Carers Week this year has the theme of ‘make caring visible and valued’. Our Carer Friendly Tick Awards are given to organisations that have standards in place to identify and support carers.
With Carers Week from 7–13 June we have asked people from some of the organisations who hold the Carer Friendly Tick Award to tell us something about what they are doing – how they are ensuring caring is visible and valued year-round.
Disability Huntingdonshire hold the Carer Friendly Tick Award as both an employer and community organisations.
Tracy Hyland, chief Executive, explained why it is important to them, and her personally that carers are visible and valued:
Disability Huntingdonshire (DISH) is a small local charity set up to provide specialist benefit advice, support, and advocacy for people of all ages with disabilities throughout Huntingdonshire and South Cambridgeshire currently.
Disability Huntingdonshire was established in 1991, we are celebrating our 30th anniversary this year.
Most of our staff team have caring responsibilities and it is vital for us, as an organisation to support carers in work and enable them to balance caring with their professionals’ roles. Equally, our work means we meet many carers, who are hidden or not aware of their rights and support available.
Carers traditionally have been undervalued and underpaid and in these extraordinary times, a report by Carers UK estimated that the care provided by people looking after older, disabled and seriously ill relatives and friends during the pandemic stands at £135 billion so far – meaning that with every day of the COVID-19 pandemic that passes, unpaid carers are saving the UK state £530 million in the care they provided.
My own mother cared for my profoundly disabled sister until October 2020, when she moved into supported living. This is not unusual, people may say, my mum is 85 and had cared for my sister 24/7 for 53 years. That is dedication and love. It can be lonely being a carer and at DISH, it is personal for us that we:
- Support our staff who have caring responsibilities.
- Actively recruit carers into our workforce.
- Identify carers who may not be accessing the emotional and financial support that they need.
Being recognised for our support for carers is really important and I feel proud that DISH has been recognised for our commitment to carers.
Thank you never seems enough but thank you to every unpaid carer of whatever age who keep going despite all the odds. DISH is committed to identifying, supporting and raising awareness of unpaid carers.
A special thank you to my staff team and especially to my mum.
More about the Carer Friendly Tick Award
The Carer Friendly Tick Award is an accreditation, comprising of four key areas: communities, education, employers and health.
The award is assessed by carers and intended to be simple to understand and implement. It takes only a few steps but makes a real difference for carers. It is designed to help those who are unsure of how to identify and support carers in your setting or, for those already supporting carers, a way to recognise their great work.
The Carer Friendly Tick Award for each category is designed to provide organisations with an emphasis on local and relevant standards which carers feel are necessary to ensure they are easily identified and properly supported within the that environment.
We can talk to you about how we can support you through the Carer Friendly Tick Award, including delivering awareness training and with our toolkits for each category.