Carers in Sunderland have expressed their opinions on their priorities, contributing to the development of a strategy aimed at providing them with enhanced support.

In commemoration of Carers Week (5-11 June), Sunderland is unveiling its new Carers Strategy. This comprehensive plan, spanning from 2022 to 2027, outlines measures to enhance the well-being of carers across all age groups. Collaboratively crafted by Sunderland City Council, the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board, Together for Children, and Sunderland Carers Centre, the strategy takes into account the invaluable input from the city’s unpaid carers.

An unpaid carer is someone who provides support to someone who would find it difficult to manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems.

A carer could be a spouse, partner, parent, sibling, child, friend, or any other relation. Anybody from any background and of any age can be a carer and each carer’s experience is unique to their own circumstances.

In a survey of carers, 62% report facing challenges in making sure they are heard and understood and many reported that they would like more information on finance and benefits.

The Carers Strategy has identified four key priorities:

* Identifying and recognising carers

* Information, advice, and guidance

* Communication and carer engagement

* Accessibility and Range of Services

Councillor Kelly Chequer, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Healthy City, said: “We would like to recognise the tremendous contribution unpaid carer’s make in Sunderland. We recognise that in addition to providing care, many carers face challenges of their own, whether its with their own health and wellbeing, or finance and employment.

“We have listened to carers’ concerns and we want to make sure that carers can live healthy and happy lives in Sunderland. With this strategy in place, we are working towards that goal.”

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