Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert met Jennie Musgrove, Chief Executive of Carers Support West Sussex, in Eastergate on Friday (13 June) during national Carers Week.
The MP, who earlier visited the GP’s and staff at The Croft Surgery in Eastergate, learned about the support available to the 84,000 unpaid carers in West Sussex.
Carers support someone who may have a disability, illness, special or additional needs, drug or alcohol problems. Often family, friends or partners take on the role through circumstance and have to change their lifestyle to provide support for the person they are caring for.
It is estimated that three in every five people will have to be a carer at some point in their life.
Carers Support West Sussex is a charity that currently supports over 15,000 carers. The help they provide includes advice, advocacy and information, emotional and practical support including equipment for independence at home, and small grants for short breaks.
Carers Week this year was all about ‘working together to support carers’ and included many local activities and treats for the carers themselves which included pampering and lunches.
Supporting the carer with the right services can make all the difference to their own health and wellbeing to enable them to continue looking after their loved one in a role that many will describe as being 24/7 with no breaks.
Carers Support West Sussex wants to find more carers in the community, especially those from different backgrounds and cultures. Jennie Musgrove is encouraging all West Sussex GPs to ‘Think Carer’ to reach those carers who might need additional support.
Jennie Musgrove said: “I was delighted to meet with Nick in Eastergate. I explained to him that carers tell us they didn’t know where to turn to, or that anything at all was available for them.
“We need to know who they are and need GP practices to routinely let us know about all carers as part of their day to day work. At the least then we can make an early offer of support and training before a crisis hits.”
Nick Herbert said: “Carers are the secret army who do so much to look after loved ones, and often they face a huge burden and themselves need support. It is good that we have a special week to mark the role that carers play, and this year I was pleased to help promote Carers Support West Sussex and the important work they do.”
Any carer, friend or neighbour can call Carers Support West Sussex on 0300 028 8888.
Report and picture contributed by from The Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP.