Local carers have been sharing their stories in a film to be released on Carers Rights Day (Thursday 25 November).
The day is a national event helping unpaid carers know their rights – and find out how to get the help they are entitled to.
Carers Support Centre provides support, information and advice to carers of any age living in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
The charity has made a short film about caring to mark the event, which it hopes local GP practices will show to staff to expand their understanding of the issues that affect carers – as well as sharing it with their patients.
It says with COVID-19 still in circulation, the role of carers who look after vulnerable people at home has never been more crucial – with 81 per cent providing more care with less support.
Many do not know they can get help and it takes on average two years for carers to access support services.
The Bristol Health and Wellbeing Board also recognises that out of the estimated 48,000 carers in Bristol – only 17,000 are known to services in the city.
Chief Executive of Carers Support Centre, Tim Poole, explains: “Many people do not realise they are carers and that there is support for them. A big part of our job is to seek out ‘hidden carers’ to make them aware of our services, and to continually promote our services.
“This film is a huge opportunity to raise awareness of carers in GP practices and beyond. Even more people have become carers since the pandemic, and we want to make sure as many carers as possible can get the help they need.”
In the film, Cheralyn, Tony, Fanuel and Amanda share their experiences, including how receiving support improved their lives.
Amanda says: “I’ve been caring for my husband for nine years. I didn’t identify as a carer. I always thought caring was just physical – lifting somebody out of a bed or a bath – not the emotional support and running a household.
“Raising awareness is really important. For other carers, I would encourage them to seek support. It is true that if you don’t look after yourself, you can’t look after someone else.”
To watch the film, visit www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk
If you or someone you know is a carer – find out what support is available by contacting CarersLine: 0117 965 2200 or email email@example.com