People in Reading who provide unpaid care for a friend, relative or neighbour can access support and information at an event to mark National Carers Rights Day 2019 today, Thursday 21st.
The free event aims to reach out to people who might not access all the support they are entitled to and also to recognise the vital role unpaid carers play in the wellbeing of the community.
In Reading, an estimated 12,000 people provide unpaid care for someone who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.
The event is hosted by the Reading and West Berkshire Carers Hub with support from Reading Council, local voluntary care sector providers, carers and charities. The event runs from 2pm to 6pm at Wycliffe Baptist Church, 233 King’s Rd, Reading.
The theme of the national campaign this year is ‘Helping you find your way’ with the aim of encouraging people to think about how caring might affect them now and in the future and what support they might need.
Reflecting this theme, advice and information will be provided at the event, which will also feature a series of presentations relating to health, benefits and carer assessments.
The event organisers are also keen to reach unpaid carers who also work and may not be aware of their rights and the support they are entitled to from their employers.
Information stands manned by community groups and charities will run throughout the event for people who cannot stay for the whole event. Light refreshments will also be available.
Cllr Graeme Hoskin, Reading’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “Carers play an essential role in our community and they deserve the best advice and support in their role as well as help in maintaining their own independent lives.
“Most of us will care for or be cared for at some point in our lives. Support for a loved one who is older, ill or has disabilities can be a source of great joy and satisfaction but without the right financial and practical support in place it can also be tough. We’re encouraging people to think about what support they might need so that they don’t miss out now or in the future.”
Cllr Tony Jones, Reading’s lead member for adult social care, said: “This Carers Rights Day, we hope to reach as many carers in Reading as possible with information and advice about the range of support they are entitled to – whether that’s certain benefits or practical help, like getting adaptations in the home.”
Although there is no need to book for the event, people will need to book in advance for advice sessions including Health MOTs and Power of Attorney.