This week is Carers Week in the UK, a chance to publicise and celebrate the vital role of carers in our society.
Twice I've started to write a bog post on this and twice I've deleted it as it sounded too whiny and self-indulgent. So instead I'll just give you a few vital statistics and leave you to draw your own conclusions:
Carers save the UK £119bn a year (Carers UK).
Carers Allowance (for carers who care for a person of a qualifying medium or high level of disability for a minimum of 35 hours a week) is currently £55.55. The carer can earn no more than £100 a week on top of this, otherwise the allowance is lost (Directgov).
The current UK minimum wage for an employee over 21 is £5.93, that is £207.55 for a 35 hour week (HMRC).
Aound 50% of carers have health problems as a result of their caring duties (NHS).
More than 80% of carers are worried about cuts to services (Princess Royal Trust for Carers).
If you are interested in finding about more about carers, including young carers, there is further information on the Carers UK and Princess Royal Trust for Carers websites as well as from the NHS.