Every Thursday evening, we stand on our doorsteps and make some noise.

At first, we were clapping for the NHS, then we added in key workers, shopworkers, posties, delivery drivers, each other and now we are just clapping to be alive.

There is something very visible about that many people clapping, banging pots, pans and whooping – it shows that we all recognise the contribution that has been made.

We all know that caring can be both tough and wonderful at the same time.  We know that it impacts every aspect of their lives and this year it has presented an extra hurdle, staying safe, plus for many, the challenge of staying home and getting essentials.

The theme this year for Carers’ Week (8-14 June 2020)  is Making Caring Visible https://www.carersweek.org/about-us/making-caring-visible.

Now more than ever, we need to come together and make caring visible.

During Carers’ Week, our activities will be focussed in three main areas to “Shine a Light” on caring across the county:

Visible to Friends and Family and at Work

We have been getting messages across about what it means to be a carer through print media, with our friends at Spirit FM Radio and all the local district and borough partners and councils. We have utilised our social media channels to the max, as well as real stories from people’s experiences, to make sure that the people who surround you understand the challenges you face.

Visible to Other Carers

Throughout this challenging time, we have continued to connect with our carers – writing, emailing and/or texting over 18,000 carers in one week alone. Every week on average our team are speaking with 270 carers about issues that are important to them, as well as hearing from 50 carers per day through our Response Line. We know that a few words from someone who understands your situation can be a lifeline. Six out of ten of our team of staff and volunteers are carers.

To celebrate and pay homage to our registered carers, we have collaborated with some local organisations who support and recognise the fantastic work carried out by carers, to produce a programme of online events, which includes:

  • Cookery Demos.
  • Put yourself first as a carer, tips from a Carer Life Coach.
  • A portraiture drawing workshop.
  • Resilience course for parent carers.
  • Exclusive carer focussed workshops from Chichester Festival Theatre.
  • A webinar about affordable and kind nutrition for carers.

Check out our Carers’ Week page here to see the wonderful events we have made available to our carers.

Visible to the General Public

Right now, we know that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will be placing significant additional pressure on carers across the county. But we want carers to know they are not alone. In fact, carers should be celebrated for the incredibly vital work they do every day for friends and family members. Which is why we want to “Shine a Light” on the amazing work carers are doing right now, and to let them know that we are here to offer support and guidance along with practical and emotional support.

As well as all the media planned during the week – we are also working with our partners at West Sussex County Council to “Shine a Light” on everything carers do.

Together let’s make caring visible to our friends and family, visible to other carers, visible to our colleagues at work, and visible to the communities we live in.

Thank you for all the great work you do in shining the light on carers.