There are six million carers in the UK, including many in the Cheadle constituency and I'm pleased to be able to offer my support to them. Carers do an incredibly important job and it's vital we can get the message out to them that help and support is available for those who may be feeling isolated, exhausted or ill as a result of their caring responsibilities.

"I have therefore signed up to a parliamentary motion (EDM 1369) to help publicise the fact that large numbers of carers are not known to statutory agencies, and their health needs are often overlooked. The government needs to do more to support carers who play a vital role in our community."

Pam Ferris adds: "I'm very happy to be involved in Carers Week and to help raise awareness of the many issues that affect carers across the UK, often adding further difficulties and anxiety to their lives.

"I have personal experience of caring for loved ones and know how draining it can be, and how important it is to have support from friends, family and healthcare professionals. But if you can take some time to also look after yourself, caring can be an immensely fulfilling and rewarding experience."

A host of other well-known faces are supporting Carers Week, including Paul O'Grady, Tony Robinson and media health experts, Dr Miriam Stoppard and Dr Chris Steele.

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