Barbara and Prime Minister in-waiting Gordon Brown hosted a reception on 13 June in Number 11 Downing Street to celebrate Carers Week and mark the contribution that carers make to society.
Barbara opened the event, which brought carers from all over the country together with support groups and politicians, including the Minister for Social Care, Ivan Lewis. Guests heard accounts of the reality of life for carers from two people who care for family members, Don Brereton and Anne Holden. In his speech, Gordon Brown said that the Government needs to do more to listen to and support carers and promised that carers would be high on his policy agenda.
“One of the aims of the reception was to recognise the great contribution made by carers who give unpaid care to family and friends. I was very pleased to be the Parliamentary Champion for Carers and to help facilitate the reception. It is important that carers have a chance to make their voices heard at the highest level of Government so that they can help shape the policies which affect them.
“I was pleased that the carers were able to meet with Gordon Brown and Ivan Lewis and tell them first-hand about their experiences and how the support they receive could be improved. I had the chance myself to talk to a number of carers and it was inspiring to hear their stories. There is much more that we can and must do to help carers and I will continue to put pressure on the Government to make sure that this happens”.
Gordon Brown said:
“Carers are a remarkable group in society; a lifeline for the millions of people who rely on their compassion and dedication. We, as government, need to do more to listen to and learn from carers about how we can better provide the support they need and the recognition they deserve”.