All across Carers UK, there were lunch and learns, Care for a Cuppa’s, and a virtual parliamentary event. On the Carers Week website there were 2,573 actions, including 850 activities and 1,407 voices. Many of you were among the 167 organisations that pledged their support, alongside 90 politicians and 146 individuals.
Carers UK also launched new research on carers’ breaks and the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, Breaks or Breakdown can be read here.
The Employers for Carers team were busy attending Lunch and Learn sessions and here are a few of our highlights.
Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust arranged a lunch and learn session for all their employees and extended the invite to Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. It was a hugely warm and welcoming session with plenty of participation and open discussion about the impact caring can have on your life and provided an opportunity for individuals to ask specific questions. We even managed to have some fun along the way and took a group picture to remember the occasion!
We joined Renfrewshire Council in Scotland for a lunch and learn session hosted by Fiona Sinclair and Ian Whyte. We really enjoyed the discussion prompted by our research findings and advice for carers, as well as hearing about their ‘exemplary’ Carer Positive accreditation and the plans they have put in place to support staff carers.
We were also delighted to attend a special event hosted by HSBC’s Ability Employee Resource Group to launch the company’s Carers Charter. The event included a panel discussion with HSBC CEO Ian Stuart, colleagues from Ability and Carers UK CEO Helen Walker. The Charter provides a one stop shop guide for carers and line managers at HSBC.
London Fire Brigade held a number of fantastic events to celebrate Carers Week, including a Carers’ Benefits Information Session which covered ways in which COVID-19 has affected carers and caring, where to find practical tips that can support their current situation, and signposting to benefits information.
We were hosted by Accenture for a lunch and learn, giving managers, HR professionals and working carers at the company the opportunity to learn more about building resilience in caring. It was fantastic to hear from employees who took the opportunity to share their own personal experiences of caring. Personal stories are a very effectively way to connect with others, offering a vital form of comfort and support for those going through similar situations, and helping to normalise caring.
Supporting carers has been a key focus for the Bank of England, demonstrated by the introduction of a carers leave policy last year. In a lunchtime session, as well as learning about a packed Carers Week agenda, it was powerful to hear from carers about their experiences and how COVID-19 has impacted both themselves and those they care for. The Bank also helped to make caring visible and valued by lighting up red in recognition of Carers Week, which was fantastic to see.