Barbara opened a 90 minute debate in Parliament by drawing attention to the 22,000 people in Salford who give unpaid care to family members who are ill, frail, or who have a disability.
Barbara, who is the Parliamentary Champion for Carers Week (11th – 17th June), is working to help carers gain the recognition and help they need and deserve.
“There are 10,000 carers in my constituency of Worsley alone, including 2,300 who care for over 50 hours a week. The contribution these carers make is vital to the people they care for. Carers do not always receive the support and recognition they deserve. Unpaid carers are often unknown to support groups and as a result of their caring have to give up their jobs. A recent survey has shown that around a third of carers are in debt because of this and they are forced to cut back on food or heating. One in ten carers cannot even afford to pay their mortgage or rent. We cannot stand by and allow this to happen anymore.
“Whilst progress has been made and carers are better supported that they were ten years ago, we still have a long way to go and we should not be complacent. In the Debate I raised many of the concerns that carers have made about the way that caring can affect them financially, mentally and socially. I asked the Minister to ensure that these concerns will be thoroughly considered in the current review of policy on carers’ issues and asked him to confirm that carers’ views will be put firmly at the centre of the review. Carers must be at the heart of all government decisions which affect them.
“At the end of the debate the Minister, Ivan Lewis, committed the Government to continuing to improve support for carers and he acknowledged that there is still much work to be done. I am pleased that he recognised this. I will continue to press the Government, on behalf of carers, to ensure that the changes they want to see become a reality.”