GoodOaks News | 27 June 2024

Tackling the unpaid carer crisis – The GoodOaks Way

Discover how GoodOaks supports unpaid carers through our "You Are Not Alone" campaign, advocating for better government support and providing essential resources and guidance.

Tackling the unpaid carer crisis – The GoodOaks Way

At GoodOaks, we are powered by three pillars of People, Partnership and Planet. 

We believe in the power of partnership. From how we collaborate with our franchise partners, to how our care coordinators work with clients and their families, our partnership-led care approach empowers caring people to provide exceptional care.

We also recognise and support family members across our country, who are looking after someone who would struggle to stay at home, without their help.

The nation’s unpaid army of an estimated 10 million carers are the backbone of our country’s care system. Their regular care contributions to their friends, neighbours, and loved ones help to prevent a system already under strain from buckling. And yet, despite their invaluable contribution, it is clear from recent polling that decision makers haven’t yet fully recognised this, leaving many carers feeling isolated and alone. 

As part of our campaign, we commissioned national polling to support You Are Not Alone. Alarmingly, we found that 56 percent of unpaid carers believed the government was ‘ineffectively’ supporting those providing unpaid care across the country. As little as six percent thought the government was doing a “very” effective job. 

When our poll probed carers’ wellbeing, the results were stark. More than half felt unable to meet their own health and wellbeing needs. The vast majority of these – 87 per cent – appear to be sacrificing the wellbeing of themselves to meet the needs of those they cared for. Nearly 1 in 10 felt unable to meet the wellbeing needs of either themselves or their loved ones.

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Though the Carers Leave Act proved the least well-known of the support options presented in the polling questions, other options including Carer’s Credit, Personal Independence Payments, Attendance Allowance and NHS Continuing Healthcare were well understood by less than half of all respondents.  

There is evidently a visible – and extremely concerning – crisis of well being and awareness among Britain’s family carers. A concerted and deliberate effort to address these issues is needed, and needed now. 

You Are Not Alone is a national campaign that supports, informs and celebrates the quiet, unseen, commitment that millions of people make to those they love who are struggling to cope day-to-day at home. We are on a mission to help; through providing information guides, interviews with experts, advocating for policy change, local knowledge, and advice to help guide you on your journey so that you feel equipped with the tools and knowledge you need.

But our campaign can only go so far. The government must take the initiative themselves. It does not have to cost a mega-sum to work towards tackling these issues, and given that estimates place unpaid carers’ contributions to the economy at nearly 500 million per day, it seems only right that decision-makers do more.  As Damien Green MP himself made clear in a foreword to our report, “unpaid carers deserve not just recognition but practical help to make their lives more comfortable.” 

The government could also introduce funding for additional services that are accessible to carers, such as counselling, support groups, and helplines – the latter of which we have introduced as part of our campaign. The value of bringing people together is clear, but the situation for many family carers at present is one of isolation, loneliness, and a lack of clear advice. These proposals are not revolutionary, but they are achievable and could have a profound impact. We know the value of unpaid carers to our society. It’s about time the government gave them the recognition that they deserve. 

To find more about the services we provide and how our You Are Not Alone campaign can help you, please get in touch.