Last week I pressed the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Housing, Community and Local Government, Rishi Sunak MP, about support for carers, calling for funding to help local authorities identify and support carers. This came after meeting local carers as part of my Big Conversation, where a variety of issues that carers faced were raised.
In particular I was asking about ‘invisible’ carers who are not known to local councils or local groups. I met recently with young local carers who do unpaid work for loved ones. But the carers I met were the lucky ones: although they face huge challenges, they are at least in contact with Sheffield Carers Centre, who provide all the support that they can. They were worried about the thousands of other carers in Sheffield who are unknown to the system and struggle on without support.
Being able to identify carers is the essential first step for councils if they are to provide services to support them, and I asked the Minister what support they were providing to local authorities to help with this. Sadly, he did not really address the point.
I am an Ambassador for Sheffield Carers Centre, as well as being the Patron for Sheffield Young Carers, and more about my policy and actions relating to health and social care can be found here.