This week Carers Week celebrates the hidden army of unpaid carers who look after family and friends across the region, and we also celebrate Carers Network – the local charity that cares for the carers.

Carers Network was set up by a group of carers in Westminster in 1991. From their group created to support one another the charity grew and now provides expert advice and support to more than 3,500 carers in Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham. Caring can be incredibly isolating and impact every part of a person’s life, over the years Carers Network has worked with thousands of carers to help them find the support and the encouragement they need in their caring role.

Carers like Amy*, 55, who has cared for her severely disabled son for 35 years. Years of caring have taken their toll on Amy’s physical and mental health, often leaving her anxious and exhausted. When the DWP started investigating her income last year Amy became extremely anxious about their intentions. When Amy called on Carers Network for help her support worker was able to visit her in her home and to work with her to contact the DWP and get some clarity on their investigations. Having her Carers Network support worker attend the DWP appointment with her meant that Amy felt reassured about the outcome.

Amy told us ‘Carers Network doesn’t judge me – they help me. I trust Carers Network to look after me. It makes me feel that it is not just me that is carrying the burden.’

Carers Network is celebrating 25 years of helping people like Amy, who have no one else to turn to. We are also working hard to ensure that our charity is able to support carers for another 25 years, by raising new funding from charitable trusts and donations. Donations can be made by visiting www.justgiving.com/carersnetwork

‘As the population ages the case for recognising and supporting unpaid carers is all the more compelling,’ says Sarah Mitchell. Chief Executive of Carers Network. ‘Three in five of us will be a carer at some point in our lives. Not all of us will need support but for those who do it is essential that independent charities like Carers Network continue to exist and to provide the support and advice that carers need when they need it most.’

Notes for Eds

Carers Network birthday party: Wednesday 8 June 1-4pm, Beethoven Centre, W10 4JL

Find out more about Carers Network’s services www.carers-network.co.uk

@carersnetwork

*not her real name