As Wolverhampton celebrates Carers Week 2020 beginning today (Monday 8 June), local health leaders have shown their support for the city's estimated 27,000 unpaid carers – especially because of the important contributions they have made during the coronavirus pandemic.

Carers Week is a national event highlighting the efforts of carers in the community and Jonathan Fellows, Independent Chair of the Black Country and West Birmingham Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, said: "Unpaid carers have been playing an essential role during the Covid-19 outbreak and should be recognised for their efforts.

"Carers are often people who are looking after a family member or friend who has a disability, mental or physical illness or who needs extra help as they grow older. Looking after vulnerable people is something that should be valued more than ever during these challenging times.”

The onset of the coronavirus outbreak means that, this year, people in Wolverhampton are facing new challenges. Many are taking on more responsibilities than usual, looking after their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support. 

“I’m incredibly proud of the carers in our local community and the essential contribution they make in helping vulnerable people. In many cases, carers are looking after people who are having to self-isolate or are shielding, which adds to the carers’ responsibilities. 

“Caring is extremely rewarding, but our carers also need to be supported as they can often feel lonely, anxious and overwhelmed. By being directed to the right services, carers can arrange a break from caring, obtain the equipment they need and also access wellbeing services."

The theme of this year’s Carers Week is to Make Caring Visible, and the City of Wolverhampton Council's Carer Support Team are reminding carers that they are on hand to help them during the coronavirus pandemic. 

To get in touch with the Carer Support Team, please call 01902 553409, visit Carer support, email or find @WolvesCarers on Twitter, Wolves Carers on Facebook and WolvesCarers on Instagram. The team has also organised a range of online activities, including virtual cafes, advice sessions and singalongs.

Councillor Linda Leach, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "There are an estimated 27,000 carers in Wolverhampton, providing unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help as they grow older. 

"Each and every one of them is doing an incredible job during the coronavirus pandemic, and our Carer Support Team want to give them as much help as they can at this time. If anyone needs help – or just a friendly voice to chat to – please do not hesitate to give the Carer Support Team a call."

Carers Week 2020 runs from Monday 8 to Sunday 14 June. For more details, please visit Carers Week.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind.