Age UK’s Influencing Work During Carers Week and Loneliness Awareness Week 2022

With Carers Week and Loneliness Awareness Week both falling in June, here’s a roundup of Age UK’s influencing work across both weeks.

It’s been a busy month for the whole Age UK Network, with both Carers Week and Loneliness Awareness Week following each other during June! As you know, both weeks are major opportunities to raise awareness of these issues and to highlight the important work that is being done, and more that could be done, to tackle them. Read on to learn about some of the central influencing opportunities we engaged in over these two weeks:

Carers Week – Ensuring Carers Feel Visible, Valued & Supported

Carers Week is delivered by Carers UK alongside Age UK and other charity partners as a celebration of the huge contributions of unpaid carers. This year, the campaign also focused on highlighting the impact of the pandemic on unpaid carers and calling on the Government to create and fund a Recovery & Respite plan.

Age UK’s role is to highlight the role of older carers and ensure the support they need is recognised. As well as arranging for two campaigners to speak with the Minister for Care and the Shadow Minister for Care during online calls, we also attended the Carers Week Parliamentary drop-in for MPs on 8th June.

Norman Philips, who cares for his wife, and Rasila Mehta, who cares for her sister, joined Age UK at the event and spoke to over 21 MPs and Peers about their experiences and the support they need to meet the demands of their roles as older carers. Alongside the more than 6000 campaigners who wrote to their MPs, Norman and Rasila demonstrated just how reliant the Health and Care sectors are on unpaid carers and made a very clear case for the need for immediate Government support.

You can read more about Carers Week and the Recovery & Respite plan here.

Norman Philips, Age UK’s Senior External Affairs Manager Eorann Lean, and Rasila Mehta

Loneliness Awareness Week – Tackling Loneliness with the Minister

We started the week with a webinar, chaired by Darren Henry MP, on supporting those on low incomes to overcome loneliness. We had a fantastic presentation from Jenny Paton at Age UK Wirral on their work with their local hospital trust.

To mark the end of Loneliness Awareness Week, Nigel Huddleston, the Minister responsible for tackling the loneliness agenda, joined a game of walking football in his constituency at Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire last Friday.

He got to see first-hand an example of the amazing work the Age UK Network does to tackle loneliness across the country. Walking football is a great way for players to socialise, while staying active at the same time.

The team spoke with the Minister about why playing means so much to them. Richard told him:

“I’ve made new friends and gotten to know more people. We all stop for a coffee after and have a chat. For those who are getting on or may have lost a partner, it helps with socialising. If someone doesn’t turn up for a few weeks, we reach out on our WhatsApp group.”

Richard, a regular walking football player

The Minister was happy to get stuck in and have a kick about with the team. It’s safe to say he thoroughly enjoyed himself and was very impressed with Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire, saying later:

“it was great to see their inspiring work helping older people make new friends while having fun and getting exercise.”

Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society

You can read more on the Age UK Discover blog and see some lovely clips of the visit on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s twitter feed below:

Thank You!

We are deeply thankful to all our campaigners and all the local Age UKs who support unpaid carers and deliver services essential to tackling loneliness in older people. This work is essential for supporting the older people who need us most. Age UK will of course continue campaigning for them, to make sure they get the support they need.

If you have any questions about our campaigning work, please get in touch – luke.pilot@ageuk.org.uk.

Carers Week 2022 – Calling for a Recovery and Respite Plan for Carers

As Carers Week continues, we’ve launched a new campaign action, asking our supporters to join the call for a Recovery and Respite plan. Find out how you can spread the word below.

As Carers Week continues, today’s focus is a celebration of older carers. There are more than 2 million older carers providing a vital service to their loved ones in the UK and we have loved working with you to recognise and celebrate everything they do to help others. We’ve launched a new campaign action, asking our supporters to join the Carers Week call for a Recovery and Respite plan. Find out full details below, including how you can spread the word.

Recovery and Respite

Recognising the contributions of carers is only one part of Carers Week. Yesterday we launched a campaigners’ action, asking our supporters to join the Carers Week call for a Recovery and Respite plan that would give carers the break they have needed, but haven’t had, since even before the pandemic began.

Spreading the word on Social Media

We have asked our supporters to write to their MP, asking them to support the delivery of this plan. We would really appreciate you promoting this call too. You can use the following template social media posts.

Twitter:

This #CarersWeek2022 we are calling on the Government to provide a proper respite and recovery plan for unpaid carers.

Join our call and write to your MP today:

https://campaigns.ageuk.org.uk/page/107135/action/1?ea.tracking.id=LAUK

Facebook:

Taking a break should be a normal part of everyone’s daily life. Even before the pandemic, many carers were supporting their loved ones 24/7. After 2 gruelling years, they really need a break, but many still do not have the option.

We are calling on the Government to provide a proper respite and recovery plan for unpaid carers. Join our call and write to your MP here:

https://campaigns.ageuk.org.uk/page/107135/action/1?ea.tracking.id=LAUK

Carers Week Report

The annual Carers Week event also features a brand new report, summarising the experiences of carers over the pandemic and the coming challenges they will need support with, as well as outlining the need for a fully funded Recovery and Respite plan that supports their wellbeing.

Take a look at the report and use the template social media posts in the partner pack to promote it online.

Thank you for all your work delivering events and support during this important awareness week. If you have any queries, please contact luke.pilot@ageuk.org.uk. We look forward to celebrating our incredible carers with you!

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