Carers Workers’ Network Supporting Carers Week On 12-18 June

Dear Editor,

re: Carers’ Week.

220,000 people across Northern Ireland care, unpaid, for a disabled, older or ill family member or friend. Whilst caring can be rewarding, without the right support, it can also take a serious toll on a carer’s health, relationships and finances.

That’s why, this Carers Week (12-18 June), we’re highlighting the work of organisations across Northern Ireland, who provide much needed support for carers. The Carers Workers’ Network aims to support carers through networking, sharing information and good practice and campaigning for change.

Lesley Johnston, Advice and Information Officer with Carers NI and Network Facilitator said: ”The Carers Workers Network started in 1999 when we realised that many professionals working with carers felt isolated in their roles and lacked the up to date information they needed to advise carers about their rights. The Network has gone from strength to strength and we now have have representation from almost 20 voluntary and statutory organisations. Members have the opportunity to share good practice and learn from each other’s experience with the common purpose of achieving a better deal for carers.

Network member, Joan Scott added: “The Carers Workers’ Network is extremely useful to me in my role as Carers Development Officer within South Eastern Trust. The Network gives those of us working to support carers a stronger united voice and promotes stronger working relationships across the region.

Linsdsay Wallace, Northern Ireland Manager for Contact and Family said: “Being part of the Network allows me to keep up to date with carers issues and carers rights. This is vital to ensure I can give carers appropriate advice and point them in the direction of sources of help and support. It is a good opportunity to come together with and share ideas with other organisations that are supporting carers, and ensures carers issues remain a priority.”

This year, following the theme of Carers Week, we want to highlight the importance of Carer Friendly Communities – places where local people and services understand what it’s like to be a carer and do what they can to make life a little bit easier for carers. Each of the organisations involved will have events running for carers during the week, ranging from Health and Wellbeing days and coffee mornings to ….. to find a list of local events for carers, please click on the link below:

Kind regards,

Lesley Johnston,

Advice and Information Officer, Carers NI, on behalf of Carers Worker’s Network,
58 Howard Street, Belfast, BT1 6PJ.


Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign which takes place to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by Northern Ireland’s 220,000 carers. It is also a time of intensive local activity with hundreds of events planned for carers across Northern Ireland.

Carers Week 2017 is made possible by Carers NI joining forces with Age NI, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support NI, MNDA NI, MS Society NI and Which? Elderly Care and kindly supported by Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition and the Lockwood Foundation.

There are lots of different ways to get involved in Carers Week:

Visit the Carers Week website and:
*  Recommend an organisation or service that is carer friendly
*  Pledge your support for Carers Week and carry out a change that will help your organisation or service to become more carer friendly
*  Run an activity or event and add it to the Carers Week website to get a free event pack with resources for your event.
*  Follow Carers Week on Twitter @CarersWeek and use the hashtag #carersweek
*  Like Carers Week on Facebook at and join in with the discussions

Carers Week 2017 is made possible by Carers NI collaborating with Age NI, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support NI, MNDA NI, MS Society NI and Which? Elderly Care and kindly supported by Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition and the Lockwood Foundation.


Twitter: @CarersWeek #carersweek

What is a carer?

A carer is someone who provides 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.

For some, taking on a caring role can be sudden: someone in your family has an accident or your child is born with a disability. For others, caring creeps up unnoticed: your parents can’t manage on their own any longer or your partner’s health gradually worsens.

The amount and type of support that carers provide varies considerably. It can range from a few hours a week, such as picking up prescriptions and preparing meals, to providing care day and night.

Caring will touch each and every one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer or need care ourselves. Whilst caring can be a rewarding experience, it can also have a damaging impact on a person’s health, finances and relationships.
To find out how you can get support in your caring role, visit:

Facts about carers in Northern Ireland

* There are 220,000 carers in Northern Ireland
* Carers save the Northern Ireland economy over £4.4 billion a year – more than the annual NHS spend in Northern Ireland
* Approximately 30,000 people in Northern Ireland care for more than one person
* By 2037 the number of carers in Northern Ireland is expected to increase to 400,000.